Local Legends

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“You will never go pro” is a misconception  of small school athletes like those at Redbank Valley.  Well, there are many great athletes from small schools, some even in a hall of fame, to come out of a small place around here.  These athletes have come from anywhere like Clarion University to Punxsy High School. Whether a small town athlete comes from  college, high school, AAU, or even overseas, the players who make it to the big leagues are the ones who are willing to put in the extra effort on and off the field.

The following athletes are players who came from around the District 9 area and were willing to put in the extra effort to become pro:

Chuck Daly / NBA Hall of Fame Coach / Coached at Punxsutawney High School

One of the best coaches ever to step onto an NBA court, Chuck Daly was a coach that revolutionized the game of basketball. Something that most people don’t know is that he started his career coaching at Punxsutawney High School.

John Calipari / The University of Kentucky Head Coach / Played for the University of Clarion

Calipari, regarded as one of the top college basketball coaches in the world, actually started his career with basketball playing at Clarion University.  His jersey number is even retired there.

Devin Mesoraco / MLB Catcher / Played for Punxsutawney High School

Once a top catcher in the baseball league, Mesoraco started playing baseball at Punxsy High School. He is most known for his time with the Cincinnati Reds.

Jim Kelly / Hall of Fame Quarterback / Played for East Brady High School

Now this is a guy that mostly everybody should know.  I mean, when you go into the East Brady area there is a huge sign that has a picture of him there.  Kelly played for the Buffalo Bills and lead the team to many SuperBowls, unfortunately not winning any.  

Kurt Angle / WWE Hall of Famer and Olympic Champion / Wrestled at the University of Clarion

WWE great and even Olympic champion, Kurt Angle went on to wrestle at Clarion University, who some might not even know is a D1 program for wrestling.

Jason Nolf / NCAA Wrestling National Champion / Wrestled at Kittanning High School

NCAA Wrestling Champion 2017-19 , Jason Nolf, started his wrestling career at Kittanning High School. Our Redbank Valley wrestling team even went to a camp this year that headlined Nolf and another superstar Bo Nickal at the Mat Factory in Burrel this year.

Gus Frerotte / NFL Quarterback / Played at Kittanning High School

Another guy from Kittanning High School, Frerotte started his quarterback career at none other than Kittanning High School. He spent his time in high school there before going to college and the NFL.

Reggie Wells / NFL Guard / Played at the University of Clarion

Wells was one heck of a lineman and even got to go to play in the one game that every kid dreams of, the Super Bowl. During that game Wells was a team captain and is most famously wearing the number 74 on the Cardinals when chasing down James Harrison on his huge touchdown in the 2009 Super Bowl.

Pete Vuckovich / MLB Pitcher / Played at the University of Clarion

Pete, a pitcher at Clarion U, was able to play professionally in the Major Leagues. Something that we could maybe see from last year graduate Bryan Layton, who was able to start his first ever game not to long ago. Vuckovich played on the Brewers most known for his time on the Brewers and won the Cy Young award with them.  

Frank Fuller / NFL Defensive Tackle / Played at Dubois High School

Fuller, a big dude, started playing football for the Dubois. Fuller was a solid athlete on the Eagles during the 50’s.

Sparky Lyle / MLB Pitcher / Played at Dubois High School

A decent pitcher during the 80’s, Sparky Lyle started his baseball career as a Beaver playing at Dubois High School. Lyle was a great pitcher on the Yankee’s during the 70’s

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