PG Athlete of the Week: Ryan Long of North Catholic

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Ryan Long, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic

Last week: Long, a two-way tackle, helped pave the way for a rushing attack that gained nearly 300 yards and led a stout defensive effort in North Catholic's 48-7 win against Tussey Mountain in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal last Friday. The Trojans face Clarion in a semifinal tonight at DuBois.

Check this out: Long, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound senior, was named co-lineman of the year in the Eastern Conference. Long anchors what coach Bob Ravenstahl has called the best offensive line in WPIAL Class A. Defensively, Long and his teammates have surrendered only 28 points in five postseason games, the highlight being a 14-0 win against Sto-Rox at Heinz Field, which earned North Catholic its first WPIAL championship. Long is a Shaler resident.

Coolest part about playing at Heinz Field? Knowing we were playing on the same field as professional athletes. It was cool being the first team in school history to play in a WPIAL final at Heinz Field. That was a great feeling.

Did you DVR the game and watch it? Yeah. My mom taped it. I've watched it twice already.

What was your favorite part? When No. 4, Jimmy Bucek, did what I guess is the "Heinz Hop" and jumped into the stands. He was going nuts.

Best player you played against this season? On offense, [Sto-Rox's] Lenny Williams. He was by far the best. On defense, Dalton Day from Avonworth.

Is coach Ravenstahl crazy for wearing shorts in cold weather? He's a tough guy. He's a little bit crazy, but he's a tough guy.

What's [Pittsburgh Mayor] Luke Ravenstahl like? Luke's a nice guy. Before games he'll send tweets to me and some of the players to wish us good luck.

Most people might be surprised to know that ... I'm strong in my faith. I go to a Catholic school and my parents raised me as a good Catholic.

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