Trib HSSN May Madness: Neil Walker, Pine-Richland vs. Josh Lay, Aliquippa

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 | 9:00 AM

Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday and running through 9 a.m. Wednesday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this first-round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Wednesday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the boys. Round 1, Day 3:

Neil Walker vs. Josh Lay is a battle of two of the older competitors who were shining in the early years of the 21st century. Walker is one of two Rams in the event while Quips week continues with Lay following up on Monday’s match between fellow Aliquippa alum Darrelle Revis and M.J. Devonshire.

Neil Walker — Pine-Richland Class of 2004

(Baseball, football, basketball)

• 2004 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review co-athlete male of the year

• 2004 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 24 football and Diamond Dozen all-star teams

• In four years as a starter on the Rams baseball team, the switch-hitting catcher hit .504 with 32 home runs and 102 RBIs

• In his senior season, Walker batted .657 with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a slugging percentage of 1.403 in leading the Rams to a WPIAL championship

• Walker was a standout wide receiver in football, helping Pine-Richland win the 2003 WPIAL Class AAA championship. The Rams reached the state finals but lost in a snowstorm, 39-38, in an epic PIAA title game

• While he did not play his senior year, Walker was an all-section basketball player in 2003

• His No. 24 baseball jersey was retired by Pine-Richland in 2010

• Was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2012

• Walker played Major League Baseball for Pittsburgh, New York Mets and Yankees, Milwaukee and Miami

Bernard “Josh” Lay — Aliquippa Class of 2001

(Football, basketball)

• 1999 and 2000 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Class AA football player of the year and Trib Terrific 25 all-star selection

• Started for Aliquippa football team at wide receiver as a sophomore and at quarterback as a junior and senior

• Lay threw for 1,368 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed 556 yards as a senior after averaging nearly 22 yards a catch in his sophomore season

• On defense, Lay had 18 career interceptions as a defensive back, including a pair of picks in the 2000 title game 14-6 victory over Waynesburg Central

• Lay was a guard for the Aliquippa basketball team that won WPIAL championships in his freshman and junior seasons and reached the PIAA finals his senior year, where the Quips lost to Camp Hill Trinity

• The combined record for the Quips football and basketball teams in Lay’s senior year was 36-8 with a WPIAL championship and final four appearances in both the district and state playoffs

• Lay played college football as a cornerback at Pitt before playing in the NFL for New Orleans and St. Louis

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