A-K Valley notebook: St. Joseph grad stars in Super Bowl commercial

Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 9:03 PM

A former St. Joseph boys basketball standout will get a shining moment on professional football’s biggest night.

Chris Conroy, a 2005 St. Joseph graduate, is starring in a Super Bowl commercial for Mercedes Benz’s A-Class model.

In the ad, which was posted online Thursday and is titled “Say The Word,” Conroy showcases god-like powers, making the world do its bidding: changing a traffic sign, destroying a parking ticket and making an ATM rain money.

The 60-second spot also includes appearances from Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Ludacris and stand-ins for Lassie and the killer whale from “Free Willy.”

St. Joseph boys basketball coach Kelly Robinson said the ad was scheduled to run in the second quarter.

Kirilloff rising

Alex Kirilloff will get some big league time this spring, as the former Plum baseball star received a nonroster invitation to Minnesota Twins spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kirilloff, the Twins’ first-round draft pick in 2016, is coming off a breakthrough season at the Twins’ affiliates in Class A (Cedar Rapids) and high-A (Fort Myers). He was named the Twins’ minor league player of the year after he hit a combined .348 with 20 homers and 101 RBIs. Kirilloff also was named a Midwest League All-Star and competed in the league’s home run derby.

The 21-year-old outfielder is considered one of the top prospects in baseball. Several publications and writers slotted him in the top 100 of recent rankings. MLB Pipeline put him ninth in minor league baseball, ESPN’s Keith Law ranked him 11th, Baseball America had him 15th and Baseball Prospectus listed him 39th.

Clarion calling Cohen

Highlands record-setting quarterback Seth Cohen made his college decision Wednesday, committing to Clarion.

“It feels pretty good to finally be committed,” Cohen said. “It’s taken a lot of pressure and stress off my shoulders. The biggest factors were definitely the new coaching staff and how much experience coach (Chris) Weibel is bringing in. They have much college experience, as well as NFL experience.”

Cohen, who said Clarion’s business program also was a factor in his decision, this season became the first quarterback in Alle-Kiski Valley history to reach 4,000 career passing yards. He threw for 1,777 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior.

Sealed with a Biss

Another record-breaking Kiski Area football player committed to a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference school, as linebacker Drew Dinunzio-Biss announced he will play for IUP.

Dinunzio-Biss broke Scott McKillop’s school record for solo tackles, racking up 270 in his career. As a senior, he had 89 solo tackles in nine games, plus six sacks.

“One of the biggest factors was obviously the success that they have up there,” Dinunzio-Biss said. “They’re such an amazing program that’s had a lot of success over the years, so I’m excited to become a part of that. Also, my family played a huge role in my decision. They helped me weigh the pros and cons of every college I was thinking about attending, and they ultimately helped me reach my decision.”

Dinunzio-Biss joins all-time leading Kiski Area receiver Jack Colecchi (Cal, Pa.) as recent PSAC commits for the Cavaliers.

More recruiting

Former Fox Chapel football star Micah Morris, who played this season at Berkshire Prep (Mass.), announced he will attend Penn next season. Morris, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound bruising running back, rushed for more than 2,500 yards and 27 touchdowns combined during his junior and senior seasons at Fox Chapel in 2016 and ‘17. As a senior, he piled up 1,322 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Freeport senior Conor Selinger received his first scholarship offer from Division II Lake Erie. A three-year starter at running back and linebacker for the Yellowjackets, Selinger battled injuries as a senior but still racked up a team-high 75 tackles, five for loss, one sack and two interceptions. He rushed for 716 yards and 12 touchdowns.

New boss

Plum has a new softball coach, hiring Phil Dilonardo late last month.

An assistant coach with the Mustangs for eight seasons, Dilonardo will take over for Jim McGrath, who resigned shortly after the 2018 campaign, his 11th season at the helm.

“Knowing the program and the players made for a smoother transition,” Dilonardo said. “There’s a comfort level for the kids and for me.”

Plum is hoping to return to the WPIAL playoffs after coming up one game short in the section race for the postseason last spring. It marked the end of a streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances.

Michael Love contributed. Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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