Daily News spotlight athletes: South Allegheny's Jake Thieret, Audra Lewis
School: South Allegheny
Claim to fame: Thieret scored two goals and added three assists to lead the Gladiators (2-0) to a 5-2, nonsection win against visiting Riverview (0-3). After scoring 18 goals as a junior, Thieret is looking to lead the Gladiators to a Section 1-A title.
“Jake is a very strong and a very fast player,” South Allegheny coach Dean Vickers said. “He's one of our captains and is very versatile. He typically plays as a striker, but he can also play out on the wing. Really, he can play anywhere we need him to. He's one of eight returning starters, so I think he and the team are going to do very well this season.”
The team came in third in the section last year. Are you eyeing a section title?
Last year, the goal was to make it to the playoffs and we achieved that. That's something South Allegheny hadn't done in 11 years. This year, we set the bar a little higher. The goal is to win the section, certainly. We have a lot of chemistry. We have eight returning starters and all eight of our defenders are back so that helps a lot. We had a very good camp as well. We're trying to win the section and make a deep run in the playoffs.
What goals have you set for yourself this season?
I want to help my teammates as much as I can. It's my senior year, and I want to help the underclassmen become better players. That's what I want to leave behind with the school. I love seeing my teammates improve. As a captain that's something I'd like to do. I don't have any specific individual goals, just a lot of team goals.
What section rival will be your toughest opponent?
Last year, we had a lot of trouble with Serra, so we know they're going to be tough again this year. Greensburg Central Catholic is always tough. We tied for third with Winchester Thurston last year, as well. Every team in the section is going to be a challenge. We can't take anyone lightly.
If you could recruit one player to join your team, who would it be?
I'd have to pick Xavi Hernandez from Barcelona. I'm a Barcelona fan and he is a great leader. His vision is incredible and his passing and control in the middle of the field is ridiculous. His touch on the ball is something every player should try to master.
— Robert Stinner
School: South Allegheny
Claim to fame: Lewis scored a hat trick for the Gladiators in a 12-0 win at Monessen in their Section 2-A opener on Sept. 4. She also scored a goal in Saturday's game against Beaver and on Monday in a match against Chartiers-Houston. Lewis kicked a 31-yard field goal Aug. 31 for the football team in its 31-3 loss to Seton-La Salle in the season opener and had two extra points Friday in a 41-20 loss to Quaker Valley.
What is it like to be a multisport athlete during the same season?
It's really interesting because I love playing soccer. I really like being on the football team because it's new and different and I like to try new things.
What was going through your head when you lined up for that field goal?
I was super nervous. When the ball went in, I had the biggest smile. I was so surprised. The crowd's reaction was crazy.
Have you picked a college?
I'm leaning toward Point Park University. Nothing is finalized, yet, but that is where I want to go.
Do you have a major in mind?
I'm going to major in either public relations or psychology. With psychology, I feel like I could help a lot of people. With public relations, I would be able to interact with people through advertising.
One thing people may not know about you is...?
I like to dress up like a girl. I like high heels, dresses and skirts. That's surprising because at school, I'm always in a T-shirt, so it shocks people when I'm dressed up.