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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: East Allegheny's Josh Strawins, Mt. Lebanon's Callie Frey

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East Allegheny golfer Josh Strawins Submitted
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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Robert Stinner and Andrew John
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Josh Strawins

School: East Allegheny

Class: Senior

Sport: Golf

Claim to fame: Strawins won the Section 7-AA boys golf tournament at Westwood Golf Club last week with a 12-over-par 83. The senior continued his impressive play Monday by finishing tied for ninth at the WPIAL Class AA championship at Youghiogheny Country Club, after shooting an 8-over-par 80. Strawins has qualified for the PIAA Western Regional qualifier Oct. 15 at Tom's Run Golf Course in Blairsville.

How did it feel to win the section tournament?

Well, I qualified last year in the section and made it to the next round at New Castle Country Club. I ended up getting disqualified at minus-2. I was winning by three shots, but I got disqualified for using a range finder that I thought was legal. When I went to use it the kid I was playing with said he wasn't sure if it was legal so I turned it into the official. When I was on the 12th hole they disqualified me. The same range finder I had is legal this year. That kind of makes me mad but I learned from it.

How long have you been playing golf?

I've played since I was 4. I hit golf balls in my back yard. My dad used to play all the time and my grandfather loves the game. It's in my family. He cut down a club and put a grip on it so I could swing.

What's the best round you've ever shot?

My best nine-hole score was a 34 at New Castle. My best 18-hole score was a 71.

What are your plans for college?

I'd like to go to Pitt. I'd like to be a doctor. I've also looked at St. Vincent and Allegheny. I haven't decided about playing golf though. I want to go to medical school, and I really have to focus as an undergrad to get in. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I can devote enough time to both golf and studying.

If you could play any course in the world, where would you play?

I'd play at Augusta National because it's the most prestigious golf course in the world by far.

Against what golfer?

I think I would have to play Tiger Woods, even though he's controversial. I grew up watching him win. He's the biggest competitor in the world.

Who do you look up to most?

My parents. They adopted me from Russia when I was five months old. They came over to Rostov right after the Cold War ended. My Russian passport says Soviet Union. If they hadn't adopted me when they did, I would have gotten sick from the water, and in a few more months I probably would have died and wouldn't have had the chance to come here. I'm very lucky.

— Robert Stinner

Callie Frey

School: Mt. Lebanon

Class: Junior

Sport: Tennis

Claim to fame: Frey defeated Upper St. Clair senior Megan Adamo, 6-2, 6-0, to win the WPIAL Class AAA singles tennis title Friday on the courts at North Allegheny. This was Frey's third win against Adamo, who also is a practice partner and close friend. Frey advances to the PIAA Class AAA singles tournament Nov. 2-3 at Hershey Racquet Club in Hershey.

“I thought I played pretty well,” Frey said. “I'm just happy I made it this far.”

What was it like to face a close friend in such a pivotal match?

It wasn't bad. We have faced each other three times this season. We just have a good time when we are competing against each other.

What will you be working on to get ready for the state tournament?

I will be practicing a lot and doing what I usually do and hit. I will get ready for it.

What tennis player do you try to model your game after and why?

Roger Federer. Whenever he plays, he is humble and very sportsmanlike. When I play, I'm very calm just like Roger.

If you had a chance to meet someone famous, who would it be and why?

I guess it would be Roger (Federer). It would be neat to meet him.

What do you like to do during your free time?

I like to hang out with my friends and do community service for my school. Besides that, I just practice to get better at tennis.

— Andrew John

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