Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski named Valley News Dispatch Girls Athlete of the Year

Sunday, June 30, 2019 | 12:34 AM

Since she was a freshman, Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski has been a key contributor in three sports.

She began her high school career by starting as freshman in soccer and contributed to a run in the state tournament. Then, in basketball, she was named a captain and earned a spot in the starting lineup. Finally, she capped off that season by capturing WPIAL gold in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 19.96 seconds.

“I kind of got the pace of it at the very beginning of my freshman year with soccer, and I realized I could hang with the older girls. Then when I got to basketball, I kind of fit right in,” Shemanski said. “And it was cool because I had my older sister that first year, too, and she always took me under her wing and helped me fit in. So it was awesome to get that type of experience as a freshman because it helped me in the long run.”

A standard was set during that first year, and it’s something Shemanski has lived up to ever since.

This past year, as a junior, she played the same type of role for all three teams. During soccer season she tallied 24 goals and 18 assists, increasing her career total to 54 goals and 51 assists, as the Yellowjackets went 10-6-2.

In basketball, Shemanski was named the Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year after averaging 14.6 points, 9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.6 steals. Her team lost only two section games but suffered a first-round loss to Quaker Valley.

“She did it all for us,” Freeport basketball coach Fred Soilis said. “She brings everyone together. … She’s a vital piece of the team. She’s a three-year captain, and she’s a leader by example.”

Shemanski capped off her junior year in track and field, where she finished fourth in the WPIAL and ninth at the state in the 800. But with plans of running in college, Shemanski has the determination to come back for her final season and set another standard for herself at the next level.

“I want to improve in every sport,” Shemanski said. “But I plan on running track and field in college, so I really think I want to put a lot of time and effort into getting my times down from this year for my senior year.”

How do you feel your junior year went?

I think it went very well. I was very happy with it. I knew it was going to be an important season for me, knowing that I only have one year left. It was really nice to realize that I really had to give it my all and everything. I was very happy with my junior year and I enjoyed all three sports a lot.

What’s it like to be a key contributor in three sports?

It’s awesome. I absolutely love it. All three sports I do, soccer, basketball and track, it’s constantly hectic. I get caught running around and I get no break whatsoever. It’s a little hard, ya know, dealing with sports and homework. But I’ve kept an above 4.0 GPA, so I’ve been staying organized. But I just love being a part of all of the teams. Especially, I mean, track is a more of an individual sport. But going from all of my soccer friends to my basketball friends to all my track friends. So it gets me out there a lot and I have a lot of different friends.

You were named captain in basketball as a freshman. Did that surprise you?

I was very surprised when I got those responsibilities. But, my dad had experience with that from playing football at Pitt, so he helped me a lot. But naturally, I feel like I am a leader and I help out my teammates so it just comes to me naturally I think.

Was there a particular sports season that stuck out to you this year?

I think basketball stood out to me the most this year because my grade has a lot of girls in it where we’ve been playing for a long time. So I honestly think our senior season will be even better. But I think our junior season was also awesome.

What’s your favorite sport?

Oh geez, I don’t know. I love basketball more than anything, so that’s probably my favorite sport. But I think at the next level I think track is more my calling.

What are your plans for the summer?

Well, we just went to a team camp in West Virginia for basketball, which was an awesome experience. But other than sports, I am just going on vacation.

What advice would you give younger athletes who are entering high school?

Always give your best effort, even though the coaches may not be giving you time or attention because it’s all going to pay off in the end whether you realize it or not. But if you have interests in a sport don’t let other people affect how you play or what you do.

Do you have any superstitions?

Oh definitely. For soccer, I have to wear the same shin guards. I have a lot of pairs throughout the week and I have practice cleats and game cleats, so I can only wear the cleats for those specific events. Then, for basketball I can only wear this one pair of socks for games.

Who is your favorite athlete?

Sidney Crosby

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Burgatory or Chick-Fil-A

Favorite animal?


Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at or via Twitter .


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