Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Latrobe’s Brendan Johns, GCC’s Megan Stunja
Claim to fame: Johns, who has 10 goals and five assists, scored four goals and added an assist to lead Latrobe (2-4-1) to a 7-2 win over Bishop Canevin on Nov. 10. Johns scored two goals and added two assists in 8-1 win over Norwin on Nov. 6.
“I believe I was able to step it up last week. As a team, I believe we needed someone to step up and change the way we have been playing considering the fact that we lost three games in a row,” Johns said. “I decided I needed to step up, and when it happens my teammates follow me. I think we will be able to turn the season around.”
How has the transition gone to first-year coach Josh Werner?
His practices are little better than last year’s coach. On the bench, he allows the kids to talk amongst themselves to figure out the problems instead of him telling us. We are a young team and he’s a young coach so we all haven’t figured each other out yet. But we are getting there slowly.
How do you help get the most out of the team?
After practices, we sit down together and go over how practice went and the last game. Since I’m on a travel team, I know most of the kids on other teams. I’m into looking at other teams’ rosters and seeing how each other are doing. I give him a full brief on who we need to cover. Also, I help (Werner) with communicating anything to the kids that the team might not understand during a game or practice.
What do you think the team needs to do to turn things around?
I believe we should keep working more as a team. We need to have stronger practices. We need to get there and work on the drills and not go through the motions. We need to work on our special teams. We have been good with our five-on-five but our special teams has been struggling.
What injury did you suffer? How long will you be out and what will you do during that time off?
I suffered a pulmonary contusion. I will be out two to three weeks with no contact sports. I will attend the games that I will be missing. I will take a couple notes on what we are doing wrong and we need to work on during practice. I’m also going to work on getting some ice time to make sure I don’t lose the gist of things. I’ll always be with them, and I will throw pointers when they need it.
What is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal and why?
Corn bread. I look forward to it at anytime of the year. But during Thanksgiving it’s even better. My Aunt Diane and my mom both contribute to that. They make sure I have that.
School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Stunja finished with 10 kills to aid Greensburg Central Catholic to a 3-2 win over Marian Catholic in the PIAA Class A final Saturday.
“Overall, our entire team was pushing to have the best season possible. We have a lot of seniors on our team this year. We wanted it to be a good senior year for us,” Stunja said. “We knew no matter we were going to give it our all. During the season, we were known as a comeback team. I’m ecstatic to go out in that way in my senior year.”
What are your college plans for next year?
I’m looking at West Virginia and Penn State. I’m the youngest of six children in my family. The oldest three went to Penn State and the younger two went to West Virginia. I’m a deciding factor to see if it gets equaled out or we favor one side. I want to major in the medical field because that is my interest.
How does it feel to be part of the first team in school history to win a state title?
To make history for our school and bring home the win is the best feeling I have experienced in my life. It still so surreal and it’s hard to put into words. I’m very proud of my teammates.
How was the team able to constantly come back in matches?
We are always hard on each other and we encourage each other. We know what we expect from each other is very high. When we are down on situations we always stay on each other. It has definitely helped us during games. We wanted to win no matter what.
How does volleyball help with basketball?
The jumping helps. I’m a forward in basketball so the jumping in volleyball definitely helps me. I also have learned how to be quick on my feet and learned to be quick with passes and aware of the court. It helps in a lot of different ways.
— Andrew John