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Eleven Clarion Players/Coaches Named to PSAC 150 Football Contributors List including East Brady’s Weibel
(Photo of Chris Weibel. Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)
“The opportunity to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of College Football with our member institutions is exciting. Recognizing many of the key contributors who are synonymous with the PSAC is a great way to highlight our great history and to allow our membership to celebrate this commemorative event,” said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. “Like anything, the debate of who should be included will be fun, but talking about the storied history of football in our conference is what we wanted and what I’m sure we will get.”
To determine the formation of the final 150, guidelines were put in place to have representation from each submitting institution. A committee comprised of seven former sports information directors then made selections to finalize the PSAC’s 150 Contributors.
The 11 Golden Eagles named to the list were Jim Alcorn, Dave “Red” Bevevino, Kevin Ewing, Al Jacks, Frank Lignelli, Kim Niedbala, Alex Sandusky, Steve Scillitani, Chris Weibel, Reggie Wells Jr. and Steve Witte.
Jim Alcorn (1966-67) was an outstanding quarterback at Clarion in 1966 and 1967, Alcorn led the Golden Eagles to their first PSAC gridiron championship in 1966 and Western Division Titles both years. In 1966 he led Clarion to a 10-0 record while completing 125 of 209 passes for 1,925 yards and 26 touchdowns. In 1967 he completed 149 of 271 passes for 1,953 yards and 15 touchdowns. His two-year career stats saw completion of 274 of 480 passes (57.1 %) for 3,878 yards and 41 touchdowns. Clarion had a two-year record of 18-2. Honors over that period included Curbstone Coaches Player of the Year in 1966, MVP both years, Little All-American, All-Conference, and All-East, among many others.
Dave “Red” Bevevino (1949-52) was the leader of the team’s first undefeated season in 1952 and was named the Lions Bowl MVP.
Kevin Ewing (1981-84) was a two time AP All-American and is the Clarion career leader in tackles with 462 and sacks with 46.
Al Jacks (1963-81) The name synonymous with Clarion University’s football tradition, AI Jacks was head coach of the Golden Eagles from 1963 to 1981. Piling up a fantastic career record of 128-46-5 (72.9 percent winning rate), Al’s first season showed a 4-4 record in 1963 followed by 18 straight winning seasons while capturing six PSAC Western Division titles (1966, 67, 69, 77, 78, and 80) and three PSAC championships (1966, 77, 80). The recipient of numerous PSAC West Coach of the Year honors, he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Western Chapter in 1979 and saw his 1980 team named the ECAC Division II Team of the Year.
Frank Lignelli (1946-50, 1957-90) was a Little All-America choice who led Clarion as Athletic Director for 25+ years.
Kim Niedbala (1993-96) was without question one of the best defensive football players ever to don the blue and gold. A free and strong safety, Kim played for Gene Sobolewski in 1993 and Malen Luke from 1994-96 and put together prolific career numbers that included 407 career tackles, 34 pass breakups, 12 interceptions and 11 tackles for a loss. In 1996, his senior year, Kim was a Consensus First-Team All-American (AP, Football Gazette, etc.) and was selected to play in the NCAA D-II Snow Bowl All-Star game. In 1996 he totaled 166 tackles, 20 break-ups, recovered five fumbles, caused four fumbles, had four tackles for loss and two interceptions. He also helped lead the 1996 team to an 11-3 overall record and an NCAA D-II Final Four season. Clarion won the PSAC West and NCAA D-II East Region titles and lost to eventual national champion Northern Colorado 19-18 in the NCAA semifinals. Also a first-team All-American in 1995, Kim had 117 tackles, nine breakups, five interceptions, four forced fumbles and two recoveries. A third-team All-American in 1994, Kim collected 98 tackles, four interceptions and four breakups.
Alex Sandusky (1950-53) was certainly one of the best to don a football uniform at Clarion. Sandusky was voted to the Little All-America and All-State teams, Sandusky graduated from Clarion in 1954, was drafted 16th in 1954 by the Baltimore Colts, and reported at defensive end for camp. At camp, coach Weeb Ewbank decided he would be better protecting the quarterback than rushing him, and Sandusky became a great offensive guard and NFL All-Pro for the Colts. He started the second game of his rookie season and was a starter the remainder of his illustrious 13-year career, missing only one game during that time due to injury. The Colts won the NFL Title in 1958 and 1959 and went to the title game numerous times.
Steve Scillitani (1977-80) recorded 419 tackles in his Clarion career while recording 37 sacks and playing in two PSAC Championships.
Chris Weibel was a great quarterback at Clarion who set three single-season passing records and five career records from 1993-98 while leading the Golden Eagles to an 11-3 overall record, PSAC-West and NCAA D-II East Region titles, Lambert Cup and an NCAA Div. II “Final Four” finish in 1996. He played for coach Malen Luke. In 1996 Weibel was the number two rated passer in Division II and completed 208 of 356 passes for 2,880 yards and 32 touchdowns, while also running for 170 yards and four touchdowns. In his career, Weibel completed 586 of 1,065 passes for 7,845 yards and 65 touchdowns, all Clarion records for almost two decades. He also held the total offense record with 8,136 yards and rushed for 10 touchdowns. He passed for a single game-high 411 yards versus Millersville in 1995, a year that Clarion posted a 6-4 record. He completed 59.3 % of his passes in 1995 and tossed 14 touchdowns. As a senior in 1998, he passed for 2,462 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was a 1996 HM All-American and PSAC West All-Conference selection.
