Christian Siak, Bethel Park
Last week: In his team’s first hockey game in two weeks, Siak (pronounced SI-ack) had one of his best performances of the season, scoring two goals and dishing out three assists in a 6-1 win Jan. 2 against Upper St. Clair.
Check this out: No player at the highest level of the PIHL — Class AAA — has proven to have more of a knack for scoring than Siak. A senior, he has 21 goals this season and his 29 points are the most among any player in Class AAA. His strong offensive play has helped the Black Hawks to an 8-2 start.
What’s allowed you to have this kind of success so far this season? I’m getting a lot of help from my teammates. As the season goes on, we just seem to be getting better, so that helps out a lot.
What kind of improvements do you feel like you have made? I just feel like I’ve been pushing to get a lot better than I have in previous seasons and, since I’m a senior, I’ve just been giving everything I have.
Does it take a certain scorer’s instinct to put up these kind of numbers? Some of it’s probably instinct, and there’s some luck involved in it, too. I’ll just take whatever I can get.
You’ve had 44 penalty minutes this season. Would you say you’re a pretty aggressive player? Sometimes a little too aggressive, and it tends to backfire. I wouldn’t say so. Sometimes, it’s bad calls. Other times, it happens.
What are your plans for possibly playing in college? I’m just looking around at this point. I’d definitely like to play college hockey.
Is there an NHL player you try to emulate? I like watching Evgeni Malkin. If I had to compare myself to an NHL player, I’d say I play like him.
If you could play hockey in any venue, which one would it be? I’d probably say Madison Square Garden just because it’s one of the most famous NHL rinks. That’d be pretty cool to play in.
How often do people mispronounce your last name? I get See-yak all the time.
Katie Ford, Mt. Lebanon
Last week: Ford, a standout swimmer, continued to have enormous success in multiple events, further establishing herself as one of the premier swimmers in the state.
Check this out: Ford, a senior, is the two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA champion in the 50 freestyle and finished third in the event at the PIAA championships last year. Ford plans to compete in the 50 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay at the WPIAL championships this year. She also boasts the No. 1 time in the state in the 100 freestyle and is No. 2 in the 200 individual medley. Ford committed to the University of North Carolina in October, choosing the Tar Heels over Indiana, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Kentucky.
What are some of your individual goals this season? To be a state champion and also to set WPIAL records. I was like a tenth of a second off of the 50 [freestyle record] last year.
How big would winning a PIAA title be? It would just be all my hard work paying off.
Why North Carolina? It was just a perfect combination of athletics and academics.
Coolest thing you did on your official visit to North Carolina? The pool is right next to the basketball arena, so we got to peek into their basketball locker room. That was pretty cool.
What will your major be? I’m undecided right now, but it will probably be something in business.
Longest you have gone without swimming since you have been in high school? I don’t think more than a week.
Mt. Lebanon alumnus you’d most like to meet? Kaitlyn Orestein. I’ve never met her, which is a surprise because of how good of a swimmer she was for Lebo.
First concert? Jonas Brothers.
Most people might be surprised to know that … I’m talented in art. Mostly drawing.