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Eugene Bowman, William Sulkowski, Louis Popiolkowski and Tim Solobay.
The newest members of the Canon-McMillan Hall of Honor are, from left, Eugene Bowman, William Sulkowski, Louis Popiolkowski and Tim Solobay.
Eugene Bowman wrestled his way to the top. As a student at Canonsburg High School, he went undefeated on the mat in three consecutive regional competitions and was named a national champion in his 123-pound class during his senior year in 1947.
“It’s something that I loved doing and dedicated most of my life to that sport,” Bowman said.
Now retired, Bowman is being recognized as one of the newest members of Canon-McMillan’s Hall of Honor. Also inducted this year are Canon-Mac alumni Louis Popiolkowski, Class of 1947; William Sulkowski, Class of 1969; and Tim Solobay, Class of 1974.
The Hall of Honor, established in 2007, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the district in the areas of academics, athletics, arts, citizenry and valor.
“This year’s Hall of Honor inductees represent some of the best and brightest from our community,” Superintendent Michael Daniels said in a news release. “They, like so many who came before them, make us proud.”
Bowman was a WPIAL wrestling champion in 1945, 1946 and 1947. He went on to wrestle at Waynesburg University, where he studied education. After graduation, he served as assistant wrestling coach at the college for three years, then accepted a high school teaching job at Canon-McMillan.
He also served as a school director and board president for several terms.
He then accepted a teaching job and head wrestling coach position at Chartiers High School, where he worked until 1969. He served as director of the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic for 25 years and then worked as a director of United Steelworkers until his retirement in 1991.
Like Bowman, Sulkowski was recognized for his athletic achievements. In high school, he was a three-year varsity starter and letterman on the basketball team.
He earned the rare distinction of scoring 1,000 points in his high school career, and he played on the 1968 team that posted a record of 18-4. Sulkowski graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and received a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Pittsburgh.
After graduating in 1973, he was invited to try out for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. He ultimately played for the Belgium national team during the summer of 1973. He then studied at Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and later created a dental education program at Canon-McMillan. He has practiced dentistry in Canonsburg for the past 36 years.
Popiolkowski was recognized for his academic achievements. He attended the University of Pittsburgh on a senatorial scholarship, where he studied education and music, and later joined the Merchant Marine and National Guard.
He then returned to Canon-McMillan and taught music, world cultures and American history. After eight years, he accepted a position as assistant principal and went on to work as the assistant to the superintendent for 21 years.
In his musical career, he arranged music for the Four Coins, The Donnybrooks, The Four Townsmen and Bobby Shawn. He also was a featured pianist in various bands and later led his own band, Summerwinds, and recorded five original records.
Solobay was recognized for citizenry. After graduating from high school, he studied management at California Coastal University, then graduated from the Washington Hospital School of Radiology.
He served as a state constable and as a radiographer at Canonsburg Hospital, then worked as a CAT and MRI department supervisor at Washington Hospital. He served six terms in the state House of Representatives and is finishing his first term as a state senator.
In addition to his political career, he serves as assistant fire chief of Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department and is a member of 10 local organization boards.
Inductees into the Hall of Honor will receive certificates from the state House of Representatives and the U.S. Congress. They will be formally inducted during a banquet this spring.