Bill Rometo, President

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2013 Inductees


Lou Klauss, Coach 1967-1983
Lou Klauss holds the distinguished honor of coaching and contributing to the success of 3 PHS sports during his 35-year tenure. He is most remembered for his outstanding leadership of the golf (’67-’82) teams. In addition to coaching golf, Lou served on the WPIAL golf committee for 28 years and was the chairman for 10 years.

Early in Lou’s coaching career, he will most be remembered for the impressive back to back WPIAL golf team championships (’68-’69), a fist in school history, with a 4 year overall team record of 60-3. This ’69 championship team also produced a WPIAL individual champion (Rich Fots) and a 7th place PIAA finisher (Dave Borkovich).

Other notable golf statistics:
Numerous WPIAL qualifiers and place winners
Four straight section titles
Keystone conference team champions (’78-’79)
Keystone conference individuals champion (Ed Wentsel- ’79)
Overall 15 hear team record of 125-61

Lou’s devotion and contributions to the fledgling wrestling program at PHS would not be fully recognized until the mid seventies when the team captured its first and only undefeated dual meet season (’75- ’76). Lou had the daunting task of taking over a very young program in its 3rd season with a first season record of 1-13 and turning into one of the most respected wrestling programs in the WPIAL over his 10 year coaching tenure.

His most memorable wrestling moments include:
First ever PHS wrestling section champion (Jim Shipman ’70)
First wrestler to reach the PIAA championships and to reach the finals of the WPIAL tournament (Gary sandal, Class of ’78, 2005 Hall of Fame inductee)
Keystone Conference and WPIAL Section 8 championships (’76- ’77) and (’77- ‘78) and placing 5th as a team in the WPIAL (’77- ’78)
Produced 3 WPIAL All-Star members and 1 Wrestling Classic member
Produced 6 individual Keystone Conference champions and Eastern Area tournament individual champions
Instrumental in forming the Plum Area Junior Wrestling Association (’72) and serving as its first president.

To keep the swimming and diving program alive, Lou returned to coaching for one season in 1985. He was rewarded with an impressive undefeated girls section swim team (’85- ’86).

Other swimming accolades include:
12 individual WPIAL qualifiers
4 PIAA qualifiers
Top 12 state finisher and high school All American honors recipient (Theresa Picklo, Class of ’87, 2010 Hall of Fame inductee)

Lou currently resides in Greensburg, Pa with his wife of 47 years, Janet. He has 2 grown daughters (Kelly and Wendy) and is the proud pap of 4 grandchildren (Emily, Abby, Conor and Finian).

Steve Marsalese, Class of 1981
I am the third son of Ronald and Dorothy Marsalese just behind my two brothers Ronald Joseph and Jeffery. A year later came my sister Kristin in April of 1964 who put an end to the Marsalese kids since they finally had a girl.

Much of my childhood revolved around sports. We often had games of baseball in the field behind my house, and we were the only house in Plum with an ice skating rink in the back yard! I started playing organized football and baseball when I was seven. In ninth grade I lettered in four sports but only played two after that, football and volleyball. During my junior year, we won the State championships in volleyball which was a first ever at Plum High School, and I was the MVP of the tournament. And, of course my parents were there, they were always there to support me. I could always spot my dad in the stands at my football and volleyball games. I was then offered a scholarship in both sports, but chose volleyball at Penn State.

It was at Penn State when my brother Jeff came to visit me that I began to think about going to Chiropractic school and moving on with my life. So I did just that starting Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in the fall of 1986. I received my doctorate degree in September of 1989 and came home to open my practice. I opened my doors on July 30, 1990.

In the fall of 1991, I met the love of my life, Jennifer. We dated for fourteen months, got engaged on Valentine’s Day and were married six months to the day later. Outside of my decision to live for Christ, this was perhaps my greatest decision ever. I can’t imagine life without her. Together, we just finalized a lengthy adoption of our son Luis this past March.

John Ratesic,       Coach 1966- 2001  

John was lucky to have play for some outstanding football coaches during his career. They are the men he admired the most other than his own father and he tried to pattern his own career after them. They were Coaches Duke Weigle and Ding Schaffer at McKeesport High School, Coach Thad “Pie” Vann at the University of Southern Mississippi and Captain Don Hollander for the 7th Infantry Division Football Team of the U.S. Army in Korea. Coach Vann is in the Collage Football hall of Fame and Don Hollander was an All-American end in 1954 at West Point and became a war hero during the Vietnam War.

