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Franklin Regional senior Cecere named to all-star team

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
(c) 2012 Lillian DeDomenic
Franklin Regional senior captain Nico Cecere was the Panthers' lone selection for this year's PIHL Class AA All-Star Game this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, at the RMU Island Sports Center. Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star

Nico Cecere has struggled through some lean seasons with the Franklin Regional hockey team, but the senior captain's efforts haven't gone unrecognized.

Cecere, the Panthers' leading scorer this season, was selected to represent Franklin Regional on the Northeast Conference team in PIHL Class AA All-Star Game this Sunday at the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island.

The senior will be unable to participate in the game because of a previously scheduled school trip to Florida, but that takes nothing away from the honor of being selected as one of the league's top players.

“It's disappointing that I won't be able to play,” Cecere said. “We tried to get the flight changed, but it was going to cost too much to return early.

“It's a great honor to be picked for the team. There have been some really good players from Franklin Regional that made it before. It's an honor to receive the same honor that some of those players got.”

Because of the struggles for the winless Panthers this season, Cecere's offensive numbers aren't as gaudy as some of the other all-star forwards. He does have eight goals and six assists on the season, both of which lead the team, and his 14 points means he has had a hand in 61 percent of FR's goals this season.

Though going through another losing season has been difficult, Cecere has tried to keep things positive and look toward the future.

“We only have two seniors on the team, and I just go out to try and enjoy the last season I have here,” Cecere said.

“I feel like the team will be very good in the next two years or so because there are a lot of good young kids coming up. My younger brother is playing in eighth grade. I can't judge right now if they'll have the same sort of team as when guys like Eugene Mack and my older brother (John) played, but they should be good.”

While he won't represent his school in the all-star game, Cecere is looking forward to his final few games in an FR jersey over the next few weeks after returning from Florida.

“Franklin's a great school and a great place to be. It's always been an honor to get to play for the team, and I've enjoyed it,” he said.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

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