Mt. Pleasant senior Labuda looks to help 2 teams this fall

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Sunday, August 21, 2022 | 5:01 PM


As if Robbie Labuda wasn’t busy enough.

Now the top running back for the Mt. Pleasant football team wants to add soccer to his packed schedule. It would be his fourth sport in high school. He already plays basketball and runs track.

“I want to try to help them win a section title and make the WPIAL playoffs,” Labuda said. “Football is still my priority.

“There is an agreement between the coaches. I do different things, but I never miss a football practice. I’ll go to soccer whenever I can. I just have to stay hydrated and eat. I plan on being a scorer for the soccer team.”

Soccer is nothing new for Labuda. He plays Cup soccer and will play striker for the Vikings.

“I’ve talked to the soccer coach and Robbie about minimizing and not being overused,” Mt. Pleasant football coach Jason Fazekas said. “We want to work around and help kids out. You want to give them the best experience you can. We’re going to work through it, and if there is any kid that can do it, it’s him.”

Labuda has started for the football team for the past two seasons, and he rushed for a team-high 1,004 yards, had 11 catches for 104 yards, scored 13 touchdowns and kicked 21 extra points.

“He’s a great player, and we’re expecting a lot from him,” Fazekas said. “I think he’s set to have a great year.”

Labuda also plays cornerback and is the team’s kicker. He’s a team captain.

“It’s no surprise that Robbie is a captain,” Fazekas said. “The players know that he does things right. He’s always giving great effort, he’s always on time and he’s just a great leader. He’s a ‘do it’ kind of leader, not a guy who just says stuff.”

Labuda said he’s looking forward to the football season. He’s expecting big things and feels this could be a special season.

“As a team, I expect us to go pretty far and do better than we did last year,” Labuda said. “We just keep improving.

“As for myself, I want to try to make the team better and do well. I feel I can get stronger. My blocking wasn’t the best. I feel I can help the team that way.”

Mt. Pleasant finished the 2021 season 6-5 and reached the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals. The Vikings defeated Burrell to open the playoffs but then lost to Avonworth.

The Interstate Conference also got a lot tougher with Belle Vernon and Greensburg Salem dropping for Class 4A. Belle Vernon lost in the WPIAL Class 4A final to Aliquippa.

Labuda said he and his teammates are up for the challenge of competing against the bigger schools

“I feel we’re going to be faster this season,” Labuda said. “We’re not going to be as big up front. We’re going to try to win with speed.

“Belle Vernon and Greensburg Salem are definitely bigger schools and tougher. If we go out and play like the way we do, we should be OK.”

Fazekas said what he likes the most about Labuda is his leadership and approach.

“He’s a throwback type player,” Fazekas said, “He doesn’t say anything. He just gives effort all the time. He just gets at it, does his job and is business-like about it. I think that’s why he’s in the position he is. That’s why he’s successful.”

Labuda said a football team is like a family. That’s why he loves the game.

“Football is such a great sport to play,” Labuda said. “People don’t get the training that’s goes into it. I’m always active. I train a lot.

“Your team is your family. We’re all tight and you know everybody. It’s fun to be there.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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