Plum senior to play in Foothills Classic
Plum's Joe Hadley terrorized opposing quarterbacks last fall.
Next Saturday, the Seton Hill recruit will get a chance to show bigger colleges they made a frightening error by passing on him.
Hadley and eight other local players will suit up for the 10th annual Foothills Football Classic all-star game at Norwin High School.
Hadley set a Plum single-season record with 11 sacks in 2004 and finished his career tied for first in school history with 14 sacks.
"A couple of Division II schools looked at him," Plum head coach Bill Rometo said.
"Joe's not very big. He made up for that with aggressiveness and quickness. If he was a bigger kid, I'm sure he would have got some interest."
Hadley (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) still has a bright future at Greensburg's Seton Hill, which will field a team for the first time in 2006.
Hadley's versatility is an asset.
"Joe's the type of kid that if you show him one time, he grasps the concept," Rometo said. "He was able to move from left defensive end to right defensive end and even middle linebacker in a five-linebacker set. A lot of kids wouldn't be able to handle moving like that."
Rometo projects Hadley as a middle linebacker in college.
The veteran Plum head coach was impressed by Hadley's leadership. The Mustangs' defense was a big key as the Mustangs made a late run and qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2001.
"His motor's running all the time," Rometo said. "The other kids fed off that."
The Foothills all-star game will feature graduated seniors from more than 30 school districts in Westmoreland, Allegheny and Fayette counties. Route 30 is the dividing line for the teams. The players are selected by a coaching panel.
Valley head coach Troy Hill and assistant George Webb and Gateway head coach Terry Smith will be assistant coaches for the North team.
Greensburg Central Catholic's Muzzy Colosimo is the North head coach.