Daily News spotlight athletes: McKeesport's Kevin Stalter, East Allegheny's Noreen Dodds

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Kevin Stalter

School: McKeesport

Year: Junior

Sport: Wrestling

Claim to fame: Stalter won the 120-pound weight class at this year's West Mifflin Holiday tournament, defeating Stephen Rouser of Richland in the finals.

“Kevin's biggest strength comes when he is on his feet,” coach Adam Alfer said. “He's very aggressive on his feet and has gotten a lot of really good takedowns and has excelled on his feet over the last few years. One of his biggest strengths is being able to take people down. He's also very good on top. I'm expecting another him to place in sections again and hopefully make it to WPIALs again this year. He has a great work ethic and is the leader of the team. The guys feed off of him.”

How does your strategy change from match to match?

I just go in focused. I try to think about practice and all the hard work I've put in, as well as all of the camps and practices I've have been going to.

What is the most challenging part of wrestling?

Just knowing what you want to do and getting ready and getting your mind set on what you want to go in there and do.

How do you prepare for the season?

We run a lot and do a lot of conditioning. It helps make sure you're as conditioned as you can be. It makes it easier for you to go out there for six minutes and go as hard as you can.

What's your favorite place to vacation?

My family usually goes to Mexico every year. I can't go this year because of wrestling. Wrestling is more important now than going on a family vacation.

What are your goals for this wrestling season?

My goal for this year is to break 20 wins; last year I got 19 so I want to break that. I want to place higher in sections than I did last year. And I want to place in the WPIALs this year.

Noreen Dodds

School: East Allegheny

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Dodds scored 14 points and collected seven steals to lead the Wildcats (0-2, 3-5) to a 37-33 victory over Yough in the championship game of the East Allegheny holiday tournament last weekend.

“Noreen bounces all over the court for us,” coach Mike Osiecki said. “We only had her for six games last year because she was a swimmer and the seasons conflicted. That kind of player is very important for us. She does anything our coaches ask of her and we have her for two more years. She plays big when we need it and she can bring the ball up the court as well. She rebounds a lot and is a real team player for us.”

What do you enjoy most about playing basketball?

I like my team and just having fun. That's the big thing about basketball. I enjoy doing it. It's something fun to do. It gets you out of the house.

How did you get into playing basketball?

I started playing in third grade and then stopped in seventh because soccer conflicted with basketball. This is the first year I'm doing basketball full time because it conflicted with swimming.

What do you do to prepare for each game?

I try to get in a positive mindset and get ready to do the best that I can and not worry about how good the other team is. I focus on our team in general.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I like country. Tim McGraw is one of my favorite singers. I like to hunt and be out in the wild and country makes me think of that stuff.

What's the last movie you saw and did you like it?

I saw ‘The Grudge Match' (this week) and it was great. It was just really funny.

Swimming or basketball?

I like basketball way more. That's why I quit swimming.

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