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Hempfield's Adams, Holmberg named Greensburg Tribune-Review Athletes of the Year

| Saturday, June 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Hempfield senior Max Adams and junior Maddie Holmberg pose for a portrait Thursday, June 19, 2014, at the high school. Adams won the PIAA Class AAA championship in discus and shot put, throwing 198 feet, 3 inches and 61 feet, 4 1⁄2 inches, respectively. Holmberg won three gold medals at the PIAA Class AAA championship: long jump (20 feet, 1 inch), 300-meter hurdles (42.73) and 400-meter relay (47.74).
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Hempfield junior Maddie Holmberg poses for a portrait Thursday, June 19, 2014 at the high school. Holmberg won three gold medals at the PIAA Class AAA championship: long jump (20 feet, 1 inch), 300-meter hurdles (42.73) and 400-meter relay (47.74).
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Hempfield senior Max Adams poses for a portrait Thursday, June 19, 2014, at the high school. Adams won the PIAA Class AAA championship in discus and shot put, throwing 198 feet, 3 inches and 61 feet, 4 1⁄2 inches, respectively.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review file
Greensburg Central Catholic captain Fran Crouse reacts after scoring the eventual winning goal against Southern Columbia goalkeeper Abbey Herr during the second half of the PIAA Class A girls soccer championship Nov. 14, 2013, at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey. Greensburg Central Catholic defeated Southern Columbia, 2-1.

Max Adams

Hempfield · Senior · Track and Field/Football

Tell Hempfield's Max Adams to do something on the football field or as a thrower on the Spartans' track and field team, and there's no fuss, no argument, no complaining. Only results.

“He's a student of the game,” Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray said. “He's constantly learning.”

This past spring, the coachable Adams won PIAA Class AAA titles in discus and shot put. He took silver in discus at the Outdoor New Balance Nationals and won the shot put at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association indoor state meet March 1.

The combination of that success made Adams the Gatorade Pennsylvania Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

On the football field, the two-time Tribune-Review Athlete of the Year was a two-way tackle, opening gaping holes for Hempfield's running game and routinely occupying two blockers so his teammates could get all the glory.

“When I took over two years ago, the program was in a bad state,” Hempfield football coach Rich Bowen said. “Max was one of the building blocks that we built everything around.”

What has Coach Murray worked with you on?

He has been my coach since freshman year. He's always been willing to stay after or come early. Before indoor nationals, we couldn't get the gym. So we had to practice at 6 o'clock before school. He's just a great guy.

What was your best memory from this season?

Watching the discus hover over the right sector line on the last throw of the discus finals at states, then finally coming back in to be a PR (198 feet, 3 inches).

Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I'm good at …

... eating and picking up really heavy things. That's my life.

What other track athlete are you a fan of?

I've been friends with Lawson Monta from Greensburg Salem for the past couple years. I used to compete against his older brother, but now that he's in high school, we always root for each other.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Probably Arnold Schwarzenegger during his bodybuilding career. Or later in his movie career because early on he wasn't that great.

Have you become addicted to soccer?

Soccer's not really my thing. I'm trying to understand it more, but it's still difficult.

Any weird superstitions?

I've been wearing the same warmup shirt since the end of my freshman year. It's still perfectly fine. I wear it all the time. I love it.

Do you have any big plans for the summer?

I don't have any major plans. The biggest thing I have planned is probably next week. I'm going to Dover, N.J., for a car show, then going to the beach after that.

You're into cars?

My family is. I am a little bit, but my grandfather, my dad and my brother are fanatics. I love cars, but they know how they work a lot better than I do.

So you like looking at them and driving but not taking them apart?

I can take them apart. It's putting them back together that's the problem.


Maddie Holmberg

Hempfield · Junior · Volleyball/Track and field

Hempfield track and field coach Ron Colland knows where Maddie Holmberg ranks among the many athletes he's coached.

“In the 40-some years I've been involved with track at Hempfield, she's the best that I've seen,” Colland said. “I've been blessed to have coached some tremendous athletes, too.”

