Area flavor on Interstate team
Eight Cougars were named to the Interstate Conference Football All-Star Team, which was released this week.
Five of those are Yough Cougars and three are Charleroi Cougars.
Charleroi's contingent includes senior wide receiver Jim Diaz and juniors Eric Johnson (wide receiver) and Brandon Bowman (linebacker).
Bowman made the first team while Johnson and Diaz garnered honorable mention.
Bowman was not only a defensive standout and a ferocious tackler, he was also the team's second leading rusher at fullback and scored four touchdowns.
Johnson, a converted quarterback, led Charleroi in receiving with 25 receptions for 351 yards and in rushing with 303 yards on 34 carries. He scored a team-high five touchdowns.
Diaz caught 17 passes for 311 yards, averaging 18.3 yards per catch, and scored four TDs.
“I'm really happy for our kids who made it,” said Charleroi coach Ed Jenkins. “For a team that had a tough season, going 2-7, to get three kids named to the all-conference team is a testament to how hard those kids worked.”
Yough's selections were senior wide receiver Ben D'Amico, juniors Tyler Donahue (quarterback) and Jake Brundage (offensive line) and sophomores Clay Waldron (utility player) and Tom Sever (defensive line).
D'Amico, Waldron, Brundage and Sever were first-team selections.
Donahue threw for 1,255 yards, hitting 95 of 189 passes with eight TDs and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 283 yards and scored seven TDs.
D'Amico hauled in 20 passes for 200 yards and also rushed for 180 yards while scoring three TDs.
Waldron led the Cougars in receiving with 26 receptions for 405 yards and was second in rushing with 345 yards on 49 carries. He also led the team in scoring with eight TDs.
While Sever made the team as a defensive linemen, he was also a key performance on offense with 225 yards rushing and five TDs.
“I'm ecstatic that we had five kids make it and four get on the first team,” said Yough coach Mark Crovak. “They are all very deserving.”
Noting that four of the five are underclassmen, Crovak added, “Next year will be the first senior-dominated team for Yough since I've been here. I hope that translates to more wins.”
Conference champion Washington led the 44-player team with nine selections, featuring junior running back Shai McKenzie, who led the WPIAL in rushing with more than 2,600 yards and scored 41 TDs.
The Interstate Conference Football All-Stars will be honored at a luncheon Dec. 14 at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver Township.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.