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Big-33 rosters released

Written by: on Sunday, January 10th, 2010


Whenever the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association compiles the annual Big-33 roster, there’s usually an athlete or two who don’t make the list who could be considered “snubbed.”


Last year, recall that Steel-High’s Jeremiah Young, the state’s career leading rusher, was omitted from the roster in favor of Lyle Marsh (Bethel Park) and Brandon Hollomon (West Catholic).


This year, Kyle Smith, Lancaster Catholic’s lethal left-handed quarterback, doesn’t grace the roster.  The two quarterback selections hail from District 11 – Wilson Area’s Tyler Smith and Bethlehem Liberty’s Anthony Gonzalez.


Kyle Smith finished his career with 8,545 passing yards and 118 touchdown passes, both new state standards.  The Lancaster Catholic field general threw for 2,757 yards and 50 touchdowns this past season, on the heels of throwing for 3,192 yards in 2008.


Tyler Smith and Anthony Gonzalez are both good athletes – Smith threw for 3,130 yards and is a verbal commitment to Maryland – and Gonzalez, who will attend Pitt, entered the ’09 season with an outside chance at 4,000 rushing and passing yards before a knee injury and a 6-5 season ended his chances at that milestone.


Another interesting note is that only two of the athletes named to the Big 33 roster are from small schools (A or AA), and the breakdown between the two classes is a single from Class A and two from AA.  Kevin Weatherspoon (Clairton), Andrew Carswell (Sto-Rox) and Drake Greer (Bishop Canevin), two wide receivers and a kicker, respectively, are the only three small-school athletes on the roster.


And, if you extend the analysis to athletes from schools not in the “AAAA” classification, only seven of the 34 athletes named come from such schools (Tyler Smith, Abington Heights’ Sal Conaboy, Selinsgrove’s Ryan Keiser, and Brashear’s Manasseh Garner are the four reps from “AAA” schools).


Woodland Hills placed three athletes on the Big-33 roster.  Since Woodland Hills first football season in 1987, the Wolverines have placed 24 athletes in the Big-33 game, an average of just over one athlete per year.


State College and Bishop McDevitt also placed three athletes on the Big-33 roster.  Cumberland Valley’s Travis Friend and Lower Dauphin’s Adam Metz round out the Mid-Penn representation.


Penn Hills, Gateway, and Bethlehem Liberty have two athletes represented on the roster.

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