High School Athletes of the Week

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Daane Berezo


Last week: Berezo was 2 for 2 in a 9-1 victory a week ago against Hopewell.

Check this out: Berezo, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior, is one of the top shortstops in the WPIAL. He is batting .452 with 22 runs scored and 20 RBIs. The Rams begin the WPIAL playoffs Friday. Berezo's brother, Matt, also was a standout shortstop at Pine-Richland who now plays at Duke. Their father, Lalo, played at the University of Cincinnati and was taken in the 19th round of the 1984 Major League Baseball draft.

College talk: Berezo signed with Virginia Commonwealth.

 Is it hard sitting around, waiting for the WPIAL playoffs to start? I definitely think it's frustrating. But at the same time, when you go against your own guys so much, the more excited you get to go out and play someone else.

 You and your brother are infielders. Were you born to play there or did you develop? I definitely say I developed. When I was younger, I played a lot of outfield. Eventually, I just made the transition to the infield. As a freshman I played catcher a lot.

 Are you and your brother different types of players? Absolutely. My brother is more of the five-tool guy. He's 6 feet, 180 and runs well. I'm a lot smaller and smaller guys always have to prove they can play. But I think the similarity with us is the way we compete and love to win.

 OK, why the two "As" in the first name? That's something you have to ask my mom. She has tried to give me an explanation that is somewhat reasonable, but ... maybe it was just a mistake or typo.

 Did they ever think of spelling your brother's name Maatt? I have never been asked that before. There are already two "Ts" there, so there was already a double letter. I know mine is different, but I have to embrace it for what it is.

 Any thoughts on where Johnny Manziel went in the NFL draft? If I'm a GM, I would've taken him. I would've taken him the first overall. My dad is of a different opinion. He's a Cleveland Browns fan and he was mad they took him.

-- By Mike White

Casey Farkasovsky


Last week: Farkasovsky helped the Beaver softball team cap a perfect regular season by tossing shutouts against Beaver Falls, Riverside and Seton-LaSalle.

Check this out: Farkasovsky isn't very tall -- just 5 feet 3 -- but her contributions to her team this season have been enormous. Only a sophomore, Farkasovsky is 13-0 and has struck out 102. At the plate, she has hit eight home runs, which ties for the most in school history -- she also hit eight a year ago. Beaver is the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Class AA playoffs and will play Burrell Monday in a quarterfinal. Farkasovsky was named all-section as a freshman when she led the Bobcats to the WPIAL semifinals.

 How much will last season's experience help your team in this year's playoffs? I think last year a lot of people underestimated us. This year we've had the target on our back. We've worked hard and set goals. We wanted to go undefeated, win the section title, win the WPIAL title and win the state title.

 When you pitch, do you rely more on speed or location? I rely mostly on my movement. I like to mix up my pitches.

 Best hitter you've faced this season? Connor McGaffic from South Side Beaver.

 Conversely, best pitcher you've faced? Seton-LaSalle's Lauren Zola.

 What do you remember about your first high school home run? I think it was against New Brighton my freshman year. I had told myself I wanted to break the school home run record. When I was jogging around the bases, I looked over and my dad was smiling at me. He and I are really close. It was the start of what I've been working for.

 If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be? Probably Hawaii. I think it would be really nice there.

 Most people might be surprised to know that ... I write Bible verses on my spikes. I don't strike people as being a religious person, but I really am.

-- By Brad Everett

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