Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Joey DeFloria, Ligonier Valley's Maddie Grimm
Claim to fame: DeFloria, who finished the season with a .338 batting average with two home runs, 24 runs, 19 RBI and 17 stolen bases, drove in three runs to help Hempfield (20-5) defeat Pine-Richland, 9-2, in the WPIAL Class AAAA third-place game on May 29. At the WPIAL showcase, DeFloria finished with the top 60-yard dash (6.40 seconds) and had the hardest throw from the outfield (90 mph).
“Overall, I felt like I played well. I honestly thought I would have a better year than last,” DeFloria said. “However, it's awesome to get your team to the playoffs and all the individual success goes out the window.”
What was the most memorable moment from this season?
I would say the Pine-Richland game. As a team, we played well under pressure. It was a game where you win you move onto the state playoffs or lose and we go home. That basically spotlights our year.
Do you think you guys have a realistic shot to get back to states and possibly go further next year?
Oh yeah, for sure. We are going to graduate a lot of seniors but we have a lot of experienced juniors and underclassmen coming back. It's very doable and I think everyone knows that.
What will you be working during the offseason?
I think every aspect of my game can improve. I want to become a better disciplined hitter and have to ability to hit to all fields and the offspeed pitches, since that's what I was getting all season.
How was your experience at the WPIAL showcase?
Overall, it's a great time to be around other top juniors in the WPIAL. It's a long day but it's fun to meet new people.
What motto do you live by?
During the baseball season, I would say just take it one pitch at a time. You just have to look at baseball that way because anything can happen at any pitch.
School: Ligonier Valley
Claim to fame: Grimm, a Kent State recruit, went 2 for 2 with a double, a home run and two runs scored to lead Ligonier Valley (17-5) in an 8-7 loss to Philipsburg-Osceola in the District 6 Class AA championship on May 29. Grimm hit a two-run homer to lead Ligonier Valley to a 6-5 win over Chestnut Ridge in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs on June 4.
What will be your major at Kent State?
I will be studying exercise science. I want to go into physical therapy. It's always appealed to me since I'm an athlete. I like how the muscles work, physical therapy and I just like healthy people.
Which sport do you like the most?
I feel like they are all different. Softball comes more natural to me and I feel like that is why I chose softball (for college).
How did you balance time playing three sports in high school?
The coaches were understanding with how much I had going on, which goes for anyone who is a multi-sport athlete. It definitely helps. I know my priorities and I try to keep them straight.
What top artist do you want to see in concert this summer?
I went to the Brad Paisley already. I want to go to the A Rocket to the Moon concert this summer. There's a bunch of country stars coming to Pittsburgh, but I don't know if I have time to see them all.
As you leave Ligonier Valley, what do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for being a good person. I know there are a lot of good athletes. I hope they see me as caring and a good leader. Just a lot of characteristics that come along with a good first impression.