It’s been a fun winter.
And we’ve had some great athletes and coaches star in the process.
The Catholic League had a historic season in basketball. The PCL saw three teams win state championships in both boys and girls. Two of the games, one boys, one girls, featured two Catholic League teams meeting in the state finals.
It’s safe to say the Catholic League was loaded.
The Public League was also very good, and while it didn’t produce the same results as the Catholic League, there were plenty of great teams in the league.
Wrestling was also very good across the city leagues, as was swimming.
While city schools didn’t enjoy the same team success, there were plenty of individuals who proved they were among the best in the state.
Northeast Philly had a huge role in all the winter sports. While no state championships were produced, we had a pair of finalists in boys basketball, a league champion in wrestling, a fourth-place finisher in a very tough weight class at the state wrestling tournament and some great times by locals in swimming.
So let’s get into the best of the best. As always, these were difficult choices because the area has a lot of great athletes.
Winners will be honored on May 12 at the Northeast Times sports banquet at the FOP. Dinner is at 6 p.m., award ceremony after. For tickets, visit https://nmg.ticketleap.com/hs36.
Catholic League Player of the Year
The Raiders had a seasoned team this year, but they needed a guy to build around. They got just that in Thomas Sorber.
The big man scored 15.9 points per game during Catholic League play and led the league in rebounding. Defensively, he gave opposing teams problems every time they came into the paint.
Behind the big center, Ryan advanced to the Catholic League championship game, winning two playoff games in the Catholic League and another in the state playoffs.
Good news for the Raiders, Sorber is a sophomore, so he’ll continue to pile up points and scholarship offers.
Public League Player of the Year
The Railsplitters had a talented team, and a lot of guys who could score and play defense. But whenever they needed a leader to step up and make a big play, Locke-Hicks was their man.
Nicknamed Nizzy, Locke-Hicks was a point guard who ran the Lincoln offense to perfection. He led the team in assists and was second on the team in scoring, putting up an average of 11.3 points per game.
Behind their guard, the Railsplitters advanced to the Public League championship and qualified for the state playoffs.
Locke-Hicks, a junior, will return to lead Lincoln next year.
Coach of the Year
The Raiders lost their leading scorer, second-leading scorer and unquestioned leader following the 2021 school year after making the state championship.
They went on to rebuild behind a stud center and returning leaders to have an even better year.
After finishing sixth during the regular season in the Catholic League, Ryan knocked off 6A state finalist Archbishop Wood in the first round, West Catholic, which finished in second place during the regular season, in the second round at the Palestra and fell just short in the Catholic League championship game to Neumann-Goretti, which also won a state championship.
Zeglinski didn’t have one of the most talented teams in the Catholic League, but his players bought in and he did arguably his best coaching job yet this year in helping the Raiders in their playoff run through a very tough Catholic League that ended in the championship.
Catholic Player of the Year
Playing in the Catholic League is no easy task. When you routinely go up against great teams like Archbishop Wood, Cardinal O’Hara, Archbishop Carroll and Lansdale Catholic, every game seems to be against top competition.
That’s what made Pugh’s season so great. The undersized forward helped the Bambies hang in big games. She had great teammates around her, but along with superstar Gianna Grassifulli, Pugh was the leader of the team that helped keep the Bambies competitive with very good competition.
Not only is Pugh a talented basketball player, she’s a star volleyball player and is an outfielder on the Hubert’s softball team.
She’s also ranked 12th in her senior class, and hopes to continue playing sports in college, though she’s unsure which sport she’ll play.
Public League Player of the Year
Borbor has been a leader on the Pioneers for years and this year she took another step, helping Frankford win 10 games, including a playoff game.
She played well, averaging 18.9 points per game and snagging more than six assists per game.
She also was the unquestioned team leader, and whenever the team needed a boost, she seemed to come through.
Frankford will miss her next year. She’ll continue her basketball career at Montgomery County Community College.
Coach of the year
When Michels took over the program three years ago, the Pioneers were struggling. They won just three games and the playoffs weren’t even a remote possibility.
