2018 Burger King Classic Preview

The 35th Annual Burger King Classic, the number one four team basketball tournament in the nation according to MaxPreps will be held at the Cathedral Prep Events Center starting tonight, Friday, Jan. 12, and concluding on Saturday night. This year’s tournaments hosts three elite out-of-town opponents: St. John’s College High School from Washington D.C., St. Rita’s from Chicago, and All Hallows High School from the Bronx in New York.

The first match up of this year’s tournament debuts St. John’s College High School and All Hallows High School. They will tip off at 6 p.m. The host Cathedral Prep Ramblers will tip off against St. Rita’s in the second game, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. All games will be available on live stream throughout the weekend.

St. John’s is a powerhouse team that relies on its deep roster to help them win games. They feature Casey Morsell, a 6’2″ guard that looks to be the leader of this program. He has already picked up attention from Georgetown, Oklahoma State, and Virginia, and he is only a junior. On the floor with Morsell will be 6’0″ senior point guard Tre Wood, who signed with Massachusetts. Richard Njoku, the 6’6″ center will be the big man on the floor for St. John’s, and he will play at the Naval Academy next fall. Sophomore guard Darius Maddox will look to provide a huge boost off the bench already reviving an offer from UMass. 6’3″ junior guard Nick Johnson has already been offered by Division I Drexel and Manhattan while 5’11″ senior guard Donald Hartley is also getting college attention.

All Hallows High School boasts 6’3″ junior guard Nick Johnson. He is the main factor in St. Rita’s court presence, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed. He has been offered by Division I Drexel and Manhattan already. Donald Hartley, the 5’11” guard who plays alongside Johnson, is also getting college attention.

The 7:30 p.m. game will pit St. Rita’s against the Cathedral Prep Rambler basketball team. Led by 6’7″ junior Jeremiah Oden, St. Rita’s will look to give the Ramblers all they can handle. His play has earned him offers from Villanova and Michigan already. He will lead a young group of talent against the Ramblers. Prep heads into this tournament for the 35th year, having claimed the title three times. Led by Adam Upperman, Aaron McBride, Tommy Russo and Joe Mischler, the Ramblers will look to make some noise this year. After an up and down season so far they look for the tournament to be a positive move in the right direction heading into the rest of their season. Also on the floor for Prep is 6’6″ center Josh Charlery who is a transfer from the Virgin Islands.

Look for the 2018 edition of the Burger King Classic to feature some exciting basketball on display as some of the best teams and players on the east coast duke it out for the title this weekend at the Burger King Classic.

Hilbrich, Pletz, take Call of Duty title

Mr. Ferraro’s room on the fourth floor is generally anything but rambunctious, but on Wednesday, Dec. 20, the lights were dimmed, and sounds from the world’s greatest modern conflict enveloped the room. The Video Game Club hosted its last tournament of 2017, and the game of choice was Call of Duty: WW2. This first-person shooter is Infinity Ward’s fourteenth release of the Call of Duty series, which came out Nov. 3, 2017. “This is my favorite Call of Duty by far,” said sophomore Robbie Lupo. “They changed a lot and the multiplayer is unbelievable.”

The tournament took place in two parts over the course of two days. On Wednesday, Dec. 20, the teams who were placed on the left side of the bracket battled hard. “There [were] a lot of great games,” said Colin O’Brien. “I had no idea that some of my classmates were this good. They knew tricks that I didn’t even think existed.”

The following day, on Thursday, Dec. 21, the right side of the bracket battled until only two teams remained. Jack Hilbrich and Shaine Pletz advanced to the finals after a sweep of Kinecki and Peterson in the first round and didn’t look back placing them in the championship final. On the right side of the bracket, Noah Ali and Justin Hall needed four wins to reach the championship after a first round play-in. In the championship it was all Hilbrich and Pletz. They ran away with the win and claimed the title of Call of Duty: WW2 Champions. Ali and Hall grabbed the silver medal, and the team of Ishimaru and Bello won the consolation match and picked up the bronze medal.

