North Allegheny's Jeremy Gonzales is one of the Post-Gazette's High School Athletes of the Week.
Shaler's Brianna Schwartz is one of the Post-Gazette's High School Athletes of the Week.
By Mike White & Brad Everett Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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.