George Guido: Fox Chapel’s Shcutzman honored again

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 11:30 PM


Tuesday was a big night for Fox Chapel student-athlete Lexie Schutzman.

For the second consecutive year, she was honored at the Positive Athlete Award banquet at the Heinz History Center.

Schutzman, who just completed her junior year, drew national attention for not only her soccer ability but her dedication to helping others.

Besides her skills as a top-notch soccer player for the Foxes, Schutzman is being recognized for her leadership on and off the field.

Former Steelers great Hines Ward is prominent in the Positive Athlete program.

Schutzman has spent considerable time helping students with disabilities take part in school activities.

She was the subject of a recent feature on CNN Headline News where the network produces segments recognizing some of the nation's outstanding student-athletes.

A CNN crew visited Fox Chapel recently to document a day in the life of Schutzman. The feature ran May 30 and can be viewed at cnn.com/specials/cnn-positive-athlete .

As a seventh-grader, Schutzman founded a club that promotes positive interactions and inclusion among all students. When she got to high school, she joined the larger Best Buddies Club and has served as its president the past two years.

Schutzman is very proud of the group, which has 275 members, and not only because it's the most popular club at the high school. Under her leadership, the club has ventured into new areas, particularly the sports arena with a bocce ball program, and some of the group's best projects have been off-field endeavors.

“This winter, Best Buddies organized the school's Snowball Dance,” Schutzman said in a school district news release. “It was open to everyone, with or without disabilities. Some of the kids were really excited because they might not have been able to participate in homecoming or go to the prom as everyone else does, but being all dressed up and feeling included had them smiling the whole night.”

Last year, all honorees received a $500 scholarship award from the Jeff Boynton Foundation.

Boynton was the all-state football player from Plum who was paralyzed during an all-star game in 1978.

Schutzman has declared for West Chester to continue her athletic, academic and public service career next year.

She was joined at the event by fellow A-K Valley honorees: Kiski Area's Sophie McDermott (girls volleyball), Highlands' Cris White (boys soccer) and Springdale's Moriah Beckner (girls track).

Watch those pitch counts

Losing a playoff game is always a major disappointment, but State College High School's elimination from the PIAA baseball tournament was particularly tough to swallow.

State College had to forfeit the game because their pitcher exceeded the 100-pitch limit.

In the Little Lions' play-in game against District 10's Erie McDowell, State College had a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh at Slippery Rock's Jack Critchfield Park.

Starter David Shoemaker got the first out in the seventh, and the State College bench had its pitcher with 97 pitches. If the 100-pitch limit is attained during an at-bat, the pitcher can complete the at-bat.

Meanwhile, McDowell's bench had 101 pitches as Shoemaker began facing the second batter.

When the pitching move took place, McDowell challenged the count. After a delay and a phone call to the PIAA office, it was ruled that because McDowell was the home team, its pitch count was official.

According to reports, both benches checked with each other on pitch counts until the fifth inning.

Coaches Troy Allen of McDowell and Mike Hayes of State College are hoping the PIAA assigns an official pitch-count person to each playoff game by next season.

Nevertheless, it had to be a long, 2½-hour bus ride back to State College.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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