Valley News Dispatch Spotlight Athletes: Kittanning's Blake Davis, Fox Chapel's Elayna Burdelski
Claim to fame: Davis works double duty for the Kittanning soccer and football teams. The goalkeeper has been named all-section the past two years, and has been the starting kicker since his sophomore season.
How do you balance the schedules?
I go to football practice and soccer practice on Monday and Wednesday. If we have a soccer night game, I go to football practice after school.
You had a conflict in game schedules recently. What happened?
We had a soccer game at Freeport on a Saturday morning and a football game at Summit Academy in the afternoon. My dad had to drive me to the football game right from the soccer game. I didn't play very well in the football game, but we won both games.
What's your longest field goal?
It's 39 (yards) in a varsity game, 43 (yards) in a junior varsity game my sophomore year. I've kicked a 55-yarder in practice.
What's better, a game-winning field goal or a penalty kick?
Field goal, definitely. It would be more meaningful to the people in the community, and it would be hard to walk around town if I missed.
— By Alex Novickoff
School: Fox Chapel
Claim to fame: Burdelski has recorded 10 shutouts this season, while only allowing five goals, for Class AAA No. 3 Fox Chapel (12-1, 7-1). She led the Foxes to a 5-0 victory over Oakland Catholic in Sept. 24. The next day, Burdelski and the Foxes defeated Allderdice, 6-0.
How is being a freshman goalkeeper in Class AAA and having success so far?
It can be overwhelming at times, but I hope we can do the best that we can as a team and have fun doing it.
How do you keep your mind involved in the game?
I try to just to tell people if their mark is getting away from them. I know I need to continue working on my yelling and my communicating with my teammates.
How are you keeping your success in perspective?
We have practices that are tough. Coach (Erik) Duffy yells at you because he knows you aren't giving it your all. He just wants you to be the best that you can be.
What does the team have to do this year to get further in the playoffs?
I think we need to work together and believe in each other.
— By Andrew John