Burrell’s Feroce, Malits reflect on stellar careers
Monday, May 4, 2020 | 3:40 PM
Editor’s note: This is the second in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.
As a three-sport athlete, with a challenging class schedule and several other school activities, Ricky Feroce didn’t have much down time throughout the academic year.
The Burrell senior, a standout in football, wrestling and rugby, wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“Each year, I looked to get better in every sport, always shooting for the top,” said Feroce, who plans to continue wrestling in college with West Virginia, University of Manitoba and Simon Fraser in British Columbia as options.
“But I always made sure my academics came first, trying to be a leader in my class. It took a lot of hard work to achieve that.”
With a desired medical course of study, Feroce hopes to make his decision final by the end of the month.
He had hoped his spring schedule would’ve included a run with his Kiski Valley boys rugby teammates to a second straight PA Rugby state title. But the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to all school and athletic activities, and it left Feroce to wonder what could’ve been.
“We had a few practices, and the team was coming together great. Things were starting to flow,” said Feroce, a member of the National Honors Society, DARE, the Social Emotional Student Leadership Team and the Spanish Club at Burrell.
Feroce also produced for the Bucs football and wrestling teams. He earned all-conference honors in football and helped the wrestling team claim its 14th straight WPIAL Class AA title and place fifth at states.
Individually, Feroce, wrestling at 182 pounds, placed third at WPIALs and the Southwest Regional and capped his high school career with a fourth at states. He finished his senior season 39-16.
“Coming in as an underdog, finishing the way I did (at states), it was a great experience,” Feroce said.
Like Feroce, Megan Malits will be a collegiate athlete. She will join the women’s soccer program at Edinboro along with Burrell teammate Allie Vescio. She has focused on that positive throughout the state-at-home restrictions in place since March.
“I’ve gotten in touch with other members of the team, and we’re all excited for the fall,” said Malits, who plans to study secondary education and math.
“We were supposed to get together a couple of weeks ago, but we still stay in touch through online group chats.”
Success in the classroom for this year’s Burrell student government president, also a member of the National Honors Society, mirrored her accomplishments on the Burrell soccer and track and field teams.
A 2019 all-section soccer pick, Malits scored 13 goals and added 12 assists as the Bucs went undefeated in the regular season, won their first section title since 2005 and advanced to the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals.
For her efforts, Malits, a four-year soccer letterwinner, was selected to the season-ending East Suburban Sports Medicine Center WPIAL Girls Soccer Classic.
“The team has always been close, but this past year, we grew even closer,” Malits said. “It was fun to work hard together and win.”
Malits returned to the track this spring with the hopes of more success at WPIALs and another trip to states.
She helped the Bucs 3,200-meter relay cut four seconds off its seed time at WPIALs last year and place second. The team took 18th at states.
“You never know how the season was going to turn out, and those relays are like my family,” Malits said. “It was tough to not have the chance to get back out there and run at the invitationals or WPIALs and states.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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