A-K Valley athletes of the week: Deer Lakes’ Jesse Greyshock, Freeport’s Mackensey Jack |

A-K Valley athletes of the week: Deer Lakes’ Jesse Greyshock, Freeport’s Mackensey Jack

Deer Lakes’ Jesse Greyshock
Freeport’s Mackensey Jack

Jesse Greyshock

School: Deer Lakes

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Greyshock has loomed large between the goalposts for the Lancers all season. He gave up one goal in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Quaker Valley in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals. Greyshock has a 5-1 postseason record, including three shutouts, three goals allowed and 25 saves. He helped lead Deer Lakes to a 13-0-1 regular season with seven shutout wins and just 11 goals allowed. He’s also member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds under-18 travel team.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been playing soccer ever since I was 5 years old, so 13 years.

What are you doing this Saturday?

I’m either going to be playing in the state championship game or playing in a soccer tournament in Bethesda, Md., with my Riverhounds’ team.

What has this PIAA postseason run been like for you?

It’s been everything that we set out to achieve this season. It’s been the best one in school history.

You’ve played a ton of soccer this season. How has your body held up?

Coach has really been taking care of us in training, and we had recovery sessions.

How confident is this team playing now?

We’re playing with tons of confidence. We’ve been really playing as a team.

How many times have you replayed in your head the goal you let in against Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL semifinals?

I’ve watched that on film a few times. It was definitely an unfortunate goal, but we’re all ready.

Have you moved past the loss to Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL semifinals?

We really pride ourselves on focusing on the games at hand. We play a game, forget about it, and move on.

Did you go down to Highmark and watch the WPIAL Class AA championship game?

We all watched it at practice that day. We all watched it on the Trib livestream at the high school.

How well do you know Shady Side Academy?

Playing them three times this season already, we know all of the players, know the tendencies and there’s no secrets between us.

How fitting is it to meet the Indians again in the PIAA semifinals?

It really goes to show how strong our region is with soccer to be two of the top four teams in Class AA and being nextdoor neighbors. We’re definitely one of the strongest sections in Class AA.

Who is the most difficult shooter you’ve faced?

It was much earlier in the season. The Tate Mohney kid for Butler is a big presence up there, and I also have to give credit to the Quaker Valley strike force. Dom Reiter is very good.

What kind of advice would you give to your freshman self?

I’d say keep building those foot skills that I have. They’ll pay off once you’re a junior and senior.

How does it feel to be the first team in school history to make states?

It’s a great feeling and a great feeling when the school has rallied around us.

Is there a song the team jams to on the bus after wins?

After wins, what always comes on is “Party in the USA.” That’s what it starts with.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Lionel Messi, James Conner and George Washington.

What three words best describe you?

Loud. Creative. Adventurous.

Why do you wear the No. 1?

I was always No. 12 growing up, and I made the switch in high school to No. 1. I feel like it’s a goalkeeper number.

What’s the first thing you reach for at Thanksgiving dinner?

Stuffing. I’m a huge stuffing guy. I love a good stuffing.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

I enjoy calculus and the sciences.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?

I love Butterfingers.

Something interesting about you that that nobody knows?

I’ve been to eight different countries now. I love traveling.

What’s the most interesting country you’ve been to?


What are your plans for after high school?

I am going to be playing soccer and majoring in mechanical engineering at Grove City College.

Mackensey Jack

School: Freeport

Class: Junior

Sport: Volleyball

Report card: A first-year starter at outside hitter for the Yellowjackets, Jack put up 15 service points and threw down nine kills to help Freeport knock off WPIAL Class AA champion North Catholic, 3-2, in last Saturday’s PIAA quarterfinals. Jack has a 96 percent serve percentage, including 31 aces. From the floor, she has a .292 hitting percentage with 66 kills on 171 attacks. Jack is also a member of the Freeport track and field team, where she competes in the long and triple jumps.

When did you start playing volleyball?

I started going to coach Tom Phillips’ volleyball camps when I was in first grade.

Would this team have made it to the PIAA semifinals if you didn’t lose in the WPIAL semifinals?

I know last year, I think that (loss) helped us and pushed us harder to win states last year, and the taste of defeat helped us.

What did this team learn from the WPIAL semifinal loss to Frazier?

We learned that we have to play relaxed. We play our best when we’re relaxed. We have to play together. When we have a balanced stat sheet, that’s when we play our best.

Did you make the trip to Fox Chapel to watch the Class AA championship game between North Catholic and Frazier?

No, I did not. I thought it would be too painful in my opinion.

What are your plans this Saturday?

I would hope to be playing volleyball in the state championship game.

What do you know about Freeport’s semifinal opponent Bald Eagle?

We played them last year in state playoffs and we beat them. This year we also played them at the North Allegheny tournament and ended up losing to them.

What did you learn watching last season’s PIAA run from the sidelines?

I watched everyone who started work so hard to get that accomplishment, and it felt really good to be there as someone on the bench. It was a wild ride, and I was thankful to even be there.

Is there a song the team jams to on the bus rides to games?

We have a song we listen to before every single game, it’s called “The World’s Greatest” (by R. Kelly). It’s been a tradition for our team for a long time, and we have a little dance that goes with it.

Does this team have a motto?

“Refuse to Lose.”

What did this team learn about itself as the season went on?

I know we learned from the injuries. It doesn’t matter who is out on the floor, we just have to do what we need to do to win.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Ellen DeGeneres, Beyoncé and Serena Williams.

What three words best describe you?

Caring. Motivated. Hardworking.

What is the story behind the spelling of your first name?

There’s no real meaning behind it. I guess my mom wanted to spell it differently and not like the regular Makenzie.

Why do you wear the No. 12?

It was a random number that I picked a long time ago.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?

“Keeping up with the Kardashians.” It’s always on my TV when I fall asleep.

What’s the first thing you reach for at Thanksgiving dinner?

The rolls. I really like bread.

What is your favorite subject in school?

Biology or any science class.

What is something interesting about you that that nobody knows?

I used to do karate when I was younger.

What belt did you make it to?


— William Whalen

William Whalen is a freelance writer.

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