This is the second in a series of five articles profiling the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame's class of 2020.
ZELIENOPLE — A lot has changed for girls sports since Cathy (Black) Beighey was involved in athletics at Seneca Valley High School over 50 years ago.
She was a member of the Raiders' girls basketball team for three years as a guard before graduating in 1970.
“We had to play half-court and could dribble only three times before either shooting or passing the ball,” said Beighey. “We were allowed to play just 10 games each season and did not receive actual uniforms until my senior year. It was a different time.”
Beighey was SV's leading scorer her senior season, scoring a career-high of 32 points in a game against Deer Lakes. That same year she was voted the team's MVP and was selected for an all-star game played at Mt. Alvernia High School.
Her positive influence on SV's girls program extended beyond her playing days as a member of the basketball boosters, serving as president for eight years.
Beighey will be inducted into the Seneca Valley Sports Hall of Fame in September.
Her two younger sisters, Beth and Amy Black, also represented Seneca Valley athletically. Beth starred in basketball, swimming and track and was inducted into SV's hall of fame in 2009. Amy starred for the swimming team.
“I was an athletic kid, but there weren't any community sports for girls back then,” Beighey explained. “It was during my sophomore year that a friend of mine urged me to join the girls basketball team.
“I made a lot of friends playing basketball and it gave me a chance to be an athlete.”
Beighey played first for head coach Gloria Heckendorn, then for Karen Good her junior and senior seasons.
“My time playing basketball was brief, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved it. I just wish we could've played 20 games every year instead of 10.”
Beighey became involved in SV sports once again when her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, began playing for the junior high girls basketball team in the mid-1980s.
“I joined the boosters, saw it as a way to give back and contribute,” said Beighey, who would remain involved with the boosters until her second daughter, Sara, graduated in 1996.
The former is pleased to see the strides made and the opportunities currently afforded to females in the sports world. The time she put in during her high school days helped lay the foundation for that at Seneca Valley.
“Now, girls can go on to do great things in sports,” she said.
Along with her husband, John, and son, Brian, Beighey is part owner of Eastern Architectural Products, based in Zelienople.
She remains active and swims every day.
“It's a good mental exercise and I find it exhilarating. Keeping my mind and body healthy is important to me,” she said.
Of her upcoming induction into the hall of fame, Beighey said, “I am very appreciative of the committee for thinking of me.”