Europe Athletes of the Week: Oct. 25, 2012
By $content.organization.value.toUpperCase() Published: October 24, 2012
Last week - Pitts, a 6-foot, 178-pound senior quarterback and 2011 DODDS-Europe all-star, passed for 165 yards and ran for 105 more Saturday to lift the Naples Wildcats to a 35-20 victory over the Ansbach Cougars.
According to coach Steve Altstiel, in his first season at Naples’ helm, Pitts has passed for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns, yardage resulting from Pitts’ growth.
“Joseph is far more comfortable in the pocket than he has been…,” Altstiel emailed on Tuesday. “He used to have to roll out…to feel free enough to throw, but now he is comfortable, confident and accurate out of the pocket.”
Pitts has rushed for 345 yards and four TDs, and plays the game with his head as well as his limbs.
“Joseph has great football smarts,” Altstiel wrote. “We have designed plays, so that Joseph can call audibles at the line... The fact that we trust him with audibles speaks volumes to how much confidence we have in his abilities. He thinks and reacts with wisdom.”
Last week - Schiller, a junior setter, put on a clinic Saturday by handing out 65 assists in two three-set matches to help the defending Division I champion Ramstein Royals remain unbeaten with straight-sets victories over Wiesbaden and Black Forest Academy.
In addition to the assists, which as Ramstein coach Erin Markus pointed out, are registered solely when a teammate makes a kill, Schiller, a 2011 All-European, chalked up 13 kills, 10 solo blocks and 10 aces.
“Sarah is involved in every play that occurs on the court,” Markus wrote in an email, “and is so dominant as a server and blocker as well.”
So dominant, in fact, that going into Saturday’s matches, Markus credited Schiller, a 91 percent server, with 53 aces and 293 assists.
In total, Markus said, that without Schiller, a year-round player and high academic achiever, who “more importantly always has a smile on her face, this team would not be who we are…”