Athletes of the Week: 10.26.12

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Tyler Roth, Mt. Lebanon

Last week: Roth set the Mt. Lebanon single-season passing record while throwing for 243 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Blue Devils to a 35-7 win at Penn Hills.

Check this out: Roth, a senior and first-year starter at quarterback, is the No. 2 passer in the WPIAL, completing 103 of 194 passes for 1,720 yards and 23 touchdowns. Against Woodland Hills, he threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns. Mt. Lebanon (7-1 overall, 7-0 in the Southeastern Conference) is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA and plays at No. 4 Upper St. Clair (7-1, 6-1) tonight. Roth is also the starting shooting guard on the Mt. Lebanon basketball team.

Who has the harder practices: Football coach Mike Melnyk or basketball coach Joe David? With coach David, it's physically harder. Coach Melnyk's are mentally harder.

Excluding anyone on your team, who is the best player in the WPIAL? That's a tough one. I think Pat Kugler from North Allegheny is really good. Also (North Allegheny's) Mack Leftwich. He really leads his team well.

Do you have a nickname? Yeah. This was made up by some of the upperclassmen when I was a sophomore, but since they're gone this nickname has kind of died. They called me Reptar, which is the name of the dinosaur from Rugrats.

Why Reptar? My sophomore year when we were on a trip for basketball, they said that when I shoot, I put my hands up like a T-Rex.

Two of Mt. Lebanon's best players are the Briercheck brothers, Mike and Tim. Who is better? (Laughs) Don't make me answer that. They are both great in their own ways.

Best Halloween costume you ever had? When I was three years old, I was the red Power Ranger.

Finally, what's your prediction for tonight's game against Upper St. Clair? We're just looking to execute. If we can do that, we'll win.

Spencer Caravaggio, Quaker Valley

Last week: Last Friday, Caravaggio helped Quaker Valley defeat Sewickley Academy, 3-2, to win the WPIAL Class AA team tennis championship. The Quakers also defeated Windber, 5-0, in the PIAA playoffs Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals today in Hershey.

Check this out: Caravaggio, a 5-foot-8 senior, has enjoyed a golden career at Quaker Valley. She won the WPIAL Class AA singles title a few weeks ago for the second time in her career. She also has been part of two championship teams. The other team title came in her sophomore year.

You have won both individual and team titles. What feels better? Probably the team title. The individual title, you do it by yourself. But I think it's nice to be able to watch the girls who have gotten so much better, and it's great to see them win because they have worked so hard.

What are your chances at the PIAA singles tournament next weekend? I'm hoping to do very well. I haven't really seen the draw at all and I don't know who I will be playing. If I play my best, I have a good chance. I don't know if I have a great chance at winning it all, but at least doing very well.

Some top players choose not to play high school tennis, opting instead to play in USTA tournaments. What do you think of that? I do both. I think it's great to be able to play in high school. High school tennis has its ups and downs, but for the most part it has been good for me.

What is the best part of your game? I have pretty good speed. I think that helps me out a lot. I'm pretty good on the forehand, too.

How many rackets do you own now? I think four or five.

People might be surprised to know ...? I love NBA basketball. When my boyfriend's friends come home from college, I spend a lot of time with them just watching the NBA playoffs. I love it.

Favorite team and player? The Thunder and Kevin Durant. Athlete of the Week


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