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Alle-Kiski Valley Spotlight athletes: Tom Lisowski and Savanna Steffan

- Deer Lakes' Tom Lisowski
Deer Lakes' Tom Lisowski
- Knoch's Savanna Steffen
Knoch's Savanna Steffen

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Dj Vasil
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 1:01 a.m.
 

Tom Lisowski

Class: Senior

School: Deer Lakes

Sport: Hockey

Report card: The senior forward is second in scoring for the Lancers (5-5) with 23 points, including a team-high 15 goals. He also has a team-high four power-play goals.

Is there something you have to wear for a game besides your normal gear?

I don't have much of a superstition, but I do always wear my necklace that I got for my 17th birthday. I always have that on.

How much of a shootout attempt or a breakaway attempt is mental skill?

I'd probably say 30 percent. It really depends on how the goalie reacts with whatever you do. If he's far out of the net, you can do a move, if he's back in the net, you just shoot.

What's the craziest trick shot you've ever tried, and did you score?

Just messing around in the shootouts in practice I have tried the 360 through-the-legs lacrosse-style shot. It's whenever you pull the puck through your legs so its behind, and you lay your stick on the top of the puck, and as you spin you pick the puck up on your stick and momentum keeps it there. Then you throw it at the net. Yes, I did score.

Have you ever blocked a shot that after you did you wish you wouldn't have?

It was my first year of pee-wee, so it was the first year we were allowed to take slap shots. The kids seemed huge to me, and one took a slap shot, and it hit me in the bottom of my shin. It left a huge bruise and still to this day, I have a small dent in my shin.

Savanna Steffan

Class: Senior

School: Knoch

Sport: Basketball

Report card: The 5-foot-10 forward leads Knoch in points (7.2), rebounds (6.3) and assists (1.5). She scored 10 points in Knoch's 38-31 win over Highlands that broke a 13-game, on-court losing streak.

What was the atmosphere like around the team when you defeated Highlands?

It was a very exhilarating feeling because we work hard during practice. We know we can do it, but it was good to finally prove to people that we can win instead of just saying we can do it.

Knoch girl's volleyball had a very successful season this year. How did you transition the the success to basketball?

You always try to stay positive because you know what it's like to have a good team, and you try to use that energy to feed off of and give to the other girls and not look at the negatives.

You're a very vocal player. Do you feel your teammates feed off what you say along with your mood and energy?

I hope that they do because if you're vocal it helps them to understand what's going on the court. I think it helps to motivate them, too.

If you could play one-on-one basketball with one person, who would it be and why?

I want to play my coach (Sean O'Donnell) because he's always telling us what to do. I want to know if he can do what he's telling us.

Any college plans yet, and will you play a sport?

I'm going to Gannon University for the occupational therapy program. It's a five-year master's program. I just plan on doing intramural sports.

—D.J. Vasil

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