Serra Chases Unique School Year Trifecta
Stefano, Dan, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
With a win on Monday, the Serra Catholic baseball team can accomplish something that has never been done in Pennsylvania.
No school in PIAA history has had its football, boys basketball and baseball teams make appearances in the state final in the same school year. Serra is two-thirds of the way there.
The Eagles' football team was the state runner-up, losing to Steelton-Highspire, 34-15, and the boys basketball team won the championship over Freire Charter, 67-66.
Serra (23-2) can complete the historic triple with a victory over Carmichaels (22-1) at CONSOL Energy Field in Washington tomorrow.
Granted, the PIAA has only held state championships in football since 1988, but it would still rank as an outstanding accomplishment.
Jeannette had two state final showings this school year, winning Class AA football and basketball titles. But the school's baseball team failed to make the playoffs.
Adam Cristillini, a senior center fielder and a guard on the basketball team, thinks the success of Serra's athletic programs has been a strong motivating factor in baseball.
"Playing basketball and watching the football team has really helped (in baseball), because it sets a standard for us," he said. "It's making us work harder. We know we can get there. We really believe we can."
While Cristillini has experienced a championship already this season, his teammates Curtis Nickel and Cam Olsen came up short this school year as members of the football team.
"We'd like to make it back (to the state final) again and, hopefully, have a different outcome this time," said Nickel, who played defensive end and right tackle on the football team and starts at first base on his current squad. …