Valley News Dispatch spotlight athletes: Knoch's Marc Vaughan, Ford City's Courtney Batiz
Report card: Vaughan led the playoff-bound Knights (11-11, 6-6) in scoring this past season with 11.9 points per game. He was co-recipient of the Karen Shoop award, along with senior Dakota Bruggeman.
What was your reaction when you received the Karen Shoop award at the last home game?
It was definitely a great honor. I'm happy to share it with Dakota. He's a great teammate of mine.
How does playing in Section 1-AAA prepare you for the playoffs?
I think we've played the best teams we could see in the playoffs. Now, we just have to get better and beat those teams.
What is the team's mindset with the playoffs a few days away?
We're all excited. From the first open gym to now, we wanted to make the playoffs.
What is the student hangout spot?
We just got a new pizza place, The Bistro. I haven't been there yet.
— Dave Yohe
School: Ford City
Report card: Batiz won the gold medal in the floor exercise and a silver medal on the bars in the Diamond Division at the WPIAL Gymnastics Championships on Feb. 9.
How hard is the training for being a gymnast?
It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of hard work on the body and it's a lot of pressure.
What went through your head when you learned you won medals at WPIALs?
I was really excited. The previous years I won on beam and bars, and this year I won on floor. It was really nice to win on floor this year.
While performing, does the thought of getting injured linger in your mind?
It used to, but I've gotten used to it. I just block it out and try to do the best on every event. Sometimes with my knee, since I've had two anterior crucial ligament (ACL) surgeries, I worry about my knee.
Are there plans to do gymnastics in college?
I got accepted to West Virginia University and they have a gymnastics team, but I'm not positive I'm going to go there.
What will you miss the most about high school?
Definitely would be working with my teammates and being with all my friends. Also, all the support I've had.
— D.J. Vasil