Pittsburgh Chapter Of The AFA Hallof Fame Alumni To Host Regional Meeting

April 28, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
The event is three fold according to Chapter President, Tom Averell. First, the Alumni Club will name Dan Rains as the recipient of their annual Ray Mansfield Memorial Award. Mansfield, former Pittsburgh Steeler all-pro NFL player was well known for his contributions to the semi-pro and youth level of the game. The award bearing his name is given each year by the alumni club to a deserving individual making significant contributions to youth and community football projects. Rains was inducted into the AFA Hall of Fame in 1987. After a short stint in the semi-pro level Rains went on to play in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and has an NFL Super Bowl ring for to show for his pro career accomplishments. Mansfield was inducted into the AFA/HOF in 1992 (executive category) after serving several years as a league commissioner.

The second reason for hosting their chapter meeting at the Heinz History and Sports Museum is to recognize and pay honor to several individuals from western Pennsylvania that will be inducted as part of the AFA Hall of Fame “Class of 2006” in Canton, Ohio on June 10th. Among this years group of semi-pro football standouts are Charles ‘Bear’ Rogers, former coach of the Bloomfield Rams. Bloomfield is where Johnny Unitas played his semi-pro ball. Joseph Natoli, 29 years as a youth football coach, Rick Jancosco, executive from the Pittsburgh Ironmen, Dave Havern, quarterback with the Millvale Indians and Pittsburgh Wolf Pak as well as Hubie Bryant – Pittsburgh Steelers via the Wolf Pac and the Wheeling Ironmen.

The third reason, according to Averell, is to try to impress the AFA president, Ron Real (who will attend the event as a guest of the AFA/HOF Pittsburgh Chapter), to showcase what has been done to bring some recognition to their chapter’s member AFA Hall of Famers. The Heinz Sports Museum has set up a permanent display area for the AFA Pittsburgh Alumni Chapter’s photos, plaques, posters and various memorabilia items. Averell, himself a charter member of the AFA Hall of Fame Class of 1981, hopes Mr. Real will be able to see the value of what the Pittsburgh alumni chapter have done and use it to encourage other AFA/HOF alumni groups across the country to do the same.

The AFA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in its 27th year of operation as the national association for semi-pro (adult amateur) football teams and leagues from coast-to-coast.

About the American Football Association:
The AFA is dedicated to the advancement of semi-pro/minor league football throughout the United States and serves as the National Organization for non-professional leagues and teams from coast-to-coast. For more information about the AFA, please visit their Web site: www.americanfootballassn.com