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Football: East Feature Athlete - Derry’s Tyler Balega

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Tyler Balega
School: Derry
Grade: 12
Sport: Football
Position: Running back/Safety

Background: Balega's coach compares him to Stanford star Christian McCaffery because of his versatility and explosiveness. Balega might be more valuable to his team, however, considering he's a standout on defense, as well. Balega plays running back, returns punts and kicks, starts at strong safety, and is even the long snapper. He missed two games with a groin injury but has still rushed for 557 yards and nine touchdowns. He ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns in last week's win against South Park. Balega stars for a Derry team that is off to one of the best starts in school history. The Trojans are 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Class 3A Interstate Conference.

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Football: Undefeated Derry one of WPIAL’s biggest surprises

Written by Brad Everett on .

Derry is 4-0 and in first place in its conference.

Yes, you read that right.

A football program that hasn't had much success over years have become relevant this season. Derry has won each of its four games and is one of two teams without a loss in the Class 3A Interstate Conference. The Trojans are 3-0 and McGuffey is 2-0.

The strong start comes as a big surprise considering this is a program that since 2002 has reached the playoffs just once (2009) and has finished with a winning record just once (2015). The Trojans went 5-4 last season. They won four of their final five games a season ago, meaning they've won eight of their last nine games.

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Girls Volleyball: East Feature Athlete - Derry Area's Danielle Zemba

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Name: Danielle Zemba
High School: Derry Area
Grade: 12
Sport: Girls Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

Background Info: Danielle has been playing volleyball since 7th grade. Over the past four seasons she has put a tremendous amount of time and energy into volleyball. Last year she was selected first team all section and third team all WPIAL. She is one of our captains and has moved from playing opposite to an outside hitter. She will anchor a team that has played together for many seasons. Danielle also plays basketball and softball.  

Quotes from Derry coach Brock Smith: "Danielle has the size and skill that we have not had in many years and she along with several other teammates have the potential to do great things this year. She is the ultimate team player and will do whatever we need her to do. Danielle is the type of kid that makes coaching easy."

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Track: Derry's McDonald shines at invitational

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Derry had a strong showing by Kara McDonald at the 67th Annual West Central Coaches Invitational last Friday.

The junior won the discus and the shot put. She threw 112 feet, 11 inches in the discus, out-throwing Altoona's Lindsey Hallinan by more than 10 feet. McDonald went on to claim the javelin title with a mark of 116 feet, 7 inches.

Stephanie Polinsky grabbed fifth place in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 2 ½ inches. The senior went on to take seventh in the triple jump.

For the boys, Shawn Broadway took sixth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.13.