Westmoreland High School Athletes of the Week: Week ending Nov. 13, 2022

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Saturday, November 12, 2022 | 6:35 PM


Morgan Gesinski

School: Mt. Pleasant

Year: Freshman

Sport: Soccer

Claim to fame: With her team clinging to a one-goal lead, Gesinski was fouled at the top of the box and calmly sank the penalty kick to give Mt. Pleasant some breathing room on the way to a 2-0 victory over Bedford, the Lady Vikings’ first in the PIAA playoffs. Gesinski has a team-leading 33 goals this season. She scored seven times in Mt. Pleasant’s 12-0 win over West Mifflin in the WPIAL first round. She helped lead the team to its first WPIAL finals appearance. The Lady Vikings lost to Avonworth, 2-1, at Highmark Stadium.

What was it like playing at Highmark Stadium in the WPIAL championship?

Amazing. To be on a different field like that … I hadn’t played there since a 3v3 game when I was 8.

How exciting was it for the team to win its state playoff opener and for you to score on a PK?

To do it in our first state win was great. We keep making history.

Has this run been more special because your sister, Riley, also is on the team?

Yes. Me and my sister work well together. We have played a lot of years together.

Do you and Riley fight? Who is more competitive?

I fight more with my oldest sister (Hannah). Me and Riley are like twins. We’re only 20 months apart. Hannah is the most competitive because she thinks she’s the best.

What was it like scoring seven goals in one game?

I definitely didn’t expected to do it.

Favorite food?

Italian. I like pasta.

Any unique hobbies?

I play basketball is that counts.

Favorite subject in school?

English.

Have you ever met a celebrity?

Yes. We took a picture with (Pitt coach) Pat Narduzzi when Mt. Pleasant played Belle Vernon in football.

Do you like to shop at the mall or online?

Online. I don’t have time to go to the mall.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Go back in time and take in every good moment I have had (again).

Chase Kushner

School: Greensburg Salem

Sport: Hockey

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Kushner had a big game Thursday in helping Greensburg Salem defeat Indiana, 3-2, in a PIHL Class A game. Kushner scored two goals and had an assistant. He scored the first goal of the game and had the game-winner with 1:40 left. “He’s one of our top players and part of a talented junior class,” Greensburg Salem coach Corey Mentch said. “He’s a very skilled forward and is a goal scorer.” Kushner is tied for the team lead in goals (seven) with Owen Tutich.

How big of a moment was scoring the game-winner?

It was up there. I’ve been in a couple big travel tournaments and had better feelings. It’s probably one of my most exciting moments in high school.

When did start playing hockey?

I started when I was in first or second grade. I started playing competitive hockey when I was in third grade. My dad (Kevin) got me playing because he played in high school. He gave me the option of hockey or baseball, and I picked hockey because it wasn’t boring.

Who is your favorite player?

I like Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. Both are all-around players. Sidney keeps it simple, and I try to repeat what he does.

Who is your favorite team?

The Penguins.

Do you plan on playing hockey after high school?

Yes. I’d like to play either in college or juniors.

What do you like the most about playing hockey?

I like the physical part of the game. It’s a rough sport, it’s fast and you can change the flow of the game by making a play.

What are the team’s goals?

We want to qualify for the playoffs, win the Pens Cup and play for the state title. We watched Norwin last year, and we’d like to replicate that.”

What will it take to achieve those goals?

We’ve been playing together for a lot of years. We have the skill, and we have to play together. We have to understand that it things don’t go your way, keep fighting.

What are things you do before a game to get yourself ready?

Normally, I stay pretty quiet. I listen to my music, anything from Katy Perry to Eminem. I’ll also like to stretch out.

What is your go to restaurant after a game?

I love Denny’s. I like pancakes, eggs, hash browns or burgers.

What is the favorite meal your mother makes?

She makes a mean meatloaf.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Probably where travel hockey has taken me. I like Chicago and Detroit. I like to togetherness we have as a team on overnight stays.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d say probably winning a state championship. I already won a (club) national title last year.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Ryan Reynolds. He’s a great actor, and it would be fun to talk to him.”

Who would play you in a movie and what type of movie would it be?

It would be a comedy. It would be either Ryan Reynolds or Chris Pratt.

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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