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Jeff Catanzarite

Football ∙ Monaca

 

 

 

 

The Monaca High School football team will play its final season in 2009, so it’s only fitting that one of the greatest players in the school’s history Jeff Catanzarite will add to Monaca’s great legacy as he joins the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame.

Catanzarite made an impact early at Monaca, when as a sophomore he helped the Indians capture the 1985 WPIAL Championship. He followed that by leading Monaca in rushing over the next two seasons. But it was during his senior year that Catanzarite left an indelible mark at Monaca. Just a few games into his senior season, Catanzarite led the Beaver County Times coverage area leaders in all four categories – scoring, passing, rushing, and Rrceiving. A captain as a senior, Catanzarite was selected first team All-Conference as a running back, defensive back and kicker. With that resume, he was an obvious choice as the Conference’s Most Valuable Player. He was named one of the finest 44 senior football players in Western Pennsylvania and was selected to play running back and defensive back in the Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic. Catanzarite was also a standout on the basketball court, averaging over 20 points a game as a senior. Once again he was the conference Most Valuable Player and was an honorable mention all-state selection.

As impressive as his athletic exploits were in high school, Catanzarite excelled equally in the classroom. He was ranked sixth in Monaca’s Class of 1987 and was a member of the National Honor Society. He also never missed a single day of school from kindergarten through his senior year and received the “Americanism Award” from the Monaca American Legion Post 580. His athletic and academic abilities earned him many college opportunities, and Catanzarite took his skills to Westminster College, where he again made a lasting mark in one of the greatest eras for the school’s football program. Catanzarite was a four-year letter winner as a free safety, starting on two National Championship winning teams and one National Championship runner-up team (1988, 1989 and 1990).

Catanzarite’s name is still prominently etched in Westminster’s record book. He is ranked sixth in total defensive points (787 points), seventh among all-time Westminster total defensive record holders, eighth in career interceptions (13 interceptions), ninth in pass breakups (28 pass breakups) and 10th in career tackles (403 tackles, 252 solo and 151 assisted). A team captain in 1990, Catanzarite was named USA Today All-American Defensive Back, Honorable Mention, that year and was a USA Today Academic All-American in 1989. He was inducted into the Westminster College Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

Catanzarite went on to earn a Law Degree, graduating in the top-third of his class from Capital University School of Law. He practices in Pittsburgh. Catanzarite resides in Franklin Park with his wife (Lisa) and three children (Jack, Ava, and Nora).