Hempfield's Adams, Ligonier Valley's Grimm named Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the year
By Paul Schofield
Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013, 11:06 p.m.
Hempfield's Max Adams and Ligonier Valley's Maddy Grimm have been selected as this year's Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the year.
Hempfield · Senior · Football/Track & Field
For Hempfield rising senior Max Adams, a first-team all-Quad East defensive tackle, football is fun.
But track and field has become his passion.
As a junior, Adams won the WPIAL Class AAA outdoor discus championship and expressed disappointment at not claiming the PIAA title, instead finishing fourth.
“I should have won this year. I could have won the year before,” Adams said. “Sounds like a broken record, but I choked.”
No matter, Adams has been named the Tribune-Review Male Athlete of the Year for 2013.
“Max is a very explosive defensive lineman,” Hempfield football coach Rich Bowen said. “He can be in football as good as he wants to be. When he wants, he can't be blocked. He's very physical.”
The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Adams, a fourth-place finisher in the PIAA indoor shot put, holds the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association Track and Field Championships record in the discus with a distance of 191 feet. He recently finished 10th in the shot put at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.
“He has the potential of being the best discus thrower in state history,” Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray said. “He's the total package, and Division I schools are looking at him.”
Among those interested, Murray said, are Akron, Louisville, Penn State, Pitt and Wake Forest.
What has been your most memorable sports moment?
In my freshman year, I placed fourth in the discus in states, and that was after I was hurt for the majority of training. To do that at states was really good.
Which sports do you plan on playing in college?
I'm planning on going for track mainly because I'm getting more looks by big schools. I'm going to continue to play football in my senior year of high school because my friends want me to play and I enjoy it. But one of my biggest fears going into the season is getting injured and not being able to participate in track.
How do you feel about your chances of winning a state title in track and field next season?
I don't want to come out sounding cocky, but I have to be more confident in myself. I have a very, very good chance of winning the discus. I should be able to break the state record. I don't really know about the shot put because I didn't qualify for outdoors this year, and I don't really know what juniors were good.
You've already participated in a track event. What else do you plan on doing this summer?
I'll work for Coach Murray a little bit. He's building his own house. I owe him a lot and if he needs me to help, I'll help him. I'll do some training for football, and track a little bit, too, and I'll probably just go in my pool. I already went to Cedar Point (an Ohio amusement park) with one of my friends last week.
The Pirates haven't given your generation much to cheer about, but they entered the weekend tied for the best record in Major League Baseball. What do you think about that?
It's definitely exciting. I've never been much of a baseball fanatic, though, because I never was really good at it. But I love going to games, and I like when all our city teams do well.
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
I'd love to trade places with Arnold Schwarzenegger back when he was a bodybuilder. If I wasn't doing track or football I'd definitely be a bodybuilder or powerlifter.
Ligonier Valley · Sr · Soccer/Football/Basketball/Softball
Maddy Grimm sure left her athletic mark at Ligonier Valley High School.
The most decorated female athlete in school history, she starred in four sports for the Rams.
For her accomplishments, Grimm is the Tribune-Review's Female Athlete of the Year for the third straight year.
She was the school's all-time leading goal scorer in soccer with 112 and had a school-record 46 goals her senior season.
She scored more than 1,000 points in her basketball career and set a school record with 93 points as a kicker on the football team.
Grimm, who will play softball at Kent State, batted .585, scored 32 runs, had seven home runs and 25 RBI this spring for the Rams, who went on to finish second to Philipsburg-Osceola in the PIAA Class AA tournament.
“We are excited to have Maddy join our program as she is an athlete that will make an immediate impact in various phases of the game,” Kent State coach Karen Linder said. “As a shortstop, she has great range and a strong arm. As a hitter, she has tremendous power. And as an athlete, she is a fierce competitor.”
She also was an outstanding student, finishing eighth in her class with a 3.99 grade-point average.
Grimm also won the 2013 Judge John J. Driscoll Westmoreland County Excellence Award and was on the homecoming court.
You were a four-sport athlete in high school. In college, however, you're only playing one sport. What will be different?
I don't know. It's going to be interesting to see how things work out now that I will have more time to focus on one sport. I'll have to keep busy.
Your friends would be surprised to know what song(s) are on your iPod?
I like to listen to anything by Demi Lovato. I like her personality and what she stands for. She's a strong figure-head.
What's something else you do outside of sports that would surprise your friends?
When I'm in the mood, I like to write song lyrics and poems. I can't play any instrument though.
Now that you have time, if you wanted to learn how to play an instrument, what would it be?
The guitar is it. I think it's something that I could learn.
What is something fun you have planned for the summer?
My neighbor and I are planning a 72-mile bike ride. We've ridden the trail at Ohiopyle, and we're training for the longer rides. I also like to hike, swim and do things outside.
What will you remember most about your hometown and high school?
The people are close-knit. There is a strong foundation here and everyone will always be supportive of you.
What excites you about Kent State?
The success they've had and the other girls in my recruiting class. All of us had outstanding high school careers and all are good athletes.
What is your favorite high school moment?
It goes back to my freshman season when I laid down a bunt in the District 6 championship to beat Claysburg-Kimmel. The other was my first extra-point my junior year against Northern Cambria.
Do you have any favorite athletes or teams you follow? What do you think about the Pirates?
I like all Pittsburgh teams. I don't have a favorite athlete, but I do enjoy watching football, hockey and basketball.
