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Monday, May 30, 2016
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Scholar Athlete Spotlight

Taylor Staley, softball

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Taylor Staley hit five home runs this season for the Waynesburg Central softball team and hit at a .615 clip.

Not bad for the non-slugger of her family who bats near the top of the lineup, either second or third.

Kelly Tunney | Herald-Standard
Taylor Staley is Waynesburg Central's spring sports female selection in the Centennial Chevrolet Scholar/Athlete Spotlight program.

Taylor Staley hit five home runs this season for the Waynesburg Central softball team and hit at a .615 clip.

Not bad for the non-slugger of her family who bats near the top of the lineup, either second or third.

"They want me to get on base so my sister can knock me in," Staley said. "I wasn't really much of a power hitter, but this year has been really good for me. I have been watching my sister (Tara). She is a slugger and has been giving me some good pointers, even though she is younger than me."

Taylor Staley also maintains a 3.79 GPA and plans to be study biology as a pre-med major at West Virginia University in the fall.

For all of the above, Staley is Waynesburg Central's spring sports female selection in the Centennial Chevrolet Scholar/Athlete Spotlight program. She is the oldest daughter of Jackie and Mark Staley, of Waynesburg. Her younger sister is a junior who plays first base for the Lady Raiders. Taylor is a pitcher and outfielder who prefers playing center field.

"I like being able to see the whole field," she said. "I like taking control if the ball in on the left or right side of me."

Her most memorable sports moment came when the Lady Raiders won the section championship during her junior year.

"My best friend, Tiffany Ross, who I've been playing with all the way up through high school, rec league, she hit a grand slam to beat the leaders in the section, McGuffey," Staley said. "It was such a memorable moment because most of the girls on the team I've been teammates with ever since I was eight years old, so we just grew as a team."

But she is certain she will not play softball, as least not as a freshman.

"Since I'm going to go to West Virginia to study biology as a pre-med major, I don't think I'll even think about softball," Staley said. "I'm just going to focus on my education. I just want to see how my first year goes and adjust to college. If an opening presents itself, I may go for it because I don't know whether I want to just give up sports. I was also an outside hitter on the volleyball team and a forward on the basketball team."

As for her favorite sport, Staley isn't quite sure. "Softball is right up there, but I might like volleyball a little more. I have played softball longer and it has been a huge part of my life."

Her family helped her choose a college, but had nothing to do with her choosing medicine as a career path.

"There isn't really a family connection to medicine," Staley said. "I am just really interested in helping people and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life. I've been kind of looking into anesthesiology or dermatology or something like that."

"I chose West Virginia because it is closer to my home," Staley said. "I've always kind of been a mom and dad's girl, so I like staying closer to them. I actually wanted to go to UNC, but after talking to my mom, she said that I should stick around, especially for my first year."

And this self-described mom and dad's girl truly appreciates all the support her parents have provided her.

"They are so encouraging," Staley said. "Every game, when I am warming up, you see my dad walking over to me and giving me a little pep talk. He is the one who got me into softball when I was eight, he taught me how to pitch. My mom is not really a sporty person, but she was always there to support me."

And, oh yes, Taylor will be close enough to return to support her sister and the Waynesburg Central softball team next season.

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Nick Fox, baseball

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Kelly Tunney | Herald-Standard
Nick Fox is Waynesburg Central's spring sports male selection in the Centennial Chevrolet Scholar/Athlete Spotlight program.

Nick Fox grew up playing baseball with his older brother, Matt. Nick grew into a first baseman on the Waynesburg Central baseball team.

He plans in following in his brother's footsteps and those of his father, Tim, for his career, as well.

Fox graduates from Waynesburg Central this year with a 4.0 GPA that he will carry over to Grove City College as a mechanical engineering major.

Fox is Waynesburg Central's spring sports male selection in the Centennial Chevrolet Scholar/Athlete Spotlight program. He is the youngest child of Tim and Mary Fox of Waynesburg and, besides his 25-year-old brother, he also has an older sister, Lauren, 21.

Fox doesn't plan to play baseball in college, even though he worked his way up the batting order to the No. 3 spot as a senior. He's smart enough to know that an engineering degree from Grove City will take up the majority of his time.

"Physics is tough, but it is fun, too," Fox said. "I like the concepts of it. My father is a mechanical engineer and so is my brother and my brother went to Grove City as well. He liked the school. I went up to visit him and liked it, too."

His brother had the greatest influence on Nick as an athlete.

"He and I eat, sleep, breathe baseball," Fox said of the brotherly bond. "Especially the Pirates. We both just love the mental aspects of the game and the stats and everything. He always sends me a before-game text, just some motivational stuff. He loves the game as much as I do, so it makes it special."

His greatest sports moment was going to the WPIAL playoffs as a junior. "We lost the first game to Neshannock, but they ended up going well into the WPIAL playoffs and all the way through the state playoffs, often 10-running teams," Fox said. "We ended up losing to them, 7-0, and they threw their best pitcher, so at the end, we didn't feel too bad."

The playoff loss ended up being the last game that Fox's neighbor and coach Kevin Pincavitch coached the Raiders. He was replaced by Scott Van Sickle.

"I was blessed to have two fantastic coaches like them," Fox said. "They both knew their stuff, they both were great. Pincavitch just got into a little trouble with parents and one thing led to another. The majority of the team was upset about what happened and how it all went down. He's still my neighbor and we still talk. He still comes to the games.

"We were all real nervous coming into this year, coming off the playoffs. Even though we didn't make the playoffs, we were a young team and we needed a lot of freshmen to step up. The future looks very bright for this program. The program sort of dipped, especially in numbers, this year. Van Sickle will be here a while and he'll have a lot of success with it."

Fox, too, plans on having a lot of success in life, along with his best friend and older brother, the guy he wants to emulate.

"I just took a liking to a lot of the things my brother was into," Fox said. "I grew up watching him play baseball on the same fields that I'm playing baseball on right now. It was just always a lot of fun to go to his games."

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