“This is a great club, and events like these are a lot of fun. It’s great to see guys compete and show their talent,” said organizer Mr. Ferraro. The Video Game Club will host its next tournament in January, and it will be an NBA2K18 Tournament.

Cathedral Prep Swimming Outlook

As the temperature starts to cool and snow begins to fall, things have started to heat up at the David M. Hallman III Aquatics Center. The 2017-2018 Cathedral Prep swimming team has plans to avenge its second place finish to Grove City High School at the PIAA Class AA Championships last year. This year they plan to make history by becoming the first team in school history to capture a state title at Bucknell University, on March 14-17, 2018.

Prep will have rely on a strong senior class this season if they want to take home the crown down in Bucknell. After losing Tony Squeglia, the District 10 Class AA 200 freestyle record holder as well as a three-time state medalist down in Lewisburg last year, and Jacob Schmidt, who swam on both the silver medalist 200 freestyle relay, and fourth place 400 freestyle relay last year.

“Our team this year is built around winning relays and putting as many people into finals as possible,” said head coach Mike Doyle. “We can put multiple people into finals this year at states and pick up a lot of points, something no other team can do.”

A tough schedule lies ahead of the Ramblers. Leading the team into battle this year are seniors Calvin Behm (co-captain), Alec Thomas (co-captain),Thomas Uht (co-captain), Matthew Wegley (co-captain) and Mitch Cizmek. They will compete in two invitationals, the Prestigious Viking Invitational in Cleveland, Ohio and their own, the Cathedral Prep/Villa Maria Christmas Invitational. Their schedule features New York Powerhouse Canisius High School, and a quad meet in Pittsburgh featuring three strong WPIAL programs. Some of their biggest competition though, will come from region rival McDowell High School. McDowell, who swept the District 10 Class AAA Championships last year at the Spire Institute, is expected to give the Ramblers all they can handle. A strong core of seniors, including Ryan Snyder, Austin Intrieri, John Vieira, Jacob Fleming, and Bobby Bolmanski, who all picked up multiple gold medals last season, will lead the Trojans in scoring against Prep.

Returning for the Ramblers this year is a plethora of talent. They return all four members of the state champion 200 yard medley relay team which includes sophomore Ethan Neff, Junior Robbie Maholic, Senior Calvin Behm, and Senior Thomas Uht. In the 200 freestyle senior Alec Thomas who medaled in the event at states last year will be joined by district medalist Mitch Cizmek. The 200 Individual Medley has become a stronghold for the Ramblers as Calvin Behm, JP Stark, and Ethan Neff placed second, third, and fourth in last years district meet. In the 50 freestyle, Thomas Uht is the only returning district medalist from last year but will be joined by some younger talent like Gavin Ferry who placed in the top ten. The 100 butterfly returns three district medalists, Robbie Maholic, Matt Wegley, and Gavin Ferry who placed third, fifth, and sixth respectively. The state runner up 200 freestyle relay returns two members, Alec Thomas and Thomas  Uht.

On the second day of competition the Ramblers look for Thomas Uht to set the tone in the first event of the night, the 100 freestyle where he medaled last year. In the 500 freestyle, Alec Thomas won the gold last year and was joined on the podium by Matt Wegley. Freshman Ethan Neff a state medalist in the 100 backstroke returns with Robbie Maholic who grabbed the silver medal at the District 10 meet. The 100 breastroke is another one of the events in which Preps depth can truly shine. JP Stark looks to defend his title and Calvin Behm who placed third last year will be joined by Andrew Campbell, a newcomer who can join them atop the podium this March. In the 400 freestyle relay, Alec Thomas and Thomas Uht are the only returning members, but look to sophomore Ethan Neff and Calvin Behm to fill the missing pieces.

