Athletes of the Week: Jason Kumpfmiller & Kelly Burak

February 17, 2012 12:00 am

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Jason Kumpfmiller, West Allegheny

Last week: A senior goalie, Kumpfmiller won his 11th consecutive start Feb. 9 against Pine-Richland. He stopped 20 of 21 shots in a 4-1 win that extended the Indians' winning streak to 13 games.

Check this out: A three-year starter, Kumpfmiller entered a game Thursday leading PIHL Class AA starting goaltenders in wins (14), goals-against average (1.53), save percentage (.919) and shutouts (four). West Allegheny (15-2 before Thursday) had won 13 consecutive games, Kumpfmiller having allowed 15 goals in that time.

Your brother, Ryan, was a standout forward. What made you become a goalie? The reason I became a goalie was pretty much because we had a hockey rink in our backyard and my brother used to have nobody to shoot on, so he put me in net.

Do you subscribe to the theory that all goalies are crazy? I actually do believe in that, yes.

Do you have any peculiar rituals or superstitions? I do -- but I'm not really going to talk about them because they're mine.

How much pressure do you feel as a goalie as opposed to any other position? I actually feel a lot of pressure -- and I like it.

How has West Allegheny been able to go more than three months between losses? Just being a team. All the guys get along with each other in the locker room and enjoy being with each other outside of school. This is the best team we've had since I've been playing high school hockey, and I'm so glad we are like this.

Prediction whether Sidney Crosby comes back this season, and if so, how will he fare? I believe he will come back very soon -- and I still think he will continue where he left off.


Kelly Burak, Hopewell

Last week: A junior, Burak won the WPIAL gymnastics individual all-around championship in the Advanced Division for the third year in a row Saturday.

Check this out: Burak placed first in the vault with a near-perfect score of 9.9, and also took top honors in the uneven bars and balance beam. Burak's overall score of 38.900 topped her total from each of the past two championships.

After winning your first two years, did you feel more pressure this time? Yeah, I did. It wasn't easy because the other girls have gotten better. But I've gotten better, too. Still, it was harder to keep the title.

What's next for you? I have some more USA Gymnastics meets. We have the state meet (PA Classic) at Moon this weekend. Then the high school season is over.

Farthest you've traveled for a competition? I went down to Cancun (Mexico) in January. It was my first international competition. (She finished fifth overall in her class)

Do you know any Whitney Houston songs? The only one I know is "I Will Always Love You."

Last time you had a Primanti's sandwich? I think last year when I went down to the Strip District with my family.


First Published 2012-02-16 23:06:05

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