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Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Fox Chapel scoring standouts pick colleges

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Monday, April 28, 2014, 9:27 p.m.

Fox Chapel basketball standouts Matt D'Amico and Brian Papich, a pair that combined for more than 2,400 career points, have selected their college destinations.

D'Amico, a four-year starter and the Foxes' all-time leading scorer, committed to Division II Clarion. Papich, who started three years, is headed to John Carroll, a Division III school in University Heights, Ohio.

D'Amico, a 6-foot-3 guard who averaged 22.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists this past season and finished with 1,437 career points, also considered St. Vincent and Marietta.

A 6-2 guard, Papich also had an opportunity to compete in track and field in college. Cornell and Penn State showed interest in the outstanding long- and high-jumper. His senior basketball numbers included averages of 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.0 steals, and he tallied 1,021 career points in three seasons.

Valley duals

Apparently, the competitive bond between seniors Terrell Fields and Patrick Dewitt remains strong enough that even graduation will not send the members of Valley wrestling's dynamic duo down different paths.

Both committed to Clarion on April 14. They are the first Division I-bound wrestlers from Valley since 2005 grad Logan Downes committed to Clarion.

The seniors, who expressed strong desires to wrestle for the same college in order to continue motivating one another, bolstered their credentials this past season with PIAA medals.

Dewitt, wrestling at 126 pounds, placed seventh, and Fields, competing at 182, came in fifth to earn a spot on the medal stand for a second straight year.

Neck and neck in wins for most of their high school careers, Dewitt edged Fields, as he finished 139-41 to the latter's 135-43 mark.


Each year, the WPIAL awards $5,000 scholarships to its four scholar-athlete winners. This year, two of the recipients are from the Alle-Kiski Valley: Burrell's Nick Pattock and Freeport's Rebecca Dudek.

Pattock is a four-sport athlete — football, wrestling, tennis and track — and Dudek runs track and cross country.

They will be honored at a luncheon May 19 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree.

Third one's a charm

Some might have noticed that Fox Chapel senior basketball standout Erin Mathias played in the Hoops for a Cure all-star game Saturday at Chartiers Valley. The event is her third all-star game, but she has not broken the NCAA rule that says players can only participate in two all-star games because the rule has been changed.

According to new bylaw No. RWG-14-1, the ban on all-star games has been lifted for Division I basketball players.

Mathias, a Duke recruit, also played in the Cager Classic and Roundball Classic. She was the Gatorade and Pennsylvania Sportswriters player of the year.

King to W&J

Knoch senior Kraig King will continue his football career at Washington & Jefferson.

The 5-11, 225-pound lineman has recovered from a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee. He is expected to be a long-snapper and could move to center.

He also considered Thiel, Marietta, Waynesburg and Westminster.

Kittanning connection

Kittanning football doesn't have a player joining a Division I program in the Class of 2014, but a player from Ohio with ties to the town is headed for the Big Ten.

Andrew Gray, a 6-4, 215-pound tight end for Chardon (Ohio) High School, signed with Big Ten newcomer Maryland after receiving offers from more than a half-dozen schools, including Louisville, Ohio, Toledo and Ball State.

Gray's father, William, is a former Kittanning player who played in the mid-1980s under longtime Wildcats coach Harry Beckwith, and Gray's grandparents, Sandy and Bill Gray, still live in Kittanning.

At Chardon, located about 20 miles west of Cleveland, Gray was primarily a blocking tight end in a run-first offense, but he still earned a spot on the AP's All-Ohio Division III second team and on the Northeast Lakes District Division III first team.

Bill West and Matt Grubba contributed. Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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