        In his own coaching career, John was fortunate to have coached All State players Dan Zelahy, Steve Koragis and Bob Smart in football WPIAL Champion relay team in the 400 and 800 meters.

       John was a member of the Plum football coaching staff with Joe Naunichik and Pat Ratesic from 1971-77. In 1974, Plum Football Team was the co-champion of the Keystone Conference and in 1975 Plum was the Keystone Conference Champion. They lost to Upper St. Clair in the WPIAL semi-finals. In 1976, Plum was the Keystone Conference Champion. In the WPIAL playoff’s, they beat Highlands High School and lost to Butler High School in the semi-finals at Pitt Stadium.

       At the University of Southern Mississippi (1958-62), John lettered in football 1960 and 1961 as a center and linebacker. In 1958, Southern Mississippi was a National College Football Division Champion. In 1963, John was named to the First Team All Army Football Team.   

1962 Graduated University of Southern Mississippi
1963-65 U.S. Army Lieutenant 7th Division Sports Officer
1965-66 Teacher South Allegheny H.S.
1971 Master’s Degree in Secondary Administration, Duquesne University
1966-77 Teacher of Mathematics Plum Senior High School
       Assistant Football Coach, PHS
       Head Track Coach, PHS
1977-96 Assistant Principal, PHS
1997-2001 Principal, PHS
1995-2012 WPIAL Football Committee Member
1984 Co-Chairman Duke Weigle-Ding Schaeffer Testimonial Dinner
1984-2012 Co-Chairman Duke and Ding Scholarship Fund , Dan DiMucci Chairman
2010 Inducted into East Boro’s Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
2012 Chairman, Duke and Ding Scholarship Fund
2004-2012 Chairman Plum High Sports Hall of Fame

       John and his wife Dorothy reside in white Oak, Pa. They are parents of Dr. Mara Koetke, principal of Lower Lab School, a gifted public elementary school in New York City (husband David) and Marko Ratesic, Managing Director with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in Chicago (wife Julie), grandparents of Alexandra Koetke and Milena Ratesic.

Jeff Schmeck, Class of 1976 
     Jeff was a multi-sport athlete at Plum High School earning letters in football and track & field.  During his senior year, Jeff was named First Team All Keystone Conference as a center and Honorable Mention as a defensive tackle.  He was also named Second Team all WPIAL center and Honorable Mention All-State as a center. Jeff also excelled as a shot putter and set junior high and high school records with throws over 55 feet.  He set the high school record as a junior and bettered it as a senior.  Jeff completed his track career having lost only twice in dual meet competition.
     Jeff attended Clarion University where he participated on the track team.  Jeff graduated from Clarion with a BS in Business Administration.  He is giving back to the university by serving on the College of Business Administration (COBA) Dean’s Board of Advisors which provides guidance and support for business students.  Since moving to San Antonio Texas in 1987, Jeff continues to be active in the volunteer community while building his business.  He has served on the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Food Bank for 8 years.  In 1998,  Jeff was recognized for his volunteerism by being named the Bexar County United Way Volunteer of the Year.  He has also worked with the San Antonio Battered Womens’ Shelter and the San Antonio Children’s Shelter.
     Jeff and Kim, his wife of 33 years (also a Plum graduate) make their home in San Antonio where they raised two children; Brittany and Jeff.  Along with operating his business, Jeff made time to coach his kids in soccer and basketball.  While continuing to run his business, Jeff has developed a simple formula for success, “Give First…Get Second”.


Paul Shish, Class of 1966

Mr. Paul Shish, a native of Renton, graduated from Plum Senior High School in 1966. He was one of the most active members of the class of 1966, serving as editor of the sports section of the newspaper, was active in the Key Club, French Club, Student Council, and performed in high school plays. His position as president of the Varsity Club signified his love of sports. Paul successfully participated in basketball, track, baseball, and football during his high school career. Paul served as co-captain of the football team playing right guard and linebacker. His awards in 1966 include: Varsity Club Award; Pittsburgh Press Fabulous 22, WPIAL All Conference, and Athlete of the Year. Mr. Shish was the recipient of a four year full scholarship to Clemson University in South Carolina where he played offensive guard.

Mr. Shish worked for The Budd Company in Kentucky for over twenty years and was a group leader for his division. He received numerous awards during that time for team growth and leadership. Mr. Shish is survived by his wife, Kay, their two children Paul Jr. and Erin and three grandchildren.