Student Profile: Alex Welz

When the curtains roll back, the lights shine the brightest, and the roles are the most important, center stage is where you will find senior Alex Welz. His unprecedented rise to the top of the Prep-Villa theatrical program has been nothing but captivating, and his acting skills are nothing short of impressive.

Alex reignited his theatrical career at the end of his sophomore year here at Cathedral Prep. He spent his freshman and sophomore years playing basketball for the Ramblers, but after he decided to no longer pursue his passion for basketball, he resumed his acting career. “I have done shows for my grade school in seventh and eighth grade. I enjoyed them, but never took them all that seriously,” said Alex. “It was really my parents, Father Mike [DeMartinis], and some of my friends who were already in the program that got me back into it.”

The Prep-Villa theatrical program had found a gem it didn’t know it had, and were quick to polish it. “It’s so easy to work with Alex,” said director Father Mike DeMartinis. “He has the talent, works hard, and demands the best out of himself and those around him each performance.” It didn’t take long for Alex to get the recognition he deserved. In the production of Footloose, the program saw one of its largest auditions in history with more than one hundred students vying for a role. In this fun-filled drama Alex landed the part of trashy boyfriend, Chuck Cranston. “This role was a lot of fun. It was the perfect part for me to secure and gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”

While many of the productions put on by Alex and his cast members are fun, like Peter and the Star Catcher and Dominic Montefiori’s Let’s Talk, some works look to convey something much more. When Alex played the lead as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird they gave the crowd a true message. “When we perform, we can use the crowd as motivation, but during To Kill A Mockingbird you could see the emotions in the crowd, and that’s something I’ll never forget.” When you make an audience vulnerable, you can make them think differently than they may have before. “If I can make just one person leave feeling different, or giving them something to smile about, I can’t ask for anything more.”

It truly takes a balance of skill, and showmanship to bring a crowd to its feet or to tears, and these are just a few of the qualities Alex has brought to his performances. “I know I have a lot of talent, but working hard has benefited me the most. Talent got me here, but it’s my attention to detail that has been the roots of my success.” His successes are not celebrated alone as he accredits his cast members for his performances. “The trust I have on stage is unparalleled to anything I’ve experienced in sports. When something goes wrong, you can just improvise and reset. In a show, you have to trust your movements and echo those of everyone on stage, and that’s why we practice so much, so the crowd doesn’t know when something’s gone haywire.”

Alex’s cool and collected demeanor sets the tone not only for himself, but others, and he thrives in the limelight. If you were to watch him, you wouldn’t believe he could ever have any self doubt. “Confidence is something I struggled with for awhile,” commented Alex. Like many famous actors, self-doubt is all just a part of showbiz,” But acting has given me the confidence I can translate into multiple aspects of my life.”

It has taken a very short amount of time for Alex to gain his impressive repertoire, but even a shorter time to find his true love, being on stage. “Some of my best high school memories come from the plays. I’ve met so many great people and learned some great life lessons.” This has convinced Alex to start planning on continuing his acting career on the collegiate level come the fall of 2018. “College is where you can really get noticed, and it will be a perfect way for me to meet new people and help me pay for my degree.”

As his high school acting career is coming to an end, he has no regret on his decision to immerse into the theatrical program. “This has been the best choice I’ve made in high school. I highly encourage anyone to come out for the plays. We have football state champions to members of the debate team. The only regret I’ve ever heard is not starting sooner.” Alex also added, “My favorite aspect of theater is that I am able to meet the audience in the same place through only our imaginations, the set, and the space in between us. It can be so powerful and moving.”

Rambler golf finishes stellar season

Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, Pa., one of the most difficult courses in Pennsylvania, tested the players and coaches alike. The course’s tight fairways and sand-trap-guarded greens caused havoc to even the most experienced players. Led by seniors Alex Pol and Rob Harris, as well as junior standout Pat Kelly, the Cathedral Prep golf team highlighted why it is one of the best in state.

