Name: J.T. Lippert
High School: Keystone Oaks
Sport: Boys Volleyball
Name: J.T. Lippert
Ryan Riordan's feature on the Keystone Oaks baseball team:
"There have been a lot of "downs" for the Keystone Oaks baseball team over the past nine seasons, but behind a strong senior class, led by Kent State recruit Jared Skolnicki, the Golden Eagles have returned to the WPIAL tournament for the first time since 2004.
"It means a lot," Skolnicki said. "It was our goal coming into the season and it's great to finally be able to do it.
"Keystone Oaks deserves to be going in this direction."
It's taken a lot of hard work by many people to get the program back to the playoffs."
(Photo: Keystone Oaks' Jared Skolnicki mowed down the Elizabeth Forward lineup Monday. Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette.)
At the plate and on the mound, Jared Skolnicki has been a key part of the success the Keystone Oaks baseball team has attained this season.
Skolnicki, a senior outfielder/pitcher and Kent State signee, leads his team in hitting and is also their top pitcher. Through April 21, Skolnicki was batting .640 – the second best mark in the WPIAL – and was 3-0 on the mound.
Keystone Oaks boys volleyball coach Michael DiPaolo is pleased but a bit surprised that his Golden Eagles are unbeaten in Class AA Section 3.
"I'm a little surprised because we were inexperienced at four key positions," said DiPaolo, now in his ninth season with the Golden Eagles. "We have two brand new middle hitters, a new weak-side hitter and a new libero."
Keystone Oaks finished the first half of section play with a 5-0 record. Thomas Jefferson and Seton-LaSalle are tied for second with 3-2 records and defending section champ South Park is 2-2.
"We begin the second half of section play next week," DiPaolo said. "We were fortunate to go 5-0 in the first half, but I'm not counting on the same in the second half. Our section is pretty even this year. And all the teams are well coached, so going undefeated will be very tough."
Keystone Oaks coach Dave Bender can’t remember the last time he’s had this many players on his team.
“This is the largest group we’ve had in a while,” Bender said.
The Golden Eagles have 18 players on this season’s team, including six returning starters.