Just think, too, the PIAA Class AAA champion in the 300-meter hurdles, long jump and member of the gold medal-winning 400 relay team has one more year to add to that gaudy total.

This past spring, Holmberg won four WPIAL individual golds and three more at the PIAA meet, earning Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Athlete of the Year honors. Her team also won WPIAL and PIAA titles, bringing her 2014 total to nine.

In volleyball, Holmberg led Hempfield in kills (283) and blocks (150) and was a second-team All-WPIAL outside hitter, and it's easy to see why she's the Tribune-Review Athlete of the Year.

“Neither she nor her sister (Gabby) realize how big of a deal it is to have those kinds of gold medals,” Hempfield volleyball coach Lindsay Turchetta said. “She doesn't have a big head at all.”

Where did the success this season come from?

I owe it all to my coaches, teammates and family. Our coaches are awesome. Our team owes a lot of success to them. We win because we outwork a lot of the other teams because our coaches give us great workouts and know our bodies probably better than we do.

What was your best memory from this season?

Probably the state championship meet. Individually I had success and so did my teammates and the team in general. That was probably the best accomplishment that I've had and the team's had this season.

How dominant is your 400 relay team?

Going in, we weren't seeded first. We were seeded second or third. We knew that we had a target on our backs because we were the defending state champions, but we also knew that if we wanted to win, we were going to have to work and PR. We wanted to win. We really wanted it, and I think it showed.

Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I'm good at …

I like to draw a lot. More cartoonish kind of things. I also like to write a lot, too.

What other track athlete are you a fan of?

I like watching (Shaler's) Brianna Schwartz, when she runs, because I feel like she almost gets faster with every lap. I have a lot of admiration for distance runners because I can never do it. Also Montae Nicholson (from Gateway) in the hurdles because he has impeccable form, and it's cool to see.

Do you have any weird superstitions?

I personally don't have any superstitions. I don't like them. If I think I'm going to have one, then I break it, just to prove to myself that it's not a superstition.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Jennifer Lawrence. She's funny, beautiful, doesn't care what anyone thinks about her, likes to eat and gets to play Katniss in “The Hunger Games.”

Top storylines

The top 10 tales told by the Tribune-Review during the 2013-14 school year:


Highmark Stadium, the year-old soccer field on the South Side, became a trendy venue for WPIAL sports. The 3,500-seat stadium was home to Central Catholic football, and later the WPIAL championships in soccer and lacrosse were held there.


The longest winning streak in state football history ended when Clairton lost to Monessen, 42-24, at Neil C. Brown Stadium. The Bears had won 66 consecutive games, a nationally recognized effort that included four state Class A titles. Another loss came five months later, when coach Tom Nola was hired by Gateway.


Sto-Rox quarterback Lenny Williams became the WPIAL's all-time leading passer with a 302-yard, three-touchdown effort in Week 7. The senior, who surpassed the career yardage mark set by South Fayette's Christian Brumbaugh in 2010, finished with 8,509 yards and 102 touchdowns.


Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and South Fayette won PIAA football titles, but in much different ways. North Catholic won the Class A final in overtime 15-14, with a two-point run by junior P.J. Fulmore. South Fayette overwhelmed Imhotep Charter, 41-0, when QB Brett Brumbaugh broke the WPIAL's single-season passing record.


Greensburg Central Catholic soccer player Fran Crouse scored twice to win the PIAA Class A title and put the finishing touch on a historic career. Crouse, a Penn State recruit, scored 66 goals as a senior to finish with a state-record 208 for her career. The WPIAL won four of the six state soccer titles.


For the third year in a row, New Castle won a WPIAL boys basketball title with an undefeated record and each time beat Hampton in the final. The matchup drew a sell-out crowd to Palumbo Center for the Class AAAA final. New Castle, with senior Malik Hooker, also added its first state title.


Franklin Regional wrestlers Spencer Lee and Devin Brown led the Panthers to a PIAA Class AAA team title and were among 11 WPIAL wrestlers who claimed state individuals titles. Kittanning senior Jason Nolf became a three-time champ with a 176-1 record.


