Cole Slaugenhoup To Continue Baseball And Academic Career At Penn State – DuBois

(Above Image) Seated – Cole with mom Lisa and Dad, Tim. Back (L-R) – Bobcats’ Assistant Coach Lee Weber and Bobcats’ Head Coach Rob Jewett.

Recently graduated Clarion Area student athlete Cole Slaugenhoup, the son of Tim and Lisa Slaugenhoup has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball and academic career at Penn State – DuBois.

The Nittany Lions, under Head Coach Tom Calliari are members of the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). Penn State-DuBois has won three straight USCAA National Championships, as well as three consecutive PSUAC titles.

Eagles Coach – Tom Calliari – PSU DuBois Head Coach

Coach Calliari, who was named USCAA Co-Coach of the year for 2021, has guided the Nittany Lions to 142 total wins (70% win); 76-13 in the PSUAC

This year’s squad featured four USCAA All-Americans: First Team: Toner Corl, Brandon Orsich (also USCAA – Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year); Second Team: Treavor Hanna, Daniel Stauffer.

Coach Calliari shared this, “We try to find the better kids in District Nine and he obviously had a great season. We wanted to reach out to him, a quality player from a local area and he swings the bat pretty well.”

Cole finished this season with the Bobcats, hitting .429, with 27 hits (including 3 home runs, 4 doubles and a triple). He drove in 21 runs and scored seven times. Cole went 5-1 on the mound, striking out 24 and walking ten. He had a .952 fielding percentage.

At the Clarion Area Baseball picnic on June 30th, Cole received a number of awards including: a plaque for Most Valuable Player,  2 trophies – Cy Young and Silver Slugger, 6 Baseballs  marked Most RBI’s – 21,  Highest Batting Average – .429,  Most Wins – 5,  Most Home Runs – 3,   Most Hits -27, and Highest Slugging Percentage – .666. and the Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference – Outstanding Achievement Award – 2nd Team All-KSAC  Catcher.

Cole with his many awards at the Bobcats’ Team Picnic

PSU-DuBois Baseball actively looks for homegrown talent, and Cole fits the bill. “Obviously it makes our program better if we keep local kids here first. We thought he swings the bat real well and thought we’d give him the opportunity.  He’ll primarily be focused on catching. Obviously there are no guarantees of playing time for anybody, since we have five catchers. But, yes he’ll be working with the catchers.       

“Clarion High School (is a) good program; a lot of good athletes come out of the Clarion area.  And again, I feel like we really want to focus, for our program, on District Nine and District Six. Cole was obviously one of the better players and comes out of a traditionally good program and we wanted to get him into our roster.”       

The Nittany Lions are looking to continue their winning ways with players like Cole. Coach Calliari said, “We’ve won three consecutive Small College Bowl Series National Championships. One of the main reasons is we have a lot of tough, rural Western Pennsylvania kids from this area, districts in Central Pennsylvania, same minded, great family background type of kids that work hard. They understand roles, accept those roles and are great team players. And that’s what it takes to win. We want to try to continue that tradition and standard, which gets harder and harder to do, because the target gets bigger and bigger on our backs. But high character kids are a priority in our program. We look to get those high character guys.     

“We were 30 and 6 last year (including playoffs). Obviously that is a credit to our standard. And guys like Cole and others in the area will help us get there.    

“We’re excited to have Cole as part of the program.”

Cole had this to say about his college choice, “Penn State contacted me about playing baseball. I looked into it further and decided,  that is where I want to go. It’s a smaller campus in a nice area.  It has an excellent baseball program and is a highly regarded school.  It’s not that far from home so my family will be able to attend some of the games.     

“I plan to major in Information Sciences and Technology,  with a minor in business. My future plans are to continue baseball as far as it will take me. (I) plan on getting a career in Cyber Security, have a family, own a Corvette, and further down the road, run for President of the United States.  I love politics!     

“I was very impressed when I met with Coach Calliari.  He has had a lot of success in the years that he has been coaching.  I was recruited as a catcher.  I am anxious to play at the next level, and to be part of the Penn State team.”

Clarion Area Head Coach Rob Jewett shared this about Cole, “Congratulations Cole on continuing to play baseball at Penn State DuBois! 

“Cole is a very hard worker and demands a lot out of himself on and off the field.  His work ethic and love of the game has really paid off as he was Second Team all KSAC catcher.  He led the team in batting with an average of .429, 27 hits, 21 RBI’s and 3 home runs.         

“Cole was a human backstop behind the plate!  I remember an umpire behind the plate at our game against DuBois Central Catholic told me that Cole is one of the best catchers he had the pleasure to work with in the past 10 years!”

(Image submitted) Cole behind the plate

Cole also stepped up for his team on the mound and became our ace.  He had a 5-1 record with a 2.12 era.”         

About Cole’s family’s involvement in helping him pursue his dream, Coach Jewett said, “His family really does support him and his love for this game by taking him to private hitting lessons with Ed Kemmer, traveling many miles for his travel baseball leagues, and being at every one of his games cheering and encouraging him.”         

