Alle-Kiski Valley spotlight athletes: Deer Lakes' Dom Chiera, Apollo-Ridge's Reannah Martin
School: Deer Lakes
Report card: Chiera helped the Lancers reach the WPIAL Class AA semifinals for the second straight season. He is among the team leaders in RBIs and on-base percentage. As a pitcher he is 5-1, which includes a complete-game win against Chartiers-Houston in the first round.
Can you talk about your injury where you got hit by a line drive under your left eye while pitching?
I hung a changeup and I paid for it big time. I really couldn't react. It came back at me so fast it hit my glove and most of it hit my face. I thought I was going to be done for the rest of the season, it luckily missed my orbital bone and I ended up with a black eye.
Have you heard of the Japanese-originated “gyro ball” and if so have you ever tried to throw one?
I actually have; It's basically a floater. I wanted to see what it was just to see how someone would react to it. All of us pitchers have to experience that one time.
What would it mean to you to finish your baseball career at Deer Lakes by winning a WPIAL title?
It would mean the world. We've been working so hard for this and I've been playing with this group of kids for so long. We came so close last year.
You are constantly tweeting on Twitter. Why do you tweet so much?
I usually tweet about baseball games and asking for people to come out and support us. I have another account about the sports at Deer Lakes. Twitter is the new way of communicating.
Do you have any college plans yet?
I'm going to Slippery Rock to major in Exercise Science.
Sport: Track and field
Report card: The returning WPIAL champion in the pole vault, Martin placed fourth in the Class AA championships this season with a vault of 9 feet, 9 inches. She will compete in the PIAA Championships this weekend at Shippensburg University.
Last weekend you tweeted about being upset with the WPIAL. What happened there?
The calculations were messed up. We've been trying to sort that out.
You vaulted 10 feet to win the WPIAL title last year. Were you happy with your vault of 9-9?
No because I felt like I could've done better.
What is your goal vault for the PIAA Championships?
I got on a new pole the past couple of days so I'm hoping for 11-6.
Do you have a specific routine before you vault that must be perfect before you begin?
Not really perfect. I just try to go through the steps and make sure everything is on point.