Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Pine-Richland's Marcus Colella, Bethel Park's Jen Rimmel
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Claim to fame: A Williams College recruit, Colella is 3-0 with three complete-game shutouts, including victories over Mt. Lebanon and Shaler, and has posted a 0.45 earned-run average this year. A National Merit Finalist in the classroom, Colella also recorded a save against Seneca Valley. Colella founded the Wolfe PACK, a volunteer organization that pays tribute to his coach, Kurt Wolfe, who has been battling recent health issues.
You've been nearly unhittable this year. What are you doing differently than in years past?
I've hitting my spots a lot better with all three pitches. This year, we got a new dedicated pitching coach who's been working with the players more than we had in the past. That's helped me get in shape this season.
What's your best pitch?
I'd say my changeup. I throw a split-finger changeup. I can throw it for a strike, a strike out or a ground ball pitch.
How do you keep a balance between your studies and athletics?
I just try to be efficient with my time. I try to balance how much I need to get done on different days. If I know I have a test on Friday, I'll make sure I get my workouts in early in the week so I can study later in the week.
Talk about the Wolfe PACK organization that you've founded.
We started a group of baseball players to volunteer and give back to the community. We worked at summer tournaments and mentored youth players. We also had an equipment drive. One year we went to Puerto Rico and delivered it to the Clemente Foundation.
School: Bethel Park
Claim to fame: Rimmel went 5 for 6 with a home run and six RBI for the Black Hawks in their 22-14 win over Mt. Lebanon in a Section 4-AAAA game on April 17. Rimmel — an all-section selection as a sophomore — is batting .526 with 15 RBI to help the Black Hawks to a 6-4 record overall and in Section 4-AAAA, one game behind Baldwin for third place.
How happy are you with your offensive numbers this year?
This is definitely the best season I've had in my high school career. I've been hitting the ball well, which is good because I have a shoulder injury so I can't play the field. It's nice to make up for it with my hitting.
What's wrong with your shoulder?
It's just from throwing so much from the outfield. It popped and it's been sore. I did therapy and am cleared, but the coaches want me to take it easy.
Are you comfortable in your role as a designated hitter?
Yes, I'm basically ready to do whatever my team needs me to do.
Can Bethel Park make a push in the second half of the season?
I think we have the potential to. We're a tight knit group and hopefully we can make the playoffs and have a shot at WPIALs.
What is something people might not know about you?
Softball is what keeps me sane. It's what keeps me going. It's a good way to get away and clear my mind.
— Brian Graham
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