Yough seniors no strangers to hard work

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020 | 3:31 PM


Editor’s note: This is the last in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

Yough seniors Steven Manon and Sara Krofcheck were no strangers to hard work.

They used work ethic and determination to excel on the athletic field and in the classroom, making them perfect candidates for this year’s Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

Krofcheck’s four-year stint on the soccer field was nothing short of spectacular. She started all four years, spending time in the field during her freshman year and in the goal the rest of her career.

“I wasn’t familiar with (playing in the field) at all,” Krofcheck said.

During Krofcheck’s season in the field, Yough went 11-7 that season and made made the playoffs, losing to Freeport in the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals.

After her freshman season, Krofcheck made the transition back into the net.

“I played cup soccer for the first two years of high school, and the added games in the spring helped keep me prepared,” Krofcheck said. “Especially freshman year, it helped me keep my goalie skills, and all the camps we attended in the summer helped keep me prepared for the season.”

Her work paid off as the Cougars produced three straight playoff appearances, won 42 games and capped their four-year run with a WPIAL championship game appearance.

Krofcheck allowed only 11 goals in 16 regular-season games in 2019 and recorded 10 shutouts, including two in the playoffs. Capping her senior year with a WPIAL finals appearance was the perfect way to end it.

“It was definitely the most nervous I’ve been about a soccer game,” Krofcheck said. “I’m especially happy we did it our senior year. I thought it was awesome.”

Throughout his life, baseball had been Manon’s sport. But when his assistant coach who also was the golf coach asked him to hit the links, Manon figured he would give it a try. After realizing he could have some success, Manon worked hard to do so.

“I never played going into high school, so it was kind of just for fun,” he said. “But once I saw and he told me that I had a little bit of talent, I started to watch YouTube videos, work on my swing and try to get my mental game down.”

Manon improved on the golf course and had success on the baseball field as well. After going 8-9 and 11-6 in back-to-back years, the Cougars made a run to the WPIAL semifinals last season as Manon hit .370 with 19 RBIs.

His baseball success stemmed from doing whatever he could to improve during his time away from the sport.

“In the younger grades, you know you’re going to play, but when you get to high school, it’s not guaranteed,” Manon said. “So I think I realized that I needed to work hard to improve my game, and that’s kind of what all my offseasons were and I’m glad they paid off.”

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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