9TH annual PSFCA east west all-star game preview
Written by: Josh Funk on Monday, June 15th, 2009
Playing the East/West game on a Friday night is rare. Moving the kickoff up an hour is also different.
And, recently, it’s been rare to see the East tasting victory in a series they dominated so thoroughly for the first six years.
The East will look to snap a two-game losing streak against the West Friday night in the 9th Annual PSFCA East/West All-Star game from Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.
All-star game previews generally run a little longer in length for the simple fact that there are so many names to recognize and point out. Here are the previews for each team, beginning with the two-time defending champion West squad:
Having won the last two meetings by a combined score of 34-14, and racking up a combined 300+ rushing yards in that span, one would think that the West has the psychological advantage.
Pffffft. A psychological advantage in an All-Star Game? Does such a thing even exist?
The black and gold have the luxury of a trio of Thomas Jefferson players gracing its roster. QB Tyler Wehner totaled over 3,300 yards of offense last season, and offensive linemen Pat Eger and Sean Kundrat provided blocking for a TJ team that scored a school-record 616 points and averaged over 400 yards of offense per game.
Joining the two TJ stalwarts on the offensive line is Montoursville’s Tony Cascio, an All-state selection each of the last three years, including 1st-team nominations as a sophomore and a senior.
Jarrin Campman (Clearfield Area) rounds out the quarterback tandem. He ran and passed for over 1,000 yards each last season, helping the Bisons secure yet another District 9 football championship. He played a role in helping Clearfield earn its first-ever playoff win against the Pittsburgh City League, defeating Brashear 24-21 at Cupples Stadium.
Running backs Brandon Real (West York Area) and Nico Price (McKeesport Area) each cracked the 1,000-yard rushing barrier last season – Real actually surpassed 2,600 rushing yards before breaking his collarbone in the District 3 playoffs. Battering fullback Patrick Matty (Hopewell) played in the rough-and-tumble Parkway Conference of the WPIAL, but can also pick up rushing yardage if needed.
The receiving corps is loaded with speed, primarily coming from Pierre Carr (Peabody). Carr is a state track champion each of the last two years. Christian Kuntz (Camp Hill Trinity) and Josh Vermeulen (Gateway) round out the pass catchers.
Watch out for the West’s defensive backfield, which might be one of its stronger suits. Jake Delmonico (Blackhawk), Deonte Flemings (Strong Vincent), Justin Gildea (Hollidaysburg), Brian Williams (Gateway) and Parris Perdue (McKeesport Area) all face the task of trying to corral the East’s potent passing attack.
The West defense will also get a boost from sack-machine BJ Stevens (Gateway), who will play on the defensive line.
Scott Heinauer (Mars Area) leads the way as head coach, assisted by Gary Gouse (Portage), Clyde Conti (Slippery Rock), Ron Miller (West York Area), Jim Wehner (Yough) and Chuck Tinninis (Greencastle-Antrim).
In the last few years, the East has always had at least one very good quarterback. Last year, Nolan Kearney and Matt McGloin helped lead the way. DJ Lenehan handled the duties in 2007, throwing for nearly 160 yards and 2 scores.
The East boasts a pretty proficient passer in Zach Zulli (Perkiomen Valley). The Vikimgs, which compete in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, went 9-2 two years ago and averaged close to 39 points per game. Zulli finished his career with 5,844 passing yards and 65 touchdowns (12th-most all time in state history).
Zulli threw for 2,541 yards and 27 touchdowns last year.
Mark Guibilato (St. Joe’s Prep) didn’t put up very gaudy numbers, but the Temple recruit did surpass 1,000 yards. He added seven touchdown passes.
The running back situation bodes very well for the East. Jeremiah Young (Steel-High), Zach Barket (Schuylkill Haven), and Franklin Quiteh (Pocono Mountain West) combined to run for over 9,100 yards last season. Barket and Young finished the season with 95 rushing touchdown combined.
Sean Persch (Pequea Valley), Kyle Jackson (Bloomsburg Area), Jordan Clentimack (Lebanon), and Jared Bausch (Lower Dauphin) provide the targets for catching passes. Both Persch and Clentimack went over 1,100 yards receiving last year, but neither looked very impressive in the recent Tri-County All-Star game played Memorial Day weekend.
The East offensive line will be graced by the likes of Riley Clugston (Manheim Central), Nick Schalhofer (Lancaster Catholic), Tyler Swoyer (Schuylkill Haven) and Adam Citko (Archbishop Wood).
Kicker Shane Raupers (Athens Area) really could have been selected as a utility athlete. He did everything in high school from rushing to passing to playing defense, handling punting, placekicking, and kickoff duties. Heck, the only thing he didn’t do was man the concession stand.
Keep an eye out for the following defensive players: Ryan Cordingly (Berwick Area), Daryl Klotz (Bethlehem Liberty), Ray Maples (West Catholic), Rodney Hill (Wilson-West Lawn), Cody Muller (Souderton), Tom Ryan (Father Judge), Ryan Womack (GAR Memorial), Eric Ofcharsky (Abington Heights) and John Nurthern (Great Valley).
The East will be led by head coach Mark Evans (ELCO), assisted by Joe Bottegleir (Emmaus), Tom Coyle (Father Judge), Bret Stover (Upper Dublin), Joe Walsh (West Chester Henderson) and Jack Young (Athens Area).
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