| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Daily News spotlight athletes: Steel Valley's Bryce Varhola, Thomas Jefferson's Kyla Prickett

Submitted - Steel Valley's Bryce Varhola
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Steel Valley's Bryce Varhola
Submitted - Thomas Jefferson's Kyla Prickett
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Thomas Jefferson's Kyla Prickett

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'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.

By Robert Stinner
Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 11:33 p.m.

Bryce Varhola

School: Steel Valley

Year: Senior

Sport: Baseball

Claim to fame: Varhola had a game-tying, two-out, full-count hit to keep the Ironmen alive in the bottom of the seventh inning against Seton-La Salle last week in the WPIAL Class AA championship game. The Ironmen went on to win the game 6-5 and claim the WPIAL title for the first time.

“Bryce has been solid for us all year,” coach Tim Vickers said. “We've come to count on him in all situations. He's been solid at second base as well. He's improved a lot over the years. We knew what we were going to get defensively. We've done a great job as a team. Everyone has played their part.”

How does it feel to have been such a big part of the championship win?

It felt good. When I got up there, I was just telling myself to find a gap somewhere. That was my main goal.

What was going through your mind during your at-bat in the bottom of the seventh?

I felt pretty confident. I just took a few deep breaths and tried to slow everything down to a speed I was comfortable with and wanted to approach the at-bat with. I got it to a 3-2 count and got the hit.

What does this win mean to you?

Wow, it means a great deal. It's the first one in our school's history, which is great. Plus, our team was so close with each other and that just made it more special.

What aspect of your game do you think you've improved the most this year?

I would say my approach to baseball in general. I've gotten mentally stronger, and I've gotten better each game as the season has gone on.

Kyla Prickett

School: Thomas Jefferson

Year: Senior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Prickett homered and drove in three runs to help the Jaguars to a 5-3 victory over Mars in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game last week. The Jaguars, who defeated Bellefonte, 8-3, on Monday, will play Greensburg Salem at Baldwin in the PIAA quarterfinals Thursday.

“Kyla has been a leader and a clutch hitter for us all year,” coach Heidi Karcher said. “She lost her starting pitching job early in the season, but she worked hard and earned it back, and I admire her for that. She continued to work hard and has been stellar for us in the playoffs.”

How does it feel to be a champion?

It's completely unexplainable. You work hard all season and then you get there and look back on it and see how much you've accomplished. It's really incredible.

Did you think this was possible at the beginning of the season?

I feel like it was a pleasant surprise. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to just win three games and we ended up overshooting that by a lot.

How happy are you for your teammates?

I am so happy for everyone on the team. They all deserved this. Every single person has worked for it and has been a major influence on what we've done this year.

Why do you think your team was able to win the championship?

We've always had the ability as a team, but we needed to bond a little bit. We have a team this year that really loves the game where last year we had a few players that didn't have that love. We had that bond this year. When you find something you all have in common, it's easy to work and get along with them.

What do you have to do to keep your season going?

We just need to keep winning and working together as a team. We have to keep being strong offensively, and we have to keep making plays on defense. As long as we keep it together we will be fine.

— Robert Stinner

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
  2. Steelers notebook: Tomlin says Latrobe session won’t differ from normal practice
  3. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  4. Police search for missing 7-year-old
  5. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed dangerous homicide suspect
  6. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  7. Obama nominates 3 judges for federal bench in Pittsburgh
  8. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea
  9. Arraignment scheduled for Penn Hills woman accused of transporting $1M worth of heroin along turnpike
  10. Fire reported Downtown at intersection of Third Avenue and Stanwix Street
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions