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Daily News Q&A: Thomas Jefferson's Dalton Dietrich

Ronald Vezzani Jr. I For the Tribune-Review
Thomas Jefferson's Dalton Dietrich heads out of bounds after catching a screen pass against Belle Vernon on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at Thomas Jefferson.

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Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

When Class AAA No. 2 Thomas Jefferson is facing third-and-long and needs a first down, the talented Jaguars possess multiple options to pull them through.

More times than not, senior wide receiver Dalton Dietrich gets the call.

Dietrich, at an unassuming 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, is averaging just over three catches per game but is clutch for run-oriented, defensive-minded Thomas Jefferson, leading the way with 23 receptions for 473 yards (20.3 average) and ranking third in scoring with seven touchdowns.

Thomas Jefferson, 7-0 overall, 6-0 in the Big Nine Conference and coming off a 35-0 victory over Belle Vernon, likely will need Dietrich's services more than ever in the team's final two regular-season games, including the finale against No. 3 West Mifflin on Oct. 25.

First up, though, is a date with Uniontown on Friday.

Q: Although you guys pitched your third shutout and stayed undefeated, what's the reaction when you hear coach (Bill Cherpak) isn't all that happy with the team's performance?

A: We're just so used to having everything perfect, but we weren't focused in that game. It's about practicing so much better than we had been. We'd been going through the motions. Hopefully, it'll be better for the rest of the games. I think we have what it takes to pull out wins.

Q: What's it like to work with a platoon quarterbacking situation with Christian Breisinger and Chase Winovich?

A: Both our quarterbacks are really good in everything they do. Chase is more of a running quarterback and Christian is usually the one who throws the most passes. It's a little predictable. They've both thrown to me, and I don't find it difficult to work with either of them.

Q: Who's been the biggest influence on you?

A: I'd have to say my parents. When I was about 5, I first played football. I didn't like it. I didn't like the coaches yelling at me. I wanted to quit, but my mom said I'd regret it. So I continued to play. I had a good year and the team did, too. It also happened to me after my freshman year. It was just taking so much time out of my summer, but again, my parents said I'd regret quitting. Now, I feel I've gotten so much better because they pushed me. I wouldn't be where I am without them.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: I want to go to college and get a degree. I want to major in either physical therapy or orthodontics. My mom works at a physical therapy company and I've had braces since seventh grade. I've just been around those things and became interested. I did my grad project on orthodontics last year. I don't know yet what I really want to do, but I'd like to stay close to home. If I get a scholarship in football, I'll take it.



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