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Valley News Dispatch spotlight athletes: St. Joseph's Dan Sullivan, Highlands' Bailey Clark

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St. Joseph junior Dan Sullivan sealed a recent win over Imani Christian with a 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
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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 D.j. Vasil
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, 1:01 a.m.
 

Dan Sullivan

Class: Junior

School: St. Joseph

Sport: Basketball

Report card: Known for his clutch shooting ability. Sullivan made a 3-pointer as time expired to send the Spartans into overtime against first-place Wilkinsburg. He also made a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to seal a win against Imani Christian.

How thrilling was it to hit the game-winning 3 to beat Imani Christian?

It was unreal. I wasn't really expecting to have the ball within the last couple of seconds. I was expecting Chris Gamble to have it. It was nice to hit it.

Five days later, you hit the big 3 and your team wins in triple-overtime against Wilkinsburg? Must have been crazy.

At first, I was celebrating like we won the game, but we had to go into overtime. We had to focus on the task at hand in beating Wilkinsburg.

Do you practice those late-game situations?

No, not really. It's always been a dream of mine to hit a last-second shot to win it or tie it. It just so happens I've made two of them.

You began the year coming off the bench. What was your mentality when the time came for you to start due to an injury?

I was thinking I need to step up because John Ferguson was a key part to our team. I needed to make sure I filled his role. I did my best and worked hard.

How did you get the nickname “Sully”?

I originally got the nickname when I was 4 weeks old. During my baptism, I was crying and the priest said, ‘Come on Sully, work with me here.' It stuck with me ever since.

Bailey Clark

Class: Senior

School: Highlands

Sport: Cheerleading

Report card: Clark is the captain of the Highlands cheer team (3-0), which won the WPIAL Class AA Competitive Spirit title and qualified for the Pennsylvania State Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Hershey. She also competes on the Highlands softball and track teams.

What do like doing more, throwing a teammate in the air or catching her?

I like throwing better because takes more out of you.

Tell me about your pet pig?

My dad went to a breeder in Slippery Rock, and he told me to come over to his house because he needed help cutting the grass and he had the pig hidden. It was a big surprise. I have a leash and collar for it. Her name is Lulu. She's potty trained and lives in the house. She's really smart.

You're a very outspoken person. How do you think that works to your advantage given the nature of cheerleading?

I'm the captain this year so I guess it's better I'm outspoken. Sometimes it gets me into trouble and I'll yell at them sometimes.

How do you find the time to do your sports and your school work?

I'm in the National Honor Society, too. I run every night, and then softball and cheerleading I switch up, where some days I'll go to softball after cheerleading. I'll do school work when I get home. Homework isn't that bad. I'll take it to competitions, or do it on the bus.

Any plans for after high school?

I don't know where I'm going to college. It will probably be Penn State or Robert Morris. I want to go for nursing and do cheerleading in college.

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