AP NEWS

A-K Valley athletes of the week: Kiski Area’s Greg Paes, Burrell’s Jordyn Kowalkowski

October 29, 2018

Greg Paes

School: Kiski Area

Class: Junior

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Paes paced the Cavaliers attack last week, notching a goal in each of Kiski Area’s last three games, including the game-tying goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Section 1-AAA foe Hampton. A two-year starter, he leads Kiski Area (10-6-1, 9-5) in goals (7) and assists (9). Paes started the season at defensive right-side backer, where he scored three goals before moving to midfield. He scored game-winners against Highlands and Indiana.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I would say 12 years, since I was 4.

Which one are you, a defender or midfielder?

A midfielder. I just think that it’s more natural for me to pass the ball and not getting up the field as much.

How tough was it to get through Section 1-AAA this season?

It’s been tough. It’s been a lot tougher than we thought. It’s been a battle every game.

Who are the unsung heroes on this team?

I would say our freshman class. In particular, Travis Rogal, Aaron Witt and Owen Zimmerman.

Is there a team you’d like to see in the postseason?

I’d like to get a rematch against Mars for a third time. We came very close in the second game.

Any predictions as to what seed Kiski might get?

We’re hoping for a home playoff game. We’re thinking in the top 10.

Your brother Nico is a senior midfielder. Who is the better soccer player?

I don’t know about that one. It’s whoever comes and plays that day.

How is it to play on the same line as your brother?

It’s fun. We know to find each other in ways that others can’t find it. They can’t see it the way we see it.

How does it feel to get into the postseason?

It’s definitely a good feeling. We have a very inexperienced postseason team. It’ll be my first experience.

Why do you wear the No. 10?

It’s a number I like. A lot of professional players wear it, and it’s a well-known number.

Who is your favorite soccer player?

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Kevin De Bruyne, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Eminem.

What three words best describe you?

Smart. Dedicated. Passionate.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

Chemistry.

What is something interesting about you that people don’t know?

I’d like to pick up golf. It’s something I’d like to get into.

Jordyn Kowalkowski

School: Burrell

Class: Sophomore

Sport: Soccer

Report card: Kowalkowski leads the playoff-bound Bucs in goals (15) and has tallied five assists from her midfielder spot. She scored the game-winner in Burrell’s 2-1 Section 2-AA win over Apollo-Ridge to punch the Bucs’ postseason ticket. Kowalkowski also scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in Burrell’s 3-2 win over Greensburg Central Catholic and added a four goal-performance in Burrell’s 11-0 win over Valley. She also runs the 800 and 1600 meters for the Burrell track team and plays for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds under-16 travel team.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I’ve been playing since I was 6.

How did you find your way to the midfielder position?

I started at outside midfielder, moved back to defense and then got moved back up (to midfielder).

How tough was it to get through the section this season?

It was crazy. Going into each game, either team can win. It comes down to whatever team wants it more.

Who are the unsung heroes on this team?

Kaylee Pagane, our center defender. She’s the best defender on our team. She plays super aggressive and knows where to put the ball to start our attack

Is there a team that you’d like to see in the postseason?

I know we would love to see Deer Lakes again. They’re a very skillful team and so are we. If we played them again, it could go either way.

How does it feel to get to the postseason?

It feels really good. All along, we know that we could do it. It’s all mental.

What did this team learn from last year’s postseason?

We knew that we had the skill to win, but we learned that we win or lose the game mentally.

Why do you wear the No. 7?

My favorite soccer movie is “Gracie” and Gracie wore that in the movie; and, it’s also God’s favorite number.

Who is your favorite soccer player?

Carli Lloyd because she’s also a midfielder and I look up to her.

What three people would you like to have dinner with?

Michael Jordan, Ronald Reagan and Carli Lloyd.

What three words best describe you?

Disciplined. Picky. Logical.

What’s your favorite subject at school?

My favorite class is gym class. But, my favorite actual subject is literature because I love to write.

What is something interesting about you that people don’t know?

I can say the alphabet backwards.

-- William Whalen