Shaler high school sports notebook: Bonnette headed to Cal (Pa.)
By: Josh Rizzo
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 8:00 PM
Jeffrey Bonnette learned how to play football in less than ideal circumstances.
The Shaler senior offensive lineman started playing in seventh grade, but the Titans didn’t have the numbers to have a middle school team.
So Bonnette had to play on the freshman team and lock horns with older, more experienced players.
“My first game I can remember against Hampton was an experience,” Bonnette said. “The kids were bigger and stronger. I never lifted a weight until ninth grade.”
Bonnette, now 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, added weight and became a four-year starter for the Titans. Last Wednesday, he signed with Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference power Cal (Pa.). The Vulcans finished 7-4 last season.
Bonnette was one of two Shaler players to land with PSAC schools. Fellow senior Joey Kremer signed with Seton Hill.
Bonnette and Kremer helped the Titans make the playoffs after an eight-year absence. Shaler finished 4-6 this season and earned a bid to the the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs before losing to West Allegheny.
Bonnette has learned two sports in the past six years. After picking up football as a seventh grader, Bonnette started wrestling as a junior in high school.
“It helps a lot to have hand coordination,” Bonnette said. “My freshman year, I was an offensive player. Sophomore year, I played defense, but I wasn’t a contributing factor. Junior year I didn’t play much defense, I started wrestling my junior year. I switched from defensive tackle and defensive end. I’d say it helped tremendously. It helped me get lower on people.”
Shaler bowling clinches section
The Titans girls bowling team clinched a share of its second section championship by beating Seneca Valley, 7-0.
Shaler finished 7-1 in section and shared the title with Butler.
Shaler will have four individuals — Macey Prosser, Shannon Roche, Lindsay Gill and Bella Pilyih — compete for individual WPIBL crowns in addition to the team portion.
“We have a shot to get into the top three and bowl for a championship,” coach Shawn Pilyih said. “Our girls are bowling well and are much better from the beginning of the year.”
Bella Pilyih leads the team with a 176.5 average. Roche (157.38), Prosser (146.75), Gill (140.95) and Meghan Schwab (132.59) round out the top five.
Shawn Pilyih has been impressed with the improvement of Schwab and Prosser, who are sophomores.
“They have jumped into the mix of things,” Pilyih said. “Their scores have been rising all year long.”
Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.
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