East-West all-stars ready for fierce competition
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Similar to college basketball, where some truly great teams have missed the NCAA Tournament field nearly every year, there are high school football players in Pennsylvania who have been bypassed for the annual Big 33 Football Classic rosters of the state's most prestigious all-star game.
That's where, comparatively, the National Invitation Tournament and Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game fit in.
“There are great football players in this state, and there are just so many spots to fill,” said South Allegheny football coach Pat Monroe, the head coach of the West team for Sunday's scheduled PSFCA all-star game against an East squad at Franklin Regional.
“Make no mistake, this game will feature some top-notch competition,” he said.
From Trib Total Media's Daily News region, the short list of players on the West roster is impressive, led by the WPIAL's top rusher from 2013, West Mifflin running back Jimmy Wheeler.
Not only did Wheeler top the league in rushing yards in his senior year, he nearly set an all-time single-season mark, falling short of former Hopewell star Rushel Shell's standard by just 124 yards.
Wheeler, a California (Pa.) recruit, is among seven regional players headed to the game. Five others also are NCAA Division II recruits.
Running back Allen Wright and offensive lineman Tom McKelvey of McKeesport are headed to Indiana (Pa.), linebackers Carlos Hudson of McKeesport and JoJuan Bray of Clairton will attend Slippery Rock, and Steel Valley defensive lineman Corey Pinkerton is going to Clarion.
Ty Cook, the dynamic two-way player for Monroe at South Allegheny and who will play defensive back in Sunday's game, has yet to decide on a college.
It is quite a collection on a West roster of 34 players that includes 26 from the WPIAL and one from the City League.
Former Serra Catholic coach Rich Bowen, now at Hempfield, joins Monroe on the six-man West team coaching staff.
The Big 33 Football Classic, scheduled for June 14 at Hersheypark Stadium, matches a pair of all-star teams from Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Among the Pennsylvania players are 12 from the WPIAL, including offensive lineman Cole Costy and linebacker Chase Winovich of Thomas Jefferson and defensive end Jawan Hill of McKeesport. The coaching staff includes former longtime Clairton coach Tom Nola, who left the Bears this year to take over as coach at Gateway.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Schoolboy pick of week: BV Area
- VND High school football notebook: Local flavor enhances Penn Hills, other playoff teams
- City rivals Allderdice, Brashear seeking elusive title
- Gorman: Billy Holt’s big moment for Albert Gallatin
- Through the years: Highlands routed Franklin Regional to clinch conference title
- Statewide HSFB notebook: Pope John Paul II football player continues comeback
- Unfamiliar schemes a challenge for Mars, Montour coaches
- H.S. Picks hunting for perfect costume
- Birdie explains why he was wrong
- Connellsville coach McDonald looks forward to facing top seed Pine-Richland
- Brentwood takes 4-game winning streak into WPIAL playoffs