Athletes of the Week: 10.12.12

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Jeremy Gonzales, North Allegheny

Last week: Gonzales, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior lineman, had 11 tackles, including 31/2 sacks, as North Allegheny defeated Gateway, 14-3, in a big WPIAL Class AAAA football game.

Check this out: Although he is often overshadowed by fellow lineman Pat Kugler (University of Michigan recruit), Gonzales also has been a standout for the Tigers. North Allegheny has not allowed a touchdown the past four games and Gonzales (nicknamed "Gonzo") has been a dominant player from his defensive tackle position. Gonzales, who also plays center, is fourth on the team in tackles with 35 and leads in sacks with 6 1/2. Gonzales is now considered one of the best linemen in the WPIAL.

What's better, a sack or a pancake block? I'd have to say a sack because it gets the whole defense going. On offense, you get a pancake and you might get excited, but not everyone can see it. Everyone sees a sack.

Do you like defense better? Yeah, I'd say so, but I don't think my offensive line coach would like to hear that.

Is quickness your biggest attribute? Definitely. I can handle a double-team by using my quickness. Like against Gateway, I was able to use my quickness and beat the guard off the ball and get in there for a sack.

North Allegheny has won the past two WPIAL titles. Could this be the best team of the three? I definitely think so. I think we have the passing game on offense as well as the running game. We might not have the biggest offensive line, but we execute and get the job done.

What comes to mind when I say homecoming dance? Probably girls. My date.

Who on the team is the biggest hit with the girls? That's tough. I'd have to say [senior running back] Alex DeCiantis.

Not you? No, the linemen thing takes me down a little. I'm known as a big, fat kid, I guess.

People might be surprised to know ... I used to play soccer.

Were you any good? I was OK. I was a little large for a soccer player.

Brianna Schwartz, Shaler

Last week: Schwartz took first place at the Central Catholic Invitational cross-country meet Saturday with a time of 18:30.50.

Check this out: Only a sophomore, Schwartz is already one of the WPIAL's top runners. In addition to Saturday's title, Schwartz also finished first at the Red, White & Blue Classic at Schenley Park last month. As a freshman, Schwartz placed eighth at the WPIAL Class AAA championships. Schwartz is a standout track performer, as well. She place third in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the WPIAL Class AAA championships.

We hear that cross-country wasn't always your favorite sport. What else did you play? No, I played basketball my whole life.

Do you still play? No. I did last year, but not this year. I was more successful in cross-country and track, and just wanted to focus on those.

How much did you run during the summer in a normal day or week? I'd get up to about 40 to 50 miles a week. That consisted of running hills and track training.

If you could have a $100 gift card to any store or restaurant, what would be your pick? Dick's [sporting goods store].

Last video game you played? (Laughs) Probably one of the Super Mario games.

On average, how many text messages do you send and receive per day? Probably about 100 per day.

If you could go on a date with any celebrity, who would it be? Adam Levine.

I guess you watch The Voice, right? Yes.

If you were auditioning to be on The Voice, what song would you sing? Probably something from Adele. I like her "Set Fire to the Rain." Or maybe "Someone Like You."

Most people would be surprised to know that ... I used to be a dancer until seventh grade. Even though I'm terrible at dancing now.

Athlete of the Week

First Published October 12, 2012 4:00 AM


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