College notebook: DiBiase enters RIT Hall of Fame

November 25, 2013
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Corey Hunsberger
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Courtney Farabee
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Colin Johnston
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Lacy Levers

The wrestling career of Ross “Chick” DiBiase started in Canonsburg decades ago, and it has taken him to the Rochester Institute of Technology Sports Hall of Fame.

DiBiase was inducted Oct. 13 at the Locust Hill Country Club in New York.

A standout wrestler at Canonsburg High School and a 1950 graduate, DiBiase went to RIT and was a three-year captain of the wrestling team, helping the Tigers to a 24-7 record, including a 10-0 season in 1954. It was the first undefeated season in RIT history.

DiBiase, who won the Niagara District AAU tournament in 1952, won 20 matches in three seasons, which included an 8-0 mark in 1954. He wrestled in the 147- and 157-pound weight classes. DiBiase lost only six matches, with three coming against Cornell’s Frank Bertuchi, who was the Outstanding Wrestler at the 1954 NCAA Championships.

After RIT, DiBiase became the first wrestling coach at Fredonia (N.Y.) High School and developed the program into a consistent winner. He also earned a black belt in karate and judo and taught self-defense courses in the Buffalo area. He was a wrestling official for 18 years and founded the Wrestling Officials Association of Chautauqua County in the 1960s.

A Food Administration and Hotel Management major at RIT, DiBiase did his cooperative studies at Ceases Restaurant in Dunkirk, N.Y. Later, he purchased the restaurant. After selling the business, DiBiase became Director of Nutrition for the Chautauqua County Home, a 216-bed skilled nursing home.

DiBiase, 81, resides in Dunkirk, N.Y.

In football

Corey Hunsberger, a Washington native and Trinity graduate, made an instant impact for Marietta. A defensive back, Hunsberger started in all 10 games for the Pioneers and finished fourth on the team with 65 tackles, including 2½ for losses. He also forced two fumbles. Hunsberger’s 38 solo tackles were the most on the team.

Muskingum University junior linebacker Damond Goggins of Monongahela was named Ohio Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance Nov. 16 in the Muskies’ 24-14 win over Marietta. A Ringgold graduate, Goggins made 13 tackles, including six solo and one for a loss.

Goggins was Muskingum’s leading tackler this season with 100 stops, including 10 for losses and one sack. He also intercepted one pass.

Dylan Heitmeier made a game-winning play for Westminster in its 7-6 victory over Bethany Oct. 26, which led to the Venetia native being named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week. Heitmeier, a senior defensive back and Peters Township graduate, blocked a punt off the foot of Bethany’s Steven Amic and recovered the ball in the end zone for the game-winning score with only 44 seconds remaining.

It was Heitmeier’s first career touchdown. The play landed Heitmeier a spot on the National Team of the Week.

In volleyball

Lacy Levers, a freshman middle hitter for Duquesne, was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week for Oct.14-20.

A Chartiers-Houston graduate, Levers had a career-high 10 blocks in a 3-1 victory over Rhode Island Oct. 18, and added six more blocks against Fordham the next day. She also had 13 kills over the two matches.

Levers leads Duquesne (18-9) in blocks and is fifth on the team in kills.

Courtney Farabee, a senior libero for Valley Forge Christian College, has been named to the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II East Region second team. Farabee, a Waynesburg native, has been ranked in the top 15 nationally for digs every week of the season. She finished 12th with 4.6 digs per set, which ranked first in the East. Farabee had with 359 digs this season and 1,153 in her career.

Penn State-Fayette won its sixth consecutive Penn State University Athletic Conference championship, and three players from Washington County played key roles for the Roaring Lions.

Samantha Helmantoler, a junior outside hitter from Monongahela, had 11 kills and three blocks in the conference championship match against Penn State-Brandywine. Tori Helmantoler, a freshman setter, contributed five digs, and Kelsey Tyler, a freshman middle back from California, had five kills and two blocks.

Samantha Helmantoler leads PS-Fayette with 294 kills on the season, and Tyler is second with 34 blocks.

In wrestling

Former PIAA champion and Canon-McMillan standout Colin Johnston has an 11-1 record and leads West Virginia in wins. A redshirt senior who wrestles at 141 pounds, Johnston took a nine-match winning streak into the Mountaineers’ matchup Saturday at Navy. Johnston is ranked No. 19 in the nation in his weight class by Wrestling Insider Magazine and No. 25 by Wrestling Report.

“Colin has gone up a weight class, and we’ve had a lot of closed-door sitdown talks,” said WVU coach Craig Turnbull. “From those meetings on, he has been wrestling with a renewed confidence and more assertiveness, and he is being rewarded for it. The more he gets rewarded, then the more confidence he gets as someone who should place at a national tournament.”

Johnston returned to the mat last year after missing both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons because of shoulder injuries.

In basketball

Mike Lamberti, a 6-5 sophomore forward from South Fayette, scored a career-high 18 points Nov. 18 in West Liberty’s 141-105 victory over Point Park.

Lamberti, a former Observer-Reporter Boys Basketball Player of the Year, played 24 minutes against the Pioneers and was 4-for-7 from three-point range. West Liberty made 29 three-point field goals in the game and scored 79 points in the first half.



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