The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Deck the Halls of Fame


On October 13, eight people were inducted into the Class of 2023 Hall of Fame before the homecoming football game. Of the inductees were six former athletes, one current coach, and one current sports announcer. 

    Potomac Falls High School (PFHS) has reintroduced a tradition that will take place more consistently now: inducting former and current coaches, athletes, announcers, and anyone crucial to the athletic department into the Hall of Fame. With renovations at the school, the “Hall” of Fame has taken a literal sense, and the inductees have been recognized in the newly designed athletics hallway just outside of the main gym. They are not the only people honored. The hallway displays all PFHS major athletic accomplishments including district, region, and state team championships and several individual awards.    

    The Hall of Fame began in 2018, and the committee is made up of the current athletic director, Nick Siano, plus at least one former athletic director, former and current coaches, the current principal, and Potomac Falls community residents. 

    The committee was formed to carry out the induction process and come up with a set of bylaws, which determine the future of the Hall of Fame. “It looks like [the former Athletic administration] was intending to do it on an annual or biannual basis,” said Assistant Athletic Director (AD) Rob Puterio. Puterio started in his role as the Assistant AD last January, a semester after Siano came over from Heritage as the new AD following Mike Sipe’s retirement. 

    When Puterio came into his position as assistant AD, right away he and Siano began planning a new class for the Hall of Fame. “When I first sat in this chair, we wanted it to be something that the whole school could be proud of,” said Puterio.

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    The set of bylaws established in 2018 were what the committee used to carry out all processes this time around. The 2018 committee intended to induct people every two years, but outside factors prevented that from happening. “COVID and a couple of other things slowed [the Hall of Fame] down,” said Puterio. 

    The bylaws also state that members of the committee are allowed to serve two terms, and the committee has the right to change the bylaws at any time hence the possibility of changing the induction years to be in a longer time span. 

    Choosing the inductees is a timely and thoughtful process. First, a questionnaire is posted on the PF Athletics website and sent out to the public via social media. The public can recommend anyone so that the committee can know who is being considered. “Based on the questionnaires, we want people who are multi-sport athletes that achieve at the highest levels,” said Puterio. “Kids that are all-state selections, athletes that earned all-region, all-district, all-met; Kids that were amazing for their teams.” 

   Along with six PFHS alumni, “Voice of the Panthers” Jim Chrisman and decorated coach Jeff Hawes were honored in the 2023 induction class. Chrisman is the only football announcer in PFHS history and has only missed calling two football games in Panther Stadium in those 27 years. His ties to PFHS and the LCPS athletics community are deeper still, as Christman was a history teacher at PFHS and a football coach at Park View. 

    Current boys varsity basketball, varsity golf, and girls varsity lacrosse coach, Jeff Hawes, has just now been inducted into the Hall of Fame after being the only boys basketball coach in Potomac Falls history. Hawes has led the varsity basketball team to two state titles and several region and district titles. With golf, Hawes won a state championship in 2002 and finished as state runner-up twice including just this fall. “As prolific as Hawes has been here and in the state of Virginia, he’s not been in a Hall of Fame except this one,” said Puterio.    

    Puterio has been at PFHS for 25 of its 27 year history. He spent two years as Assistant AD at Loudoun Valley, before returning to PFHS to teach and eventually become Assistant AD. “I’ve taught most of the kids who have been inducted, or in some way, shape, or form, interacted with them, or coached them, for that matter, too,” said Puterio. “I think that the way that this class felt was that it was a major honor. They were very humbled by that.” 

    The comeback of the PFHS Hall of Fame serves as a “homage to the past, but also an inspiration for the future” according to Puterio. It’s a reintroduction to a common tradition that most high schools in Loudoun County have, but what makes Potomac Falls different is how the ADs’ visions were brought to life through the design of the athletic hallway of our school. 

    The hallway has been transformed, with floor to ceiling wraps featuring PFHS athletic photos and covered with acrylic boards that hold records of athletic championships and awards. “There’s a lot of conversation about what Lighridge High School has, or Independence High School has. Now we have something they don’t, to begin with,” said Puterio. 

    The hallway is still in progress with more features forthcoming. Instead of athletes having to wait years to see their written records for themselves or their team(s), they will now be updated annually in the hallway. The hope in return is to inspire future generations of Panther athletes. “The bigger piece for me was that I wanted kids to see their brothers and sisters, their predecessors in their programs. When you see that, it gives you a charge,” said Puterio. 

    The next class for the Hall of Fame is undecided as of now with the committee members and bylaws in flux. However, the Hall of Fame is back and is ready to honor the athletes, coaches, and announcers that make Potomac Falls the place of roaring Panther Pride.