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Butler County spotlight athletes: Feb. 9, 2014

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'American Coyotes' Series

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.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Troy Double

School: Butler

Year: Senior

Sport: Hockey

Claim to fame: Double is the captain of the Butler hockey team. He hopes to lead the team back to the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AAA playoffs.

It seems like Class AAA has a lot of balance. Have you noticed that?

It's really tough this year. There are a great bunch of teams all around Triple-A this year. There aren't just a couple of good teams, like last year. Overall, the division is balanced and every team wants the same goal, and that's the Penguins Cup.

Butler made the playoffs last year for the first time in a while. Have you noticed teams not taking you lightly this season?

Last year was our makeup year. It was a big confidence boost for us going into this year. We knew had to keep working hard, though.

How great of an honor is it to be named team captain by your peers?

I take it really seriously. I don't just try to lead by example on the ice. I take it off the ice as well. I try to be a good student in school and just a good person overall.

You were injured earlier in the year. How are you feeling now?

I took a shot to the knee. I am still not 100 percent yet, but I am feeling good. I've been rehabbing it. As soon as I got my strength back, I got back on the ice.”

Lexus Lambert

School: Seneca Valley

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Basketball

Claim to fame: Lambert helped Seneca Valley beat North Hills to clinch the program's first WPIAL Class AAAA playoff berth in six seasons.

How great was that win against North Hills?

I was honestly speechless after the game. I knew going into the game that this game could give us a chance to do something the Seneca Valley girls team hadn't done in six years. Getting that win shows us how everybody came together. Making the playoffs means the world to me and everyone on the team.

How special is it to be a part of the team that got back into the playoffs?

It feels awesome. Last year, we didn't get as far as we wanted to. Coming back with a new attitude, it makes even more special. I think it definitely helps us and lets us know we can be one of the best teams and go far. We just need to push ourselves like we did this year.

You put together two other strong section wins leading up to the North Hills game. Do you think the team is starting to peak?

At the beginning of the season, it took us a while to come together and click. Once the season started and we got into practice and got a feel for each other, everything started to click and we realized this could be the year we broke the streak. As we started to win, we believed.

With only three seniors, Seneca Valley is a pretty young team. How much do you think getting to the playoffs will help you?

I think it'll definitely help since we are such a young team. We get to experience how hard playoffs are and how hard you have to work to get there. I think it'll help us because we know what we have to do to get there. Maybe that gives us an advantage being such a young team.

— Joe Sager

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