The Ramblers were dominant throughout District 10, as they went 5-0 in region play. On the road they had spectacular success at various prestigious golf invitationals. The Ramblers claimed the MidWest Classic played at Whispering Woods and captured the title at the Rough Rider Invitational for the third year in a row. They also achieved top five honors at the prestigious Lion Cardinal Classic as well as the Latrobe and Meadville Invitational.

“These were good bench markers for us through the season. We could really use these to gauge where we were at and what we needed to work on,” said senior Rob Harris.

They had no problem putting the pieces together when it counted most. At the District 10 Championships, the Ramblers shined. In the individual championships Pat Kelly showed why he’s one of the best. He blew away the field capturing the District 10 Title once again. His first round score of 70 and second round score of 75 led him to a 6-stroke victory and qualified him for the Western Region Individual Tournament, taking him one step away from his third state trip.

Senior Rob Harris shot a combined 155, which was good enough for fourth, and freshman Evan Rowane shot a 162, and that placed him seventh. In the team tournament, the Ramblers absolutely dominated the field winning with a commanding 21-stroke victory, defending their title from last year.

“Our team was very strong physically and mentally on the course,” said Pat Kelly, and that killer mentality was too much for any team to handle.

The road to the state tournament led them to the PIAA eam Subregional versus Altoona & Bradford. Played at Treasure Lake in DuBois the golf team battled hard and once again came out on top. Pat Kelly paved the way shooting and impressive 70, and the Prep golf team advanced into the state golf championship with the 17-stroke win in the subregional. At Toms Run Golf Course at the Western Region Individual Tournament, Pat Kelly was given another gold medal. His round of 70 was good enough for the victory and a spot in this year’s state tourney.

At Heritage Hills Golf Resort, in York, Pa., Pat Kelly was the lone District 10 representative in the highly competitive Class AAA field. After day one, Pat’s first round score of 73 had him at two over par and well within the top 10. Day two proved to be more challenging. A 15-minute delay due to weather made the course much more difficult. His second round score of 76 at five over gave him a combined score of 149, and his final score of seven over par earned Pat a medal tying for tenth.

In the team competition the next day, Pat Kelly bounced back. His 70 at one under had him tied for first. Alex Pol shot an impressive 74, Evan Rowane an 80, Luke Misko an 81, and Rob Harris an 82. The team’s combined score of 305 tied them with Central Catholic for third. This concluded a successful and memorable golf season for the

“Hard work pays off,” said Alex Pol. “Our team this year was one of the best; we were truly a group of brothers.”

Cathedral Prep water polo team places third in state

The Roy G. Snyder Natatorium at Wilson High School was absolutely electric over the weekend. The stands that lined at the schools lower house swimming pool were overflowing with athletes, fans, and college coaches alike watching some of the finest water polo the state had to offer. Eight teams, which included Pennridge, Governor Mifflin, North Allegheny, North Penn, Cathedral Prep, LaSalle College, Cumberland Valley, and host Wilson High School battled hard all season long, and earned a spot to play for the 2017 Water Polo State Title.

The Cathedral Prep Rambler water polo team found themselves in the state tournament after an impressive regular season. With wins at the McDowell Cup, Screaming Eagle Tournament, Tiger Classic, and a semi-finalist finish at the Beast of the East, Prep had the number one seed at its Western Conference Championships.

The North Allegheny Tigers upset Prep in the conference finals by a score of 17-13, ultimately giving them the fourth seed at states.

After arriving in Reading, Pa., late Thursday night the Prep water polo team spent the day preparing for its first round battle against Governor Mifflin, the tournament’s fifth seed at 7 p.m. The whistle blew, and the crowd roared for the Ramblers as they stormed out in front and never looked back. Prep went wire to wire besting the Mustangs 13-7. Calvin Behm paced the Ramblers with 8 goals, Thomas Uht had 3. Robbie Maholic and Alec Thomas also both tallied one.

