Valley News Dispatch Spotlight Athletes: Plum's Dave Stonebraker, Freeport's Megan Sweeny
Report card: A center for the fast-starting Mustangs, Stonebraker has scored eight goals and five assists and is tied for the PIHL lead in points with teammate Joey Randazzo (14 points). He also plays for the Pittsburgh Predators amateur team where he has scored 24 points (14 goals,10 assists).
Did you ever think you would share the points lead with Randazzo?
Yeah, I actually thought we would both keep battling this year. We both completely push each other. I hope it would be the same way at the end of the season.
How big is the trust factor between you and Randazzo?
From like two or three years ago, we didn't work as much as we do now. We got a lot better of friends and got to work together more the last couple years. It's gotten a lot better the past couple of years.
Despite playing only three games this year, you already have eight goals. How many do you think you can score this season?
I don't really set a record for goals. It would be as many goals as I can, 30 or 40 maybe.
So there is a parody account of you on Twitter?
That is two of my friends that decided to run that. I had nothing to do with that. I have no connection to it. They do it to mess with me.
How does playing for the Pittsburgh Predators help you when playing for Plum?
When playing with the amateur team, you're playing against higher-level players. When you play against kids in amateurs, it's a different atmosphere because in high school you have players from different levels like AAA and AA.
Report card: Sweeny is a team captain and key outside hitter for the WPIAL-champion Yellowjackets. She sports a .250 hitting average along with a serving percentage of 96 percent. She is a versatile player who can play various spots on the court.
How did it feel to avenge your only regular-season loss to Knoch in the WPIAL semifinals?
It was pretty awesome. Last year, when we lost to Mars, we wanted to play them again and were looking so ahead to that and we lost to Ambridge. This year we knew we had to focus on one game at a time to get to Knoch. When we got there, it was a grudge match.
What would it mean to win a state title to cap your senior year?
I wouldn't even know how to describe it. Winning WPIALs was amazing, and if we were to win states I wouldn't have words to describe the feeling. It would be so amazing because Freeport hasn't done that before.
What's it going to take to win the state title?
I think we definitely have to play our game and focus on what we have to do, and if we make mistakes to just brush it off.
Now that you're in the state tournament, what's the intensity level like around the team during practice and heading into matches?
It's definitely a lot higher than it was in season. There's a lot more at stake. The underclassmen are stepping up and helping us get better because they want to come with us to the state finals. They want us to experience that because they know what that means to us.
How did you get the nickname “The Flying Hawaiian”?
That's been a nickname for a while now. My mother is from Hawaii, and when I started volleyball and people found out I was Hawaiian, and because I was an outside hitter I jump a lot, so they started calling me that. I'm only 5-4 1⁄2 and I have a nice vertical for my size.
Any plans college-wise with volleyball?
I've emailed a couple of coaches and had some responses. My major is very limited. I'm looking at Clarion and Pitt Bradford. I want to major in radiology.
— D.J. Vasil