PG East: Schenley makes final year one to remember
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During the day in the classroom their schools bear three different names.
When they come together after school on the soccer field it becomes one group of girls playing to remember one name, Schenley.
The girls' soccer players from Pittsburgh Obama, Pittsburgh Science & Technology and the last group of seniors who will ever graduate from Schenley all play together under the Schenley name this season.
Their goal this year is clear -- win their fourth consecutive City League title for Schenley and their motto is also clear.
"Our team motto is 'Remember the name,'" said three-year starter Leeza Marie Tokarski. "That is really important to us, we want Schenley to end on a good note."
There has been plenty to remember this season thus far for the Spartans. Ranked No. 1 in the City League, Schenley was 12-4 overall heading into its final regular-season game Wednesday at Serra Catholic. The Spartans topped Ellis School, 3-0, Tuesday. Schenley finished City League play 9-1.
The City League season is usually defined by Schenley's two games against Allderdice and this year was no different. The City League rivals split their two regular-season meetings and split the City League regular-season title as well. Allderdice won, 1-0, in the first meeting but Schenley rebounded to win, 3-0, in the rematch.
"Allderdice is a really great team and they have a great program," Schenley coach Kevin Shevitz said.
"When we have a chance for our two programs to get on the field, it is a battle and usually a very good soccer game."
A third and final -- literally -- Schenley-Allderdice meeting appears likely as the two programs have met to determine the last seven City League championships. Allderdice won three titles from 2004-06 and Schenley has won the past three since then.
Senior defender Samantha Gregory and junior midfielders Angela Perfetti and Tokarski have been starters nearly their whole careers and the three have been key components to the past two City League titles. The significance in playing the final season of Schenley girls' soccer is not lost on those three or the rest of the team.
"There is an effect on us," Shevitz said.
"There is tradition and history with Schenley. We are losing an important part of our city and the girls have an understanding of that."
Tokarski, a central midfielder, led the Spartans with 28 goals through 15 games.
"Leeza is a great team player," Shevitz said.
"They are all coming from all different schools but the girls have stressed to each other and the coaching staff has stressed to them as well, that it is a big team and a big family."
The situation is an unusual one in high school sports, but the students from the three different high schools have handled it as well as can be expected.
"It was hard to adjust at first," Tokarski said. "We are used to seeing everyone in the same school. We really work on having a tight team and having a family within.
"We still have that same family mentality with our team, it is just harder to develop."
The old Schenley High School building is closed and students from both Schenley and Pittsburgh Obama attend classes at Reizenstein Middle School so the name Schenley lives on in name only and with this last group of seniors.
Next season the team will play under the name Pittsburgh Obama but until that time gets here, it is all about Schenley one last time.
"Schenley is a special place," Shevitz said. "It would be nice with all our hard work to give something back to Schenley."
First Published October 21, 2010 12:00 am