“This was big for us. The second the final buzzer sounded we had a weight lifted off our shoulders,” commented varsity starter Robbie Maholic. This placed the Ramblers in the top four in the state and ended a shaky four-game losing streak they carried with them into the tourney.

Early the next morning the Ramblers faced their toughest test to date. Facing the number one seed and host team Wilson, the team had more than they could handle. After a back and forth first half, the Bulldogs ran away with it in the closing minutes to beat Prep by a score of 15-8.

“This isn’t what we wanted, but we played well. We are ready to come back tonight and finish off strong,” said Christian Fortin. He scored 2 goals in the loss. Calvin Behm had 5, and Michael Rahner had 1.

In the third place game, the Ramblers squared off against Western Conference rival North Allegheny. Losing there past two games against the Tigers, the Ramblers fought tooth and nail to come out on top once again. In a thrilling battle that came down to the wire, Prep topped the Pittsburgh school 13-10. Thomas Uht had a spectacular performance in his final game scoring 6. Calvin Behm had 4 and Alec Thomas, Ethan Neff, and Robbie Maholic all had 1.”

“I’m really glad I was able to end my career on such a high note. [It] couldn’t have been better,” commented Thomas Uht.

Concluding the tournament, the Prep water polo team was presented with the third place state trophy for their efforts. Christian Fortin was an all-state team honorable mention. Andrew Burns made third-team all-state, Thomas Uht second team all-state, and Calvin Behm first team all-state. The Mr. Water Polo Award was given to Calvin
Behm for the first time in school history as the best player in the state.

“It’s a great honor,” commented Calvin on the award. With this finishing, Prep takes home one of its most impressive state hauls in recent history.

“I would like to thank all of the seniors. They have made my job and this year very enjoyable,” said Coach Mike Doyle.

Athlete of the Week: Calvin Behm (water polo)

Cathedral Prep has had a rich history in the sport of water polo, featuring talented players who have led the team and gone on to play in college at a high level for many years. Calvin Behm recently surpassed them all. Calvin, a senior this year at Cathedral Prep and a captain of the water polo team, broke the all-time scoring record at Prep. Originally held by Daniel Bauman a recent graduate of Cathedral Prep, Calvin surpassed this record during a game at the McDowell Cup, against former state champions, Cumberland Valley. A second quarter goal catapulted his name to the top of a decorated list of players.

Calvin is no stranger to the game of water polo, as he has been playing it for almost his whole life. He has played locally for Epic Water Polo Club based out of Erie under the supervision of head coach Panos Tzelatis, who has coached multiple European and world champions, as well as several Olympians. Calvin has traveled to California to play with the best in the country multiple times and has been selected to numerous Olympic Development Programs where the best juniors in the country can come and train together. The past few summers he has traveled to Montenegro and Greece, staying with host families to perfect his craft internationally. He will continue his water polo career next fall on a water polo scholarship at the University of Pacific, a top-five NCAA Division I Team.

Calvin’s hard work has earned him multiple first team all-state honors, and he is the clear favorite for the prestigious “Mr. Water Polo Award,” given to the state MVP each year. His ability to create opportunities and explosive goal-scoring ability has  given him the chance to extend his record with the rest of the season in front of him.

“I had no intention of going out of my way to break the record,” said Calvin after the 15-10 win against Cumberland Valley where his second of five goals stamped his name in history.

Andy Burns, who also captains the Prep water polo team, has played along side Calvin for many years. He gave his teammate high praise, “I admire his determination and how much effort he has put into this sport,” Andy said. “His love for polo is apparent in his play and it is what has helped him to get to the level he is at today.”

The connection to Prep water polo team and his brothers means a lot to Calvin. “Playing for Prep motivates me to play to the best of my potential,” he said.

Michael Doyle, head coach and starter on the 1999 water polo team that was runner up at the state tournament, also commented on Calvin’s ability. “He doesn’t just play for himself but [also for] the team. He makes the passes and does whatever it takes so he can help the team win,” he said.

