Trib HSSN athletes of the week: Chartiers Valley’s Joe Pipilo, Elizabeth Forward’s spirit squad

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 8:36 PM

Joe Pipilo

School: Chartiers Valley

Sport: Basketball

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Chartiers Valley junior Joe Pipilo started 2018 on a high note, scoring 24 points in the Colts' 60-58 loss at defending champion Moon. Then two days later, he tossed in a game-high 34 points as CV rolled past Hampton, 69-49.

What are the expectations for Chartiers Valley this season?

To win, the same expectation as every year.

With a lot of folks talking about fellow Section 2-5A rivals Mars and Montour, do you feel your team is flying under the radar a bit?

Yes, I feel that we do go under the radar because of our lack of experience as a team. Even without a senior this year, I think that we can surprise people.

The Colts girls won it all last year; why is basketball so big and successful at Chartiers Valley?

Char Valley has always been a big basketball school, and I believe it has largely to do with all the support we get from fans, students and parents.

What's it like to play for Coach Tim McConnell?

It takes a lot of hard work, and it's a huge time commitment, but I'm lucky to have him as a coach because I've learned so much since I came to CV freshman year.

Any predictions in who will play who in the Super Bowl?

Saints and Steelers.

Do you have fun outside with the winter weather or hibernate inside this time of year?

I'm more of an inside guy around this time of year.

Elizabeth Forward spirit squad

School: Elizabeth Forward

Sport: Competitive spirit

Class: All

Claim to fame: The Elizabeth Forward competitive spirit team brought home gold for a second straight year in Class 2A at the 2018 WPIAL championships Saturday at Hempfield. The Warriors became the third school to win consecutive championships at the yearly event. The four captains who helped answer these questions are Gabby West, Jordan Vasko, Shaynen Mooney and Myah Winowitch with West being the spokesperson of the squad.

Your team had to leave for another school function before the judge's decision; were you confidant that your routine had a good chance to win?

We've had a rough time this past month with sickness and injuries, but we are always confident in pulling everything together and trusting each other to perform our very best. For us, staying humble and positive leaving the competition reassured us that we were proud of ourselves no matter what the outcome was.

How long does your squad practice that specific routine you used on Saturday?

We practiced that specific routine for the past couple weeks. We added more difficulty to our stunts and cleaned up the routine since the previous competition so we would be prepared for the WPIAL competition. We knew we had to step up the difficulty and technique in order to do well. We spent our practices rehearsing our routine to improve our stamina as well.

What makes the Elizabeth Forward squad so good?

This has been one of the best cheer teams Elizabeth Forward has ever had. We are always helping each other out, staying positive no matter what the situation is, and striving to be better each practice. Most importantly, cheerleading is all about good spirit and positivity, and that is exactly what Elizabeth Forward tries to uphold as a team.

How often do you practice each week?

From May to February we practice at least twice a week with the exception of competition week. When competition week approaches we work all week perfecting our skills and putting it all together. Since cheer is basically year-round we all grew super close as a team which helped us succeed when competition season came around.

What are the remaining goals for the team this school year?

We accomplished so much this year, and we still have remaining goals until our season ends. When we arrive to Hershey for states and Disney for nationals our goal is to make it to Day 2 finals. But our ultimate goal is to have fun and show support towards each other while rising to the top each time we perform.

While they don't have cheerleaders, if the Warriors squad had a chance to cheer at a Steelers playoff game, but temperatures were in single digits, would your team do it?

Our team would absolutely cheer at a Steelers game! There's nothing more our squad loves than to watch our favorite team take home a win! If we had the opportunity to do so, I guarantee a little bit of cold would not stop us from defending our home team.

Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at

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