Palamara, Geoff Brown, Dave McDowell, Randy Cosgrove
Bottom: Bill Jackson, Karen Van Tassel, John Hicks
class of 1966
Brown was a starter and letterman in basketball, football
and track & field during each of his three years at Plum
Senior High School. In
track & field, he threw the shot put and the discus, and
won the AIC Conference in both events during his senior
year. His discus throw set the AIC record in 1966.
On the gridiron, he started at quarterback as a
sophomore, tailback as a junior and fullback as a senior. He
was named to the ALL-WPIAL first team as a senior.
Geoff attended the
on a full football scholarship. In
his senior year, he played in the East West Shrine All Star
Game in San Francisco as well as the Hula Bowl Football
Classic in Honolulu. He
was drafted by the Cleveland Browns as an outside
linebacker, went through the exhibition season with them,
was offered a place on the team as a member of the taxi
squad, but opted for the seminary instead.
He eventually earned a Ph. D and worked extensively
in the field of biomedical ethics.
Geoff lives in the Pittsburgh area with his wife Jan
and is currently the Senior Pastor of Bellefield
Presbyterian Church on the campus of the University of
Randy Cosgrove was one of the best all-around
athletes of his era. He
remarkably earned 10 varsity letters at a time when freshman
were excluded from varsity sports. His passion for sports
where he played basketball and earned four letters in
graduation, Cosgrove began a career tied to interscholastic
coaching a variety of sports for several years, he
progressed to the role of athletic director.
In addition, Randy serves on the WPIAL Executive
Committee and the WPIAL Baseball Committee.
He has represented the WPIAL at the state level and
was a past president of the MAC Athletic Director’s
has also found success as a talk show host on WTAE and EPSN
Radio. His voice
is recognized by many Pittsburgh Steelers fans as the
longtime public address announcer at Three Rivers Stadium
and Heinz Field.
John Hicks was a high school standout in both baseball and
play attracted several college scholarships and an
invitation to the Big 33 football game.
Hicks played varsity football at both
. He also
competed as a player-coach for the Army regimental football
Addition, Hicks was well known throughout the competitive
sandlot baseball leagues in the region.
He spent nearly 30 years in the education field.
He began as a public school classroom teacher and
progressed to the upper levels of higher education as a Dean
and Professor Emeritus at
the way, Hicks coached baseball at nearly every level
including American Legion, high school and college.
team won the Ohio State Baseball Championship.
Hicks has received various awards throughout his
career including SRU’s President’s award for Outstanding
Service. He and
his wife Judith reside in the Slippery Rock area.
Jackson is one of the few
graduates to win a PIAA gold medal.
In the spring of 1952,
won the WPIAL Championship in the discus and then went on
the win the state championship.
Bill also had success in the javelin, shot put and
high jump. His
efforts helped the Mustangs win the track & field
district championship that year.
also broke the school record in the discus with a throw of
also was a captain of the basketball team and played center on
’s Allegheny Valley Championship football team.
He attended the
on a full scholarship where he won the AAU District College
Championship in the discus as a freshman before transferring
to pursue his academic interests.
There, he won three straight NAIA District Tri-State
Championships and held their record for 18 years.
After college, Bill entered the seminary and
served as a Presbyterian Pastor for 48 years. He has also
received two honorary doctorate degrees and has served as
team chaplain for many teams including the
football team. Jackson
has been involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
for 27 years and has twice been their main speaker at
Bill and his wife Vail reside in Shaler Township and
Chautauqua, New York.
McDowell left his mark at Plum as three-sport athlete.
Dave lettered in football, basketball and track & field
each of his three years. On the track, he broke Plum
High School records in the 800m and the 3200m relay.
Both records remain intact. McDowell’s football
talents earned him All Conference status for offense and
defense as a junior and a senior. He accepted a
scholarship to William & Mary College where he had an
outstanding career as a wide receiver. Dave has worked
full-time for more than 20 years for Athletes in Action.
As their Director of Global Media, he has produced sports
media in conjunction with FIFA World Cup Soccer, the
Olympics and the NBA. He has worked side-by-side
with John Wooden, Tony Dungy and David Robinson and many
other elite athletes from around the world. His work
has been viewed by 500 million people in 36 languages.
Dave has won six Angel Awards and three Telly Awards for his
excellence in sports media. He and his wife,
Jenn, have five children and live in Mason, Ohio.
class of 1984
Palamara is recognized as one of
football’s all-time greats.
He was team captain of the WPIAL AAAA Division II
Championship team in 1983. During
that season, he rushed for 1522 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Along with numerous other awards and honors, Palamara
was named All-East Player of the Year, Quad A Most Valuable
Back, and played in the prestigious Big 33 game.
Paul continued his career at Indiana University of
Pennsylvania where he was the PSAC Rookie of the Year with
14 touchdowns. In
1986, his team won the PSAC Conference Championship.
IUP acknowledged Palamara’s contributions by naming
him to the first team on their All-80’s team.
Paul has enjoyed a successful career in medical
device sales. He
recently started his own medical products sales company.
He lives in
with his wife Beth and two children.
As a versatile swimmer, Karen Van Tassel was one of the most accomplished
female athletes in
’s history. She
set six school records and won three WPIAL gold medals.
At the PIAA level, Karen was a four-year qualifier
and a state finalist in three events.
She was also a team captain of the 1992 and 1993
teams that were both WPIAL runners-up.
After graduating co-valedictorian, Van Tassel took
her talents to
where she continued her record setting ways.
As a team captain, Karen set the
record in the 200m relay.
She was a three time Big Ten finalists and a two time
NCAA All-American Honorable Mention.
Van Tassel’s remarkable impact as a student-athlete
to establish an award for excellence in academics in her
name. She was
selected to the Big Ten All-Academic team each of her four
years and was a two time NCAA Academic All-American.
Van Tassel continued her education at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and in Duke
University’s residency program.
She is currently a practicing anesthesiologist in
Yuma, Arizona where she lives with her husband, John
Ferguson, and two children.