Two county student-athletes receive Verizon academic honors
Bob Reifschneider, a Burrell High School graduate, and Matt Mrdjenovich, of Penn-Trafford, are among the representatives from Duquesne University on the Verizon Academic All-America Team.
Reifschneider, a pitcher on the Dukes' baseball team, and Mrdjenovich, a tight end on the football team, were cited as District 2 second-team honorees.
The Verizon Academic All-America teams are selected by a vote of the 1,800-member College Sports Information Director's of America. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.20 on a scale of 4.00.
County high school graduates on the list are Tawnya Brown (Franklin Regional), Westminster (Pa.) College, swimming and diving; Melissa White (Mt. Pleasant Area), Thiel College, track and field; Larissa Lazar (Belle Vernon Area), Washington & Jefferson College, softball; B.J. Swartzlander (Kiski Area), Washington & Jefferson, baseball; and Mindy Hall (Mt. Pleasant Area), Waynesburg College, softball.
St. Vincent College named Justin Namolik, a Wheeling, W.Va., native and former Columbia University star, as a men's assistant to newly named coach D.P. Harris.
Namolik, a four-year starter who scored more than 1,000 career points at Columbia, was a member of the West Virginia Class AAA 1995 championship team at Wheeling Park High School.
Amanda Bower, a Hempfield Area High School graduate who is a catcher/designated hitter for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, has been honored by the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Bower, who completed her sophomore season at the Terre Haute, Ind., NCAA Division III school with a team-leading .347 batting average, was named to the All-SCAC first team.
She also led Rose-Hulman in hits (26), doubles (6), home runs (2), runs batted in (15), and slugging (.507). She started all 26 games and posted nine multiple-hit performances and a team-best six-game hitting streak.
Shortstop Rachel Hughes was selected to the Region XX All-State Team.
TRACK AND FIELD
Laura Packosky (Norwin) of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, finished 12th in the javelin event at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships in Boston.
Heavyweight Howard Bell (Penn-Trafford) of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown reached the semifinals of the NCAA Division II tournament before being eliminated by Dustin Darveauz of St. Cloud State (Minn.). He forfeited his final two matches of the tournament because of an injury to finish sixth nationally in his weight class.
Derek Ferrier, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound nose tackle/offensive guard from Greensburg Salem High School, has enrolled at NCAA Division III Westminster (Pa.) College. Ferrier registered a total of 126 tackles in his final two high school seasons and was selected to play in this year's Foothills Football Classic at East Allegheny High School.