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Catching Up With ...
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

Patricia Roeder

            Patricia Roeder's career as an accounting professional has taken her all over

Patricia Roeder

the world. The Upper Hanover native has overseen the construction of hospitals in the northeast section of Pennsylvania, worked in construction management in Florida and New York City and handled the contracts for projects in South America and the Middle East connected to U.S. AID, a federally funded agency that leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and help people progress beyond assistance.

            "I just went where the job took me," Roeder said. "It was very fascinating."

A 1971 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School, she excelled at field hockey and basketball. As a senior, she was named the most valuable player for both teams. Basketball was her best sport.

            "I was pretty good at defense," said Roeder, who was 5-foot-8. "I had long legs, and I could really run."

            She enrolled at Penn State University with the intent of becoming a math teacher. However, Roeder never pursued sports in college.

            "Maybe if I had a roommate who played, I would have done it as well. I competed in high school because my friends played, and I liked to do it."

            After earning a business accounting degree, Roeder took a job with a commercial construction management and real estate firm as a projects and staff accountant in Philadelphia. Her work helped lead to the completion of projects in Pittsburgh, Scranton, Wilkes Barre, New York City, Tampa, Florida and northern Virginia.

            "I really liked that job," she said. "I learned a lot about construction. "I loved to watch the buildings go up."

            While working for Camp Dresser McKee International, Inc. – described on its website as a global privately owned engineering and construction firm providing legendary client service and smart solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities with a local office in Wayne – Roeder did work in Nicaragua, Jerusalem and India.

            "Nothing fazes me," Roeder said.

            She spent a week in Nicaragua overseeing a multi-million dollar contract with US AID to rebuild infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Mitch during 1997-98. Roeder went to see a crater outside Managua, the country's capital.

            "There was steam coming off it," she said.

            While her company executed a $20 million contract to repair damage caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Roeder flew into Tel Aviv and stayed in Jerusalem. She visited the historic city four times.

            "I was in awe of everything in the old city," said Roeder, who worked for the company for 10 years.

            After relocating to Northern Virginia, Roeder – who also worked for Prudential Mortgage and for the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area – moved home at the end of 2009. She also served as a finance director for a Bucks County municipality for three years. Since June of 2014, she has worked in the business office at the Pennsburg Manor, located at 530 Macoby St. in the borough.

            "I love working there," Roeder said. "I have gotten to know some of the residents. It's a neat group of people."


Chris Sheetz

            As a member of Upper Perkiomen's wrestling team during its most 

Chris Sheetz

successful run, Chris Sheetz remembers walking into opposing gymnasiums with a feeling of invincibility. He said the team often knew it would win before the match began.

            "It was pretty cool," Sheetz said. "It was unlike anything I have every experienced. We just had that tough, grinding mentality."

            The lightweight made his mark on the program during four years. He earned four state medals in three different weight classes, including a PIAA championship as a sophomore. The following year, he helped the Indians capture a PIAA Class 3A dual meet title.

            The Barto native, who wrestled collegiately at Delaware Valley University and Kutztown University, remains active in the sport. He serves as a coach at the Arsenal Wrestling Club in Pottstown, with his mentor and former head coach Tom Hontz. Additionally, Sheetz is preparing for his second season as head coach at Pope John Paul II.

            "I love coaching kids," said the New Berlinville resident, who has also served as an assistant coach at Upper Perkiomen and to Hontz at PJP. "It's very satisfying to see them have success. My coaching is a way to give the guys life lessons. Hopefully they can learn from the decisions I made."

            Sheetz excelled on the mat for the Tribe. The 2007 graduate accumulated 189 victories, second most in school history. In 2005, he earned a gold medal at 112 pounds as a sophomore. A 3-2 victory over Council Rock South's Rick Rappo capped a 45-4 season.

            One year earlier, Sheetz finished sixth at 103 pounds. As a junior, he finished sixth at states at 119. During his senior season, he reached the semifinals at the same weight but was forced to settle for third.

            "Winning a gold medal was a very good accomplishment," said Sheetz, who was named an Asics High School All-American following his senior and inducted into the District One Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014. "I wish I could have won two more. I learned to keep working hard. No matter how good you think you are, there's always someone better out there."

            Sheetz welcomed the opportunity to develop his abilities under Hontz, the winningest coach in Upper Perkiomen history. He competed in Nevada, Ohio, Delaware and Virginia.

"It was a lot of fun," Sheetz said.

            After high school, he spurned multiple Division I offers to attend DelVal. In two seasons on the Doylestown campus, Sheetz collected a 75-15 record and earned All-American honors twice.

            He transferred to Kutztown University and posted a 21-8 record. Injuries forced Sheetz to consider life after wrestling. He said he wishes he would have followed the advice of his mother and Hontz to spend more time on school.


            "I focused too much on my sport," said Sheetz, who currently works as a master production scheduler at Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld in Norristown. "That's why I tell the guys I coach that they have to get their school work done and be a good person."






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