The student-athletes from Shade’s graduating Class of 2013 rank among the more accomplished in recent Panthers’ history.
“It was quite a good year,” said Shade Athletic Director Mike Pribish, who also serves as co-coach of the Panthers’ football team. “We had a lot of success in a lot of different sports.”
Shade’s football team sported its best record in two decades. The Panthers finished with a 6-4 record and qualified for the District 5 Class A playoffs, where Shade lost to district finalist North Star in the first round.
The boys’ basketball team won the WestPAC championship and set a single-season school record for victories with 26. Shade won a District 5 championship and was ousted by eventual PIAA runner-up Johnsonburg in the second round of the state playoffs.
Fittingly, three of the top athletes from those highly successful teams and a rifle shooter from Shade, who participated on the team at Shanksville-Stonycreek, have announced their college intentions.
n Ryan Fyock plans to continue his playing career at nearby Pitt-Johnstown, where he will play for longtime coach Bob Rukavina as UPJ transitions from the WVIAC to the PSAC.
“I’m really excited. I wanted to play basketball at the Division II level,” Fyock said. “This is close to home and they have a good engineering program.”
Fyock, a 6-1 guard, is one of the more decorated players in Shade history. With 1,468 career points, Fyock averaged 24.6 as a senior and earned first-team Class A all-state honors from the Pennsylvania Sports Writers a year after he was selected to the third team.
A member of the Mountain Cats AAU basketball team, Fyock averaged 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals as a senior. He also earned Somerset County MVP honors.
Fyock helped Shade to two consecutive District 5 Class A championships and made 205 career three-pointers, a school record.
n Simon Knapp attends Shade, but participates in two sports - soccer and rifle - for other schools.
Knapp played soccer for Johnstown Christian School, which co-ops with Shade, and shot rifle at Shanksville-Stonycreek - another co-op program.
In rifle, Knapp ranked as the Vikings’ top shooter and he hopes to continue that skill while at the United States Naval Academy.
A member of National Honor Society and student council, Knapp plans to study information technology.
n Brock Medva was a standout in football, basketball and track. At Division III Allegheny, Medva will concentrate on football.
A four-year starter, team captain and selection to the Ken Lantzy game, Medva rushed for 1,778 yards and finished with more than 100 tackles as a senior. His performance earned him first-team honors from The Tribune-Democrat.
“He certainly was a focal point for our team,” Pribish said. “From an offensive standpoint, we did just about everything we could with him. He ran the ball, caught passes and we used him in the wildcat.”
A third-team all-state selection by Pennsylvania Football News, Medva was a three-time all-WestPAC and Somerset County pick. He rushed for 3,669 career yards and scored 35 touchdowns.
In basketball, Medva lettered four times and started for two years. A member of student council, National Honor Society and the secretary of his senior class, Medva played in the AmeriServ Senior Hoops Showcase.
In track, Medva was part of two District 5 champion relay teams as a senior and he participated at the state meet in the 400 and 1600 relays.
n Wade Walker originally planned to play basketball at Division III Juniata, but a late scholarship opened at Division II Shepherd, a member of the WVIAC.
“In January, I filled out an application and a basketball questionnaire (to Shepherd), but they never got back to me, so I assumed they weren’t interested,” Walker said. “After I committed to Juniata, they watched my game tape and I went in for a workout. A kid decided to go to prep school and they offered me his scholarship.”
Before the offer, Walker had no designs of playing at the Division II level.
“Division III is more independent. In Division II, they kind of own you,” Walker said. “I wasn’t looking for that. I figured college would be hard enough.”
Walker certainly owns Division II scholarship credentials.
A member of four District 5 championship teams, Walker scored 1,500 career points and finished with more than 1,000 career rebounds.
A member of the inaugural Tribune-Democrat Fab 5, Walker earned second-team all-state honors as a senior.