CJ Davis - Athlete
During his high school football career, CJ Davis was an outstanding lineman on both sides of the ball for the Indians. His accomplishments include being named to the Associated Press Class AAA All State Team and the Super Prep All-Northeast Team. He was also a Pittsburgh Tribune Review Terrific 25 Selection, Pittsburgh Tribune Review All-Class AAA Member, and All Parkway Conference Offense and Defense Honoree. As well, he was selected to play in the Big 33 Football Classic. In a nomination letter, his father, Emmanuel Davis Sr., writes that playing for West Allegheny coaches Bob Palko, Bryan Cornell and others helped “mold his fundamentals: talent, work ethic, knowledge of the game and mental resiliency. This foundation ultimately prepared him for his collegiate and professional football career.”
In addition, retired high school principal Dan Smith writes, “CJ, during his time at West Allegheny, was academically driven, involved in his school and community, and was a respectable young man.”
At the end of his senior year, CJ was ranked the 22nd best prospect by SuperPrep, the 34th best prospect by Rivals.com and the 46th best prospect by Scout.com. As a result, he received a full athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Pittsburgh and started all four years of his college career. At the end of his senior year, CJ was invited to participate in the NFL Combine and later signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers. He also played for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Palko recalls that CJ was an exceptional athlete who would have been able to excel in basketball or just about any other sport. However, CJ’s athletic talent was not what Palko felt made CJ so exceptional. Rather, Palko felt that CJ’s leadership skills and team-first approach were what helped propel him to excellence. Palko remembers that CJ had a unique ability to always bring something special to the locker room that made the team better every day. That quality was highly valued by his teammates and the Indians coaching staff.
CJ now works with young athletes in Arizona as a strength and conditioning specialist. He’s also an offensive line coach helping young athletes prepare for their future college and professional careers.
2007 and 2008 Baseball Teams
Back-to-Back WPIAL Champions
The 2007 and 2008 West Allegheny baseball teams have been chosen for induction into the West Allegheny Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of their back-to-back WPIAL championship seasons. The 2007 team, which finished its season with an undefeated 23-0 record, also received a USA Today East Region Top 5 ranking. Individual players on both teams still hold a number of school records or are in the top five for categories such as career hits, career homeruns, career RBIs, bases stolen, career doubles, innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.
Bryan Cornell, who coached both of those teams, recalled that the success of those squads started in 2005 with a core group of four highly talented freshmen. These players learned from their older counterparts as they formed the basis for a string of successful seasons from 2005 through 2009. Cornell further remembers that this unselfish combination of young and veteran players working together to achieve baseball excellence is a continuation of the foundation that former Indians head coach Don Lang established many years prior.
When describing these two baseball teams, Matt Kropf, who was an assistant coach on the team, writes, “Since the inception of this hall, exceptional teams, coaches and individuals have been recognized for heir greatness on the field of play as well as off. These two teams are no exception to that stringent criteria.”
Retired West Allegheny High School principal Dan Smith writes in his letter of recommendation that these two teams were not just comprised of fine athletes, but also very fine student athletes. He summarizes this by stating “this team was comprised of many good athletes, but it had just as many fine, academically driven students.”
Zak Sinclair - Athlete
Zak Sinclair played a critical role on the Indians baseball teams when they won back-to-back WPIAL championships in 2007 and 2008. Today, the records he set speak for themselves. They include: career home runs (14), career innings pitched (201 and one-third), career pitching wins (24), career strikeouts (283) and single-season strikeouts (97). In recognition of his success, Sinclair was named the 2007-2008 Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year.
At the conclusion of his high school baseball career, Sinclair was drafted in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox but decided to continue playing baseball at North Carolina State University. A series of injuries, however, cut his playing career short.
In his nomination letter, Michael Moehring, Zak’s uncle, cites both his nephew’s achievements and character traits such as “his work ethic, his attitude, his respectfulness, his leadership abilities, his athletic skill, and his team spirit...” Retired high school principal Dan Smith writes in his nomination letter that, off the field, Sinclair was “engaging, confident and driven during his years at West Allegheny.”
Moehring further summarizes Sinclair’s qualifications by stating that, “He was the kind of player everyone wanted to be around because you knew he was going to get the job done and have fun achieving success. He has taken that same calm and humility into his personal and professional life.”
Sinclair presently lives in the state of Florida with his wife, Demi, and their daughter, Lila. He is now a highly successful network maintenance technician for Comcast Cable Communications.
