The Trib’s 2011 Preseason Team
The following team was selected with a finite number of players — 30 offensive players (4 QBs, 8 RBs, 6 WRs, 2 TEs, 10 OLs) plus 4 kickers and 30 defensive players (10 DLs, 10 LBs, 10 DBs) plus 4 punters. No player was put on the team at more than one position, so a player who stars at running back and linebacker, for example, could make the team only at one spot.
– Chris Harlan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dillon Buechel, sr., Montour, 6-4, 175
T.D. Conway, sr., California, 6-4, 205
Mikal Hall, sr., Aliquippa, 6-0, 160
Perry Hills, sr., Central Catholic, 6-3, 205
Know this: These four quarterbacks all had at least 1,500 yards last season, with Buechel topping 2,200, and combined for 78 touchdowns. They also represent all four classes: Hills in AAAA, Buechel in AAA, Hall in AA and Conway in A.
Julian Durden, sr., Montour, 5-9, 175
Greg Garmon, sr., Erie McDowell, 6-2, 200
Luke Hagy, sr., Mt. Lebanon, 6-0, 190
Trey Hall, sr., Beaver Falls, 5-11, 195
Damion Jones-Moore, sr., Central Catholic, 5-7, 180
Michael Kizzie, sr., Greensburg Salem, 5-10, 170
Rushel Shell, sr., Hopewell, 5-11, 210
Manny Simpson, sr., Penn-Trafford, 5-11, 210
Know this: Shell stands above this talented group, but Garmon has almost as many colleges chasing after him, including Pitt, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and North Carolina. Opposing coaches this season will spend days – if not weeks – scheming up ways to stop these eight runners.
Shakim Alonzo, sr., Woodland Hills, 6-5, 205
Zach Challingsworth, jr., South Fayette, 6-2, 170
Trenton Coles, sr., Clairton, 6-3, 180
Robert Foster, jr., Central Valley, 6-2, 185
Corey Jones, sr., Penn Hills, 5-9, 160
Devin Wilson, jr., Montour, 6-4, 175
Know this: Who says they only run the football in Western Pennsylvania? These six wideouts have the ability to stretch any defense as some showed last fall at Heinz Field. It was there that Alonzo, Challingsworth, Coles and Foster all caught touchdown passes – including a 70-yarder by Foster that displayed his sprinter’s speed.
Jesse James, sr., South Allegheny, 6-8, 246
Jack Schwaba, sr., Upper St. Clair, 6-4, 225
Know this: James (Penn State) and Schwaba (Northwestern) both are committed to Big Ten schools. As juniors, James was the bigger offensive threat, with 28 catches, 344 yards and four TDs. Schwaba was the better blocker.
Adam Bisnowaty, sr., Fox Chapel, 6-6, 280
Logan Dietz, sr., Central Catholic, 6-6, 275
Patrick Kugler, jr., North Allegheny, 6-4, 265
Bobby Mandish, sr., Penn-Trafford, 6-4, 285
Dom Martinelli, sr., Montour, 6-4, 290
David Miller, sr., Seneca Valley, 6-4, 280
Ian Park, sr., Upper St. Clair, 6-4, 285
Mike Steals, sr., Woodland Hills, 6-5, 250
Christian Wilson, sr., McKeesport, 6-6, 305
Jake Witucki, sr., Highlands, 6-5, 280
Know this: These are guys you’d want to run behind, averaging 6-5 and 280 pounds. For big men, they’re all skilled. Park (Northwestern) and Witucki (Kent State) already have committed to Division I colleges, but many others from this group of 10 should follow – including Bisnowaty, who has offers from Florida and Pitt, among others.
Ryan Gralish, sr., Mars, 6-1, 205
Andrew Huska, sr., Ford City, 5-11, 160
Killan Mulkern, sr., Upper St. Clair, 5-10, 155
Sam Scifo, sr., Woodland Hills, 5-9, 160
Know this: These aren’t 250-pound linemen turned into kickers, these four are skilled. With the victory on the line, any of the four could make a game-winning kick.
J.J. Beggan, sr., Seton-La Salle, 6-4, 280
Dylan Colucci, sr., Latrobe, 6-5, 285
Waylon Fink, sr., Greensburg Salem, 6-5, 215
Arthur Goldberg, sr., Mt. Lebanon, 6-4, 270
Ryan Hickey, sr., Franklin Regional, 6-2, 225
Treyvon Hester, sr., Penn Hills, 6-3, 290
Ryan Hughes, jr., Gateway, 6-4, 275
Tyrique Jarrett, sr., Allderdice, 6-3, 320
Niko Mamula, sr., Chartiers Valley, 6-3, 270
Jake Radziukinas, sr., Upper St. Clair, 6-2, 270
Know this: These 10 defensive tackles and ends will be make life difficult for quarterbacks. Most are two-way starters, but seem to have a knack for defense. Beggan (Bowling Green) and Goldberg (Wisconsin) already have committed to Division I colleges. Some of the lesser-known names, like Fink and Hughes, seem poised for big seasons.
Mike Caprara, sr., Woodland Hills, 6-1, 210
Adam Cole, sr., Belle Vernon, 6-1, 215
Jaylen Coleman, sr., University Prep, 6-1, 220
Dakota Conwell, sr., Upper St. Clair, 6-2, 205
J.P. Holtz, sr., Shaler, 6-4, 245
T.J. Neal, sr., McKeesport, 6-1, 210
Bruno Natter, sr., Thomas Jefferson, 6-2, 210
Deaysean Rippy, sr., Sto-Rox, 6-2, 210
Mike Shansky, sr., Blackhawk, 6-2, 230
Louis Taglianetti, sr., Central Catholic, 6-2, 190
Know this: There’s no getting past these linebackers. Many of them led their teams in tackles last season, including Caprara, the team’s leading tackler as a sophomore and junior. Conwell (Pitt) and Holtz (Penn State) already have committed to colleges, while the others consider their options.
Tyler Boyd, jr., Clairton, 6-1, 170
Wayne Capers, sr., Chartiers Valley, 6-1, 205
Demetrious Cox, sr., Jeannette, 6-1, 190
Dustin Creel, sr., Western Beaver, 6-3, 200
Dontez Ford, sr., Sto-Rox, 6-2, 190
Marzett Geter, sr., Sto-Rox, 5-10, 175
Kevin Hart, sr., Seton-La Salle, 6-0, 185
Reggie Mitchell, sr., Shady Side Academy, 5-9, 155
Anthony Nixon, sr., Central Catholic, 6-2, 205
Chaz Whittaker, sr., Penn Hills, 6-4, 180
Know this: All 10 DBs could sign with Division I programs, including Ford (Syracuse), Geter (Pitt), Mitchell (Wisconsin) and Nixon (Maryland) who already have committed. These guys also are offensive stars. Hart, a 1,400-yard rusher a year ago, also stars at strong safety. Capers, Cox and Mitchell are starting QBs.
Travis Andring, sr., Greensburg Central Catholic, 6-3, 240
Kyle Crawford, sr., Ellwood City, 6-0, 170
Jacob Schnelbach, sr., Bishop Canevin, 5-11, 170
Matt Spegal, sr., Bethel Park, 6-0, 180
Know this: Crawford, Schnelbach and Spegal each were named all-conference punters a year ago. Andring averaged almost 40 yards per kick, including a 67-yarder. An all-around athlete, Crawford also was Ellwood’s leading rusher and receiver, and plays defensive back.