Reggie Wells Jr. (1999-2002) was one of the top athletes and football players ever to don the blue and gold, had an outstanding career at Clarion University from 1999 – 2002 under head coach Malen Luke, as well as in the NFL, primarily with the Arizona Cardinals. At Clarion Wells was a four-year starter at offensive tackle. The 6’4″, 320-pound left tackle led Clarion to a 7-4 record in 2000 and a first-place PSAC-West record of 5-1. In 2001, as a junior, Reggie was named a first-team PSAC-West, East Region and HM Football Gazette All-American. In 2002 Wells earned first-team Associated Press and AFCA All-America honors, while being named as a second-team All-American Football Gazette and D-2 football.com. The Golden Eagles were 7-4 that season. He was selected to play in the “Cactus Bowl” in January of 2003, then was selected in the 6th round (177th overall pick) of the 2003 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Reggie played in all 16 games his rookie season and started his final game of the year at left tackle. A permanent starter on the Cardinals Offensive Line at tackle and guard through the 2009 season, he was the offensive captain helping lead Arizona to the NFC title on Jan. 18, 2009 with a 32-25 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, and then on to Super Bowl XLIII and a last-second loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 1, 2009. He played in 115 NFL games and started 91.
Steve Witte (1992-96) was certainly one of the most versatile and talented running backs ever to wear the blue and gold. Steve played at Clarion from 1992-96 and accomplished about everything a player could. In 1996 he helped lead Clarion to an 11-3 overall record, the PSAC-West title, NCAA D-II East Region Title and reach the NCAA “Final 4” before losing to Northern Colorado. Under coach Malen Luke, Witte set Clarion’s single-season rushing record with 1,352 yards and 16 touchdowns on 196 carries that season. He also caught 46 passes for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns, plus ran a kickoff back 43-yards for a score against Slippery Rock. He was a “Consensus” First Team All-American, plus was a First Team Academic All-American, PSAC “Scholar-Athlete of the Year”, PSAC-West “Player of the Year” and was the Burger King National Scholar-Athlete of the Week. In 1994 he rushed for 691 yards and 11 touchdowns, caught 50 passes for 578 yards and five touchdowns and was named a 2nd team All-American by Football Gazette. In 1995 he rushed for 753 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus caught 50 passes for 629 yards and 2 touchdowns. In his career, he set the PSAC record for touchdowns with 55, while rushing for 2,850 yards and 41 touchdowns on 473 carries (6.0 y/c), and grabbed 149 passes for 2,050 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is the only PSAC runner to rush for 2,800 yards and catch passes for over 2,000 yards.
A list of representatives by institution is listed below.
Jamar Brittingham, Jim Doyle, Jahri Evans, Matt Feiler, Danny Hale, Franklyn Quiteh, Robert Redman, Frank Sheptock, Irvin Sigler, Bob Tucker
Antoine Bagwell, Garry Brown, Wes Cates, Perry Kemp, John Lukhardt, Sam Mannery, Tim McCutcheon, Rontez Miles, Elmo Natali, Jeff Petrucci
Jim Alcorn, Dave “Red” Bevevino, Kevin Ewing, Al Jacks, Frank Lignelli, Kim Niedbala, Alex Sandusky, Steve Scillitani, Chris Weibel, Reggie Wells, Jr., Steve Witte
Denny Douds, Pat Flaherty, James Franklin, Jeff Johnson, Kevin Nagle, Evan Prall, Mike Reichenbach, Jimmy Terwilliger, Ray Yakavonis
Elbert Cole, David Green, Howard Hackley, Trevor Harris, Mike Kegarise, Bill McDonald, Jeremy O’Day, Ernest Priester, Jim Romaniszyn, Pat Schuster
Art Arkelian, Marcus Jones, Liam Nadler, Jon Richardson, Lou Tullio, Darmel Whitfield
Jack Benedict, Frank Cignetti, Sr., Jim Haslett, Jai Hill, Chuck Klausing, Michael Mann, Dan Radakovich, Dave Smith, Chris Villarrial
Dave Borden, Bruce Harper, John Mobley, Jordan Morgan, Kevin Morton, Andre Reed, Mark Steinmeyer
Rob Carey, Fran Cornelius, George Dintiman, Hubert Jack, Bill McCollum, Bob Peck, Joe Speese, Caleb Walton
Bill Bair, Joe Bedenk, Dr. Mark Bristol, Stu Casterline, George E. “Doc” Fenton, Dan Holland, Dean Stewart
David A. Armstrong, Bryan Boyce, Brandon Brown-Dukes, Tom Herman, Trevor Kennedy, Joe Kimball, John Langer, Marty Schaetzle, Ian Wild
Dr. Gene Carpenter, Charles Cooper, Drew Folmar, Will Lewis, Carmen Lex, Scott Martin, Mike McFetridge, Sean Scott, Ricke Stonewall, Edwin ”Eddie” Weist
AJ Erni, Antwarn Jones, Nick McGaghan, Chris Snyder, Sammy Tranks, Tyler Zimmer
Walter Barr, Damian Beane, Monte Cater, George Hott, Myles Humphrey, Wayne Wilson
John Bay, Rob Davis, Tim Ebersole, Brent Grimes, Trevor Harman, Spencer Keyes, John Kuhn, Mark “Mac” Maciejewski, Rocky Rees, Zach Zulli
Jerry Bejbl, Bob DiSpirito, Terry Factor, DJ Flick, Brandon Fusco, Shamar Greene, Greg Hopkins, Marcus Martin, Randy McKavish, Dr. George Mihalik, Brian Polk, N. Kerr Thompson
Billy Hess, Joe Iacone, W. Glenn Killinger, Derrick Price, Joe Senser, Ralph Tamm, Mike, Washington, Chuck Weber, Rondell White, Lee Woodall, Bill Zwaan
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