SRU alumnus Suvoy earns hall of fame nod
May 17, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - John Suvoy is no stranger to success.
The 1973 Slippery Rock University graduate was part of a Burrell High School football team that recorded 20 wins in a row, including a pair of Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association titles between 1967-68; before he took the field for SRU, where the former running back was part of the 1972 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship team.
Suvoy followed that up with a coaching career that spanned five decades and three sports at the junior high, junior varsity and varsity levels in the West Middlesex Area School district, leading the boy's basketball team to a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association playoff berth in 1986.
"I enjoyed the love of the game, win or lose," said Suvoy. "But winning is a lot more enjoyable and rewarding."
Suvoy will be rewarded for his contributions to athletics May 21 as one of eight individuals being inducted into the Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
The HOF honors outstanding sports personalities who have some connection with the Allegheny-Kiski Valley area. Candidates are considered eligible if they were born in the area, resided in the area at any time or performed in the area on a regular basis.
Suvoy's career at Burrell was part of a Cinderella story for the school. The Buccaneers went winless during their inaugural 1965 season, followed by just two victories in 1966. Burrell would then rip off nearly two dozen wins in a row en route to a pair of WPIAA titles, including a 6-0 win over Freeport in the 1968 title game, with the game's only touchdown courtesy of Suvoy.
During his time at The Rock, which stretched from 1970-72, Suvoy averaged 4.4 yards per carry, 15.3 yards per catch and scored 12 touchdowns while also fielding punts and returning kicks.
At the conclusion of the '72 PSAC championship season, Suvoy would cap his collegiate career with a berth in the Knute Rockne Bowl. The University of Bridgeport edged out SRU, 27-22.
"The game was played indoors at the Atlantic City (New Jersey) Convention Hall," said Suvoy. "I was surprised how soft the turf was given that it was indoors and that it wasn't artificial. I'm not sure how big the floor was, but it was barely big enough to hold the field. It was a unique experience."
Following his graduation from SRU in 1973, Suvoy launched his career as an educator and coach with stops in Clairton and Wilkinsburg before landing at West Middlesex where he was the steward of the various football, track and basketball teams from 1976-2011.
"West Middlesex was a great place to spend a career," Suvoy said. "I enjoyed my time with each of the three sports and really enjoyed teaching, coaching and mentoring all the kids I shared time with."
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