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Leader Times Q&A: Leechburg's Alex Sipolino

Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Leechburg quarterback Alex Sipolino is sacked by Apollo-Ridge linebacker Ben Gemballa in the first quarter on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Owens Grove Field in Apollo.

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Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

After five weeks of slow going, the Leechburg offense is finally on a roll.

The Blue Devils scored 66 points in the last two games — after scoring 59 in the first five — to put together the school's first back-to-back wins since 2010 by topping Northgate and Riverview.

Senior quarterback Alex Sipolino has been Leechburg's signal caller this season, and whether it has been handing off to the productive running back tandem of Alex Kalmar and Kris Smith or taking to the air with an improving passing attack, Sipolino has helped Leechburg get the ball moving.

Sipolino's passing totals are modest, with 296 yards and three touchdowns on the year, but he's also made an impact on the defensive side of the ball with 45 tackles and four interceptions as a defensive back.

Most importantly, he's helped the Blue Devils have a Week 8 game that is meaningful to the playoff race at West Shamokin on Friday.

Q: How good does it feel to be on a winning streak?

A: It feels great, to be honest. We didn't get off to the start we wanted, but the coaches kept telling us not to get down. Now, we're looking to continue the momentum.

Q: What has changed to get the offense clicking?

A: Our coaches have really worked with the line, and they've been going hard every day in practice. They've been doing a lot more mentally and with their technique, and they're getting the job done.

Q: Has your play personally improved?

A: Starting against Northgate, I was getting more comfortable throwing the ball. It's my first year starting at quarterback, so I think getting the experience has helped me improve a little bit.

Q: You've made plays on both sides, but do you prefer offense or defense?

A: I do like being the quarterback and running the show, so I'd probably say offense. It feels good to complete passes and throw for touchdowns. Interceptions on defense are good, but it doesn't compare.

Q: Though it's a long shot, does it feel good to still be alive for the playoffs?

A: That's a great feeling. Last year, we had a close game with Riverview but lost, and we were out of it. Now, it feels like we're setting things up for next year by not quitting at the end of the year.

Q: When you see West Shamokin's turnaround, do you think Leechburg can do the same?

A: It's a little different because we're smaller, and they were in Double-A and dropped down. But we're working with the younger generation of guys and trying to get more of them in the weight room and coming out for the team.

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