With 37 points by sophomore Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park completed its romp through the PIAA basketball playoffs with a 70-66 victory over Philadelphia's Math, Civics and Science Charter. The marquee matchup in the Class A state final sparked a statewide charter school debate and a PIAA effort to limit their athletic programs.


Shaler junior Brianna Schwartz defended her 1,600-meter title in the PIAA Class AAA championships, establishing herself among the greatest distance runners in WPIAL history. The state title capped an outdoor season in which she set WPIAL records in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters.


Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay tied the second longest streak in the NFHS record book with 72 13 consecutive scoreless innings, a run that ended in the WPIAL Class AAA final. McKay, a Louisville recruit drafted by the Padres in the 34th round, finished his high school career with a 30-2 record.

Parade of champions

State winners from the WPIAL during the 2013-14 school year.

Boys basketball

New Castle (AAAA)

Lincoln Park (A)

Girls basketball

Blackhawk (AAA)

Seton-La Salle (AA)

Vincentian Academy (A)

Boys bowling

Javon Trout, Hempfield


Amanda Balas, Penn-Trafford

GirlsCross country

Marianne Abdalah, Vincentian (A)


South Fayette (AA)

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (A)

Boys Golf

Upper St. Clair (AAA)

Girls Golf

Central Valley (AA)

Macky Fouse, Central Valley (AA)

Lauren Waller, Canon-McMillan (AAA)


Moon (Gold Division)

Josie Karabinos, Baldwin (Diamond)

Mackenzie Kraft, Moon (Gold)

Victoria Priola, Moon (Silver)


Peters Township (AAA)


Woodland Hills

Mike Krivi, Woodland Hills

Boys soccer

Upper St. Clair (AAA)

Sewickley Academy (A)

Girls soccer

Central Valley (AA)

Greensburg C.C. (A)

Boys swimming/diving

Mars (AA)

Mars (400 freestyle relay)

Upper St. Clair (400 relay)

Jarod Kehl, West Alleghen y (AA, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle)

Christopher Georgiadis, Mars (AA, 200 IM)

Zachary Buerger, North Allegheny (AAA, 500 freestyle, 200 IM)

Ryan Dudzinski, Upper St. Clair (AAA, 100 butterfly)

Girls swimming/diving

Maria Lohman, Chartiers Valley (AAA)

Girls tennis

North Allegheny (AAA)

Marlys Bridgham, Pine-Richland (AAA singles)

Laurel Shymansky/Lacey Cohen, Fox Chapel (AAA doubles)

Boys track and field

Gateway (AAA, 400 relay)

Riverside (AA, 1,600 relay)

Washington (AA, 3,200 relay)

Max Adams, Hempfield (AAA, discus, shot put)

Montae Nicholson, Gateway (AAA, 110 hurdles)

Domenic Perretta, Beaver Falls (AA, 800, 1,600)

Austin Sheridan, Rivers ide (AA, discus)

Girls track and field

Hempfield (AAA)

Hempfield (AAA, 400 relay)

Ally Bartoszewicz, Vincentian (AA, 100, 200)

Kailyn Clancy, Calif ornia (AA, shot put)

Bridget Guy, He mpfield (AAA, pole vault)

Maddie Holmberg, Hempfield (AAA, long jump, 300 hurdles)

Jenna Lucas, Fo rt Cherry (AA, javelin)

Brianna Schwa rtz, Shaler (AAA, 1,600)

Madison Wiltrout, Connellsville (AAA, javelin)

Water Polo

North Allegheny boys


Franklin Regional (AAA)

Devin Brown, FR (AAA, 106)

Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMil lan (AAA, 145)Cameron Coy, Penn-Trafford (AAA, 132)

Steve Edwards, Burrell (AA, 152)

Vincenzo Joseph, Central Catholic (AAA, 138)

Spencer Le e, FR (AAA, 113)Dalton Macri, Canon-McMillan (AAA, 126)

Jason Nolf, Kittanning (AA, 145)

Luke Pletcher, Latrobe (AAA, 120)

Jake Temple, Avella (AA, 220)

Zack Zavatsky, Latrobe (AAA, 182)

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