2008-2009 Girls Volleyball Teams
Back-to-back WPIAL Champions
The 2008 and 2009 West Allegheny girls’ volleyball teams accomplished what few other teams in school history have.
In 2008, the team entered the WPIAL playoffs as a third seed and upset Hopewell to win the championship. A ferocious contender in the PIAA tournament at Central York, the team reached the semi-finals before losing to Susquehannock. The game, which many considered to be the de facto final, came down to a five-game set.
The 2009 team then repeated as WPIAL champions by defeating Freeport in the finals. They then entered the PIAA bracket as a first seed but lost in pool play. As West Allegheny athletic director David McBain writes in his nomination letter, “Regardless of the final outcome for either squad, each had its own identity and ability to carry the strong tradition of West Allegheny girls’ volleyball on for future teams to come.”
When assessing the 2008 and 2009 volleyball teams, retired high school principal Dan Smith recalls how, “The drive, dedication and hard work allowed these young women the opportunity to achieve what no other WA girls’ volleyball team has accomplished, back to back WPIAL titles.”
Smith also gives credit to both teams’ coaches, writing, “Their Coach Lisa Shultz should be commended for her leadership in seeing this team through many trying times.” In return, Shultz remembers that both teams were successful because they always looked upon each other as “underdogs” who could only win if they set high standards for themselves, worked hard and played as a “pack” rather than as individual players.
In addition, Steve and Michele Wengryn in their nomination letter write, “Those girls worked so hard and were so determined which is why they were so successful.”
In summary, Smith relates, “The girls’ run through both winning years brought a sense of pride for the school and its student body. There were many wonderful female athletes on this team that have gone on to contribute to society in a positive manner.”
Dr. Korin Wengryn - Athlete
Dr. Korin Wengryn was a vital component of the girls volleyball program during its historic accomplishments between 2006 to 2009. During her four-year high school career, Wengryn helped lead her team to four section championships, three WPIAL championship appearances, back-to-back WPIAL titles and three PIAA finals appearances. One of those teams won the state championship in 2006.
Wengryn’s honors include being named to the WPIAL Class AA First Team, the PVCA Class AA All State Team, the All Section Team and the PIAA All Tournament Team in both 2008 and 2009. She was also named player of the week more than once for the Elite Eight Girls Volleyball Team. In addition, Wengryn was selected as Player of the Week, Player of the Year and MVP for the Terrific 21. She was also named one of the area’s top 10 Volleyball Players, as selected by ESPN Rise Sports Magazine.
As Wengryn’s varsity volleyball coach Lisa Shultz writes, “With her determination and motivation, Korin, as a team captain, led her team to see great success in high school, club...[and] in college.” Her parents, Steve and Michele Wengryn, add in their recommendation letter, “She did all of this while being in the NHS (National Honor Society) and maintaining a 3.9 GPA and playing with a torn rotator cuff.”
Wengryn continued her athletic career under a full scholarship at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she was a four-year starter. Though she had her rotator cuff surgically repaired twice and blew out an ACL, she completed an outstanding college career. During that period, Wengryn also became involved in a number of college community service initiatives that included organizing the making and delivering of blankets to nursing homes for Christmas.
After graduating with honors with a degree in exercise science followed by a two-year tenure as an assistant volleyball coach at Washington and Jefferson College, Wengryn continued her education at Chatham University, where she graduated with a doctor of physical therapy in December of 2018. She is currently employed at Encompass Health in Sewickley.
Michelle Walker - Athlete
Michelle Walker’s induction into the West Allegheny Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes her outstanding contributions to the West Allegheny girls varsity volleyball program. During her high school career, Walker helped lead her teams to four section championships, three WPIAL appearances and the program’s first-ever WPIAL championship win in 2008. In addition, Walker played in three state playoff appearances, including the team’s finals win in 2006. She was named both to the WPIAL All Star Team and the PVCA All State teams in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Walker’s coach, Lisa Shultz, describes her as a team leader who knew how to have fun with her teammates in the locker room but also knew when to push them to attain their best production on the court. Shultz concludes by stating “Michelle, a team captain, led her team to see great success in high school and club as well as in college.”
After high school, Walker accepted a scholarship to play Division 1 volleyball at the University of Pittsburgh.
Walker has also been recognized for her leadership skills in the West Allegheny community. As a community volunteer, she has always been willing to use her warm and cheerful attitude to help others and was named a recipient of the West Allegheny Citizenship Award.