Fisher’s Files: Bethel Park athletic department, students deserve praise

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Saturday, January 22, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Bethel Park athletics is a top-level organization.

I have been covering high school sports for more than 40 years, mainly in South Hills communities, but one of the schools outside my coverage area was Bethel Park.

Not anymore.

The Bethel Park monthly is in its rookie season, and I’ve been involved since its inception last April. Thankfully.

One thing I discovered in my first year on the Black Hawks sidelines is that the BP athletics program is operated in the manner of a seamless, well-oiled machine under the leadership of athletic director Dan Sloan.

Sloan runs things smoothly and never seems misses a beat. He takes the time to answer technical or even some basic questions about the Bethel Park program.

I was fortunate to focus on a pair of first-class teams early in my tenure amongst the BP athletes and coaches.

This past spring, Bethel Park’s softball team won the WPIAL Class 6A championship behind Trib HSSN Coach of the Year Heather Scott and shortstop Reagan Milliken, Trib HSSN Player of the Year and an Ohio State recruit.

The Black Hawks baseball squad, led by Trib HSSN Coach of the Year Patrick Zehnder and Player of the Year and Kent State recruit Eric Chalus (P/CF), captured the PIAA Class 5A title and finished as the WPIAL runner-up.

What was most impressive — besides the two championships — was the high character displayed by the players on both squads.

They were amazing in their “professionalism,” their positive approach to their sport and their academia, along with their genuine politeness as high school student-athletes.

The same applied to the two lacrosse programs, as I quickly discovered many of the Bethel Park athletes are team members in more than one sport.

And not just team members but team leaders.

How impressive.

Fall is my favorite season mainly because of football. The weather generally is outstanding in September and October. I tell anyone who will listen that it doesn’t start getting cold until after Halloween.

Bethel Park’s football team, under the guidance of coach Brian DeLallo and his staff, won four games in a row during the second half of the 2021 season to earn a WPIAL playoff berth in Class 5A.

And again, more impressive than their athleticism was the players’ attitudes and quest to become “good people” as they develop into young adults.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of this school year brings at Bethel Park.

Along with Year 2.

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