Allderdice Alumni Sports Rewind


New Pittsburgh Courier

Allderdice boys basketball team wins the 2019 City championship with seniors Blake Blaufeld and Bobby Clifford leading the way.

Taylor Allderdice High school is a school not only with high academic quality but also hosts some of the best city league sports teams. Throughout the ever changing graduating classes, traditions come and go. However, one thing that stays permanently embedded in the tight knit Allderdice society, is the beloved sports culture. As student athletes dedicate themselves to the game for their four short lived years they spend at Allderdice, fans and admirers are left often wondering where their favorite Dice stars are nowadays following their departure into their college careers and beyond adulthood.  


Recent Dice class of 2020 graduate, Henry “Hank” Rosenberg, played this past year as a rotating captain on the Allderdice Boys soccer team. Henry has now moved on to play for Allegheny College as an attacker. Although his time on the team has been very short lived and altered due to the ongoing pandemic, he still finds fun in meeting new people and creating new relationships with his teammates. When asked about what influenced his selected sports path, he responded with “I don’t even know bro, I sucked at baseball and was too short for basketball, so I played soccer.” Henry recalls his favorite moment from playing on the Dice soccer team being his goal against Pine Richland. “We were tied 0-0 in extra time and we needed to win if we wanted to make the playoffs. I scored with about 3 minutes left in the game.” Henry leaves Allderdice hoping to remind students to, “always have pride in your school.” 


Soon to be a part of the graduating 2021 class, Ben Martino has largely contributed to the history of the Allderdice Boys Soccer team. Although Martino is no longer a Dice student, he approaches his senior year of high school as a goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union Academy and Philadelphia Union 2. In the near future, he will go on to joining the Hokies Men Soccer team at Virginia Tech University. He describes his ongoing soccer career as a positive learning experience. “The key for me so far has been to not get too high when I’m succeeding, not too low when things aren’t going my way, and above all else, learn from every experience I get.” Despite signing his contract with the Philadelphia Union Academy in 2019, he made his professional debut in the USL at just 17 this year. “That experience meant a lot to me because I showed myself I could hold my ground and compete with grown men even before my time in college.” 


When asked about his favorite memory with Allderdice Soccer, Martino reminisces on his first game against Central Catholic. Upon going into the game, he had no clue what to expect as the surrounding players on the field were older than he was and had faced the rivalry as if it were the millionth time. “I locked arms with my teammates expecting to get a few words from the captain, Jess Weisbord, but instead he told us to repeat after him. All the upperclassmen did it without flinching. “Dear lord, in the battles we go through in life…”, I was repeating back for the first time the words of the Husker prayer, or whatever you want to call it, which would soon become an Allderdice soccer tradition for me,” Martino advises current student athletes to keep playing their game, regardless of level. He encourages players to continue to show their sport love and dedication for as long as they can and practice like everyone is watching them. “Be so dedicated to whatever it is you’re doing that once you stop, you’ll know deep down you have nothing else to give,” he says.


Sophia North, also a part of the class of 2020, was a shooting guard/point guard on the Allderdice women’s basketball team. She currently attends The University of Chicago as a freshman and plays for their women’s basketball team. COVID at the moment has altered her collegiate basketball start, “As for basketball, our season is not cancelled but we will not have any games until January.” Despite the delay in her regular season, Sophia still looks to the positive of “being in a new system with like-minded teammates…I’m enjoying learning the game from a higher level and adapting to new teammates and coaches that fit my play style.” Her future plans include potentially playing for the Japanese national team in the 2024 Olympics after having four years of collegiate basketball under her belt. When asked to recall her favorite Allderdice sports memory during her time on the team, she references the team’s most recent championship in her senior year. The team was able to three-peat their winning status and North was named the player of the game. “Our team chemistry was at a high and we were very motivated to continue to compete through the PIAA playoffs.” North hopes to remind students to take the time to love their sports. “If you don’t absolutely love what you do, doing it for four more years at an intense and time consuming level, is not going to be fun.”


Bobby Clifford, class of ‘19, is well known in the history of the Allderdice Boys Basketball team being a 1000 point scorer and making the All-City team three times. He currently attends Slippery Rock University as a guard on their basketball team. Last year, Clifford decided to redshirt his seasonal start, to obtain an extra year of eligibility. After his time at University, he looks forward to playing overseas somewhere. He mentions that so far the best part of his collegiate sports career includes, “…getting to work out everyday with players who love the game as much as I do. Since I haven’t played yet I have been enjoying the competition at practices everyday. He recalls his favorite Dice sports memory being his at home senior year game win against Latrobe with a powerful Dice crowd behind him. “I dunked on my AAU teammate and played against two of my friends that game.” Bobby hopes to instill the advice, “…never think you are good enough. Be the hardest worker and be humble,” to current Dice student athletes. 


Well-recognized Allderdice alumni and basketball star, Jackson Blaufeld, graduated with the class of 2019. Since then, he has gone on to play Division 1 basketball as a guard with Dartmouth College. “Division 1 basketball is such a huge leap from high school, but I definitely feel adjusted to the speed and physicality of the game heading into my sophomore season.” He highlights that the best part of his collegiate sports career so far overall has been creating the relationships he has with his teammates. However, a particular moment that has resonated with him while spending his time at Dartmouth was realizing his dream of playing college basketball had become a reality and winning his season opener against Buffalo. His favorite past sports memory at Allderdice was winning the City League Championship all his four years as well as getting the opportunity to travel to Florida with the Dice team his senior year. “That team still talks to this day about the memories we made on that trip.” Blaufeld strongly encourages present Dice athletes to enjoy every moment there is to have before the clock runs dry. “I already miss playing in front of the people I’ve known my whole life. So just have fun because before you know it it’ll be gone.”


As these talented athletes come and go, walking through the same Dice halls, they not only leave their sports related accomplishments but their wisdom as well. In the face of a pandemic not only have our everyday academic lifestyles been altered but so have the realm of sports for our student athletes. As you take on this challenging and out of the ordinary learning experience, whatever year of high school you may be in, remember the words of encouragement handed to you by those that came before you.