By The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- A two-way lineman in high school at Southern Columbia and a four-year starter at defensive tackle at Susquehanna University, senior Ken Schetroma had little experience with the football in his hands.
In Saturday's game with Muhlenberg, Schetroma got to live every lineman's dream. Linebacker Jared Minori tipped a pass into the air and Schetroma was on the spot to pick up his first career interception at any level of football.
"Jared Minori tipped (the ball) up (in the air)," Schetroma said. "It was a gift. It fell right in my hands."
The only issue for Schetroma, what to do once he caught the ball?
"There was a little alley (to make a return)," Schetroma said. "I kind of freaked out because I never get the ball, so I just ran out of bounds. I think I made the right decision."
WEEK OFF: Susquehanna won't be able to ride the momentum into this week because the Centennial Conference is taking its annual mid-season bye week. All 10 teams are off this week, the second year in a row the conference has done that.
Three-time defending champion Johns Hopkins and Gettysburg enter the bye tied atop the standings at 4-0 overall. Both are also unbeaten at 5-0 with Hopkins ranked 13th in this week's AFCA Division III poll while Gettysburg is receiving votes. The unbeatens battle each other on Oct. 19 in Baltimore.
The Crusaders are back in action on Oct. 13 when they visit Moravian.
AMONG THE BEST: A quick glance through the statistical leaders in the Big Ten shows just how strong Valley field hockey is, led by Selinsgrove.
Some of the top offensive players in the entire Big Ten are from the Valley, including Ohio State's Danica Deckard and Penn State's Ashtin Klingler, the two Selinsgrove graduates who shared the conference's Offensive Player of the Week honors last week.
Deckard, a senior captain for the Buckeyes, is first in total shots (81) and second in shots per game (6.91). Deckard ranks behind only Indiana senior Morgan Fleetwood, a former teammate of Deckard's at Selinsgrove, in shots per game.
Four former Valley players rank in the top 10 in the league in goals. Deckard is tied for third with 11 goals, Klingler is ninth with eight while Fleetwood and Penn State's Hannah Allison, a senior from Mifflinburg, are tied for 10th with six goals. The three former Seals also rank in the top three in game-winning goals. Deckard is second (5), with Fleetwood and Klingler tied for third with three game-winners.
NEW CLASS: Susquehanna inducted six new members into its Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend, including three former standouts from Valley high schools.
The six new inductees represented four sports, with three being former members of the football team. The class is comprised of field hockey player Leah Bailor Hane (2003), football standouts Mark Bartosic (2004) and Mike Bowman (2003), track and field athlete Matt Deamer (2004), women's tennis player Tara McHugh (2004) and football player Matt Wichlinski (2000).
Bailor Hane is a Middleburg graduate and was a four-year member of the Crusader field hockey team (1999-2002) and was the first STX/NFHCA All-American in program history. She was a third-team honoree in 1999 and earned second-team recognition in 2002. That 1999 season also saw her named the MAC Rookie of the Year and she went on to be a three-time All-MAC First-Team player.
She led the Commonwealth in 2002 in goals (22) while also setting a single-season record in the process. Seven of her goals that year were game winners and she went on to finish that year with SU single-season marks in goals (22), assists (12) and points (56). She is the program leader in goals (51), assists (35) and points (197).
Bailor helped Susquehanna qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 1999 and 2002 and her 1999 squad recorded the only NCAA Tournament win in school history.
MAUTI HONORED: Penn State senior linebacker Michael Mauti delivered a record-setting performance in Penn State's 35-7 win at Illinois and has earned his second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor in the past three games.
A candidate for the Butkus and Bednarik Awards, Mauti was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday for his performance in the Nittany Lions' Big Ten opening win in Champaign.
Mauti also earned the conference accolade after the Nittany Lions' 34-7 win over Navy on Sept. 15 and following the Northwestern game in 2010.
Mauti led another dominant Penn State defensive performance, by recording two interceptions, six tackles (four solo) and combining on a sack. With the Ilini threatening to become the first team to score a touchdown against Penn State in the first half, Mauti grabbed a Nathan Scheelhaase pass at the goal line and raced up the near sideline with a convoy of blockers. He avoided several would-be tacklers, but was tripped up at the Illinois one-yard-line. The 99-yard interception return broke the school record for longest interception return, a 98-yard effort by Wayne Berfield at Boston University in 1958.