Erica Van Tassel Carter,  Class of 1994  

Erica Van Tassel Carter is a 1994 graduate and 4-time letter winner in swimming. While at Plum, Erica qualified for the WPIAL and PIAA championships all four years, was named All-State and an Academic All-American, and was voted Captain as a senior. She qualified for the PIAA championships in 12 events, won 3 WPIAL Championships (twice in 400 Free Relay and 50 Freestyle), and was a Junior National Qualifier. In 1994, she was inducted into the East Boros Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and was also honored at the Downtown YMCA Scholar Athlete Banquet. 20 years later, her four school records in the 200 Medley Relay, 50 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle Relay, and 400 Freestyle Relay still stand. She also lettered two years in track and graduated with high academic honors.

       She received an athletic scholarship to Penn State where she lettered and achieved All Big Ten Academic honors all four years. She was Penn State’s captain during her senior year and was also a member of the 1992 Penn State Swimming and Diving team that held the highest team GPA of all NCAA Division I sports. As a senior at Penn State, she was also a member of the Homecoming Court. She graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Environmental Engineering.

       After graduating Penn State with honors, she took a position at the engineering consulting firm, Kimley-Horn and Associates, where she is a vice president and was voted in 2013 by Engineering News Record as one of the “Top 20 Under 40” engineers in the Mid-Atlantic States. She currently resides in Virginia Beach with her husband, Lt. Cdr. Thomas Carter (USN), and their twin sons.


John Wojciechowski,  Class of 1992

John Wojciechowski played both football and baseball at Plum High School where he served as captain of both teams his senior year. Playing both middle linebacker and tight end in football, he earned several honors with his play his senior year. These included being named to the Pittsburgh Press Fabulous 22, First Team All East from the Pittsburgh Press, Post-Gazette, Advanced Leader, and Valley News Dispatch. Along with being name All Conference Quad A by both the Pittsburgh Press and Post-Gazette, he was also named the Comcast MVP for football that season and was awarded the United States Marine Distinguished Athlete Award. On the baseball field, John was primarily a pitcher and a catcher. He played multiple positions his senior year and was named the Co-player of the year for the East as an all-around player.

       John went on to attend Duquesne University where he played both football and baseball. In football, he was a three year captain and helped lead Duquesne to both a MAAC conference title and an ECAC bowl game victory his senior year. He played middle linebacker his freshman year but was moved to defensive end for his final three seasons. Wojciechowski did hold the career sack record at Duquesne along with the single season sack record. For his outstanding play his senior year, he was named a Dan Hansen Small College First Team All-American. In baseball, John played three seasons for Duquesne as a catcher and a designated hitter for the Dukes. He graduated in 1996 with a degree in business.

       After college, Wojciechowski began his current career in the NFL. Starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a Player Personnel Assistant, he worked in the scouting department and assisted the coaches. After two seasons, he took his first college scouting job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He worked in the Southeast for three seasons as a BLESTO scout and then two seasons in the Midwest as a team scout. After five seasons with the Jaguars, he moved on to the Dallas Cowboys where he was the Northeast/Midwest scout for nine seasons. He is currently in his second season with the Green Bay Packers and works in the Midwest.

       John, along with his wife Tami and their two sons Holt and Taft, reside in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Monica Zalevsky Williams,  Class of 1984
Monica Zalevsky Williams graduated from Plum High School in 1984. She played basketball, volleyball and was a member of the track team. She earned three varsity letters in basketball as a three-year starter. She was named to the All East Girls Dream Basketball Team her junior and senior years. In volleyball, Monica also earned three varsity letters and was a starting middle blocker. She was a member of the 1982, 1983, and 1984 conference champion volleyball teams. In 1984, her volleyball team captured the PIAA Championship. Monica also lettered three years in track. Monica received several scholarship opportunities as a senior in high school.

       Monica attended Carnegie Mellon University. While at Carnegie Mellon, she continued to play volleyball and basketball. She was a four-year starter in volleyball. She is in the Carnegie Mellon record books as ranking seventh in career points per game as a junior. Monica was named to the President’s Athletic Conference All-Pac Team her sophomore and junior years. Her senior season only lasted one game due to an injury received during a game. Monica also earned a starting position for the Tartan women’s basketball team her freshman year.

       Monica graduated early from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Information & Decision Systems and also earned a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon. She works as a technology consultant and is an Adjunct Instructor of Information Systems at Duquesne University’s School of Business. Monica and her husband, Russ, reside in Murrysville PA with their sons Jacob and Lucas.


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