Share This Page

Valley stars Harris, McNabb part of 2013 Alle-Kiski Valley class

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
VND Archives
Chipper Harris, left, and Ron McNabb celebrate Valley's victory in the 1979 PIAA title game at the Civic Arena. Both players will be inducted into the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame on May 17.

One of the most popular and accomplished teams in local history is the 1979 Valley boys basketball team.

It marked the first time a No. 5 seed from the WPIAL won a PIAA tournament championship.

Two members of that historic team are headed for the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Ron “Mac” McNabb and Chipper Harris will be two of the eight inductees at the organization's 45th annual banquet May 17 at the Clarion Hotel in New Kensington.

Valley was eliminated by Burrell in the WPIAL quarterfinals, then emerged victorious in a four-team tournament consisting of the four quarterfinal losers.

The Vikings then worked their way through a difficult bracket that consisted of Altoona, Pittsburgh South Hills, defending state champion Schenley, Beaver Falls and, finally, the state title game over Allentown's William Allen High School.

McNabb, the team's point guard, was third-team all-state and played four years at IUP, where he still ranks among the all-time leaders in assists.

Now a coach with Knoch, McNabb has piloted the Knights, Valley and Burrell to WPIAL playoff berths.

Harris went on to star at Robert Morris, leading the Colonials to their first two NCAA Tournament berths.

Also, Harris led the nation in steals twice while at Robert Morris.

The other 2014 inductees:

• Frank B. Fuhrer III. After a great golf career at Fox Chapel, Fuhrer III had an outstanding run at North Carolina, helping end Wake Forest's ACC dominance.

Since 2002, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association honors the region's top collegiate golfer with the Frank Fuhrer III award.

• Kelly Morda. The first local girls basketball player to attain 2,000 career points, Morda helped Ford City make it to the PIAA semifinals in 1998. She went on to become St. Vincent College's second all-time scorer and now teaches and coaches at Riverview.

• N.W. “Skip” Cady. A 1970 Oakmont High School graduate, Cady was an all-state selection in football and played high school baseball for the Oaks and the community's American Legion program before heading to Clarion University.

Cady is Vice President of Consolidated Resorts in Las Vegas and Maui.

• Jay Kumar. In 1977, Kumar led Riverview to the first conference title in school history and led the WPIAL in rushing yards with 1,580. In 1980, he was a member of the Clarion team that won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Kumar caught a TD pass in the 15-14 win over Kutztown in the title game.

• Dave Szlachetka. A Burrell and Shippensburg graduate, Szlachetka is associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Shady Side Academy. In the last eight seasons, his defensive units have never given up more than 17.2 ppg.

• A posthumous selection will be Jim Marino, who coached Arnold High School to the 1965 WPIAL baseball title. He also coached football and won three American Legion section titles in Springdale.

Marino died in 2010.

Also scheduled to be honored at the banquet are Valley News Dispatch offensive football Player of the Year, Jesse Zelonka of Apollo-Ridge, defensive Player of the Year Allan Cratsenberg of Highlands, boys soccer Player of the Year Tom Spagnolo of Burrell and girls soccer Player of the Year Aaliyah Odom of Plum.

George Guido 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.