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Tyree Alualu Becoming Leader of North Allegheny Defense



North Allegheny Tyree Alualu caught up with Pittsburgh Sports Now after his team’s 30-6 victory over Canon-McMillan on Friday night. While it wasn’t his most notable performance statistically on the field, which could be the result of some minor injuries Alualu hinted at in the postgame interview, the senior had several key moments that helped secure the win.

One of which was a pass breakup on Canon-McMillan’s first drive that helped set the tempo on defense early for North Allegheny, as they held Canon-McMillan scoreless for three quarters.

He also struggled early on the ground, with just nine yards on nine carries in the game’s first half but had a pair of first down catches of 15 and 17 yards during this time as well. The first of which came on third down and helped set up the game’s first touchdown.

As stated, the type of performance may not jump out on the stat sheet, but it does show the high school senior’s maturity. That even with struggling in one aspect of the game, he’s still able to play a key role on the team and deliver a strong game on the other side of the ball.

“First and foremost, I’d love to give all the glory to my lord without him I wouldn’t be in this position,” said Alualu. “I had a pretty solid day. I got cut a little bit short due to a little injury here and there, but I’m working to come back. I credit (my success) all to the game plan. Coach came out with a good game plan and we all just executed.”

Art Walker, current head coach of North Allegheny dating back to 2005, spoke highly of Alualu’s leadership and what he brings to the team after the game.

“He does a lot,” said Walker. “He’s the leader of our defense at inside linebacker. He makes calls, he makes checks, he’s a sideline-to-sideline player. He’s playing tailback on offense, we’re playing three guys there, so we have to rest him at times, but he’s a heck of an all-around player and he’s been a great leader for us this year too.”

Maturity and leadership are likely traits Tyree got from his father, longtime Steelers nose tackle Tyson Alualu. Tyson spent 13 years in the NFL, his last six with the Steelers, playing the unceremonious role of nose tackle. One that doesn’t make an impact when looking at the stat sheet but plays a key role in taking up blockers so that other players can stop the run or sack the quarterback. Tyson’s performance in this role in 2020 can be argued as a big reason for the Steelers’ defensive success that year.

“He’s been a major blessing in my football career thus far,” said Tyree. “He’s helped me so much with both the physical aspect and mental aspect of the game. For him, I’ve been so blessed.”

One thing Tyree does have over his father though, excelling on both sides of the ball. Tyree said that his father didn’t play offense in high school.

” Nah, he wasn’t like me,” Tyree said.

Now though, Tyree has his own goals for the season. He has eyes set on the PIAA championship, a title that North Allegheny has won twice under Walker (2010, 2012) but not yet during Alualu’s career. With two section titles and a WPIAL championship last year, it’s the one piece of hardware eluding Alualu.

“I’m a team player, so I want to help get my team to the state championship and get them that ring,” said Alualu.

As a senior though, he’ll be undergoing that quest for a state title while communicating with the many D1 programs and coaches that have offered Alualu. He said he’s been blessed with 15 offers thus far including Oregon, Cincinnati, SDSU, JMU and Navy. He didn’t hint at anyway he’s currently leaning, if he is leaning one way that is.

“I’m waiting to make my decision at the end of the season after a lot of prayer and conversations with my family,” said Alualu.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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