On a pitch, into a pool, on a court, on a track or over a bar. It didn’t matter for Noah Bostick.
He always excelled.
Bostick, a senior at North Hills High School, competed in four sports this school year. While that is highly unusual for a high school athlete, it doesn’t tell Bostick’s whole story. It’s the way that he stood out in all four that made him one of the most interesting athletes in the WPIAL in recent history.
Maybe you haven’t heard of Bostick because he didn’t play a high-profile sport like football, basketball or baseball. And a few of the teams he played on weren’t very successful. But the spotlight still found the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bostick in soccer, diving, volleyball and track and field.
What Bostick did since September brings about the question of whether there has been a WPIAL athlete earn so many accolades in four sports? Consider:
• The all-WPIAL volleyball team was announced last week and Bostick made the 10-player all-Class AAA team as an outside hitter.
• In March, he won the WPIAL Class AAA diving championship and finished third in the PIAA championships.
• A few weeks ago, he finished second in the 300-meter hurdles, third in the high jump and eighth in the 110 hurdles at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships.
• In soccer last fall, he made the all-section team in Class AAA.
That’s four sports, and at worst he was all-section.
“I guess my biggest accomplishment was probably winning the WPIAL in diving,” said Bostick. “But getting all-section in soccer was a huge surprise because that’s my worst sport. I was just having fun with it.”
At the PIAA track and field championships two weeks ago, Bostick was winning a preliminary race in the 300 meter hurdles when he fell. He didn’t qualify for the finals. It was one of the few times he stumbled this entire school year.
“I guess I realize I’ve had some big accomplishments, but it’s really just me doing the things I love,” said Bostick. “I’ve always hated sitting around. I like to stay busy.”
Consider Bostick’s accomplishments and look at his impressive body, and it’s a wonder North Hills football or basketball coaches didn’t get him into those sports. “They tried in football all the time,” Bostick said with a laugh. “That would’ve been too much. I never really liked football.”
He gave up basketball after eighth grade.
Bostick’s future sport is track and field. He has signed with Slippery Rock University and he will compete in something new to him, but that would seemingly be a great fit — the decathlon. When asked if there was a sport he wishes he would’ve tried at North Hills, Bostick said, “Not really. Lacrosse looks like fun, but I’m happy with what I’ve done.”
Only three alive
If the state playoffs reveal the strength of a district, then it’s a horrible year for WPIAL baseball.
Only three WPIAL teams made it out of the first round to today’s PIAA quarterfinals. That is the fewest number of quarterfinalists from the WPIAL since 1999 when only three teams (Shaler, Waynesburg and Brownsville) got past the first round. But there were only three classifications back then instead of the four now.
Since the PIAA had at least three classifications starting in 1999, you usually needed two hands to count the number of WPIAL teams in the quarterfinals. Last year and in 2008, nine WPIAL teams were in the quarterfinals. Six teams have advanced four times, seven teams three times, eight teams four times and five teams once.
Facing the hitters
The Seneca Valley baseball team will play DuBois today in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals and Seneca Valley will use No. 1 pitcher Connor Coward. He will face a strong hitting team.
DuBois’ team batting average is .405 and the team has scored six or more runs in nine consecutive games. Jake Felix and Justin Sleigh are hitting .500, Nick LaBrassca is batting .434 and Devin Walker .418.
Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay and Norwin infielder J.J. Matijevic are rated by Baseball America as the top two Pennsylvania players, college or high school, for the Major League Baseball draft, which begins this evening and lasts through Saturday.
While McKay is still pitching for Blackhawk in the PIAA playoffs, Matijevic spent the past week going to pre-draft workouts with the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets. Matijevic worked out at Citi Field in New York for the Mets.
“I think I did pretty well at the workouts,” said Matijevic, who is ranked the No. 180 player by Baseball America. “A lot of teams have been calling. A lot talk to my adviser. … I’m anxious [for the draft]. I just want to get it over with.”
Woodland Hills baseball catcher Jake Jessell has been invited to participate in the prestigious Perfect Game Junior National Showcase Monday through Friday in Fort Myers, Fla. Approximately 115 of the top sophomores and juniors in the country have been invited to the showcase. Bryce Harper was in it seven years ago. Jessell is ranked among the top 50 sophomores in the country by some scouting services and already has committed to Pitt.
For more on high school sports, go to “Varsity Blog” at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh.