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Trib HS Insider Q&A: Kittanning's Mitch Pirhalla

| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 1:16 a.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Kittanning's Mitchell Pirhalla (12) breaks up a pass intended for Valley's D'Andre Johnson (3) on a fourth down in the end zone during their game at Valley Memorial Stadium in New Kensington on Friday, October 19, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

For much of his life, Mitch Pirhalla has bounced back and forth between the Kiski Area School District and Kittanning.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, Pirhalla (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) settled in at the latter location for the final two years of high school. He started in basketball and baseball as a junior, and he became a valuable addition to the football team this fall.

The senior starts at wide receiver and safety. He's one of several weapons in Kittanning's spread offense, but among the Wildcats, he's particularly adept at finding the end zone, as he has 11 receptions for 171 yards and six touchdowns.

With six scores, he leads all receivers and ties quarterback Kevin Barnes and running back Zac Croyle for the team lead.

Q: Did you intend to play football as a junior?

A: I actually was going to play football, but in the summer, I broke my tibia, and that's why I was not able to play.

Q: Did you play football when you were at Kiski?

A: Yeah, I've pretty much played since I was 7 years old.

Q: What's the secret to your catch-to-touchdown ratio?

A: I don't know. It seems like they go my way sometimes when they want touchdowns because we have some plays designed just for touchdowns. It works out that I score when I get the ball.

Q: How would you describe your playing style?

A: I'm not the kind of person who wants to get the ball every time. I'm glad to block out there and everything. But I like to score, too.

Q: You're one of several tall, athletic wide receivers. Between you, Sterling Henry, Vince Mead and Nick Bowers, who's the most athletic?

A: I'd have to say Sterling (Henry) is probably the most athletic of us.

Q: Where do you rank?

A: I'm probably second, right under him.

Q: Where do your three sports rank in your preferences?

A: That's a hard decision. I probably like basketball and baseball about the same. And then football floats right under them.

Q: How does life at Kiski compare to life at Kittanning?

A: It's a lot different there because their school is a lot bigger. The class schedule is a lot different there, and they have two cafeterias.

Q: Which setting do you prefer: the big school or the smaller one?

A: I like the smaller school. You get to know a lot more people, and you're closer to people around here.

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