As South Fayette senior Grant Fetchet prepares for the PIAA Team Wrestling Tournament in Hershey, he is missing his opportunity to sign his letter of intent to continue his athletic career at the Division-I level.
Fetchet, a stout contributor for the Lions in the 160-pound weight class, is joining his brother, Mike, at Columbia University. The scholarship is no surprise. Fetchet’s career record of 126-42 is one of the best in school history. While the school’s other athletes will sign their letters today, Fetchet will fax his in and a mock signing ceremony will be held when he returns from Hershey.
“The decision was pretty straight-forward,” Fetchet said. “When an opportunity like this presents itself, there really is nothing better. To wrestle at the Division I level, be able to receive an Ivy League education and join my brother; that’s as good as it gets.”
Less than three months after winning the Class AA PIAA football championship, Fetchet is back in Hershey; hoping to propel the Lions to a team wrestling title.
South Fayette head coach Rick Chaussard, who is excited to see the Fetchet brothers reunited, echoed Grant’s dedication to both his team and his sport.
“I think they’ll both do well,” Chaussard said. “I hear Mike is doing well there, and I am sure he will take Grant under his wing. Grant is a hard worker and has done a lot to put himself in this position. It’s not often two brothers receive scholarships to an Ivy League school.”
Fetchet, a 4.0 student at South Fayette, intends to major in financial economics with a minor in biology. Until then, Fetchet is focused on one thing: claiming a state title for the Lions’ wrestling team.
“This year has been great,” Fetchet said. “We have a lot of potential on this wrestling team. If it weren’t for a few mistakes, we could have won that WPIAL title match against Burrell. We’re going to make noise in Hershey.”
Fetchet’s teammate on the Lions’ football team, wide receiver Justin Watson, signed with the University of Pennsylvania. Ben Berkovitz, a lineman on the football team, is expected to decide between West Liberty and California. South Fayette golfer Corey Long signed his letter of intent with St. Bonaventure.
Williamson to IUP
Miles Williamson’s performance against Fort Cherry on Oct. 25 was remarkable. The 6-3 senior wide receiver from Chartiers-Houston caught three touchdown passes while displaying the tools college coaches spend countless hours searching for.
His senior season, which produced 39 receptions for 559 yards and nine touchdowns, earned him a scholarship to continue playing football at the next level.
Williamson signed his letter of intent to play for head coach Curt Cignetti at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Cignetti, who worked as the wide receivers coach at Alabama under Nick Saban from 2007-11, fell in love with Williamson’s game tape.
Along with IUP’s wide receivers coach, former Pitt quarterback Rod Rutherford, Williamson felt joining the Crimson Hawks was the perfect fit.
“I felt that with such a great coaching staff, it was going to be a great fit for me,” Williamson said. “They had a receiver my size who did all kinds of things. They look for big receivers like me.”
Williamson chose IUP over offers from numerous Division II and Division III programs. According to Chartiers-Houston head coach Terry Fetsko, the move is a perfect fit for Williamson.
“I think that’s a great move for him,” Fetsko said. “IUP is getting a great receiver. He was always a kid who was a hard worker and had a desire to compete. I think he has a lot of good qualities that he’s going to take to the next level. I’m sure IUP will continue to develop those abilities and I think he’ll have a great career there.”
IUP has only four receivers returning in 2014 after the graduation of Terrill Barnes, a 6-3 wide receiver who caught 63 passes for 1,014 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.
McKenzie ahead of schedule
While his letter of intent was signed, sealed and delivered to Virginia Tech before he enrolled in January, Shai McKenzie was introduced Wednesday as a key player in the Hokies’ recruiting class.
Bryan Stinespring, Virginia Tech’s recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, told HokieSports.com that McKenzie’s rehab from a torn ACL is ahead of schedule.
“We have tremendous expectations for Shai,” Stinespring said. “With his injury, he is ahead of the curve, which is what you’d expect from him. That’s who he is. He is a driven young man who wants to be successful and is going to be. We think a great deal of this guy.”