Coach Jewett concluded by saying, “Cole will be sorely missed from our Bobcat team, but I know he will go on and do great things for Penn State DuBois.         

“Good luck Cole, and I will be following your career!!”         

Clarion Area Assistant Coach Lee Weber shared, “Cole is one of the best defensive catchers I have seen in high school baseball.  He blocks everything fearlessly!        

“With the bat, he hit with the same fearless attitude!  He was aggressive but always in control. He very rarely get fooled at the plate.     

“Cole’s leadership and all out efforts will be missed by our program and all us coaches!”

Cole realizes that his talent is a gift from above. “First and most of all, I want to thank God for the natural ability he gave me to play baseball.” 

Many individuals have helped Cole along this journey. He shared his gratitude for a number of them. First and foremost are those closest to him. “I would like to thank both of my parents for always being at all of my games and cheering me on, and encouraging me to do my best, along with other family members for traveling to games and supporting me, also.”       

And for those involved with his growth as a player and person. “I’d like to thank Ed and Jon Kemmer (Ed’s son and recently retired professional baseball player, also a Clarion Area Little League and Clarion Bobcat alum) for the countless hours of hitting practice they gave me. 

“I want to thank the Kriebel Family for getting me involved with the Beaver Valley Travel Team and supporting me as if they were my parents.            

“As for coaches, I want to thank Joel German for teaching me the right way to play baseball when I was first starting out in Minor League.  Thanks to Joel, our team won 2 District titles when I was 10 and 12.        

(Image submitted) 2015 District 25 Champions

Next, thanks to Garrett Goheen for being my coach for many years from Little League, All-Stars, and travel ball. Thanks to him, our team went to States twice and took 4th in the state, which no other Little League team in Clarion has done.  I’d like to thank him for taking us all over for travel ball.         

“Thanks to Joel and Garrett, I was one of three players that won Districts for four consecutive years.          

“Thanks to Scott DiTullio for being a great coach throughout Little League, Junior League, and Fall Ball. 

“Thank you Keith Klingler and all the numerous travel ball coaches I’ve had through the years.       

“I would like to thank Coach Jewett and Coach Weber for all their knowledge they gave me and for making my last year a memorable one.”          

(Image submitted) Bobcats’ Backstop

Cole’s parents shared this, “Cole has worked extremely hard to get to where he’s at. His dad said ‘He reminds me of the old time ball players, not afraid to get dirty.  He’s a tough competitor and he doesn’t quit.’

“We’d like to thank all of his past coaches for their time and effort they put into making Cole the player he is.  We are extremely proud of him.”

As you look following quotes, you’ll see that it is a two-way street of love and respect between Cole and those who have been there for him during this great adventure:   

Joel German: Cole from a very young age was willing to put in the work to better his game. It is a unique characteristic for a young player to recognize that the more you practice and the harder you practice will create better opportunities to be successful in game situations.       

Cole loves the “grind” of the game and this is why the catcher position appealed to him I suspect. The catcher spot in my opinion is the hardest and most important position on the field. Cole embraces the challenge of catching each and every game he plays.      

I have no doubt he will continue to work on his craft at the next level and excell at the next level.       

Tim and Lisa have done a great job as parents supporting Cole with his dream of playing at the college level.        

I look forward to watching and reading about Cole the next several years. I know he will have success on the field of play and in the classroom.        

Ed Kemmer: Cole is a great young man and at the same time a very good ball player.The type of player all coaches dream of having. Hard worker and at the same time having fun while we worked. Always smiling, willing to go the extra bucket of balls, never ready to quit. He has come a very long way towards his baseball career.

Very proud of him. Cole… be proud of what you have accomplished but never be satisfied.          

Jon Kemmer: Cole is one of the hardest working kids I have ever worked with.  Cole is one of those blue collar players every coach wishes for. A kid that is going to show up every day and bust his butt every time you work with him. He is the perfect example of first to the field and last to leave.

With me doing private lessons for the last 8-plus years, he was a player I would be excited to see on a schedule. You knew with that lesson you would have to kick him out of the cage at the end.

I would like to wish Cole the most success going forward. DuBois is a lucky school to have such a talented and hard working player joining their team.

Good luck Cole, and thank you for the years of memories.

(Image by Nate Girvan) Cole at the plate

Garrett Goheen: In all my years at Clarion Little League, the happiest that I ever saw a boy was on All-Star announcement day 2012. Cole was a 9 year old and very much on the fence as to whether he would make the team or not. Cole had a great regular season, but we had a team full of 10 year olds who were shoo-ins to make the squad.

When the list was posted and Cole saw his name, he jumped about 10 feet in the air. He ran to his dad and celebrated. I gave him 15 minutes to enjoy the moment, then I told him to show up tomorrow morning ready to work. Cole worked hard every drill, every station, and every practice for the next 6 weeks. Cole was a role player on the team who saw very little playing time. He never had a single complaint. He was the perfect teammate.

In the PA State semi-final game, the last game that team would play that year, Cole got his turn to pitch. He even recorded a strikeout. This story should be told to every Little League player and parent nationwide. Cole never complained, he just continued to work hard and believe in himself until his opportunity arose.

