Year Inducted: 1981
Nominated By: Brian Macartney
Sports Competed In: Wrestling
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete, Coach

Ernest Ballotti

High School:
Attended Greeley H.S., graduating in 1950.

Achievements:
High School:
Lettered twice in football (guard/linebacker) and wrestling (165 lbs./154 lbs.) and once in baseball (outfield).

College:
Colorado State College of Education (CSCE), Greeley, CO., now the University of Northern Colorado year where he graduated in 1955...Attended Adams State College, Alamosa, CO, and graduated with a Masters Degree in 1960 (60 hours above Masters degree from various colleges).

Achievements:
College:
● Played four years and lettered three as a guard/linebacker on the football team.
● Only player on the freshman team to play both offense and defense.
● Four-time wrestling champion, twice at heavyweight (1952 and 54) and one each at 177 lbs (1953) and again at 191 lbs (1955).
● First wrestler to win the Rocky Mountain Conference wrestling championship four years in a row.
After College:
● Joined the New Mexico University (NMU) team as a heavyweight in a dual meet with Ft. Bliss while serving in the Army
● Wrestled for NMU since they didn't have a heavyweight and won against an All-Army Champion (who had wrestled at Oregon St).
● Basketball coach for the Bn. Rec. NCO/Head Coach U.S. Army, Vicenza, Italy (MP company) in 1957 and led the team to Northern Italy Championship and a runner-up finish at the All Italy tournament in Livorno, Italy.

Coaching Career:
● Football assistant on the freshman team at CSCE for a year (1954).
● Spent three years coaching football (line coach - 1957-59) and was the head wrestling coach (1958-60) each at Adams State College (ASC).
● First wrestling coach who had a full wrestling schedule (only one or two matches held the years before) and no scholarships for wrestling.
● Entered two men the 1959 National Division I Wrestling Tournament at Iowa University.
● Also an assistant track coach for the Indians at ASC for two seasons (1958-59).
● Moved on to Pueblo Centennial H.S., serving as a line coach on the football team for 10 years (1960-69), 14 years as the head wrestling coach (1961-74) and five years as the J.V. baseball coach (1961-66).
● First coach in Pueblo to win 100 dual meets, and finished his career with a record of 110-74-2 (all were varsity matches).
● During those years, the rule was a wrestler could only wrestle 12 dual meets and two tournaments to be eligible to wrestle in the State Tournament...Centennial had more dual meets in that per year so more kids could wrestle on the varsity.

Contributions:
On January 27, 1964, brought the "First College Wrestling Match" to Pueblo which attracted a paid attendance of 907 (331 adults and 576 students).
The dual meet featured Western State College vs. Colorado University...Two friends of Hoy's coached the teams...Tracy Borah of WSC and Linn Long of C.U...The match was held at the District 60 Gym...CU had Dean Lahr, a defending National Collegiate Champion, Richard Redd, a two-time state champion from Centennial High School, and Alvin Sampson, from Central High School, wrestling on their team...Exactly four years later (January 27, 1968), Hoy brought "The Japanese National High School All-Stars" to Pueblo to wrestle a High School All-Star Team from the Pueblo High Schools...The match was held at District 60 Gym...Coaches for Japan were, Masanari Ienaga, from Sakuragoka High School and Yekefusa Sakai, from Omutaminami High School in Japan...The coaches stayed at Hoy Frakes home and their wrestlers stayed in their opponents home. The Coaches for Pueblo were: Hoy Frakes - Centennial High School, Jim Blanc - Pueblo County High School, Mike Chorak - Roncalli High School, Bill Corder - Pueblo East High School, Jim Daughterty from South High School and John Rivas - Central High School... Pueblo's All Star Wrestling Team against Japan included: Charles Montera 112 lbs. - Central H.S...Charles Wilson 128 lbs. - South H.S...Tom Welborn 141 lbs. - Central H.S...Dave Davis 144 lbs. - East H.S...Lester Walton 152 lbs. - Pueblo County H.S...Tom Comi 163 lbs. - Centennial H.S. and Dave Blagg 197 lbs. - South H.S...Darrell Hafling, wrestling coach at Golden H.S., put on a Freestyle Wrestling Clinic and Ron Nordin, wrestling coach at Rocky Ford H.S., was the referee and the three judges were from Rocky Ford... The match was the first held in Pueblo using international rules.