If you see Calvin in the halls please congratulate him on this achievement and his many others. He and the Rambler water polo team will be back in the pool Saturday in the Tiger Classic at North Allegheny High School.

Prep water polo sweeps at Screaming Eagle

On Friday night the Cathedral Prep football team stormed the field under the stadium lights as hundreds of fans cheered them on to victory at McDowell’s Gus Anderson Field against their arch-rivals. Meanwhile some five hours away the Rambler water polo team fought in the icy waters of Cumberland Valley’s High School natatorium for the title at the Screaming Eagle Water Polo Tournament. Over the weekend, they faced four different opponents in less than 24 hours battling fatigue, pain, and hunger for the title.

Prep opened the tournament against Pennridge late Friday night against a team the Ramblers haven’t faced in two years. The last meeting between the two teams came in the 2015 state quarterfinals where an offensive showcase from both teams led to a mind boggling 21-20 win by Prep.

“We knew they had lost some seniors since then, but we didn’t take them lightly,” commented senior captain Andy Burns. “We knew they were a physical team and we had to execute.”

A physical first quarter led to four kick outs and Thomas Uht was rolled from the game seconds before the quarter ended on a brutality call after trying to evade a Pennridge player that was illegally grabbing him on a fast break. The physicality of the game continued, but a more grounded Prep team managed to get their feet under them and finish the game very clean with a convincing 16-8 win. Calvin Behm ran the offense, sending 10 into the back of the net while Ethan Neff had 2. Alec Thomas, Mike Rahner, Thomas Uht, and Robert Maholic each netted one as well.

The whistles from the head ref blew as the sun was coming up over the mountains in Central Pennsylvania as the Ramblers tore down the pool for possession of the ball against Souderton High School in an early morning dog fight. Minimal sleep had no effect on the Ramblers as they cruised to an easy 17-9 after four quarters of tough play. Calvin Behm had 8 goals while Mike Rahner had 3, and Thomas Uht 2 threw in. Kyle Nelson, Robert Maholic, Christian Fortin and Ethan Neff found the open goal to nab scores as well.

“This was a good first game for us,” said coach Cody Miller. “We were able to exploit there defense early and put a lot of different players in and rest some of our starters for the later games,”

As the morning churned on, so did the water as the Rambler polo team hopped in once again with their headgear bound up around their heads prepared for one of the biggest games of the weekend. Prep stared down rival Cumberland Valley, the 2016 PIAA defending state champions who were crowned last fall after defeating Cathedral Prep in the semifinals and North Penn in the finals. Prep played a ground out offense while their defense battled hard, shutting out the state champs in the first half while Prep held a comfortable 6-0 lead.

“That shows the discipline of our team and the work we’ve done,” said captain Thomas Uht. “We were able to shut them down and created opportunities for ourselves, giving us the advantage.”

The Ramblers held onto its lead and never looked back downing Cumberland Valley 11-3. Calvin Behm, the all-time leading scorer for Prep got the ball past the goalie 6 times. Alec Thomas nabbed 2 while Mike Rahner, Kyle Nelson and Christian Fortin bettered the defense, all putting in one.

In the final game of the day, the boys splashed and dashed against Philadelphia’s LaSalle College. The senior-heavy explorer team was up for a game. The physical LaSalle team got the team in foul trouble early. Three different players were one foul away from getting ejected, and a beaten Prep team sluggishly turned the ball over early keeping the game close in the first half.  Head coach Mike Doyle rallied his team to a convincing and forceful win. Calvin Behm had 10 goals in the final game.

“I had a pretty good tournament this weekend. I was able to get my hands on the ball a lot and take advantage,” Calvin said.

Also adding goals were Thomas Uht, who had a hat trick. Mike Rahner, Robert Maholic & Christian Fortin all scored twice. Kyle Nelson and Robbie Lupo slammed one home each.