Cole has a deep passion for the game. His drive and extra effort is what is giving him this opportunity to play after high school. Congrats to Cole, Tim, and Lisa. Make the most of the next 4 years.

Coach Garrett

Scott DiTullio: It has been a great experience seeing Cole Slaugenhoup develop as a great young man and as a baseball player over the last several years. He loves baseball and wanted to be the best he could at every aspect of the game. Cole’s hard work was very evident every time we would see him at the field. He would do everything possible to get extra swings in the cage and extra work on the field. This work ethic has continued into and through his high school career. 

I was privileged to have Cole on several of our baseball teams over the years. He was always stepping up and being a leader at every level. Throughout our time on the Little League field, he would always ask questions and ask why we were practicing a certain way or scenario. The best part of this was through the years and as we moved up to the big field, he looked at me one day and said – “I’m not going to ask so many questions any more, somehow everything we work on works! I guess we shouldn’t change things to confuse people.”  Hard work and team work is what gets you to winning games. I believe Cole is like a sponge when it comes to baseball and he takes it all in and tries to learn from everyone he meets. 

One of the great things that I have always enjoyed about Cole – he is always respectful to everyone and he cares about his teammates on and off the field.  He will do anything to make sure they are successful. Again, It has been a privilege seeing Cole grow into the young man that he is and seeing his hard work pay off.

Tim and Lisa’s support for him, his coaches, and the teams he has played on has been unbelievable. They are that little secret behind his success! 

I can only wish Cole the best of luck as he moves on to the next level of baseball, playing at Penn State DuBois. 

Coach Scott

Anna Kriebel: What can you say about “Franklin” that hasn’t already been said? I have known Tim and Lisa for many years.

The fact that Chase has been able to play baseball with Franklin since Little League has been amazing. While they were on the same little league team many moons ago, the fact that Chase had the opportunity to play his freshman year with Franklin made them closer friends.

Franklin spent many hours working on his craft and his hard work paid off. The chance to get him on the same travel team in 2020 was even more rewarding to see two of my “sons” playing on the same field.

Franklin is hard working, honest, loyal and dedicated to being his best and taking care of his family. He would drop everything and help out friends or family. As a parent you want your kids surrounded by good people and I would take a hundred Franklin’s any day!

Big things are in store for Franklin, and we are absolutely honored to be a part of his journey.

Go get ‘em Franklin!!

(Anna’s note: It’s a funny story where the name Franklin came from, but that is who he is to us! It’s actually not very exciting. Back in Little League he came up to me and said “hi Nancy” so I looked at him and said “hi Franklin”…. he was puzzled. I said well you called me Nancy so I picked a name for you. He literally thought my name was Nancy!)

(Image by Christie Datko) Bobcats’ battery – Cole, a sophomore (left) and Chase, a freshman in 2019

Keith Klingler: If I remember right, the first time I met Cole and I’m not sure how the relationship came to be; I think maybe someone called me and said “Hey, I know a kid from Clarion who is looking for some extra baseball.” I think it was fall ball probably when he was 13 or 14 and I was maybe the only guy close having any fall ball.        

They called me or I called them. I don’t know how it started, but he played fall ball for like a seventh and eighth grade team. I really enjoyed having him. He was a good example for the younger players.

And I had him on a 15-under tournament team in Punxsutawney. He was a key player in our winning that tournament.

I had him in fall ball, when I did a high school team with North Clarion, Clarion and two Brookville kids for a couple years. Anytime I’d have an opportunity to call him to play, I did. And if he could possibly get there he did. He always played well.

The last couple times he played was two summers ago, when we would have extra games with maybe a high school team like Mercyhurst Prep or a travel team. Because last year with the virus, we got a lot of calls because of the Erie teams not even being able to practice. They would come down here and I always called Cole. He was pretty much the oldest guy there when I did it.    

One of the main reasons I called him was so my 14, 15, 16 year olds could see how it’s done. He leaves the attitude at home. He comes, he gives it all he’s got, does whatever he can to help the team win. And these younger guys remember him. I say Slaugy, they know who I’m talking about.      

Obviously, I could see from coaching him over the years, what their (Penn State DuBois) coaches saw in him. I’m sure they like what they see, just the work ethic and the baseball smarts that he has. Sometimes that makes up for talent; if you just know the game extremely well, as he does.

He’s always looking to get better. That’s why any time I would call him, if he could get there, he’d get there. Sometimes it was within a couple hour’s notice. He’d be there. He just loves the game and leaves it all on the field.      

His parents are always very appreciative of anything I’ve been able to do for Cole and all the extra games I’ve been able to get him. As a coach over thirty years, you don’t get too many thank you’s. So I appreciate his parents too.

(Clarion Sports Zone joins the whole community in congratulating Cole, his parents Tim and Lisa, Clarion Area School District and Bobcat baseball team, Clarion Little League and all those who have been with him throughout this great adventure. Cole your, dedication, work ethic and selfless teamwork are an inspiration!!!! Continued Success!!!! You make us Clarion Proud!!!!)

(Thank you to all who contributed to this article!!)