Spotlight athletes: Tymar Sutton and Reis Zandier |
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McKeesport's Tymar Sutton (6) celebrates a turnover on downs against Plum in the second half at Plum High School on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.

Tymar Sutton

School: McKeesport

Class: Junior

Sport: Football

Claim to fame: Sutton replaced the Tigers’ starting quarterback in the second quarter and went on to rush for 152 yards and two long touchdowns, to help McKeesport to a 20-5 WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals victory over Plum.

Had you seen a lot of action before the game last Friday?

I always practice at quarterback, but I haven’t played there. That was my time to help the team.

How do you keep yourself mentally prepared to enter a game like that?

There really wasn’t much preparation. I just went in and did what the coaches asked me to do.

How did your performance in the game last week make you feel?

It felt good to be able to move on to the next round. But now it’s time to go back to work.

What do you have to do to keep performing at that level?

Just practice hard and do what the coaches (say). That’s pretty much it. I just have to keep doing what the coaches ask me to do.

What does the team need to do to win the championship?

The most important thing is for us to come together as a family.

Did your teammates make sure you were comfortable when you came into the game?

They just told me that it’s time for me to drive the team and to do everything well. They knew I was capable. Reis Zandier

School: Thomas Jefferson

Class: Junior

Sport: Volleyball

Claim to fame: Zandier helped Thomas Jefferson (18-2) reach the state volleyball playoffs for the first time since 2004. As the Jaguars’ libero, Zandier and her teammates beat District 9’s St. Marys, 3-0, in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA tournament Nov. 4.

What are the challenges of playing libero? I would say adjusting to the teams’ different offenses. … Communication is a big part and stepping up a as leader to keep your team going.

What do you enjoy most about playing that position, and volleyball in general?

Libero specifically: Whenever the hitter gets a kill, knowing that they couldn’t have done it without my pass. Volleyball, in general, my favorite part is definitely celebrating. If anyone sees me play, I have outrageous celebrations. I live for the sport. I’m very passionate about it.

What positives can you take from this season? I’d say that no matter what six girls are on the court, if you believe in each other, you can accomplish anything. This year, we really came together as a family, and that’s what got us as far as we have.

How do you prepare for each match? Usually, I eat a big dinner because I really enjoy food. I listen to music with my teammates and pretty much just dance around and try to get focused instead of nervous.

— Robert Stinner

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