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Thomas Jefferson athletes set to continue careers in college |

Thomas Jefferson athletes set to continue careers in college

Ken Eber Photography | for the tribune-review
Senior student-athletes at Thomas Jefferson in 2015-16 who will be continuing their careers in college include, from left, Adam Staudt, Ryan Scanlon, Lacie Lautner, Peter Metro and Braden Pahanish. Missing from the photo is Reis Zandier.

Did you know that:

• Four Thomas Jefferson gridders — Adam Staudt (Clarion), Ryan Scanlon (John Carroll), Peter Metro (St. Vincent) and Braden Pahanish (Cal U) — are planning to continue their careers in college?

Also, TJ’s Lacie Lautner will play softball at Geneva, and Reis Zandier will compete in volleyball at Youngstown State.

• Thomas Jefferson products Anthony Sestito (OL), Dalton Dietrich (WR), Luke Deanovich (LB) and John George (LB) are listed on the spring football roster at St. Vincent?

• Thomas Jefferson graduate Jordan Campano had four hits for the Mt. Aloysius baseball team in a 7-5 upset win in 10 innings against No. 1-seed La Roche in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference playoffs?

“It was a thrilling, drama-filled game,” said Nick Campano, Jordan’s dad. “Jordan obviously had a very good game, and the other wonderful part is that in addition to several family and friends being in attendance, his brother Cory (who broadcasts games locally for MSA Sports Network) was doing the color commentary with Don Rebel, who did the play by play.

“All in all, it was a wonderful day for Jordan and our entire family.”

Campano, a junior outfielder, finished the season with a .327 batting average and .435 on-base percentage, which placed him among the team leaders.

He also hit two home runs, scored 15 runs, tacked on 14 RBIs, and posted a 1.000 fielding percentage.

“The 2016 season was one to remember,” Campano, a business administration major, said. “We had a large class of seniors who taught me how to prepare and how to win. We accomplished a lot as a team. We were nationally ranked for our offense, and won a lot of games. We battled every game, had three walk-off wins, and many comeback wins, as well. We didn’t reach the ultimate goal of winning the conference, but we had a fantastic season.

“As for the La Roche upset, it was by far my favorite game to play in my baseball career so far.”

• The Thomas Jefferson boys’ volleyball team won seven consecutive matches to clinch the Section 3-AA championship this season?

“The boys did a great job,” said assistant coach Ron Kelly, who also is head coach of the TJ girls’ volleyball team. “We started a little slow (as) injuries played a key to that. As the year progressed, we played some very good volleyball.

“This was probably one of the best hitting teams we’ve had (at TJ). We had five solid hitters, so there was no real weak links at that position. I also think this group may have sparked a little more interest for the boys’ program.”

• Four Thomas Jefferson athletes were medalists at the 2016 Pine-Richland track and field invitational?

They were senior Chasey Wain (pole vault, javelin), sophomore Kayla Polakovic (400, 800), senior Kayla Smith (javelin) and freshman Zach Wagner (100, 200).

Wain, Smith and Wagner finished as runners-up in the pole vault, javelin and 200-meter events, respectively.

Other competitors for the TJ girls’ team included Lauren Giansante (100 hurdles, 100, 200), Alli Fitzgerald (400, 800), Emily Leonard (1,600), Abby Mich (300 hurdles) and Julia Kelly (300 hurdles).

Others for the TJ boys’ team consisted of Kevin Walsh (100, 200), Jeremy Marshall (1,600), Austin Fitzhenry (400), Anthony Gambino (400), Richie Kempa (300 hurdles), Davin Manfredi (300 hurdles) and Scott Ruffing (high jump).

• Thomas Jefferson grad Ryan Ruffing, a senior running back and accounting major at Washington & Jefferson, last week was named to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society?

The HHS award is presented to college football players from all divisions who maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2.

• The “TJ Football Players for Hire” fundraising program is available to area residents again this year, and will continue throughout the summer?

In this fundraiser, Thomas Jefferson football players are available to be “hired” to do general house work (lifting, moving furniture), yard work (grass cutting, mulching, weeding, etc.) and car washing.

Players will come to your home to perform chores to raise money for their annual 7-on-7 passing camp participation.

TJ assistant coach Pat Oster is overseeing the program again this year. For questions, more information, or an estimate, call Oster at 412-310-7879.

• Thomas Jefferson’s softball team compiled a perfect 12-0 record in section play this season — the Lady Jaguars’ best section mark in recent memory?

TJ was 9-3 in section action in 2009 and 2010, and finished 7-5 in section play in 2014 before going on to win the WPIAL Class AAA championship.

Ray Fisher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or

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