Senior Spotlight: North Catholic standout proud of claiming WPIAL gold in two sports

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020 | 10:00 AM


Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Just a few years ago, North Catholic senior Ryan Feczko arrived onto the Pittsburgh baseball scene as a young southpaw who led the Trojans to their first WPIAL baseball title since 2007.

During that historic run, Feczko put together a sophomore season in which he threw 51⅔ innings, struck out 73 batters and produced a 2.30 ERA. He also hit for a .500 average with 26 hits and 18 RBIs.

His performance in the WPIAL championship game, where he limited a strong Serra Catholic lineup to just two runs, one earned, and only four hits, was one of his best.

“It was great because it was literally eight seniors and me in the starting lineup,” Feczko said. “So, to be able to win that for them, because I knew it was their last time and we had a really good team, it was definitely a great experience, definitely my favorite memory in high school.”

Baseball wasn’t the only sport that Feczko succeeded in either.

Just this past winter, even though he didn’t know it at the time, the 6-foot-2 senior guard helped the Trojans go out on top. The basketball team defeated Lincoln Park in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game. They finished the season with a 26-2 record before the PIAA tournament was canceled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Before his team blew through the competition in the WPIAL tournament, Feczko had a shining moment of his own when the Trojans were down by two against Pine Richland in their final regular season game. In the final seconds, Feczko received an inbounds pass, took a few dribbles and banked in the game-winning shot from behind the 3-point line.

“It was our senior night, and it was our last regular season game,” Feczko said. “So it was kind of like a springboard for us. We thought if we could beat great 6A teams, we should be able to do really well in the 3A playoffs too.”

Even though his senior season was cut short, Feczko, who will be playing baseball at Davidson, was proud of how his high school athletics career went.

“It’s been a great experience,” Feczko said. “I’ve gotten to play golf and basketball for four years and the baseball up until this point. I’ve just experienced so many great coaches and people that have taught me a lot, and we’ve had a ton of success.”

What is your favorite memory while playing baseball for North Catholic?

It would definitely have to be jumping on the pile after the WPIAL championship game.

With the game on the line, would you rather be at the plate or on the mound?

On the mound. I like having control of the game.

What’s your pitching repertoire?

It’s just fastball, changeup, curveball. But there are games where I’ll throw 50% curveballs and there are games where I’ll throw a lot of fastballs. Just depends on the day.

If you could pick any hitter to face, who would it be?

Bryce Harper, even if he would hit a nuke off me.

What’s your favorite sports moment as a fan?

Definitely the Pirates 2013 wild card game

What made you want to go to college at Davidson?

The academics are really important to me, so that was the first step for me. Then, they got to see me play in Fort Myers (during travel ball), then at a camp out in New York and we started talking. When I went to visit, I loved the coaches and I got to stay with a couple of the players and they were really cool and they seemed like me. So, it’s a great program and it was really cool.

Do you know what you want to major in?

I’m not sure yet. Davidson is a liberal arts school, so I have a few years to figure it out. But I like math and science, so we’ll see.

If you could pick anyone to give the commencement speech at your graduation, who would it be?

I would say Tim Tebow.

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

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