The Cathedral Prep water polo team went 4-0 over the course of the weekend, showing promise as the season picks up. The Ramblers, now 7-0, will head to Pittsburgh to play at North Allegheny this weekend in the Tiger Classic, and host rival McDowell this Wednesday at the David M. Hallman III Aquatics Center. JV action begins at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity boys play at 7.

Locker cleanups cause problems

As the 2016-2017 school year winds down, the weather becomes warmer, and the days at the halls of Cathedral Prep slowly come to a grinding end, the students who roam these halls prepare for a brief getaway from the crushing academic curriculum that plagues the students here. They visit the one constant in their lives, their lockers.

Deemed as the bottomless pits of Cathedral Prep, these dated and brightly colored lockers that line three floors of the building are put to great use from August to June. They are used to store athletic clothes, books, supplies, phones that are always turned off, and, most importantly, food. Maybe one of the most underrated and underused tools
at Prep, the locker can be a lifeline for anyone trying to make it through the days here at Prep.

“I used mine as a mini concession stand. When I was there, I had food, and I was happy,” said Ryan Garich, a senior at Prep when he proudly unveiled a tower of pop tart boxes that fueled him his senior year.

The time of the year has come when the lockers do need to be cleaned out. Locks are removed, and trash cans line the halls ready to be overfilled. Though this seems like a good plan, trash has littered the hallways at Prep. Carelessness and lack of desire has led the student body to be reckless, making more of a mess instead of cleaning up one.

“There was trash everywhere before they had us clean it up; it’s disgraceful,” said junior John McGlinn. As the hustle and bustle of the days at Prep are slowly winding down it take a tole on both students and the faculty. Mundane attitudes and lackluster efforts have made seemingly normal tasks unbearable.

So as the year comes to a close and you head to your locker one last time, make sure to clean up after yourself and after our school to make it the best it can be. When cleaning out your locker, please drop items to the main office that could be reused for the future. Shirts, ties, belts, pants, pens, pencil, rulers, binders, all reusable items would be greatly appreciated instead of tossing them in the trash can.

DeMarco Brothers win 2nd straight State Title

Brothers Joe DeMarco and Matt DeMarco along with Alec Thomas took the five-hour drive down to Herhsey Thursday afternoon to compete in the PIAA Tennis Tournament, held at the Herhsey Racquet Club, which hosted the PIAA Team Tennis Tournament just the week before. Joe and Matt DeMarco made their way into the state draw by dropping only a handful of games at the District 10 Championship against McDowell’s number one team. Alec Thomas advanced to Hershey by defeating Sebastian Carrillo 6-1, 6-1 in the D-10 final.

The opening round pitted Dylan Tull of Cedar Crest High School versus Alec Thomas. In doubles the DeMarco brothers faced Dante Falcucci and JT Mullins from Hershey. The brothers made quick work of the hometown team, dispatching then in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Alec Thomas made the most of his court time as he jumped to a quick 4-0 lead over Tull before losing 6 straight to lose the first set. A quick comeback during the two-hour match left Alec Thomas on top 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

In the second round, the DeMarco’s cruised to an even easier victory defeating Greg Zlobinsky and Isaac Rockower from Abington 6-1, 6-0. Alec Thomas fell to senior and college commit Matt Chen 6-1, 6-4. Chen would go on to win the bronze.

In the semifinals Joe and Matt battled hard against Xandy Hammitt and Clay Gaieski who represented Strath Haven 6-1, 6-3. They now had only one more match to claim the gold. Coaches, parents, teammates, and friends gathered to watch the duo make history. Bryan Szyana and Danny Katz from Upper Dublin felt the full wrath of the speed and shot-making the DeMarco brothers could so easily produce. They cruised on service games and frequently broke the UD Team.

A 6-1, 6-2 victory on a service forced error gave the DeMarco brothers their second PIAA Gold in two years. “We played great, and we worked together well. It was important because we played as one,” said Matt DeMarco shortly after their win. Joe, a rising senior, and Matt a rising junior look to be back at the state tournament in coming years.