The top 12 tales told by the Tribune-Review during the 2012-13 school year:
The WPIAL completes a clean sweep at the PIAA girls soccer championships, as Peters Township wins its third straight PIAA title in Class AAA, while Moon wins the Class AA championship and Greensburg Central Catholic captures the Class A crown.
Seniors on the Clairton football team cement their legacy by winning a fourth straight PIAA Class A title and extending their nation-best winning streak to 63 games with a 20-0 victory over Dunmore at Hersheypark Stadium.
George Smith, who coached the McKeesport football team for 28 years before resigning three years ago, is rehired to lead the Tigers. Smith, 63, who won 197 games and two WPIAL and PIAA titles, is one of 22 new football coaches hired in the offseason.
Two of the WPIAL's most recognizable football coaches decide to move on from their positions on the same day, when longtime North Hills coach Jack McCurry retired after 35 seasons and Gateway's Terry Smith took an assistant coaching position at Temple.
Two of the nation's top high school football prospects — Clairton's Tyler Boyd and Central Valley's Robert Foster — sign letters of intent. Boyd stuck to his verbal commitment to Pitt after considering other offers, while Foster chose Alabama over the Panthers. In all, 19 WPIAL players sign with FBS schools.
For a second straight season, the New Castle boys basketball team wins a WPIAL championship with an undefeated record. The Red Hurricanes, who won the Class AAA title in 2011-12, defeated Hampton, 68-53, to win the Class AAAA title this year.
Seven wrestlers from the WPIAL claim PIAA Class AAA individual championships, including Connor Schram (126), Solomon Chishko (145) and Cody Wiercioch (170), who lead Canon-McMillan to its third straight team title.
Oakland Catholic swimmer Leah Smith, a Virginia recruit, upsets two-time defending champ Meaghan Raab of Hershey to win the PIAA 200 freestyle title and then breaks her own record in the 500 freestyle to win another title. Mars' Margaret Gruber, a Virginia Tech recruit, wins her fourth PIAA 100 butterfly title.
Bishop Canevin girls basketball claims its first PIAA championship by defeating York Catholic, 45-38, but it was a pair of wins earlier in the postseason that made headlines. The Crusaders ended an eight-game losing streak to rival Seton-La Salle with a victory in the WPIAL title game and then topped the Rebels again in the PIAA semifinals.
Vincentian football coach Tim Storino, who was punished for recruiting grade school players, has his WPIAL-issued suspension upheld by the PIAA at an appeals hearing. In another high-profile hearing, the PIAA reversed a WPIAL decision and ruled Lincoln Park basketball player Elijah Minnie, a transfer from Monessen, eligible.
Led by a gold medal in the 400-meter relay and six other top-six medalists, the Hempfield girls track team wins the PIAA Class AAA title in Shippensburg. Later, Ron Colland was named the Tri-State Track Coaches Association girls coach of the year.
The North Allegheny baseball team wins a WPIAL championship, becoming the school's eighth team to claim a district title for the 2012-13 school year. NA also won district titles in football, boys cross country, hockey, boys swimming, girls swimming, boys track and field and boys volleyball.
— Staff reports
Parade of champions
State titlists from the WPIAL during the 2012-13 school year.
Beaver Falls (AA)
South Park (AAA)
Bishop Canevin (AA)
Brendan Schink, Wilson
Christian Academy (individual)
Justyne Falbo, Hempfield (individual)
North Allegheny (AAAA)
Central Valley (AA)
Kelly Burak, Hopewell (Diamond)
Leah Hogle, Moon (Gold)
Erica Chuong, Upper St. Clair (Silver)
North Allegheny (AAA)
Upper St. Clair (AAA)
Greensburg Central Catholic (A)
Peters Township (AAA)
Butler (small varsity)
Zachary Buerger, North Allegheny (AAA, 500 freestyle, IM)
Peter Conzola, Freedom (AAA, 100 backstroke)
Drew Damich, Chartiers Valley (AA, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle)
Dominic Giordano, Pine-Richland (AAA, diving)
Margaret Gruber, Mars (AA, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly)
Maria Lohman, Chartiers Valley (AAA, diving)
Stelter McKenzie, Mohawk (AA, diving)
Leah Smith, Oakland Catholic (AAA, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle)
Peters Township (AAA)
Sara Komer/Abby Cummings, Peters Township (AAA doubles)
Boys track and field
Gateway (AAA, 400 relay)
Ethan Martin, Fox Chapel (AAA, 3,200)
Julius Rivera, Gateway (AAA, 100)
Tyler Murphy, Riverview (AA, 300 hurdles)
Girls track and field
Hempfield (AAA, 400 relay)
Brooke Mancuso, North Allegheny (AAA, pole vault)
Brianna Schwartz, Shaler (AAA, 1,600)
Kailyn Clancy, California (AA, shot put)
Emily Lelis, Springdale (AA, 300 hurdles)
Jenna Lucas, Fort Cherry (AA, javelin)
Alyssa Wise, Washington (AA, 100, 200)
North Allegheny (AAA)
Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (AAA, 106)
Sam Krivus, Hempfield (AAA, 120)
Connor Schram, Canon-McMillan (AAA, 126)
Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional (AAA, 132)
Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan (AAA, 145)
Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan (AAA, 170)
Jacob Hart, Hampton (AAA, 195)
George Phillippi, Derry (AA, 113)
Jason Nolf, Kittanning (AA, 132)
Dakota DesLauriers, Burrell (AA, 182)
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