Sunday, January 29, 2006

Big 33 Roster Announced

Even though this year's Big 33 All-Star Football Game, which pits Pennsylvania versus Ohio, had to be moved-up to June 17 from it's usual late July still attracts some of the top talent from both states.

One of the great facts about this game is there has never been a Super Bowl without a former Big 33 player in it. This year Steeler quarterback Ben Rothlisberger will make it 40 straight Super Bowls with a Big 33 alum.

Here's a look at this year's Pennsylvania roster with college choice listed in parentheses:

Aaron Berry, WR/DB, Bishop McDevitt; Nate Byham, TE, Franklin (Pitt); Barry Church, LB, Penn Hills; Chris Daino, OL, Neshaminy (Delaware); Pat Devlin, QB, Downingtown East; Dorin Dickerson, WR/DB, West Allegheny (Pitt); Connor Dixon, QB, South Park (Michigan State); Elijah Fields, WR/DB, Duquesne.

Lance Jeter, WR, Beaver Falls; Alex Johnson, DE, North Penn (Toledo); Abe Koroma, DL, Milton Hershey (Penn State); Andrew Lee, WR/DB, Bethlehem Liberty; John Malecki, OL/DL, Franklin Regional (Pitt); Travis McBride, RB/DB, McKeesport (Penn State); Tom McEowen, DL, Neshaminy (Penn State); Jim McKenzie, OL, St. Joseph's Prep (Syracuse); Josh Neubert, TE, North Penn (Boston College);

Nate Nix, LB, Thomas Jefferson (Pitt); Charlie Noonan, DL, St. Joseph's Prep (Rutgers); Jared Odrick, DL, Lebanon (Penn State); Anthony Parker-Boyd, WR-DB, Great Valley (North Carolina); John Pfund, OL, Central Bucks East (Northeastern); Jason Pinkston, OL/DL, Baldwin (Pitt); Da'Rel Scott, RB, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Maryland); Aaron Smith, WR/DB, Gateway (Pitt); Kevin Uhll, OL, North Penn (Delaware); Collin Wagner, K, State College.

Darrin Walls, WR/DB, Woodland Hills (Notre Dame); Anthony Walters, WR/DB, Cardinal O'Hara (Delaware); Greg Webster, LB, Woodland Hills (Pitt); Nate Williams, LB, Central Catholic (Northwestern); Dave Williams, WR/DB, Gateway (Michigan State); Aundre Wright, WR/DB, Perry.

Harrisburg's Hunter Heading To the Big Ten

Harrisburg linebacker Jeremiha Huner will play his college football at Iowa. The 6-2, 220-pounder chose the Hawkeyes over Penn State, Tennessee and Connecticut.

What's great about this story is the AP second team all-stater talks about how he loves the Iowa coaching staff that takes a more personal approach to recruiting....basically downing Rivals, the recruiting service which is more interesting in making money then giving the most accurate information about recruits.

For more on Hunter's decision click on our headline to read the story in the Harrisburg Patriot-News

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Bishop McDevitt's Comasco Heading To West Point

The recent success of the Bishop McDevitt football program is definately paying off for players in the way of scholarships to solid Division I-A programs.

Thursday defensive back Aaron Berry announced he was heading to Pittsburgh to play his college ball for the Panthers, Friday defensive end Vince Comasco chose Army.

For more on Camsco's decision in the Harrisburg Patriot News, please click on our headline "Bishop McDevitt's Comasco Heading To West Point".

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Two Northeast Pennsylvania Running Backs Heading To Division I-AA

When I started "The High School Football Huddle" earlier this year, I promised that it wouldn't just be about the bluest of Blue Chippers. Blue chip can also refer to the classroom.

That's why it's a pleasure to announce that two of the top running backs in northeast Pennsylvania have made their college decisions, and both are going to two of the best academic schools around.

Delaware Valley's Frankie Colletta, who rushed for over 5,200 yards in his career, is heading to Harvard. Colletta's numbers would have been higher if his senior season wasn't shortened to only five games. Still Colletta ran for over 1,100 yards last year and 22 touchdowns, including seven in one game.

