DuBOIS — Some athletes grow up around sports so much they almost become a part of their DNA by the time they reach high school.
DuBois Central Catholic senior Shayleigh Gulvas is a perfect example of that, being the youngest of four siblings in a family where being around a court or diamond was almost a daily occurrence.
The daughter of Ed and Sueann Gulvas, Shayleigh has an older brother (Kelcey) and two older sisters (Michelyn and Lauresa) who were heavily involved in sports at DCC. Kelcey played basketball and baseball, while Michelyn and Lauresa both played basketball and softball.
The youngest Gulvas followed in her sisters footsteps in playing basketball and softball while adding volleyball to her resume as well. She started playing softball when she was four or five years old and basketball at the age of seven. Volleyball came later when she was a teenager.
And, she has put together stellar careers in all three, and by the time she graduates this spring, will have earned four varsity letters in volleyball and softball and three in basketball.
The family ties don’t end just with playing the same sports as her siblings, though. Her father Ed is one of her coaches on both the basketball and softball teams. Michelyn is also an assistant coach in softball, while mom Sueann is her biggest supporter in the stands. Lauresa also is involved in coaching and is the assistant for the Penn State DuBois softball program.
Given her family’s involvement in sports, it should come as no surprise they have played a major role in helping shape the athlete and person she has become. She points to her father as being her biggest role model.
“He has been coaching me ever since I started playing sports,” said Gulvas. “He always pushes me and helps me to be not only a better player, but a better person as well. He has rarely ever missed a game and always says how much he loves watching me play.
“He tells me about his successes and accomplishments in high school and college, and I hope to be as good as him one day.”
The Gulvas’ have enjoyed quite the run on the softball diamond together during Shayleigh’s high school career at DCC. They have won a pair of District 9 Class A titles and reached at least the state quarterfinals each of her first three seasons — including the school’s first-ever state finals appearance last spring.
Given that family connection, and her success on the diamond, it should come as no surprise that Gulvas said softball is her favorite, although she enjoys playing all three.
“I have been playing it (softball) for 14 years, and I love the game itself,” she said. “It’s always been so much fun to play, especially when you’re a successful team. I have always excelled at it over the years and always loved playing it.
“Sports help me to forget about any other worries I have outside of it. I honestly just love playing sports in general. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t playing sports. I love the competition and having friends all throughout our school and from other schools.”
Gulvas said her greatest sports moment was playing in the softball state championship game (5-0 loss to Williams Valley) last year, while her greatest personal accomplishment was recently being named to the Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express All-Decade team for softball for the 2010s.
A two-time All-State Second Team selection at shortstop, Gulvas was the lone current player to earn a spot on that TCS/CE All-Decade. She enters her senior season with a .456 career average (115-for-252), 119 runs, 80 RBIs, 27 doubles, six triples and six home runs.
Gulvas, who is a a member of the National Honor Society, plans to attend Seton Hill University after graduation and major in psychology. She will also play softball for the Griffins a Division II program that is member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).