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2021-2022 News

North Allegheny Announces 2021-2022 Athletes of the Year

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The North Allegheny Athletic Department is proud to announce its Athletes of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year. The Male Co-Athletes of the Year are seniors Caleb Schall and Cole Young and the Female Co-Athletes of the Year are seniors Kena Shannon and Alaina Whipkey. Below are capsules on each individual and their accomplishments.

Caleb Schall
Over the last three seasons (no season due to COVID in 2020), the North Allegheny boys’ volleyball team has produced three WPIAL titles, two PIAA crowns and a dazzling overall record of 56-1. The Tigers will play in the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday and are hoping to win yet another state championship. A driving force behind this success has been senior setter Caleb Schall.

Taking over as the starting setter last season, Schall was the conductor for a high-powered North Allegheny attack that rolled to a perfect 19-0 season. His 1,006 assists in 2021 rank as the ninth best single-season total in program history. With a sterling junior year performance, Schall was named the WPIAL Co-Most Valuable Player and took home All-State honors from the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.

As a senior in 2022, Schall has shared the setter spot with fellow senior Jake Koch, allowing the Tigers to utilize Schall’s skill as a hitter as well. In addition to his team-leading 756 assists, Schall has produced 161 kills so far this season. Schall has amassed 2,270 career assists, the third most all-time in program history.

For the second consecutive season, Schall earned WPIAL Co-MVP laurels last week as the Tigers won their 22nd WPIAL championship with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Seneca Valley. Schall finished with 59 assists in the title tilt.

Cole Young
A starter since his freshman season, Young has been a revelation at shortstop for the North Allegheny baseball team. With Young in the fold, the Tigers have reached the WPIAL playoffs every season and won a WPIAL championship in 2021, while also reaching the PIAA championship game the same season.

As a rookie in 2019, Young was the first freshman to ever be named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s All-Area Team. Despite losing his sophomore season due to COVID, Young proved he was one of the top shortstops in the country in 2021 and was named the Class 6A Baseball Player of the Year by the Post-Gazette and the Trib Live High School Sports Network. A two-time Rawlings/Perfect Game First-Team Preseason Underclass All-American, Young batted .437 as a junior with six home runs, 33 runs, 23 RBI and posted an OPS of 1.453. He also combined for 15 double plays with a fielding percentage of .952.

Prior to his 2022 campaign, Young signed his letter of intent with Duke University and was tabbed a Rawlings/Perfect Game First-Team Preseason Senior All-American. Under the watchful eye of major league scouts on a game-by-game basis, Young continued to produce this past spring and led the Tigers in nearly every offensive category with a .433 batting average, eight doubles, four triples, two home runs, 21 runs scored and 15 RBI. He also boasted an OPS of 1.364. Young ends his career with North Allegheny with an all-time batting average of .428 with 11 home runs, 64 RBI and 73 runs scored. Young is projected as a No. 1 draft pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft in July.

Kena Shannon
A multi-sport athlete, Shannon has been a defensive anchor for the North Allegheny girls’ soccer team in recent years and has flashed her exceptional speed in the spring as well for the North Allegheny track and field team. On the pitch, Shannon is a two-year starter and helped the Tigers win the WPIAL championship in 2020 and reach the PIAA championship game as the team’s starting fullback. As the starting center back in 2021, Shannon and the Tigers were an impressive 16-0-1 in the regular season and cruised to the Section 1-AAAA title. With Shannon’s speed and defensive prowess on the back end, the Tigers blanked opponents 19 times over the past two seasons, including a program record 14 shutouts this past fall. Shannon has twice been named All-Section by the Big 56 conference, including first-team honors this season.

Over the weekend, Shannon capped her illustrious career with a pair of record setting performances for the North Allegheny track and field team at the PIAA championships. Individually, Shannon set a new school record in the 300m Hurdles with a time of 44.35, which was also one of the top 10 performances in the state this year. Additionally, Shannon was a member of the 4×400 relay quartet that broke the school record with a time of 3:53.33. Shannon and her 4×400 relay teammates also won gold at the WPIAL individual championship on May 18. She also won WPIAL gold in the 300m Hurdles and helped the North Allegheny girls’ team win a 12th WPIAL crown at the Team Championships on May 11.

Alaina Whipkey
Whipkey is a two-year starter at shortstop and a three-year contributor for the North Allegheny softball team. During Whipkey’s tenure on the team, North Allegheny has appeared in two WPIAL championship games, three straight WPIAL playoff appearances and has qualified for the state tournament twice. As a freshman, the California University of Pennsylvania commit posted a .349 average and provided timely and clutch base hits in North Allegheny’s run to the WPIAL championship game and PIAA playoffs in 2019.

After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 season, Whipkey delivered one of the best seasons in program history during her junior campaign. Boasting a team-leading .455 average, 27 RBI and 27 runs scored, Whipkey also set the single-season program record for home runs with 10. Her strong arm, exceptional range and dazzling athleticism defensively at shortstop has bolstered the North Allegheny defense.

So far this season, Whipkey is again the Tigers leader in home runs (7), RBI (16), runs scored (22) and OPS (1.108). A two-time First-Team All-Section pick by the Big 56 Conference, Whipkey is a career .367 hitter with 17 home runs, 50 RBI and 59 runs scored to date over the past three seasons. She and the Tigers returned to the WPIAL championship game this season and will begin their quest for a state title next week.