Zach Lasavage of Carbondale will head a couple hours north of his home to play at Colgate, which played in the Division I-AA playoffs last year. Lasavage is the school's all-time leading rusher with over 4,100 yards.

The best thing about these two...both say academics were more important then X's and O's. I'm sure both will have good college careers.

For more on both of these running backs, click on our headline "Two Northeast Pennsylvania Running Backs Heading To Division I-AA".

Allentown Central Catholic's Roberts Heading Back To Lehigh

It's official, Donnie Roberts is headed back to Lehigh University, and Allentown Central Catholic is in the market for a new head coach.

Roberts resigned as the Vikings head man last week to become the Assistant Defensive Coach at Lehigh under Andy Coen, who was named the Mountain Hawks new head coach on January 3. Before coming to CCHS, Roberts was an assistant with Coen at Lehigh from 1994 to 1999.

While you always like to see the good coaches climb-up the ladder professionally, it's sad to see Roberts leave the Vikings.

His four year record was 24-20, including a best 9-3 record in 2005, but that's only half of the story. Roberts is a great man, who is respected by those around him. Yes he was the first African-American head coach in the Lehigh Valley, but fact was just that...a fact, after he took over the program.

Donnie Roberts is plain-and-simple a very good football coach. He stepped into a tough situation when the program was slipping a little from the 90's days when Jim Morgans elevated the Vikings to one of top programs in the nation.

Roberts did things the right way, and that is what he should be remembered for....a winning coach with integrity.

Good luck at Lehigh Donnie.

To read more on this story from the Morning Call, please click on our headline "Allentown Central Catholic's Roberts Heading Back to Lehigh".

Friday, January 20, 2006

Northern Lehigh's Tkach Standout On and Off The Field

This is the type of story that makes high school football such a special sport to cover.

It's a story from my hometown paper (Morning Call) in the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania, and shows why winning isn't everything. It's about Northern Lehigh High School senior Tyler Tkach, and is told by Morning Call Sports Reporter Mandy Housenick.

Tyler finished second in the voting for the 21st annual Jim Henry Award, presented by the Maxwell Club, which is given to the most well-rounded high school football player in southern New Jersey, Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. But finishing runner-up isn't the story.

It's about this Slatington, Pennsylvania senior dedicating time to help kids with disabilities, and specifically about Ty helping change the life of a fellow student with autism.

This story certainly doesn't surprise me because I know Ty's father Jim, who is a teacher and the former head coach at Northern Lehigh. Coach Tkack is one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet, and he's respected by those who have played for him or against him.

Knowing Coach Tkack, it's not surprising that his son has turned out to be a quality individual. This is definately a case of the apple not falling far from the tree.

Enjoy this story as much as I did.

To read the article from the Morning Call, please click on our headline "A Standout On and Off The Field".

Congratulations to the Ty, the Tkach family and the Northern Lehigh School District.


Monday, January 16, 2006

George Curry Applies For Head Coaching Job At Wyoming Valley West

Legendary Berwick Coach George Curry's retirement may end very shortly. Curry, who retired in November after a record of 362-74-3 and six PIAA state championships, has applied to become the head coach of Wyoming Valley West.

To read more, please click-on the underlined title "George Curry Applies For Head Coaching Job At Wyoming Valley West.

Berwick Gets Ready For Interviews For New Head Coach

Next week, Berwick officials will begin the very tough task of finding a replacement for legendary head coach George Curry. As of last Friday, nine applicants submitted resumes, and the interviews will begin the week of January 23. The new head coach is expected to be named at the school board's February 13.

After 35 years with the Bulldogs, George Curry retired from Berwick in November. Curry posted a 362-74-3 record, won a record six PIAA championships and the Dawgs were named the mythical national champions three times by USA Today.

Curry has since applied for the football coach position at Wyoming Valley West.

Trinity TE/OL Choses Ohio State

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Trinity High School Tight End/Offensive Lineman Andrew Miller has verbally committed to Ohio State. Miller chose the Buckeyes over Pitt, West Virginia and Indiana. To read a full report click on the underlined title above "Trinity TE/OL Choses Ohio State".