Joey DeFloria, Hempfield
This week: DeFloria went 2 for 3 with a home run to help Hempfield’s baseball team beat host Norwin, 4-3, in eight innings Monday in the Class AAAA Section 2 opener.
Check this out: DeFloria, a senior, is a stellar two-sport athlete. In baseball, he is a two-time all-section center fielder and is hitting .352 this season. Hempfield (5-0, 2-0) is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA. Last season, DeFloria led the Spartans to the best season in school history, as they advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs for the first time. He also is a standout in football and will play at Bucknell. As a senior, he was named to the Post-Gazette East Xtra Fabulous 22 team.
•How much do you think last season’s experience will help this team? A lot. We had a lot of juniors last year, so we have lots of experience. Lots of underclassmen played last year. Overall, we gained a lot of experience and confidence. This year, we have higher expectations.
•What makes this team so special? I think it’s the bond we have. We have a good time, actually. We’re comfortable with each other.
•Funniest teammate? Definitely our pitcher Tyler Tubbs. He’s a goofball. He’s usually the one who gets our team laughing. He’s just the spotlight for attention. And he’s a great pitcher, too.
•Best player in the WPIAL, not including anyone on your team? That’s tough. There are so many. Just off the top of my head, probably a guy on one of our rival teams, J.J. [Matijevic] from Norwin.
•Why football over baseball in college? Just basically because I’ve grown a love for football. Not to say I don’t like baseball as much, but football is just something special to me. I could play all day, every day if I could. And with Bucknell, the opportunity I’m getting athletically and academically, made the choice very simple.
•Favorite MLB player? I look up to Andrew McCutchen. I love the way he plays, and he’s a great role model. I feel like he’s a good guy to look up to, not only athletically, but as an all-around person.
•Who will win the NCAA basketball championship? Well, in my bracket, I’m not alive anymore. I’m rooting for Florida right now. I just feel that Florida is the best team. I think they will play Kentucky in the final. I think with all the seniors they have, Florida will win.
Ally Bartoszewicz, Vincentian
Last week: Bartoszewicz won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the South Hills Classic.
The scoop: Bartoszewicz (pronounced Bart-ah-SHEV-its) did not start running track until two years ago as a sophomore, but she has turned into one of the WPIAL’s best sprinters. She won the WPIAL Class AA 200-meter dash last year, finished second in the 100 and was third at the PIAA meet in the 200. Bartoszewicz, an excellent student and a McCandless resident, also was a starting guard on Vincentian’s basketball team that won WPIAL and PIAA Class A titles this year. She has signed with Notre Dame and will run track for the Fighting Irish.
•Which sport came first, basketball or track? I’ve been playing basketball since I was 4. My mom [Cindy] had been a track athlete, and I was always pretty good running in basketball. So, when we kind of got word that they were starting a track team at Vincentian two years ago, I knew something was there and figured why not give it a shot?
•Did you ever think track would be your sport in college? That didn’t really become a reality until last year. I thought I would focus on academics or basketball, maybe.
•Is a PIAA championship in track your goal this year? My goal is to really perfect all my techniques and a lot of people are helping me do that. Hopefully, that will help produce the fastest times possible and hopefully get me to states.
•Do you know all the words of the Notre Dame fight song? Yeah, my dad [Joe] is actually a Notre Dame alum and I’ve known them for a long time [laugh]. I can actually recite them if you need me to.
•Ahhh, no, that’s OK. Can you name three famous football players from Notre Dame? Oh gosh, that puts me on the spot. I don’t follow football as closely as I should. I know Manti Te’o. I know there are other obvious ones. I’m so sorry.
•How many people mispronounce your name? Close to everyone. It has become kind of a joke at track meets to see how they announce it.
•People might be surprised to know … I’m very artistic. In my down time, I draw and paint a lot.