Share This Page

Apollo-Ridge senior hopes to go out in style at Cager Classic

| Friday, March 22, 2013, 1:36 a.m.
Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
Apollo-Ridge's Megan Bonelli (left) and Sarah Bonelli (right) battle for a rebound against Deer Lakes' Hope Schreiber earlier this season.
Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch
Apollo-Ridge's Sarah Bonelli (right) controls the ball against Burrell's Erika Finn during their game Monday January 7, 2013, at Burrell High School.

Sarah Bonelli never scored a goal against WPIAL or PIAA competition, but the argument can be made that she is one of the top soccer players in the Class of 2013.

Few can argue that she is the best girls soccer player ever to come out of Apollo-Ridge, where she goes to high school.

Apollo-Ridge does not have a soccer team, but that hasn't stopped Bonelli from earning a Division II scholarship.

Bonelli, a senior, has signed to continue her playing career at Lock Haven.

That means she will play one of her final scholastic basketball games Saturday in the 17th annual Cager Classic.

Bonelli will suit up for the East girls and, along with Josh Reynolds, will represent her school in the area's renowned postseason all-star event at Highlands High School.

“I think I am playing in the Indiana County all-star game, too,” Bonelli said. “It will be neat to play against players I haven't played against before. You hate the people you play against until you play with them.

“I am excited to play. It's a bonus. I want to go out and let it all out one last time.”

The 48 all-stars mostly are proficient in dribbling, passing and shooting, but Bonelli may be the only one who can pull off that trio in two sports.

Her parents, meantime, are adept from long range.

It's a wonder Bonelli has time to play basketball with the amount of traveling she does with her family for soccer.

“We go all over,” she said.

Last week, she played in a tournament in Virginia.

Bonelli plays for the Century United Cup travel team. A midfielder, she played on a state-title winning team in 2012.

Bonelli said there were drawbacks to not having a high-school team, but she never was short on soccer.

“Soccer was going on during the high school season,” she said. “During the (basketball) season, I was playing (soccer) two or three nights a week.”

It appears Lock Haven recruited her to help spark its offense.

“They said I had potential from left-outside,” said Bonelli, who signed with Lock Haven last month.

“I am left-footed, so they want me to play on the outside and score some goals.”

She also considered St. Francis (Pa.) and Marietta.

On the basketball court, Bonelli averaged eight points, three steals and 2.3 blocks this season.

Basketball has few similarities to soccer, but Bonelli said that running up and down the court helps her get into soccer shape.

One of her coaches thinks one sport helped with the other.

“I think soccer influenced her basketball style,” Apollo-Ridge basketball coach Desiree Syster said. “She was all hustle, all the time. She is very intense and wanted a leadership role on the team.”

She also will keep the two-sport trend going in the spring when she runs track — Apollo-Ridge has track and field.

Bonelli said she will run the mile and compete with the 3,200- and 1,600-meter relay teams.

Her sister, Megan, also plays Cup soccer, basketball and runs track.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.