Quartet of Plum football players tabbed as Quad Central all-stars
It was a tough first season in the challenging Quad Central Conference for the Plum varsity football team.
The Mustangs finished 0-8 in conference play and 0-9 overall. They came close to scoring a win against conference foe Canon-McMillan but attempts to overcome a late three-point deficit came up short in the 16-13 defeat.
Despite the struggles on a tough road against the likes of WPIAL runner-up Woodland Hills, as well as playoff qualifiers Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park and Peters Township, new conference foe Baldwin and familiar rival Penn Hills, Plum had several individuals turn in strong seasons.
Those seasons were recognized with inclusion on one of three Quad Central Conference all-star teams.
Senior punter Dylan Kondis was the lone Mustangs player to earn first-team honors, based on a vote of the section's nine head coaches.
He finished the season with a 41.2-yard punt average, and he booted a school-record 82-yard punt in Plum's season-ending nonconference loss at Pine-Richland.
The punt is one of the longest in state history and is right up there with the top punts in the history of the WPIAL, although no official WPIAL record for the longest punt is kept.
Senior linebacker Jake DiGuilio and senior defensive back Jai Major were second-team selections.
DiGuilio led the Mustangs in tackles with 79, and 10 of those tackles were for a loss.
Major was second on the team in tackles with 53, and he added an interception.
Earning honorable mention recognition was junior offensive tackle Chip Kress.
Mt. Lebanon led all teams in the conference with seven first team selections. They are seniors Dan Ott (offensive guard), Mark Buda (tight end), Tyler Roth (quarterback), Tim Briercheck (linebacker) and Matt McGraw (defensive back); and juniors Troy Apke (wide receiver) and Alex Bookser (defensive line).
Upper St. Clair seniors Mike Mondzelewski (offensive tackle), Austin Park (offensive center), John Loper (defensive line) and Pete Coughlin (defensive back); and junior Ben Huss (offensive guard) also are first-team selections.
First-team picks from Woodland Hills are seniors Tom Greene (wide receiver), Khalil Harper (multiback), Jawan Turner (defensive line) and Alex Beasley (linebacker).
Additional first-team selections are Bethel Park's Mike Brucker (senior, defensive line), John Mascaro (senior, linebacker) and Danny Christenson (junior, kicker); Peters Township's Mike Minjock (senior, running back) and Greg Lippert (senior, offensive tackle); Baldwin's Dorian Brown (senior, running back) and Jay Morrison (junior, running back); Penn Hills' Demond Reed (senior, defensive back); and Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell (senior, tight end).
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.