Athletes of the Year Greater Pittsburgh

Updated: May 13, 2009, 12:58 PM ET
ESPN RISE Magazine

BOYS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

DAVID DEL GRECO
Seton-La Salle / Soccer
Del Greco's astonishing senior campaign  60 goals, a number of school records and a PIAA Class A state title  was enough to earn the senior plenty of accolades. Among them, the forward was named the Pittsburgh Tribune- Review Boys' Soccer Player of the Year. Del Greco finished his career with 110 goals and nearly eclipsed his school's career goals record of 68 in just one season. Del Greco scored more goals than anyone in the nation during the fall season  the next-closest scorer had 41.

OTHER FINALISTS

DORIAN BELL
Gateway / Football
Teams often designed plays specifically to avoid the wrath of Bell, and yet the senior Ohio State recruit made his mark anyway. Bell, primarily a linebacker, recorded 113 tackles, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.

JAKE KEMERER
Hempfield / Wrestling
Kemerer earned his second consecutive state title this year, besting Kenny Courts of Central Dauphin in the 160-pound division. The senior Oklahoma recruit finished his season unbeaten at 48-0.

T.J. McCONNELL
Chartiers Valley / Basketball
McConnell is one season and 61 3-pointers away from being the best longrange shooter in WPIAL history. The junior Duquesne recruit averaged 22.1 points per game and scored 52 points in one contest this year.

GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

NICOLE DORIA
South Park / Soccer + Basketball
Doria earned All-State honors in her fourth year starting for South Park. The senior forward scored 30 goals during the soccer season, leading the Eagles to a WPIAL title as well as the PIAA Class AA state title game. Doria finished her soccer career with 100 career goals. During basketball season, Doria was equally as impressive  she averaged 18 points per game while helping South Park to the WPIAL semifinals and a berth in the PIAA Class AAA tournament. Doria is also a talented softball player.

OTHER FINALISTS

KARI FALK
Riverside / Softball
Falk's continued dominance of hitters in Class AA has earned her plenty of wins and accolades. The senior Edinboro recruit was one of two returning players from last year's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette All-Area softball team.

SAMANTHA PICKENS
Franklin Regional / Diving
Pickens, a junior, won her second consecutive one-meter diving titles in both the WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA swimming championships. Her score of 506.65 at the state meet challenged but fell just short of the state record of 517.20.

MARKEL WALKER
Schenley / Basketball
Walker, a senior UCLA recruit and the nation's No. 4 recruit in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100, averaged 28.1 points per game, helping Schenley to the PIAA Class AAAA tournament. Walker was named to the AP All-State first team.