NEW CASTLE —
Despite having no organized skills training, DeMedal quickly made a name for herself on the basketball court, leading Wilmington to a handful of WPIAL playoff appearances.
“I consider myself something of a dinosaur,” said the Associate Director of Career Center at Westminster. “Back when I played, I didn’t have anything available to me until ninth grade. At Wilmington, we had a really good league, but we played in the fall. We had to wait for the ‘normal’ section to finish. We’d go to the playoffs, but we’d have to sit around and wait. Inevitably, we’d face North Catholic in the playoffs and get killed.
“It was frustrating. I didn’t understand why we were in the fall league and I still don’t know why we did that. Looking back, that was the most disappointing thing of my high school career.”
DeMedal did reach the 1,000-point milestone near the end of her senior year and finished with 1,013 points.
“Katy was quite an athlete,” said Dennis Miller, who coached DeMedal when she played for the Wilmington Doves slo-pitch softball team. “She gave it 110 percent in whatever sport she tried. She was one of the first girls that I saw dive across the floor to get a loose ball. She would do that in softball, too, sliding into a base. In those days, the girls wore shorts, so she’d end up with quite the bruise. She didn’t think twice about doing it. It didn’t scare her in the least.”
In the summers, DeMedal played for the Doves during her early teenage years. The Doves won a regional ASA tournament before finishing ninth out of 63 teams in a national tournament in Georgia.
She later joined another slo-pitch team, the Conneaut Lake Lakerettes.
“She was one of the big guns in that tournament,” Miller said. “She was our shortstop and was very skilled. She had good range and could really throw the ball. We stressed playing defense over hitting the ball because we figured anybody could hit it. We had a bunch of good athletes and Katy was among of the best of them.”
After graduating from high school in 1980, DeMedal initially found her way to Washington & Jefferson, where she starred on the basketball court for a season before transferring to Westminster.
She would go on to earn three more letters in basketball and a pair in softball before graduating in 1984.
“I had a good experience at W&J, but decided to come back and go to Westminster,” she said. “Like a lot of college kids, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I came back to major in business.”