Seven Tigers Named All-Section By Big 56 Conference

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The Big 56 Conference announced its All-Section Teams on Wednesday morning and seven members of the North Allegheny softball team were recognized, including two second-team honorees.

Earning first-team laurels were senior shortstop Alaina Whipkey and junior centerfielder Meghan McDonough. Making the second-team list were senior catcher/first baseman Reagan Deitrick and junior infielder Mayson Brokos. Honorable mention recognition went to junior second baseman Annalyn Isaacs, sophomore right fielder Carlyn Vaupel and sophomore pitcher Anne Melle.

Grabbing first-team honors for a second consecutive season, Whipkey leads the Tigers in home runs (7), RBI (16), runs scored (21) and walks (15). The California University of Pennsylvania commit owns a .328 average and a 1.212 OPS. Whipkey has also robbed opponents with several astonishing catches and defensive plays at shortstop this season.

The ultra-fast McDonough has provided on her fair share of web gems in centerfield and is a great table setter at the top of the lineup with a .347 average, 14 runs scored and 11 RBI. The lefty hitter is verbally committed to the University of Pitt-Johnstown. It’s the second consecutive season McDonough has been honored by the Big 56, earning second-team recognition last season.

After a two-year layoff, Deitrick returned to the field this season in a big way with a .359 average and has provided a solid presence behind the plate and at first base defensively. A power bat in the middle of the order, Deitrick has belted a pair of home runs with five RBI and eight runs scored. The Juniata College commit smacked a solo homer in the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs in a 8-0 win over Peters Township.

Brokos is making her first appearance on the Big 56 All-Section Team. She’s posted a .250 average in 48 at bats with 11 RBI and 13 runs scored so far this season. On April 5, Brokos had one of her best days of the season with a three-RBI performance against reigning WPIAL champion Bethel Park. She also went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored, including the game-winning run, in a thrilling 8-7 extra inning win against Norwin on April 23.

Isaacs is a two-year starter at second base for the Tigers and is hitting .356 on the campaign with 14 RBI and 13 runs scored. Swinging the bat her best when it matters most, Isaacs is 4-for-6 in two playoff wins with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.

Another hot hitter in the postseason is Vaupel, who is currently on a four-game hitting streak with four RBI in that span. For the season, Vaupel is hitting .265 with nine RBI and 15 runs scored. Appropriate to the Pittsburgh area, Vaupel is a right fielder who wears No. 21 and has limited opponents on the base paths with her strong throwing arm.

Coming off an impressive freshman season, Melle has continued to progress in the circle during her sophomore year with a 9-5 record and 3.31 ERA in 18 appearances and 15 starts. In 86.2 innings, Melle has fanned 64 batters with 30 walks. Melle has also been stellar at the plate, boasting a team-best .378 average with a home run, 11 RBI and eight runs scored.

All seven players have been prominent figures in North Allegheny’s run to the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals with a 12-9 record. The Tigers will take on the Pine-Richland Rams in the semifinals today at 5:00 p.m.

Reagan Deitrick Signs Letter Of Intent With Juniata College

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North Allegheny senior softball player Reagan Deitrick signed her letter of intent on Tuesday to continue her academic and athletic career at Juniata College.

The Tigers catcher will join a Juniata College program that plays in the NCAA Division III Landmark Conference. Juniata has produced four conference players of the year, 41 all-conference selections and 87 academic honor roll honorees.

Deitrick will major in Environmental Science at Juniata College.

Sydni Junker Signs Letter Of Intent With Allegheny College

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North Allegheny senior Sydni Junker signed her letter of intent on Tuesday to continue her academic and softball career at NCAA Division III Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.

As a junior, Junker was North Allegheny’s starting catcher and worked with a young pitching staff that secured nine victories and 78 strikeouts in 136.1 innings pitched in 2021. At the plate, Junker finished second on the team with two home runs on the season. She also drove in seven runs in 33 at bats.

At Allegheny College, Junker will major in Biochemistry. She is pictured above with her parents Michael and Stacey Junker and her brother, Camden.

Alaina Whipkey Signs Letter of Intent With Cal-U

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North Allegheny senior shortstop Alaina Whipkey signed her letter of intent on Tuesday to continue her academic and athletic career at California University of Pennsylvania.

As a junior in the spring 2020, Whipkey had a breakout season with the Tigers and was named first-team all-section by the Big 56 Conference. A catalyst in North Allegheny’s explosive lineup, Whipkey set a new single-season program record with 10 home runs, breaking the old mark of nine home runs by Sam Goettmann that stood for 16 years. Along with the long ball, Whipkey also led the Tigers in batting average (.455), RBI (27) and runs scored (27). She also boasted an eye-popping OPS of 1.526.

At Cal-U, Whipkey will play for head coach Rick Bertagnolli. He is entering his 28th season as coach of the Vulcans, and 35th season overall, with over 1,100 career wins. Under coach Bertagnolli’s tutelage, the Vulcans have appeared in 21 NCAA tournaments and won back-to-back national championships in 1997 and 1998.

Whipkey will major in Secondary Education and Math at Cal-U. She is pictured above with her parents Bryon and Jen Whipkey, sister Sara Whipkey, North Allegheny assistant coaches Heather Andrews and Warren Pirring, and Steel City softball head coach Shannon Sullivan.