Thirty-four years ago, Seton-LaSalle won its first WPIAL title and had a team with a number of future Division I college players. One of the best went on to have a long NFL career.
Jim Sweeney was a standout lineman in 1979 for Seton-LaSalle, which went 10-2 and outscored foes, 304-109. Sweeney was one of the reasons for the Rebels' strong running game, which featured bruising fullback Greg Gattuso, now an assistant coach at the University of Maryland. Sweeney became a dominating offensive lineman at Pitt and was drafted in the second round in 1984. He played 16 NFL seasons, the last four with the Steelers. He also played 11 for the New York Jets, one with Seattle.
That 1979 Seton-LaSalle team was coached by Tom Donahoe, who later became general manager of the Steelers and Buffalo Bills. The '79 team had five players who eventually signed with Division I colleges. Besides Sweeney, Gattuso played at Penn State and senior lineman Glenn Streno at Tennessee. Quarterback Rich Ingold was a junior who a year later signed with South Carolina and junior receiver Nick Merrick played at Virginia.