Westmoreland H.S. athletes of the week: Yough’s McKenzie Pritts, Franklin Regional’s Sam Dawson

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Saturday, October 22, 2022 | 5:11 PM


McKenzie Pritts

School: Yough

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Pritts scored her 100th career goal as Yough defeated Serra Catholic, 4-0. She had all four goals in the game.

The 100th goal came in the 79th minute.

A Robert Morris commit, Pritts has helped short-handed Yough earn the No. 11 seed in the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs. Yough opens the tournament 8 p.m. Tuesday at Shady Side Academy.

Pritts has 29 goals and nine assists for the season.

Ever since she was very young, she has always been a good finisher, Yough coach Mike Veycheck said. She does not let pressure situations bother her. When you absolutely have to have a goal … that’s when she shines the most.

Belle Vernon’s Farrah Reader, who also scored 100 career goals, also was considered for athlete of the week.

The team made a concerted effort to get you the 100-goal milestone Tuesday. What was it like to be the go-to player on almost every possession?

It was very exciting but also tiring. I am very humbled that my team rallied around me to make it happen.

You are one of only 12 players on the team. How has Yough overcome the lack of depth and managed to keep everyone healthy?

We always have to be honest with out trainer and let her know if anything is wrong.

What will it take to make a playoff run with such a small roster?

We have to play our game and make the most out of our opportunities.

What do you like most about Robert Morris?

What isn’t there to like? I love every aspect of it.

Who is the best player you’ve played against?

Tessa Dellarose.

Any guilty pleasures?

I put ice in my milk.

What is something about Yough’s team nobody knows?

We pray before every game.

What has been the highlight of your soccer career?

Being able to play the sport I love with my best friends by my side.

What rule would you change in high school soccer?

No overtime in nonsection games.

Last concert you attended?

The Kid Laroi.

Your best Halloween costume was ____?

A hot dog.

Favorite Halloween-time movie?

Halloween (1978).

What is your go-to order at Sheetz?

App sampler with mac and cheese bites and two sets of mozzarella sticks.

Did you know coach Mike Veychek played minor-league baseball?

Yes, so maybe he can give me tips for softball.

Can’t-miss TV series?

Grey’s Anatomy.

Are the Steelers going to turn the season around?

Yes. Steelers country for life.

How high is Cougar Mountain?

No idea, but it is a lot colder up there.

Greater thrill: Scoring on a PK or hitting a home run in softball?

Home run.

Before I graduate, I want to ______?

Make an album of pictures of all the good times with my friends in high school.

Sam Dawson

School: Franklin Regional

Class: Senior

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: Dawson, 18, came to the United States from England four years ago. He scored two goals earlier this week when the Panthers, seeded fourth in Class 3A WPIAL playoffs, defeated Fox Chapel, 3-1.

The Foxes are seeded No. 4 in Class 4A.

He has 11 goals as a center midfielder this season.

Franklin Regional coach Lukas Petersen said Dawson is a leader, a driven player and a hard worker.

When did you start playing soccer?

I was 5 when I started playing. I loved the sport and played it all my life.

Do you plan on playing soccer after high school?

Yes, I’m looking at different options. I may go back to England and play for a cup team, or I may go to college and play. I’m looking at a few schools in Florida.

How big was the win against Fox Chapel?

It was huge because of the build-up. We trained hard for the match, and it was a good tune-up for the playoffs. Coach Petersen gave a great speech before the game to fire us up.

How did you end up in Murrysville?

I came over with my dad and his new wife. I still have a lot of family in England.

What’s your opinion of soccer in the United States?

It’s more structured here than in England. The academies in England are good, but I like the structure here better.

What’s your role at Franklin Regional?

I’m more of a defender, but I do get my scoring opportunities. I’d like to score more.

What’s your favorite food in the states?

I like Chick-fil-A. We don’t have that in England. I also like Texas Roadhouse, and the wings are a lot better here.

England is known for its Fish and Chips. What is something else you like?

I like “Toad-In-The-Hole.” Its sausage links baking in Yorkshire pudding.

What’s the last movie you watched?

My friends and I just watched “Smile.” It’s a pretty good horror flick.

What type of music to you like?

I like rap. I listen to Playboi Carti.

What’s your favorite vacation spot in the United States?

Before I got here, all I knew was Los Angeles, New York City and Florida. I like going to Myrtle Beach, and I had fun skiing in Colorado.

What’s your favorite vacation spot in England?

I like Cornwall. It’s a beach and fishing village on the Celtic Sea.

Have you ever attended the Glastonbury music festival?

Yes, it’s a great weekend of music. You camp on the grounds, and you get some great acts there. They have 10 stages around the venue with different music groups. It should be on everyone’s bucket list.

What’s on your bucket list?

I want to go to a World Cup final and go to Tokyo.

What’s the goal for you and your teammates?

We’re the underdog in the soccer playoffs, and we want to surprise people by winning.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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