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A-K Valley notebook: Slippery Rock's Chapla to honor Shaw, Ferraco

Doug Gulasy
| Monday, July 30, 2018, 11:12 p.m.
Slippery Rock's Jake Chapla hits the winning field goal against Cal (Pa.) on Saturday, giving The Rock a 47-44 victory.
Slippery Rock athletics
Slippery Rock's Jake Chapla hits the winning field goal against Cal (Pa.) on Saturday, giving The Rock a 47-44 victory.

Every time Jake Chapla kicks this fall, he’ll be honoring a pair of former players.

Chapla, a Plum graduate and junior kicker at Slippery Rock, will wear the No. 10 on his cleats to honor Brian Shaw, the New Kensington police officer killed after making a traffic stop in November, and Nate Ferraco, a former soccer teammate who died in a January 2016 car accident.

Shaw, a Burrell graduate, wore No. 10 when he kicked for Slippery Rock. Ferraco, a Penn Hills graduate who was a freshman on Geneva’s soccer team at the time of his fatal accident, also wore the number.

Chapla, named to the All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s Second Team at kicker and punter last season, already ranks in Slippery Rock’s top 10 in career field goals and extra points. He converted 11 of 16 field goals and 53 of 56 extra points and averaged 38.6 yards per punt as a sophomore.

Up and Adam

The Detroit Lions are in Biz-ness.

Adam Bisnowaty, the former standout offensive lineman at Fox Chapel and Pitt, reported to training camp last week with the Lions as he looks to make an opening-day NFL roster for the first time.

A four-year starter at left tackle for Pitt, Bisnowaty was drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, who waived him at the end of that summer’s training camp.

He spent much of the season on the Giants practice squad before starting the team’s regular-season finale after getting signed to the active roster Dec. 30, 2017. The Giants waived him again in May, and he was claimed by Detroit.

Bisnowaty is competing for a reserve tackle job with the Lions.

Wrestling partner

Logan Harmon tried to find a wrestling home away from home as a freshman, to no avail. He had more luck the second time around.

Harmon, a rising sophomore at Apollo-Ridge, will wrestle this season at Armstrong as part of a cooperative agreement between the schools. Apollo-Ridge does not have a wrestling program.

“I think it’s going to work out, and hopefully after football season, I’ll get to go over there and wrestle a little bit,” Harmon said.

A football standout at Apollo-Ridge, Harmon finished second in the 187-pound weight class at the Pennsylvania Junior High championships last season.

Not on track

It looks as though Riverview will be hitting the road for its track and field meets for a second consecutive season.

Oakmont officials discussed continued safety issues with the track at Riverside Park at a meeting earlier this month as they attempt to determine the cost of repair and who will pay for it.

Tree roots have pushed through the track surface, a potential tripping hazard.

District spokeswoman Carrie DelRosso said scheduling is still ongoing, and there could be a chance for home meets if the track gets fixed. The Raiders competed in road meets throughout the 2018 season.

A Bucs life

Randy Walters coached two seasons at Valley, but he will be in Burrell blue when the neighboring rivals meet in a Week Zero game Aug. 24 at Buccaneer Stadium. Walters is a member of first-year Burrell coach Shawn Liotta’s staff.

Walters coached Valley in 2002 and 2003, compiling a 4-15 record. He also made coaching stops at McGuffey and Bentworth and most recently was an assistant at Hempfield.

Major experience

Longtime Oakmont Country Club professional Bob Ford competed in his second major in as many months at last weekend’s Senior British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Ford carded a 76 and 74 in his two rounds, missing the cut at 6-over par. The 37-year club professional at Oakmont, who retired in 2016, qualified for the Senior Open after earning one of four available spots at a qualifier last week at Ladybank Golf Club in Fife, Scotland. He competed in the U.S. Senior Open last month.

Griffin door

Hired in June to coach the Westmoreland County Community College men’s basketball team, Thurman Schaetzle has left to become an assistant at Division I Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

The former five-year assistant at Gannon, Schaetzle also served on fellow Erie native Tyler Stoczynski’s staff at Highlands High School.

Schaetzle served as a graduate assistant manager at Canisius while completing his Master’s degree in sports administration.

“I am really excited to be able to come back and rejoin coach (Reggie) Witherspoon and the staff at Canisius,” Schaetzle told “This is a great opportunity to develop young men while coaching and recruiting to the standard of excellence that reflect Canisius College and coach Witherspoon, himself.”

Schaetzle’s wife is Pitt-Greensburg women’s basketball coach Hayley Schaetzle. His father, Marty, is the longtime head football coach at Mercyhurst.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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