Share This Page

Shallenberger SportsPlex, new home of Connellsville Soccer Club, opens in Bullskin

| Monday, April 8, 2013, 8:12 a.m.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Dave Panzella, president of the Connellsville Soccer Club, opens up the dedication ceremony of the organization’s new home. Terry Shallenberger, who donated his time and equipment to build the new soccer fields, was recognized by the club.
Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Connellsville Soccer Club's new home was dedicated on Saturday. Participating in the ribbon-cutting are (from left) Bullskin supervisors Bill Geary, Deb Wiltrout, state Rep. Deberah Kula, soccer club president Dave Panzella, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, Terry Shallenberger, state Sen. Richard Kasunic and Bullskin supervisor Scott Keefer.

Connellsville Soccer Club board members, players and area dignitaries came together Saturday for the dedication ceremony of the Shallenberger SportsPlex, which is the new home of the soccer club.

The soccer club purchased 114 acres of land off Breakneck Road in Bullskin Township in 2003 with the vision of one day calling it home to the organization.

Ten years later, that dream was realized with nearly 500 players participating in soccer games throughout Saturday on brand new fields constructed by Terry Shallenberger's crew.

“This definitely exceeds our expectations,” said Brian Cartwright, secretary of the soccer club's board of directors.

Shallenberger, who donated his time and work crew, said his son participates in the soccer club and he wanted to do what he could to help them build a home.

“My son plays soccer and we travel to different fields and everyone has such nice fields,” he said. “Our kids deserve to have nice fields, too.”

After about a year of groundwork, grading, leveling and building, the initial phase to have the complex opened in time for this year's soccer season was completed.

State Sen. Richard Kasunic said he thinks the new complex is not only great for the community, but also the entire region, since there are children from both Westmoreland and Fayette counties who participate in the club.

“As I look around at the effort that went into this, I tip my hat to Tuffy (Terry) Shallenberger,” he said. “He and his crew did a great job. This place is something special.”

Soccer Club President Dave Panzella said the complex is always going to be mainly for soccer, but there is room to expand one day, to maybe include fields for baseball and even football.

“The Connellsville Soccer Club has accomplished a lot over the last few years and we look forward to continued success as we continue to build at our new facility,” he said.

Along with several new soccer fields, the complex also has a sizeable playground and a concession stand.

The club hopes in the near future to add more lighting to the fields as well as an in-door facility.

“We're hoping one day to host a national event here,” Panzella said.

Bullskin Supervisor Deb Wiltrout said they are really proud to have this facility in the township.

“It's beautiful and they're not done yet,” he said. “This is going to be a beautiful asset to the township and our young people are going to have a place to come to for a long, long time.”

State Rep. Deberah Kula said she is happy the club finally has a permanent home.

“I can only imagine the things that will be happening very soon at this facility,” she said, adding that she attends many dedication ceremonies for facilities or things that have come about after some type of grant is obtained. “But in this instance, it was hard work and true love of the community shown by the Shallenberger family that brought this project to completion,” she said. “That's something you don't find very often.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said he has seen several sports facilities throughout the 15 counties in the 9th Congressional District, but the new Shallenberger SportsPlex is second to none.

“This is a great day for the community,” he said.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.