Alle-Kiski spotlight athletes: Freeport's Josh Beale, Apollo-Ridge's Ashley Emminger
Report card: As a sophomore and returning starter, Beale was the MVP of the St. Joseph Tipoff Tournament. Through three games, he is averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Yellowjackets (2-1). Formally a three-sport athlete he has decided to give up football and focus on basketball and baseball.
How did it feel to be named MVP of the St. Joseph Tournament as a sophomore?
I feel like it's a great foundation for things that I'd like to accomplish in my athletic career. It's a good base, and something to work off of and improve upon as I continue the season.
What can everyone expect to see from you as a player this year?
A player that looks to get teammates involved and do whatever it takes to win. Also one that makes smart decisions and is physical.
What's the mentality of the team heading into this season?
I think one of the things about our team this year is we've worked hard and we've lost four out of five starters from last year. It leaves a lot of room for other players to step up and other players have stepped up in roles we need. I'd say our goal is to make the playoffs.
What's something most people don't know about you?
I pride myself in helping others around the school and looking out for people that don't have anyone for them to be protected by.
Report card: A team captain and returning starter from last year, Emminger has played a pivotal role in the success of Apollo-Ridge (4-0) to start the season. She leads the team in scoring at 14 points a game. She was named the MVP of the Springdale Tipoff Tournament which was won by Apollo-Ridge.
Is winning the MVP in the tipoff tournament a sign of things to come for you this year?
Yeah, that's just one of the things that I hope to contribute to the team. We got one goal down, which was to win the tournament, and we have three more team goals for the rest of the season.
And those goals are?
To win the Apollo-Ridge Christmas Tournament, to qualify for playoffs and to win the section championship.
What should fans look for out of Apollo-Ridge this year?
They should look for us to make a comeback. Apollo-Ridge used to always win the section and be a playoff contender. This year we will look to get back into that role with our new coach (Jim Callipare).
Is there any pressure to be the team's leader offensively this year?
There's a lot of pressure and sometimes you have to block it out and use your pregame mentality and block it out before the game.
Your Section 1-AA home opener is against Burrell. Will that be a statement game for the team?
Yes, it will be our biggest game and challenge. We will come prepared for what we were practicing for all summer. It will take good defense and teamwork.