One of the leading scorers in the history of the girls’ basketball program, a multi-time state qualifier in both cross country and track & field, and a key member of the back-to-back state championship boys’ basketball teams make up the 18th class of inductees into the Mercer Area School District Athletic Hall of Fame.
The selection of the 2017-18 inductees was announced by Mercer Area School District Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.
The honorees will be enshrined during a special ceremony in the high school gymnasium prior to the Jan. 18 Reynolds-Mercer boys’ basketball game. The inductees and their families will be honored at a reception immediately following the game in the high school cafeteria.
A 4-year letterwinner for the Lady M’s basketball program, Shelah scored 1,359 career points, ranking her 2nd all-time in girls’ basketball history and 4th overall in school history.
During her freshman season, Shelah scored 240 points and was a 2nd team all-MCAC selection as the Lady M’s finished the season 2nd in the MCAC with a 15-11 record. The following season, she scored 280 points and again was a 2nd-Team All-MCAC selection as the Lady M’s won the MCAC championship. Mercer qualifed for the PIAA playoffs with a 69-61 victory over Cranberry in the District 10 consolation game.
During her junior season, Shelah led the team in scoring (351 points) and was named to the All-MCAC 1st Team as the Lady M’s won a 2nd consecutive MCAC championship and finished the season with a 15-11 record. As a senior, she led the Mercer County Athletic Con-
ference in scoring (488 points), including a school single-game record 35 points. She was named Most Outstanding Girls’ Basketball Player and a member of the Sharon Herald “Fab 5” team. Shelah also received team MVP honors, the Mike Erme/Sharon Lions Club Award, and was selected to play on the Western Pennsylvani squad in the Pa. High School Girls’ Roundball Classic at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Fieldhouse.
Shelah was also a 4-year letterwinner in track & field and helped lead the Lady M’s to MCAC Division II championships during her freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. During her freshman year, she finished 3rd in the discus at the MCAC Invitational, 2nd at the District 10 Championhips, and 5th at the PIAA Championships. She was also a member of the l600-meter relay team that finished 3rd at the MCAC Invitational and 51h at the District 10 Championships. As a sophomore, she was a member of the 1600 meter relay team that finished 1st at the MCAC Invitational, 2nd at the District 10 Championships, and qualified for the PIAA Championships. She also finished 7th in both the shot put and discus at the D-10 Championships.
During her junior season, Shelah finished 4th in the discus, 5th in the shot, and was a member of the runner-up 1600- meter relay team at the MCAC Invitational. She also ended 8th in the discus and the 1600-meter relay team finished in 4th place at the District 10 Championships. As a senior, she finished 3rd in the discus and 5th in the shot at the MCAC Invitational, and earned her a 2nd trip to the PIAA Championships with a 3rd-place finish in the discus at the D-10 Championships. She also took home 8th-place honors in the shot.
Shelah was also a member of the Lady M’s volleyball team. She earned 3 varsity letters and was an All-MCAC selection as a middle-hitter during both her junior (2nd Team) and senior (1st team) years.
A member of the Top 10 of her graduating class, Shelah continued her basketball career at Clarion University and obtained her bachelor of science degree in Nursing.
She and her husband David live in Mercer with their children Jenna, Whitney and Troy.
Steve Forrester (1988)
Forrester was a standout in cross country and track & field. As a sophomore, Steve led the cross country team to an undefeated regular season (10-0) and Mercer County Athletic Conference championship. The team finished 3rd at the D-10 Championships and qualified for the PIAA Championships. He received a medal for his 12th-place individual finish at the state meet, and the Mustangs finished 11th as a team. During his junior season the Mustangs repeated as MCAC champ, finishing 2nd at the D-10 Championships and 4th at the PIAA Championships.
Individually, Forrester won the Sharon, Neshannock, and Tri-County lnvitationals and finished 3rd at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational. He continued his success into the postseason, winning the D-10 Championship and finishing 4th at the PIAA Championships. As a senior, he helped lead the Mustangs to an undefeated regular season (8-0), a 3rd straight MCAC championship, and invitational championships at Pittburgh Central Catholic, Sharon, Neshannock, Tri-County, and Mercer County. He won a 2nd consecutive District 10 championship as an individual, helping the team finish 2nd and 3rd at the PIAA Championships.
A 4-year letterwinner for the track & field team, Steve helped lead the Mustangs to an undefeated record in dual-meet competitions (38-0) during his 4 years. The team won 12 invitational championships, 4 Tri-County League championships, and 3 D-10 championships (1986, ‘87, ‘88).
He is the all-time high scorer in the history of the Mercer track & field program and still holds the school record in the 3200-meter run (9:44.80).
As a freshman, Forrester was the D-10 champion in the 3200-meter run and was a member of the distance-relay team that won the PIAA championship, edging Holy Ghost at the finish line in the finals. During his sophomore season, the Mustangs secured the 1st of 3 consecutive D-10 Championships and Forrester qualified for the PIAA Championships in the 3200-meter run. As a junior, he finished in 5th place in the 3200-meter run and was a member of the 3200-meter relay team that finished 5th at the state championships. During his senior season, he captured a D-10 championship in the 1600-meter run and was a member of the 1st-place 3200-meter relay team. At the PIAA Championships he finished 9th in the 1600 and was a member of the 4x8 relay team that finished 2nd.
He continued his track & field career at the University of Pittsburgh. During his freshman year he was a member of the winning distance-medley relay that won the 1989 Big East Conference crown.
Forrester serves as program director of the Service Coordination Unit at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic and is a recipient of UPMC’s most prestigious ACES Award for commitment and excellence in service. He and his wife Pam live in Cranberry Twp. and have daughter, Hanna.
Dennis Mathieson (1967)
Mathieson was a standout in both football and basketball.
Arguably one of the best linebackers in the history of Mercer’s football program, he was a 3-year starter. His physical, hard-hitting play dominated the line of scrimmage and earned the respect of not only his teams, but players and coaches throughout the Tri-County Conference.
He was an All-Tri County League selection at both middle linebacker and running back his junior and season year, leading the team in tackles during both campaigns. He led the Mustangs in scoring during his junior season, tallying 5 touchdowns and 2 two-point conversions (34 points). He helped lead the Mustangs to a 7-2 record and a share of the Tri-County League championship during his senior season (1966). Due to the fact that the Mustangs were a Tri-County Conference memberthey did not compete in the postseason.
Mathieson also was a member of Hall of Fame Coach John Dale Swogger’s Mustang basketball teams that won back-to-back PIAA Class B championships (1966 and ‘67).
During his sophomore year, the Mustangs won the District 10 championship and finished the 1964-65 season with a 14-8 record. A top reserve on the undefeated 1966 state title team, he filled in for injured teammate Tom Filer during a key stretch at the end of the Tri-County League season and the early part of the D-10 playoffs. The Mustangs finished with a perfect 28-0 record, defeating Darby-Colwyn. 55-52. in the state championship game.
A starter during his senior season, Mathieson and Hall-of-Fame teammates Bob “Posey” Rhoades and Dave Knowlton, as well as Dick “Pickle” Harris and Art Adair, led the Mustangs to a 25-2 record and a 2nd straight state championship with a 61-52 victory over Montrose. He was a double-digit scorer on a that averaged over 90 points per game that season and was a team leader in field goal percentage and assists.
Mathieson enjoyed boating, skiing, golfing, racing, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and spending time with family and loved ones until the his death in June of 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Lori Mathieson, children Danielle Griffin, Nicole Benoit, and Robert Truitt, several grandchildren and other beloved family members.