Local grads to compete in BeeGraphix Football Classic
A total of 10 local high school graduates will put on the pads and represent their respective high schools on the gridiron one last time as they compete in the 18th annual BeeGraphix Football Classic on Saturday at McGuffey High School. The game is sponsored by the Tri-County Football Coaches Association, and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Frazier and Uniontown will each have four players in the game.
Charles Manack (QB), Joe Hela (OL), Zachary Mastowski (LB) and Daniel Leonard (DT) will represent the Commodores and will play for the North Squad. Xavier Ellis (QB), Doug Lewis (DB), Tristan Sandrosky (LB) and Tito Cantalamessa (WR) have been chosen to represent the Red Raiders and will play on the South Squad. Geibel's Brandon Kushnar (DB) and Laurel Highlands' Will Benesh (OL) will play for the North Squad and South Squad, respectively.
“We had a very strong senior class and it's great to have four players selected to that game,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said, noting that he believes Chaise Bertocci (West Virginia Wesleyan) would have also been selected had he not been injured this past season. “It's one of the best classes we've had. It's an honor for them to be chosen and they are very deserving of it.”
Manack and Hela will continue their academic and football careers at Geneva College. Mastowski is undecided on his future plans while Leonard intends to enter the work force.
Uniontown's Ellis and Lewis will each play football at Lackawanna College and Sandrosky will play at Waynesburg University. Cantalamessa will attend Fairmont State, but is unsure of whether he will continue to play. According to Uniontown football coach John Fortugna, all four are worthy candidates to play in the BeeGraphix Football Classic.
“Each one of those kids have been starting for me for three years and they are all great kids,” Fortugna said.
Benesh will represent the Mustangs this weekend before he begins his collegiate athletic and academic career at Bethany College later this summer. He will play football for the Bison and is undecided on a major.
“It's a great honor,” Benesh said. “To be the only player chosen from my team makes me want to work even harder to show that we had a good team. I'm just looking forward to going against the other players and seeing where I stand.”
Kushnar will be attending Seton Hill University, where he hopes to play football for the Griffins. He said he's extremely proud to represent the Gators on Saturday.
“It means a lot to me, especially to represent Geibel because we went through some tough times,” Kushnar said. “I'm just looking forward to playing football again.”
Gates for the game open at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at email@example.com.