Seneca Valley grad Coradi wins AMCC award
Settling for just OK has never been the way for former Seneca Valley student-athlete David Coradi.
As a transfer from Slippery Rock High School, Coradi didn't make the freshman baseball team at Seneca Valley, a snub could have crushed the youngster. Rather, it was the fuel he needed to grow into the man he has become.
Part of that growth resulted in a college baseball career at Pitt-Greensburg in which he lettered four times, served as a team captain and earned the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The award, chosen by the Faculty Athletics Representatives from a pool of 20 nominees, is something Coradi does not take lightly.
“I am proud to be named the top student-athlete in the conference because there are so many who achieve each day,” Coradi said. “It takes a lot of planning ahead.”
Being the captain of the baseball team, Coradi has to put his 22 teammates first.
“I have 22 guys looking to me — 22 minds trying to succeed. I take the skills I learned from my family and my work ethic,” he said. “I want my teammates to be able to come to me. The challenge is getting 22 on the same schedule and allow others to help take the weight off each other's shoulders.”
It's those values, coupled with his serious approach to academics, that made Coradi the choice for the conference honor.
“If the professors see you trying, they work with you,” Coradi said. “I am really fortunate to have a good study group who take good notes and we go over them together when I have to miss class. The learning still takes place, and it is nice to have students to work with.”
This diligent nature comes from Coradi's parents — Angelo and Marla — and sister Elizabeth.
“My mom and dad instilled the values in me, and I also had two directors at Seneca Valley (Robert Matchett and Varden Armstrong) who never wavered, and that was integral in me being the man I am today,” Coradi said. “The opportunity Seneca Valley provided me with I feel blessed and thankful for.”
Coradi also credited Dan Ninemire, an AAU coach from All-American Revolution, who helped Coradi land at the Greensburg campus.
“He instilled life-long values and he does so much with helping kids get placed in college,” Coradi said. “Playing for him set my sights on baseball. I saved my own money to play for him, and that showed my parents how serious I was about baseball.”
UPG baseball coach Anthony Williams enjoyed having the chance to coach Coradi, who as a senior was fourth on the team with 32 hits and second with nine stolen bases. He also tied the school's single-season record with three saves.
“He epitomizes what a student-athlete should be,” Williams said. “He was an easy choice for team captain and he is a tremendous example. I could not ask for a better leader and he will be hard to replace.”
Coradi graduated summa cum laude with a degree in applied mathematics and a minor in statistics. He was an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and served as the male captain.
Through that organization, he helped organize a Special Olympics fundraiser that is now an annual event and has raised $2,600 in two years for the Special Olympics of Westmoreland County.
“The athletes loved that event,” Coradi said. “The SAAC was in shambles when I got here as a freshman. We worked with the women's basketball coach, and I went to an event at La Roche College and saw how they ran theirs and how they had ideas. I wanted to give back because college life is living the dream.”
Coradi also attended an NCAA Leadership Conference where he met students from Texas, Auburn and LSU at an event in Florida in 2010.
Williams said Coradi was heavily involved in campus life.
“He goes above and beyond and expects a lot from himself,” Williams said. “He had a 3.88 GPA and we went deep into the playoffs, a season of more than 40 games. David will be successful in whatever he does.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.