Daily News spotlight athletes: Woodland Hills' Harry Randall, Elizabeth Forward's Hannah Saunders
By Robert Stinner
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 1:36 a.m.
School: Woodland Hills
Claim to fame: Randall rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown to lead the Wolverines (7-2, 7-1) to a 19-7 victory over Quad Central rival Penn Hills on Friday. Woodland Hills will face Pine-Richland at home in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs this Friday.
“Harry is an outstanding athlete,” coach George Novak said. “He started as a safety his sophomore year and played running back and defensive back his junior year before he got hurt. He showed great potential when he was in ninth grade as well. He returned kicks and developed through the season and worked to become both a passing and running threat.”
What do you enjoy most about playing football?
I enjoy being around my teammates, especially the seniors that I probably won't see again. I like playing under Coach Novak as well. I just love the Wolverines.
What does the team have to do to be successful in the playoffs?
We have to work hard at practice this week. It's more mental than physical. The physical part is on the field. Our linemen have to come together and pick up defenses more. I think we'll be good going into the playoffs.
What's your favorite football memory?
When we made it to Heinz Field even though I didn't play because I was hurt. It was good to see everybody that made it through the season healthy play. It was a good experience just being down there. We have to make it farther this year.
What are your plans forcollege?
Attending a four-year college, hopefully Division I, and just stay humble and be successful. I'm undecided on a major but I would like to start a business someday, so I would probably like to do business. I also really like sports, so maybe sports medicine.
Do you have a favorite football team or player?
My favorite football player of all-time is Barry Sanders. My favorite team right now is the Jets because my brother, Rontez Miles, plays for them. He's on the practice squad. But before that it was the Steelers.
School: Elizabeth Forward
Claim to fame: In 28 games this season, Saunders amassed 268 assists, averaging 9.5 a game. The senior setter helped lead the Warriors to a 3-1 opening-round win over Beaver in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.
“Hannah has been the glue to our team,” coach Lindsay Lesofsky said. “She is our captain and is dependable and reliable. She works hard in volleyball and in school. She gets along with all of the other players, and a lot of the younger players look up to her.”
Are you happy with your performance this year?
Overall, I'm definitely happy. It is my senior year, and it's mostly down to fine-tuning.
How does playing year-round help you?
It definitely helps a lot. I'm continuously playing. It gives me a chance to see what different hitters like and the different things they try to do. I can bring things I learn from my club team to my high school team, and vice versa.
What is the most challenging thing about being a setter?
I'd say just being involved in every play. As a setter you can't just think about your side of the court, you have to think about what the other side is doing. You have to take notice if the other side is blocking well and which hitters are hitting well.
What are your plans for college?
I'm going into engineering, but I'm not sure where yet. I definitely want to play volleyball. Carnegie Mellon is my top choice, but if I don't get in there, I've looked at Penn State Behrend, Seton Hill and Frostburg.
What will you miss most about EF volleyball at EF?
My class, because we've been together since seventh grade. I always look forward to playing with the same girls.
What is your favorite volleyball memory?
Probably from last year, when we beat Thomas Jefferson at home to tie them for the section championship.
— Robert Stinner
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