Valley News Dispatch Spotlight Athletes: Kiski Area's Matt Dziadosz, Burrell's Jaila Manga
School: Kiski Area
Sport: Boys soccer
Claim to fame: Dziadosz, a junior midfielder, is the leading scorer with five goals and two assists for Kiski Area, which is in contention for the Section 1-AAA title.
What is different about this year's team compared to last season's section championship squad?
We're more offensively geared. Last year, we were more about defense and possessions.
Your leg strength is a surprising asset for you. Explain that?
I'm 5-8, 130 pounds. My size adds to my quickness, but I also feel opponents are pretty surprised when they see my shot.
Have you experienced any change in the way teams approach you this year?
Sometimes, I get marked now, and they try to take away my left foot.
How has your leadership role been affected with only three senior starters?
Last year, we had some seniors who played since they were freshmen. So it really brings our team closer together.
Sport: Girls tennis
Claim to fame: Manga, a standout guard on the basketball team and a catcher in softball, added tennis to her list of sports this fall. She is 11-2 in her first year with the Burrell tennis squad.
What made you decide to play tennis?
It was just always a sport I wanted to try. I never played it competitively before, but I played with my friends and just decided I would give it a try this fall.
How have you balanced the busy schedule of a three-sport athlete?
I haven't made it to many basketball open gyms, but I try to make it when I can. I'm just trying to focus on tennis right now.
How do you think tennis will help you in other sports?
I think that my footwork and my lateral movement has really increased from tennis.
— Alex Novickoff