Northeast Times

Wolf, Ryan seniors, ready for final title quest

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A group of second graders were play­ing soc­cer and needed an­oth­er team­mate.

In stepped Megan Wolf, who ended up more than hold­ing her own, des­pite be­ing —  are you ready? — in kinder­garten.

“That just goes to show you that I lit­er­ally can’t re­mem­ber not play­ing sports,” said Wolf, now a seni­or two-sport standout ath­lete at Arch­bish­op Ry­an. “I get bored if I am not act­ive do­ing something.”

In Ry­an’s dra­mat­ic 5-4 Cath­ol­ic League quarterfi­nal vic­tory over vis­it­ing Car­din­al O’Hara on Sat­urday, Wolf did her typ­ic­al job of get­ting on base from the leadoff spot. She also con­trib­uted a huge de­fens­ive play in the fifth in­ning that prob­ably saved one run — and maybe more.

As the game wound down to the later in­nings and neither team was able to take con­trol, Wolf re­mained con­fid­ent that the Rag­dolls would find a way to ad­vance to a semi­final meet­ing with Con­well-Egan. (The game, sched­uled for Monday, was rained out and was to be made up on Wed­nes­day after the Times went to press.)

“The last two years ended be­fore they should have,” said Wolf, re­fer­ring to Ry­an’s con­sec­ut­ive losses to St. Hubert in the Cath­ol­ic League semi­finals. “We beat ourselves, but it wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen again this year.”

In­stead, the Rag­dolls began the home sev­enth with sopho­more pitch­er Nikki Micha­lowski reach­ing on an er­ror. She moved to second on a per­fectly placed ground ball to the op­pos­ite side by sopho­more Cath­er­ine Ham­mer. Fresh­man Kerri Dadal­ski then hit a ground­er to deep short. Her hustle turned what would have been an in­field single in­to a single and throw­ing er­ror by O’Hara’s shortstop, al­low­ing Micha­lowski to round third and reach home for the tri­umph.

The Rag­dolls went crazy with en­thu­si­asm.

“Such an ex­cit­ing win,” Wolf said. “We did a lot of the little things well and it ended up mak­ing the dif­fer­ence.”

Re­cently se­lec­ted as a first-team All-Cath­ol­ic first base­man who also plays left field, Wolf has hit a scin­til­lat­ing .491 this spring. Then again, hit­ting well has come rather nat­ur­ally to Wolf.

“My dad had to take me off the tee ball team be­cause I hit the ball too far,” she laughed. “I love to hit.”

She also loves to play bas­ket­ball.

A 5-foot-6 point guard, Wolf was first-team All-Cath­ol­ic as both a ju­ni­or and seni­or. She has already com­mit­ted to the Uni­versity of the Sci­ences, where she will play bas­ket­ball and ma­jor in phar­ma­ceut­ic­al and health-care busi­ness.

“I want to be a leg­al drug deal­er,” she quipped.

Wolf also might try out for soft­ball in col­lege, al­though she said it “de­pends on how school goes.”

Con­sid­er­ing her back­ground, it wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing if Wolf does play both sports. At Ry­an, she is also school vice pres­id­ent and a two-time mem­ber of the Na­tion­al Hon­or So­ci­ety, which is only open to up­per­class­men.

She also ranks 26th in her class of more than 400 seni­ors, a test­a­ment to her aca­dem­ic abil­it­ies.

“I lit­er­ally live at the school,” she said. “I’ll miss Ry­an so much next year. I don’t even want to think about that right now.”

Nor does Coach Andy Hafele, who took over the Ry­an pro­gram in 1994 and promptly won a league title the fol­low­ing year.

In all his days as Ry­an’s coach — al­most two dec­ades worth — Hafele said he has nev­er en­countered a bet­ter play­er.

“She’s an all-around great kid,” he said. “When you pic­ture what our team is all about, just think of Megan and then you will know. She epi­tom­izes all you want a play­er to be.

“She does all of the little things,” he con­tin­ued. “Nev­er misses a day of prac­tice. She will be sorely missed.”

Wolf said that one of the ma­jor ad­vant­ages she has of be­ing able to play two sports is that the stam­ina needed for bas­ket­ball in the winter trans­lates nicely in­to dust­ing off a glove and bat in the spring.

“After such a fast-paced sport, soft­ball is more re­lax­ing for me,” she said. “I’m already in shape so I can just work on oth­er things. I en­joy both sports even though they are very dif­fer­ent.”

And the phys­ic­al de­mands?

“I’m al­ways a little sore, but hey, I’m young,” Wolf said. “When I’m older, I’ll be pay­ing for it.”

For the rest of the Cath­ol­ic League, that time can’t come soon enough.  ••

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You can reach at jknebels@gmail.com.

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