Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Belle Vernon's Jessica Slagus, Kiski Area's Mike Simmons
TribLIVE Sports Videos
School: Kiski Area
Claim to fame: Simmons scored 27 points to lead Kiski Area (13-4, 7-2) to a 63-23 win over Albert Gallatin in Section 1-AAAA action Saturday. Simmons scored 12 points in a 52-49 win over Norwin on Jan. 22 and finished with 16 points in a 61-51 win over Latrobe on Jan. 18.
“I feel like I have done pretty well,” Simmons said. “The upperclassmen and the coaches have been helping me out. They have been able to find me when I'm open to score.”
The team got off to a slow start in section play, but now you have won seven straight. What has been the main reason for the turnaround?
I think we have pulled together as a team. We have been living up to the saying on our warmups: “Teamwork makes dreamwork.” We have gotten a lot of leadership from our seniors.
What does the team need to do to make a deep run in the playoffs?
We just need to keep doing what we are doing. I hope we make a run at the WPIAL title.
What does the team need to do to win against Hempfield down the road?
They are tough team. If we play tough defense and we stick together as a team, we have a good chance to win.
Who is your role model, and why?
My dad. He pushes me to be a better player. He helps me with my form and technique. He gives me the confidence to go out and play my best.
What is one thing people might not know about you?
I like to sing, but I'm not really good. Whatever comes on, I'll start singing.
School: Belle Vernon
Claim to fame: Slagus, who is averaging 20.3 points and 14 rebounds, scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds and went over 1,000 points for her career as Belle Vernon (12-4, 6-2) captured a 64-17 Section 4-AAA victory Jan. 24. Slagus, who has recorded 16 straight double-doubles, also recently grabbed her 750th rebound for her career.
“I think we have had a really dynamic season,” Slagus said. “We have really improved as a team from the beginning of the season. We have had a lot of camaraderie this season.”
What are your college plans for next year?
The schools I was interested in, I have been accepted into. I will see which place would be best financially. I hope to play basketball in college. I'm looking into nursing and biology. I'm not sure which one yet, though. I have been fascinated by the medical field, and helping people is a bonus.
You have a younger sister, Kaitlyn, on the team. Are you guys very competitive with each other?
I wouldn't say we are competitive. We just push each other to do better. We have someone we can go to when we don't want to talk to our parents after a game.
What does the team need to do to defeat Elizabeth Forward later in the season?
I think we need to go out there and execute our game plan. We need to help each other out and not play individually. I think we will come out with the victory if we do that.
Last year, the team finished 12-12. What has been the main reason for the success this year?
I think we are more focused this year. I think we are on the same page in wanting a successful season, and it pushes us and makes us work harder. Our coach has a big part in it. Last year, it was her first year with the team. She didn't know the team as well as she does now. We are a lot closer with her this year.
What do you like to do during your free time?
I like to go skiing and snowboarding. It's just something fun to do. It allows my mind to get off basketball and school.
— Andrew John
Show commenting policy
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.
- Penguins forwards struggle in loss to Avalanche
- Starkey: In defense of Mel Kiper Jr.
- Agent: Polamalu undecided whether to play in 2015
- Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina
- Wolf’s Pa. budget plan seen as having almost no chance
- Fire-damaged home causes concern in West Elizabeth
- Mt. Lebanon deer-culling corrals sprayed with urine, repellant
- McKeesport council awards bids for traffic signal upgrades
- State grant to fund teacher training at Steel Valley school
- Dermatologist led UPMC residency program
- West Mifflin dog blamed in toddler’s death set to be euthanized