The Royal

The Student News Site of Hempfield Area High School

The Royal

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Winter Sports Preview

Winter Sports Preview

Girls Basketball

This year’s girls 23-24 basketball team has had more potential this year than previous years. “Our goals this year are to make the playoffs, and run other teams out of the gym” says Coach Bobby Madison. Seniors Sarah Podkul and Ashley Hosni will be two key components to the team this year. Sarah being starting point guard, and Ashley being starting small forward/ shooting guard. We have a young team, with 9 freshmen and 4 sophomores. The team strives to beat rivals Norwin and other powerhouse teams such as North Allegheny, Seneca Valley, and Pine Richland. 

Boys Basketball

This year’s goal for the Boys Basketball team is to compete for a section title. “We need a faster start this year, last year we lost by 55 and 35 points in our first two section games, after that we played really good,” says Coach Bill Swan. The boys team plays in a 6A basketball section, with the only local team being Norwin. This year the team has 5 seniors, RW Dornin, Matt Vohs, Jayson Watkins, Caden Biondi, and Aaron Woodley. The team has 4 juniors, Max Williams, Drew Gordon, Dylan Firmstone, and Joey Desantis. Swan says “We are hoping all these guys contribute to the team this year.” With 12 young guys the boys team is hoping to have a bright future. 

Hockey

The boys 23-24 hockey team strives to win the Pens Cup, with the help of captains Alex Smilie and Nick Eberhardt. “They both lead by example and both really want this team to be successful,” says Coach Corey Myers. Assistant captain Max Short is also a big help to the team this year. Coach Myers says, “He is solid on the penalty kill and on the powerplay.” Sophomores Nino Dipietro, JJ Wiliams, and goalie Evan Saltzgiver are all great skilled players that are being leaned on to score goals and block shots. “Our main goals this year are to put ourselves in a good playoff spot, and grow as a team each week,” says Myers. 

Indoor Track

“Our goals for this season are for the girls to win the TSCTA championship and for the boys to place in the top 3,” Coach David Murray says as he sets high expectations for the 2023-2024 indoor track team. The boys team will be led by senior Caleb Prola in sprints and middle distance, senior Peyton Murray in the throws, senior Harrison Methven in the pole vault, and junior Luke Snider in the distance. The girls team is led by senior pole vaulter and high jumper Grace Iwig, sophomore Lauren Howard who placed at states last year for triple jump, and is an outstanding hurdler, senior Alicia Weimer in the distance, junior Allie Dematt is jumping and hurdling and junior Katie Dolinski in the throws. 

Swimming

The boys swim team is a young team with 2 seniors and 1 junior and between the girls and the boys, the team had 9 people make the All State Team in the last two years. Coach Kevin Clougherty says, “This is an opportunity for the younger people to step up and say, ‘this is my day, this is my time, this is my year.’” Both girls and boys teams have lots of potential, with strong and dedicated swimmers this year. The team’s goals this year are for people to step up and take advantage of their opportunities. Also they strive to beat rival of 20 years, Penn Trafford. 

Wrestling

This year’s wrestling team strives for greatness. The team’s goals are to make it to team states, and to “keep producing champions on and off the mats,” says new coach Steve Santia. Wrestlers Eli Carr, Pierce Turner, Nate Caracciolo, and Nico Kapusta will be depended on to do their part for the team and strive for Individual championships. Santia says,” I want this team to chase not only the state title together but the WPIAL championship.”

Competition Cheer

The team goals for the 23-24 competition cheer team are to “try and hit their routine at every competition and win WPIALs,” says sophomore Ari Gray. Captains Alexa Gray, Gianna Demarco, and Savannah Watson will hopefully lead the team to great things. “We want to show that losing 17 seniors doesn’t mean we are doomed,” says junior Carly Coletta. Overall the goal is to focus on working together and becoming consistent. “I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts and hard work this team has put in so far this season,” says Coach Suzannah Mayer.

Bowling 

Coach Robin Ross says his goals for the 23-24 bowling team are, “to help my bowlers, bowl to their best ability, and make sure that everyone has fun this season. The team is looking to lean on players, Amelia Droste, Ashley Bensur and Lauren Naeger for the girls. For the guys, Josh Cayer, Eli Johnson, Braylon Johnson, and Cameron Elder will show their best. “I really enjoy coaching these kids, and I’m really proud of their hard work,” says Coach Ross.

Rifle

After yet another successful season, Coach Jason Wilkins has high expectations for his returning team. There are more people coming out for rifle than ever before. Because of this, the team has the opportunity to place its best teammates on the Varsity team and allow those on JV to work towards moving up the ranks. It is sure to be an exciting season.

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About the Contributor
Katarina DeVito, Contributor
Born and raised in Greensburg PA, Katarina DeVito attends Hempfield Area High School as a sophomore. She is a member of the golf, basketball, and track team. Kats favorite place is the beach, and she could see herself moving there in the future. Every year she goes to Topsail Island NC with her family; she loves to surf and scuba dive. She started diving this summer, and it has been a life changing experience. She has dog named Maggie and 3 siblings. She loves hanging out with friends, going out, and cooking and baking. Her dream school is UNC, and she wants to pursue sports medicine and hopefully be a doctor in the future. She has always been a UNC fan and loves their sports teams and academics. She wishes to play basketball or golf for the university one day in the future. For now she looks forward too writing for The Royal.