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Butler County spotlight athletes: April 13, 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, April 12, 2014, 6:18 p.m.
 

Ori Rinaman

School: Mars

Year: Junior

Sport: Track and field

Claim to fame: Rinaman swept the two sprints and two hurdles events in a meet against Knoch and is one of the Planets' top point-getters.

How has the Mars track and field team been able to get off to a good start?

We're all a good group of guys. We're all friends. We all work really hard at practice. No one takes a day off. It's good because everyone keeps everyone motivated and everyone is thinking positively.

Are you happy with where you are, individually, early in the season?

My times have dropped a lot since last year. My coach is really helping get my technique down. We're all working hard and trying to get better.

What do you like more — hurdles or sprints?

When it's a tough meet, I have to do the sprints. I love doing the hurdles. It's just different. It's different than running in a straight line; you have something to overcome. It takes a lot of work and technique.

How far do you think Mars can go as a team?

We're all hoping to make it to the WPIAL team championship. We have a couple of relay teams that should be competitive at the state level, too.

Bethany Hay

School: Knoch

Year: Senior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Hay started the season with a .526 batting average (10 for 19) through Knoch's first five games.

Knoch got off to a 3-2 start. What's been the key for your team so far?

Working together and staying focused is pretty much what we've been doing. In previous years, there has been a lot of team separation. We're practicing together and keeping each other up. We're just all working really hard.

You've started the season well at the plate. How have you been able to keep it going?

It's more of a timing thing. I am seeing the ball pretty well. The key with keeping it going is trying not to hit the ball over the fence when you do hit. I am just trying to make contact and get on base, which is what I am good at doing.

Your team went to Kentucky for three games the last weekend in March. How was that?

It was a good team bonding trip. We had a game on a Friday and it rained all day Saturday and then Sunday we played two games. The games were nice because we finally got outside to play. We stuck together and kept each other up. We went to the movies on that Saturday and went out to eat and then went bowling.

Are you hoping to play softball in college?

I am going to be playing softball at Bethany College in West Virginia. I took a visit there and fell in love with the campus immediately. Everybody there seemed really nice. I stayed down there with some of the softball girls and it was really fun, and I fit in well with them.

— Joe Sager

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