Daily News spotlight athletes: Thomas Jefferson's Keith Miller, Elizabeth Forward's Allison Pastore
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School: Thomas Jefferson
Claim to fame: Miller advanced to the WPIAL semifinals by shooting an 80 during a section qualifier at Youghiogheny Country Club. He then shot 75 at the WPIAL semifinals at Cranberry Highlands. The junior just missed the cut for the PIAA Western Regional with a 79 last week at the WPIAL Class AAA championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
How did you get started playing golf?
I started when I was around 10 years old. My brother was really into hockey, so I tried that. I didn't really like it. Then my mom bought me a set of golf clubs, and I just took to it. I really liked it. I like how you have to have patience. You can't be perfect. I just picked it up quick. I really enjoy it. It's a fun sport.
What is the best round you've ever shot?
The best round I've shot was 70 at our team tryouts at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon.
Are you happy with how you played this season?
Yes, but there's always room for improvement. It started off well at tryouts, and then it got slow in midseason. I got my game back at the end of the season and put together a couple of good rounds, but I just fell a little short.
If you could play any course in the world, where would it be?
I would have to say Pebble Beach. It just seems like such an amazing view, and you get to play where all of these incredible golfers have played.
Who is your favorite golfer?
I like Rory McIlroy and Jason Dufner. I like McIlroy because of the way he plays the game and the way he handles himself. I like Dufner because he plays the game how I think it should be played: straight down the middle, on the green and make the putt.
Does your strategy change for each course or hole?
My game plan stays the same: hit the fairway off the tee, hit the green on the second shot and make the putt. I approach every hole the same way.
What's your favorite course around here?
I really liked Fox Chapel Golf Club because the course layout was well-designed. It was a good test.
What were the goals for this season?
I wanted an overall average of around 37. I didn't get there, but I'll do it next year.
What's your favorite movie?
“Dumb and Dumber.” I just like to laugh, and I like funny movies.
What's your favorite school subject?
Well, I want to be an architect, and I take a bunch of architecture classes, so I would say my drafting classes.
School: Elizabeth Forward
Claim to fame: Pastore leads Elizabeth Forward with a career-high 12 goals and seven assists this season and has helped the Warriors to an 11-3 overall record and a 9-2 mark in Section 4-AA. The junior scored the only goal in a tough loss to section rival South Park on Oct. 1 and added two more in a 5-1 rout of West Mifflin on Monday. “At the beginning of the year, we were definitely relying on her to be one of our biggest offensive threats,” coach Brandon Gerba said. “In ninth grade she had an ankle injury, and last year our offense was spread around evenly. This year, we wanted her to really open other people's eyes. She's always where the action is. When the ball is in front of the goal, and we need a shot we can count on her to take it.”
Did you make scoring more a goal for this season?
It wasn't necessarily something I planned. I will do whatever it takes to contribute. If there was another way for me to contribute, I would do it.
When did you start playing soccer?
I started playing when I was 5 years old. My parents put my sister in at a young age. I went to a lot of her games, and when I saw her playing it got me interested.
Do you have a favorite soccer player or team?
I love to watch the U.S. women's national team. I really look up to the goalkeeper, Hope Solo. I just see a lot of leadership from her. Being the goalie, there's a lot of pressure on her. I just like how she maintains herself and keeps the team organized from the back. That's very important.
To what do you attribute the success of the team this season?
I just think we have a lot of well-rounded players that contribute in different ways to make a well-rounded team. No one has been selfish this season. We all look to set people up, and we all play together as a team and that's really important. No one is selfish with the ball.
Any idea what you want to do in college?
I would love to play sports, but education is something that is very important to me. I hope to get a scholarship for education or sports. I want to focus on my schoolwork a lot and hopefully have a good career. I want to do engineering. I'm not sure what type yet though.
What's your favorite place to vacation?
I love to go to the beach, so Florida.
What do you like to do outside of school and soccer?
I like to hang out with my friends, obviously. I like to watch other sports and be supportive of our teams here. I go to football and basketball games and volleyball, as well. I stay up to date with everything and am really supportive.
Is soccer the only sport you play?
I also play basketball.
Which do you like better?
It's always a tough question. I love both, and I could never choose between the two. I love being outside when I play soccer and being out in the open and just having the chance to feel free. When I play basketball, it's more fast paced. I like how it's a smaller area and more compact.
— Robert Stinner
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