Personal Affiliations:
● President of the Pueblo Association of Life Underwriters (1989-1990).
● President of the 1992 Southern Colorado A's (Model A Club).
● President of the Greater Pueblo Sports Association (1996).
● President of the Pueblo Charter Lions Club (2000-01).
● President of the Centennial Athletic Hall of Fame (2002-present).
● Member of Silver State Lodge #95, Masonic Lodge (1962-present).
● Charter member of Education Committee and Chairman.
● Member of the Southern Colorado Consistory (1971-present).
● Member of the Finance Committee.

Honors:
● Greater Pueblo Sports Hall of Fame (1981).
● Centennial High School Hall of Fame (1985).
● Centennial High School Service Hall of Fame (1992).
● National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Stillwater, Oklahoma (2010).
● Life Time Service Award - Colorado Chapter.

Occupation:
U.S. Army (Military Police); Teacher/Coach School Dist. #60 Centennial H.S.; Life Insurance agent.

Personal:
Lived in Pueblo with his wife, Norma...Passed away April 6, 2020, after a long battle with cancer.


GPSA "F" By The Numbers

LEGEND: p = awarded posthumously; ^= attended first meeting; * = deceased;+ = charter member (placed after year inducted)

 1
Athlete/Coach/Administrator
Joseph M. Folda (2006)

Coach
C.T. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (1986*)

Coach/Contributor
Pete Falletta (2004)

Marathon
Judy M. Fellhauer (1994)

Softball
Sam F. "Rabbit" Ferraro (1992*)

Tennis
Edmund Francis (2001)

Attended Pleasant View H.S.
Sam F. "Rabbit" Ferraro (1992*)

Attended Pueblo Catholic H.S.
James Joseph Flood (2003)

Attended Pueblo South H.S.
Jack "Keith" Frazier (2019)

Attended H.S. Outside Colorado
C.T. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (1986*)
Pocahontas H.S., Pocahontas, IA

 2
Boxing
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
James Joseph Flood (2003)

Attended H.S. Inside Colorado
Joseph M. Folda (2006)
Sterling H.S., Sterling, CO
Hoy E. Frakes (1981*)
Greeley H.S., Greeley, CO

Attended Pueblo Centennial H.S.
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

Cross Country
Pete Falletta (2004)
Judy M. Fellhauer (1994)

 

3
Athlete
James Joseph Flood (2003)
Sam F. "Rabbit" Ferraro (1992*)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

Attended Pueblo Central H.S.
Pete Falletta (2004)
Edmund Francis (2001)
Judy M. Fellhauer (1994)

Wrestling
Jack "Keith" Frazier (2019)
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
Hoy E. Frakes (1981*)

5
Athlete/Coach
Jack "Keith" Frazier (2019)
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
Edmund Francis (2001)
Judy M. Fellhauer (1994)
Hoy E. Frakes (1981)

Basketball
Joseph M. Folda (2006)
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
Sam F. "Rabbit" Ferraro (1992*)
C.T. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (1986*)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

Football
Jack "Keith" Frazier (2019)
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
James Joseph Flood (2003)
C.T. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (1986*)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

Honorees Deceased
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
Sam F. "Rabbit" Ferraro (1992*)
C.T. "Fitz" Fitzgerald (1986*)
Hoy Frakes (1981*)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

Track
Jack "Keith" Frazier (2019)
Pete Falletta (2004)
Frank Thomas Flood (2003*)
Judy M. Fellhauer (1994)
James L. "Jim" Fimple (1977*)

 

11
Honorees in "F" Section

Remembering Our Fallen GPSA Inductees

The Greater Pueblo Sports Association (GPSA) has announced a list of honorees that have passed since the 2022 induction ceremony on Nov. 16.

 

Dennis TrujilloDennis Trujillo
11/28/2022
Class of 2007