Pa Lu, at only four letters, probably has the shortest name of any athlete in Western New York. That doesn’t mean he’s not capable of big things.
The striker from International Prep at Grover Cleveland had four goals in two Section VI playoff soccer games this past week. He also helped his team defeat Clarence in one of the rare cases in any sport where a top “small school” downs a top “large school.”
That’s a good body of work over seven days, and makes Lu a nice fit as the Prep Talk Boys Athlete of the Week.
Uniform number: 7
Team record at the end of the week: 17-1 overall, 12-0 in league play.
Individual statistics at the end of the week: 28 goals and 16 assists, which leads the team in both categories.
Highlights of athletic career so far: 2014 New York State Championship and 2016 season.
Coach Tony Alessi on Lu: “He has maturity and leadership, is unselfish, calm and cool, and has a good nose for the ball.”
Favorite thing about my sport: “Being around my teammates.”
Favorite teammate: “All of them.”
Toughest opponent: “Clarence High School.”
WNY athlete I looked up to: “Ezana Kahsay (a former teammate at I-Prep who is now playing for University of Akron).”
Pro/college athlete I admire now: “Robert Lewandowski.”
When I’m not playing or practicing my sport, I’m: “Watching movies, or hanging out with friends.”
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): “I plan on playing in college. I would love to play for Akron or Syracuse.”
- Zakaria Shiabi, soccer, McKinley: Had four goals and an assist in playoff wins over Hamburg and Sweet Home. Shiabi had a hat trick in the game with Sweet Home.
- Garrett Robinson, soccer, Grand Island: He had two goals and four assists as the Vikings took one-sided wins from North Tonawanda and Williamsville East.
- Chris Nowak, cross country, Sweet Home: Won the Sunset Stampede at Evangola State Park in a time of 16 minutes, 42.49 seconds.
- Pat Philips, soccer, East Aurora: Scored three goals and three assists in playoff wins over Alden and previous unbeaten Newfane.