One essentially stands alone, the last line of defense against opponents.
The other two work together, and have been doing so for a lifetime.
That’s a brief description of our first Buffalo News Prep Talk Athletes of the Week. We will salute a boy and a girl from scholastic sports each week during the school year.
The boys winner is goalkeeper Donovan Reed, who has six shutouts in seven games for the Williamsville North soccer team. The Spartans are ranked second among Western New York large school teams.
The girls winner was tougher. It’s impossible to separate Danielle and Gabrielle Orie in anything – even consideration for awards. The twin sisters are runners for the Nardin cross-country team, and they are equally talented and fast.
Here’s a rundown of our inaugural winners:
School: Williamsville North.
Last week: He had a 1-0 shutout of top-ranked Clarence, making 14 saves in the process. Reed followed that with a 3-0 shutout of Williamsville South.
This season: He has six shutouts in seven games, and has allowed only one goal.
His career: He’s starting for the third straight year for Williamsville North.
Favorite thing about his sport: “I love the adrenaline that comes with a close game. It’s great. The thrill of making a big save right before the game ends … there’s nothing like it.”
Favorite teammate: “Ryan Allen. He’s always a funny guy. I love all my teammates but he sticks out.”
WNY athlete I looked up to: “Ian Harris. He was the captain of the team last year and really helped me develop as a goalkeeper.”
When I’m not playing or practicing my sport I’m …: “Hanging out with my friends and family or watching YouTube.”
Danielle and Gabrielle Orie
School: Nardin Academy.
Sport: Cross country.
Last week: Danielle won the East Aurora Invitational in 17 minutes, 54 seconds. She ran with sister Gabrielle for the entire race, and they were separated by two seconds at the finish.
Career highlights: Danielle – “I won my heat of the 1,500 meters with a three-second personal best time of 4:38 at last spring’s state championships.”
Gabrielle – “Going 10:05.54 in the 3,000 meters at the Federation track last spring. It was a challenging (sometimes painful) yet worthwhile experience to race for a longer distance.”
Favorite thing about the sport: Danielle – “I love that no race is exactly the same. No matter what you do, you can’t replicate any race.”
Gabrielle – “The middle of a race or workout when you make the choice to keep going, keep pushing past the burn in your lungs or fatigue in your legs to the rewarding finish line.”
Favorite teammate: Each other.
Pro/college athlete I admire now: Danielle – “Besides Louis Zamperini (even though he is deceased), I’m a big fan of Michael Phelps.”
Gabrielle – “Emma Coburn.”
What’s ahead: Danielle – “I plan to run Division I track in college as well as pursue a degree in nursing and attain my MBA.”
Gabrielle – “I’m looking at Division I programs with didactic programs (I want to become a registered dietitian.)”
Other nominees for Prep Talk Player of the Week:
• Tyler West, boys soccer, Pine Valley: His team scored 17 goals last week, and the senior captain scored or assisted on 16 of them.
• Garrett Robinson, boys soccer, Grand Island: Scored six goals in two games, with five coming in a win over Lockport.
• Chas Palka, boys volleyball, Canisius: Had 26 kills to lead the Crusaders in a terrific match over Rochester-area power McQuaid. Canisius won in five sets.
• David Mack, boys soccer, West Seneca West: Set a school record for assists in a game in a win over Jamestown.
• Tatyjana Scalisi, girls soccer, Sacred Heart: Had four goals last week, and is a key to the team’s undefeated start.
• Caitlin Palys, girls tennis, Iroquois: Continued to be undefeated in league play at 4-0, with some recent impressive wins.
We’re looking for nominations of athletes who deserve to be recognized. Send their names and background information to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday night.