Ferianc helped wrestling grow
Butler Eagle
Written by:
September 12, 2012

This is the sixth in a series of seven articles profiling the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.

SUMMIT TWP — Ken Lockey was looking for kids who could put their heart and soul into the brand new Seneca Valley wrestling program; kids like David Ferianc.

Ferianc, a native of Callery, was on the ground floor of the sport for the Raiders and became the first SV wrestler to win a section title in 1968.

He also was a guard/linebacker on the football team throughout his high school career.

Ferianc died in an automobile accident in March 1987. He was posthumously honored with induction into the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame last Saturday.

According to his older brother, Mike Ferianc, judging David on size alone was a mistake.

“He was only 5-foot-6 and about 145 pounds,” said Mike, “but he was really muscular. Being his older brother, I challenged him a lot. Most times, he beat me at my own challenge. Once he got into something, he went full bore.”

David Ferianc began wrestling as an underclassman when Lockey introduced the sport through an intramural program and the coach had no problem getting his pupil enthused.

“You talk about a hard-nosed person, that was Dave,” Lockey said.

In SV’s second season of varsity wrestling, Ferianc’s efforts culminated with his section title as a senior at 145 pounds.

“As far as I know, he was the first champion at Seneca Valley, in any sport,” Lockey said.

“He was very proud of that (title) and he worked hard for it,” said Mike. “He had talent, but most of what he accomplished came from his determination. Dave enjoyed the competition and he liked the challenge.”

After high school, David enrolled at Shippensburg State College and wrestled on the school’s junior varsity team as a freshman.

“After one year, he decided college wasn’t for him,” Mike said. “He came back home and got a job as a truck driver.”

In his free time, David loved to fish and hunt. Years after graduating, he revealed to his brother that the SV wrestling program was still important to him.

“The day before he died, we saw each other and talked for a good while,” Mike said. “He told me he wanted to go back and help the program out in some way.”

David never got that chance, but his memory reverberates through the program to this day.

In 1989, he was inducted into the Seneca Valley Wrestling Hall of Fame. The very next year, surviving members of his family began the David Ferianc Memorial Award, given annually to the SV wrestler who best displays commitment and dedication.