A Salute to Beaver’s Sports Heroes

An exhibit honoring champion scholastic and professional athletes from the Beaver Area

“Winningest” Coaches Joe Hamilton and Pat Tarquinio Two of the most successful coaches in Pennsylvania high school football history are Pat Tarquinio and Joe Hamilton.  Pat garnered 241 wins at Beaver after earning All-America honors at Juniata College and coaching at Ellwood City. Joe was a 1959 graduate of Beaver who starred at Geneva College and has coached at several local schools, including Blackhawk.

John Skorupan A graduate of Beaver High School Class of 1969, he was a major force as a defensive end and linebacker at Penn State University and later with the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.  John has graciously loaned us many articles, game footballs and equipment for this exhibit.

Major League Baseball – The Beaver Area boasts several Major League players and coaches — Hugh Mulcahy, who won 45 games for the Phillies and Pirates; Joe Lonnett, who played for the Phillies and was a coach on the Pirates’ 1979 “We Are Fam-A-Lee” World Series champions; John Burkett, who won 166 games for five teams from 1987 to 2003; and Doug Piatt, who pitched for the Expos.  Our exhibit features photos, bubblegum cards, uniforms and equipment.

Frank Carver and Michael Casp – We are honoring Frank Carver, a former Athletic -Director at the University of Pittsburgh, and Mike “Sluggo” Casp, star Beaver and West Point Academy football player, who lost his life in action in Vietnam, and whose photo and Bronze Star are seen in our display.

Bill Butler – In 1927, this Beaver High graduate was the fastest 440-yard college sprinter in America.  We are fortunate to have a display of photos of Bill and members of the 1922-23 Beaver High track teams, many of trophies and medals, and a pair of his track shoes.  Bill also attended and graduated from Geneva College, establishing records in the 100, 220 and 440-yard distances.

High School Track and Field Stars – Beaver High School has two recent Pennsylvania State Track and Field Champions:  Jason Barr -300 Intermediate Hurdles (1998); and Sean Fabanich -Discus (2000).  Their award plaques are included in the exhibit.

Olympian Judith Hult Deibel – Our exhibit includes memorabilia, photographs and newspaper clippings of Judy Hult Deibel, a 1954 Beaver High graduate and 1956 Olympian. One of the area’s most accomplished gymnasts, she was a member of the Rochester Turners and competed at the AAU college level after graduation.  In 1955, she won the national AAU All-Around Title and was a shoo-in for the 1956 U.S. Olympic Ladies’ Gymnastic Team, competing for our nation in Melbourne, Australia.

Knee High Baseball Champions – In 1952, Beaver boasted a state champion baseball team which captured the American Legion Knee-High title.  We are exhibiting team photos, a team jacket, the Outstanding Player Award (John Barley) and other memorabilia.  Paul Jones, one of the most notable of Beaver’s intramural coaches and sports boosters, coached the team.

Beaver Baseball – The 1983 Beaver High School baseball team was the first in the area to compete for the state championship, finishing as runner-up.  Ed Snitger, who was a star baseball, basketball and football player in his own right, coached the team.

Ice Hockey – Starting in 1991, Beaver came into its own as a scholastic ice hockey powerhouse.  That year, the Bobcats won the state P.I.A.A. Class AA Championship.  Ten years later, they repeated the feat.  No other Beaver County high school has won this title.  On loan from Beaver Area High School, coaches and alumni, our exhibit features trophies and color team photos, memorabilia and equipment.

Beaver Tennis – Brothers Tim and Scott Brooke captured the 1970 PIAA tennis doubles championship, playing for Beaver High School, coached by David McIsaac.

–by Charles R. Snitger, Jr. and Mark Miner

Photography by Tom Dowlin and Mark Miner