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Joe Petruny

All Around ∙ Geneva

Joe Petruny was told he was a great tennis player. His response, "I'm an athlete who plays tennis."

His athleticism helped him to excel in baseball, basketball, and football. His abilities did not go un-noticed: He was awarded the most outstanding athlete while in school at Springdale. However, Joe's passion was basketball. Whether it was shooting a tennis ball at a Maxwell House coffee can nailed to the rafters in his cellar or chipping ice away on the street so he could shoot at the hoop on the Duquesne Light pole, he loved the game of basketball. He had an illustrious high school career, in which newspaper articles identified him as the Dynamo Sparkplug, the Roadrunner, and Mr. Defense. In fact, his coach, Chuck DeVenzio said, "He was the best defensive player in the area. He won games for us just on his ability to stop the opposing team's best player." His achievements: three-year letterman (started every game), team captain, first-team all-section, selected to play in the Jaycees All-Star Game, recognized by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of the top 24 players in all of the WPIAL.

He brought his talents to Beaver County to compete collegiately at Geneva, where he continued his brilliant play. He was a four-year letterman, team captain, led the team in assists every year (as was the case in high school), player of the week in the West Penn Conference. Words used to describe his play: fancy playmaker, brilliant ball handler, sharpshooter, defensive stalwart, diminutive bandit, dazzling dribbler. These attributes eventually led to Joe being selected as one of the top 50 men's basketball players at Geneva College.

Joe went on to teach and coach basketball at Hopewell. But after only one year there, at the age of 23, he was named the head basketball coach at the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC), the youngest coach ever at the school. In the meantime, at the age of 24, he took up the game of tennis. His determination and athleticism helped him to win six Beaver County Tennis Championships, the most prestigious tournament in the county, as well as many other tournaments, including the Nicholas Cup at Seven Oaks Country Club. He went on to teach tennis for 25 years and many of his students became no. 1 at their respective high schools. Joe, along with Glenn Caughey, was responsible for the first indoor tennis facility in Beaver County, the "Bubble" at Brady's Run Park.