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High School Sports

Frazier selects new coach

| Sunday, May 8, 2005

Lew Sweitzer was recently selected as the new head football coach at Frazier High School.

He replaces Larry Wilson, who guided the Commodores from 2002 through last season. Wilson is now the wide receivers' coach at California University of Pennsylvania. Wilson guided last fall's Frazier football team to a 4-6 overall record and 3-4 showing in the WPIAL Class A's Tri-County South Conference.

Sweitzer is hardly a stranger to the Frazier athletic and academic scenes. A health-physical education (wellness) teacher at Frazier, Sweitzer previously coached the girls basketball team at the school for 15 years (1978-1993) and the Frazier softball team from 1992 through 1998.)

He was also an assistant football coach at Frazier under long-time Commodore head football coach Tom Salisbury for 17 years in the 1980s and 1990s. Sweitzer was Beth-Center High School's head football for four years. This past season, the venerable Sweitzer was Frazier's assistant boys basketball coach under first-year head coach Larry Mikesell. Ironically, Salisbury will be one of Sweitzer's assistant coaches this fall.

Like his predecessor Wilson, Sweitzer is a graduate of Frazier High School (1973) and was a Little All-American offensive tackle at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Sweitzer was chosen by unanimous vote of the Frazier School Board.

Wilson was a star wide receiver in the 1990s at both Frazier High School and Slippery Rock University.

Sweitzer, who was also previously Frazier's athletic director, is the fourth new area scholastic head football coach. Other local high schools that have hired new football head coaches since the 2004 season include Yough (Jim Wehner), Laurel Highlands (Jack Buehner) and Connellsville (Tom Dolde Jr.).

Since being inexplicably cut by the Columbus Desperados after just two games, Frazier High School graduate and Newell native Chad Salisbury continues to persevere in the fast-paced world of the Arena Football League.

After winning the starting quarterback job in training camp, Salisbury was abruptly released by Columbus after just two games. In those two games, which were Columbus losses to Nashville (47-38) and Dallas (35-31), Salisbury completed 33 of 63 pass attempts for 380 yards and five touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown.

Since the surprising and quick exit from Columbus, Salisbury had been on the Georgia Force practice squad. On April 20, he was picked up as a free agent by the Grand Rapids Rampage and is one of three quarterbacks on the team's live roster. Grand Rapids is 2-11 overall while Columbus owns the AFL's worst record at 1-12.

Before going to Columbus, Salisbury played for AFL teams in Chicago (2004-2003), Toronto (2002-2001) and New England (2000).

Through five AFL seasons and two games of a sixth year, Salisbury has completed 550 of 863 pass attempts (63.7 percent) for 6,524 yards, 108 touchdowns and 36 interceptions, and has eight rushing touchdowns. In four postseason games Salisbury has passed for 610 yards and four touchdowns.

Columbus' release of Salisbury apparently has not solved that team's offensive struggles. With three weeks remaining in the regular season, Columbus has the league's fewest touchdowns (66) and is second-to-last in scoring, with 511 points. Nashville, which scored 47 points in its season-opening win at Columbus, has scored a league-low 486 points.

The first Ram's Club Golf Outing will take place May 27 at Butler's Golf Course in Elizabeth.

Foursomes and sponsorship opportunities are available. This four-man scramble event will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The cost for 18 holes of golf which includes use of a cart, goodie bag, prizes and dinner immediately after the golfing, is $80 per person and $324 per foursome.

The Ram's Club benefits Ringgold's academic and athletic programs. For more information on the outing, contact Ringgold athletic director Steve Campos at 724-258-2208.

The third annual Ulice Payne Celebrity Golf Outing will take place Aug. 8 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington.

Several of the many well-known sports celebrities scheduled to participate are baseball's Ken Griffey Sr. and former football greats Mark May, Hugh Green and Robin Cole.

Proceeds of the Payne Golf Outing benefit the Mon Valley YMCA.

Payne, the former Ringgold High basketball star and former president and CEO of Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers, was a key member of the Rams' 1973 WPIAL championship basketball team. He was also a member of Marquette University's 1977 NCAA National Champion men's basketball team. Payne was inducted into the Mid-Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

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