This year, the Pioneers not only got there, they won a game.
With a talented team, Michels helped Frankford win 10 games, and guided the Pioneers to near the top of their division. The playoff win was a huge goal of the team from the start of the season, and they managed it.
Frankford loses some great seniors, but should still be competitive next year thanks to getting some younger players valuable experience in big games this year.
Catholic League Wrestler of the Year
This didn’t look like a great season for the Judge senior. After missing his junior year due to an injured back, he missed most of his senior year with MRSA and took some time after coming back to get up to speed.
It didn’t take too much time, and by the end of the year, he was one of the best wrestlers in the state in a very tough weight class.
Logue finished fourth in Hershey at 120 pounds, which is incredible under normal circumstances, but when you’re coming back from massive injuries, it’s even more unlikely.
Logue is the third member of his family to win this award. Next year, like his brothers, he hopes to continue wrestling in college.
Public League Wrestler of the Year
The Vikings have been a powerhouse in the Public League wrestling, but this sophomore showed signs of being a great wrestler against outside competition, too.
He led Northeast to the Public League championship while going 28-5 and winning a Public League individual championship and a District 12 championship. He then went on to win a match at regionals.
The 138-pounder won 19 matches by pin and collected six forfeits during the season. He went undefeated against Public League competition.
Next year Rahming will return for his junior year. He’ll enter the final two seasons of his high school career with 38 victories.
Coach of the Year
The Vikings are one of the most successful teams in the city, and Siravo is a huge reason for that. And this year, he once again led Northeast to the Public League championship.
Also what makes Siravo a great coach is that he seeks out the toughest nonleague schedule he can find. While the Vikings weren’t always successful in terms of winning these matches, he makes sure the team is ready for the Public League playoffs, as well as ready for individual glory at the end of the season.
The Vikings had a talented roster and had some good senior leaders on the squad, but the bulk of the point scorers will return next year to defend the Public League championship.
Boys Swimmer of the Year
Ryan is known for its tremendous girls swimming team, but this year they had a boy rise in the ranks and become one of the top swimmers in the area. The junior could swim just about any race, and while his specialty is actually the breaststroke, he qualified for the state meet in the 200 freestyle race.
What makes him such a great swimmer for Ryan is that he’s more than willing to compete in different events even if it’s not his strong stroke for the betterment of the team.
A club swimmer with NRG Swimming, Gonzalez had steadily dropped his times all season, and will be counted on next year to continue his improvement.
Girls Swimmer of the Year
The sophomore qualified for the individual medley at the state tournament. And once she got there, she shined.
Steinmetz was seeded 32nd and finished 26th in the race against the best in the state. In the process, she posted her personal best time.
Steinmetz has become a top point scorer for the Sentinels. She also excels in other areas. She’s ranked atop her sophomore class at Little Flower.
She’ll return for two more years in hopes of moving up the ranks at states.
Coach of the Year
The Sentinels might be small, and that keeps them from winning championships, but every year they seem to have a top-notch swimmer. From Ally McHugh to Zoe Steinmetz, Little Flower has had top swimmers every year.
This year, led by Clothier, the Sentinels’ small team finished fifth at the Catholic League tournament. Steinmetz also showed great improvement at the biggest meet of the year, and she credited her coach with that.
On top of being a champion for Little Flower swimming, Clothier does his best to promote the sport throughout the Catholic League.
Fall athletes include, in football: PCL player of the year Joey Mastrangelo (Ryan), Public League player of the year Ken Talley (Northeast), coach of the year Damon Brockington (Frankford).
In boys soccer: Catholic League player of the year Joey Phillips (Ryan), Public League player of the year Carill Asanji (Lincoln) and coach of the year John Dunlop (Judge).
In girls soccer: Catholic League player of the year Gianna Rivera (Ryan), Public League player of the year Jenna Slavin (Franklin Towne Charter) and coach of the year Deb Ounan (Franklin Towne Charter).
Former coaches Mark Heimerdinger (Cardinal Dougherty, Fels) and Theresa Gorman (St. Hubert) will be honored for their outstanding coaching careers.