Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Latrobe's Chris Johnson, Greensburg C.C.'s Olivia Binda

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Chris Johnson

School: Latrobe

Year: Senior

Sport: Hockey

Claim to fame: Johnson, who has 14 points this season, scored two goals and recorded four assists to lead Latrobe to a 9-1 win over Moon on Thursday. Johnson, who has eight goals this season, recorded a hat trick and had an assist in 9-4 win over Montour on Nov. 4.

“It's my senior year so I knew I needed to step up,” Johnson said. “I'm just doing my best to help my team win games.”

What are your college plans for next year?

Everything is still up in the air. I'm waiting to hear back from a few colleges. I'm just going to let it play out throughout the year. My No. 1 choice is Penn State. I'm looking at majoring in mining engineering and hopefully play some hockey there.

What do you think has been the key to the strong start so far?

I think our offense has stepped up. We have some freshmen scoring goals as well as the veterans. We just know our roles. We are just putting the puck in the back of the net.

What's your favorite movie of all-time?

“Miracle.” I think every hockey player loves that movie. I can relate to that and everyone as kids dream to make the Olympics. As a hockey player, you can relate to those steps on getting on the team on a certain level, such as the tryouts. I have watched it like 50 times. It never gets old.

With the spinal cord injury to Quaker Valley's Kevin Kenny, how do you continue to play hockey knowing the risks of the game?

I don't know him personally. I'm praying for him. You got to live life. It's part of the game and take it shift by shift. You just hope that everything works out for him. My thoughts and prayers go out to him, his family and his whole team.

What's the best thing about hockey?

Just being with the group of guys on the team. You just form a bond. I was just hanging out with the guys on an off weekend and having a good time. You just relate to each other. No matter how long you have played with guys, you know you are going to love them.

Olivia Binda

School: Greensburg Central Catholic

Year: Junior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Binda, who recorded eight shutouts this postseason, played a crucial role as Greensburg Central Catholic (21-2) defended its PIAA Class A title in a 2-1 win over Southern Columbia on Friday. On the road to the second state title, Binda, who played the season with a torn ACL in her left knee, shut out WPIAL Class A champion, Shady Side Academy, in a 2-0 win in the PIAA Class A semifinals Nov. 12.

“I thought I did pretty well, personally,” Binda said. “I knew I could improve throughout the season. I thought I did pretty well.”

When did you sustain the ACL injury in your left knee?

I tore my ACL on May 5 in the President's Cup Championship game at Slippery Rock.

How were you able to play? When will you have surgery and how long is the rehab?

It stressed me out a lot but I got through it. The rehab will be six to eight months. I will have surgery on Nov. 20.

How does it feel to repeat as state champions?

It felt awesome. It was just as good as last year's. I enjoyed this year's the most. We were more of a family than any other year.

How were you able to avenge the WPIAL finals loss to Shady Side?

That was a big game. I was so excited for that win. Everyone felt so good about winning. Everyone on the team played great that game.

What are your feelings on a possible three-peat?

I'm excited for next year. I'm really excited to reach the PIAAs again. We have a strong young team.

— Andrew John

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