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Westmoreland high school notebook: Apodiakos still without offer

Tribune-Review
| Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:51 p.m
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Markello Apodiakos believes he has the talent to play Division I college soccer. So do his teammates, coaches and opponents.

The Belle Vernon senior standout has 67 career goals and 25 assists. He was the Tribune-Review Westmoreland boys player of the year last fall, made All-WPIAL and was the Section 3 Player of the Year.

The forward scored 37 goals last season.

So where are the scholarship offers?

“None yet,” Apodiakos said. “I’m not really sure why. I had some interest the last couple years, starting two years ago. It’s made me want to work harder.”

Pitt and Michigan State have been in contact with the program. Pitt was scheduled to come to a game last week to see Apodiakos play, but the plans fell through.

“We’re hoping they can reschedule and still come out,” Leopards coach Rob Miele said. “We’ve had several schools ask about Markello.”

Apodiakos played for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Cup team before moving to Century United. He said coaches have done just about everything but offer.

He has interest from Division II schools, such as Seton Hill, and Division III programs Saint Vincent and Washington & Jefferson.

“I play year-round, so I am just going to keep working and see what happens,” he said.

More Stone and football

It came out last week that former Southmoreland basketball star Brandon Stone is playing football for Christ School, a prep school in Arden, N.C.

He recently committed to La Salle for basketball.

At 6-foot-11 and 205 pounds, the senior apparently has some game — far from the level he’s reached in basketball, which brought him nearly 20 Division I scholarship offers — but that size and wingspan can give opponents problems.

Coaching a player with Stone’s frame, though, can be a challenge, the injury risk notwithstanding. Especially because he is unproven in the sport. He had played a couple of years of youth football and one year at Southmoreland.

“I had never had the chance to coach a football player with his height before. I was honestly a little skeptical about what he could bring to the table,” Christ School assistant football coach Nick Luhm said. “I am the type of coach that typically tries to reserve judgment on a player until I see him hit, so I waited to make a call on where he would fit in, especially on the defensive side of the ball, until his first day of full contact. Let me just say this: He did not disappoint. Brandon is a young man that plays with a level of physicality that would make any football coach proud to have him on his team.”

Stone plays wide receiver and safety.

“As a safety, he is able to cover a lot of ground and move his large frame into throwing lanes,” Luhm said. “Additionally, he is quick enough to cover wide receivers one-on-one. He reads the field well and puts himself in a position to make plays. I am certainly glad he is part of our program.”

Soccer showdown

The girls soccer matchup of the night Tuesday features rivals No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic at No. 1 Shady Side Academy in Section 1-A.

They went 2-2 against each other last season, including a split in the playoffs. GCC won the WPIAL championship 1-0 before Shady Side blanked the Centurions, 3-0, in the PIAA semifinals.

Since the teams began competing against one another in Class A in 2010, GCC has won 19 of the 24 meetings.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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