Name: Stone Kepple
High School: Derry Area
Weight Class: 126
Name: Stone Kepple
Derry Area may only have a 3-7 record but the Trojans are making a statement that they could be in the discussion when it comes to qualifying for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
Nearly halfway through its Section 3 slate, Derry is in fourth place and, if the season ended today, it would qualify for the postseason. Though the Trojans have lost their last three games, including both matchups in the Ligonier Valley tournament, they have a solid opportunity to move up in the section over the next week.
Derry (3-7, 2-2) will get back into action tonight when it takes on Laurel Highlands and will finish the first half Thursday when it travels to Southmoreland. The Trojans have yet to beat a team with a winning record.
Name: Katerina Hamerski
High School: Derry
Sport: Girls Volleyball
Position: Middle Hitter
Five up, five down.
Derry has started its Section 3-AA slate 5-0, including 5-0 wins over Springdale, Riverview and Ford City.
Juniors Maria Palombo and Natalie Sarnes, sophomore Katie Enos, and seniors Heather Ramsey and Abby Cox have all stood tall for the Trojans.
Derry finished in a tie for third with Southmoreland last year with a 7-5 record.
Derry has turned to one of its former star players in hopes of injecting some wins into a program that has struggled mightily over the years.
New coach Tim Sweeney is a 1985 Derry graduate who played on Penn State's 1986 national championship team. Sweeney was an assistant at Derry from 2006-09.
"I think any high school coach would tell you that it's special to work with high school kids in general, but to have the opportunity to work with kids at your alma mater makes it all the more special," Sweeney said.
Derry is coming off an 0-10 season in which the Trojans allowed a WPIAL-high 56.3 points per game. The Trojans last made the playoffs in 2009 and have not finished with a winning record since 2000.