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D'Annunzio, Lafferty athletes of the week

by Mike Nutter

SPORTS WRITER

Following his sophomore season, Robert C. Byrd's Sam D'Annunzio didn't figure he'd get too many opportunities to carry the football.

D'Annunzio, who spent time in the Eagles' backfield, was moved exclusively to the defensive unit, where he has been a starter at linebacker for the past two seasons. He still rarely gets an opportunity with the football, but Friday, D'Annunzio made the most of the few opportunities he got.

In three wins, Bridgeport's Rhea Lafferty played a big role in helping the Indians stay unbeaten in Big 10 play.

For their efforts, D'Annunzio and Lafferty were selected as the One Valley Bank Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram Athletes of the week.

In a 53-6 win against Liberty, D'Annunzio helped the Eagles overcome a sluggish start with a pair of interception returns for touchdowns. Against Liberty's newly installed run-and-shoot offense, the senior linebacker returned an interception 13 yards for a TD in the second quarter and then helped the Eagles seal the win with an 85-yard interception return in second half for a TD. D'Annunzio also finished with six tackles, including a sack.

Lafferty began the week with seven kills in a win over Doddridge County on Monday. Tuesday, she had four kills in a win over Lincoln. Lafferty finished the week by leading the Indians to a win over Robert C. Byrd with 13 points and seven kills.

Both D'Annunzio and Lafferty will be honored at the end of the school year at the One Valley Bank Athlete of the Year Banquet.

Other boys nominated:

n Notre Dame's Timmy Swiger carried 15 times for 114 yards and one touchdown to help the Irish snap a three-game skid with a 28-6 win over Clay-Battelle Thursday night.

n Bridgeport's Jeremy Hinzman had 120 yards and TD runs of 47 and 20 yards on nine carries in a 42-7 win over Lincoln.

n Liberty's Jason Salentro and Andrew Knight. Salentro threw for 195 yards and one touchdown, while Knight had three receptions for 106 yards in a loss to Robert C. Byrd.

n Bridgeport's Tyler Francis averaged a 9-hole round of 38 in three matches for the Indians.

n Robert C. Byrd's Michael Walker came through in the clutch with a 3-foot put on the final hole to help the Eagles win a tri-match Tuesday. Walker finished the round with a 38.

n Bridgeport cross-country runner John Boker won the boys division Wednesday at a meet at Veteran's Memorial Park.

Other girls nominated:

n Robert C. Byrd cross-country runner Stephanie Hatfield won first with a time of 19:53 in a meet Wednesday and sixth with a time of 22:36 at the Forest Festival Invitational on Saturday.

n Bridgeport cross-country runner Theresa Melko was second Wednesday and sixth in the Forest Festival's AA-A division at 23:06.

n South Harrison's Bobbi Jo Devericks and Sarah Byrd. Devericks had eight kills in a win over Robert C. Byrd and five kills and two aces in a win over Braxton County. Byrd had an ace and five kills against Robert C. Byrd and led the Hawks with six aces, five kills and five digs in a win over Liberty.

n Bridgeport's Janet Sabatelli had 36 assists and 14 points in three wins.

Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at sports@exponent-telegram.com.

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