PG Athletes of the Week: Ryan Cox, Maddie Holmberg

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Ryan Cox

Hopewell

Last week: Cox helped the Hopewell baseball team remain in first place in Class AAA Section 1 with wins against Montour, Blackhawk and Ambridge.

Check this out: Cox, a senior shortstop, is one of Hopewell's top hitters. He is hitting .528 with 16 runs, 6 RBIs, 6 stolen bases and a .605 on-base percentage. The St. Bonaventure recruit is a two-year team captain and was named all-section as a junior. Hopewell is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.

• Do you like having the target on your back because you are top-ranked team? It's a nice ranking to have. Sometimes, it gets hard because everyone is shooting for you. It means a lot, but it will mean more if we can finish No. 1.

• Best player in the WPIAL, excluding anyone on your team? Either J.J. Matijevic from Norwin or Brendan McKay from Blackhawk.

• Your team played in the Cal Ripken Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in March. Did you meet Cal Ripken? No. Unfortunately, we didn't. But the facilities were awesome. It was very helpful for us to come up here with some games under our belt.

• Favorite thing you did outside of baseball while you were in Myrtle Beach? We went to Broadway at the Beach as a team. That was a lot of fun. Just hanging out with the guys at the hotel or the pool or playing video games in the room. There was a lot of team bonding.

• Favorite pro baseball player not on the Pirates? (Toronto's) Jose Reyes. He loves playing the game and he always has a smile on his face.

• Since you're a Hopewell guy ... should Rushel Shell have transferred from Pitt? That was Rushel's decision. I feel that UCLA will suit him just fine, but I think if he would have stayed at Pitt he would have been fine, too. He's an excellent athlete and he'll be good wherever he plays.

-- By Brad Everett

Maddie Holmberg

Hempfield

The past week: Holmberg was the most valuable athlete at the Lady Spartan Invitational Saturday at Hempfield. She won the long jump and also the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. In a three-way meet Tuesday against Indiana and Penn-Trafford, she ran the 100 and 200 dashes for the first time this season and won both.

Check this out: Holmberg, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, has the best 300 hurdles time (45.92) in WPIAL Class AAA this season. She is second in the long jump (18 feet, 71/2 inches) and third in the 100 hurdles (15.20). She won the WPIAL long jump championship as a freshman and finished second in the 100 hurdles. Her father. Rob, played football at Mount Pleasant High School, Penn State and eight seasons in the NFL.

• Do you have a favorite event? You know what, I really don't. I really like the hurdles, but I don't think about what's my favorite.

• Do you have goals for this year? Definitely to have our team repeat as WPIAL champion. I want to get first in the 100 hurdles, too, and get to 19 feet in the long jump.

• You play volleyball in the fall. No basketball in the winter? No, but everyone asks me that. When I was younger, I never got into basketball.

• Who is the best female and male athletes in the world right now? I really idolize Lolo Jones [track and field and bobsled athlete]. For a male, I don't know. I don't think there is one who is best in the world.

• You win a million dollars, what would you buy first? Oh my. I have no idea. I guess a car and my house.

• People might be surprised to know ... I used to be a competitive cheerleader. I can do all those back flips and stuff.

• How do you think the Pirates will do this season? I really have faith in them. They were doing really good last year. I think they can pull it together.

-- By Mike White

Athlete of the Week


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