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6/12/2008 2:26 PM
Re: Big 33  (United States)

Big 33 Classic Player Preview

Posted by Joshua Funk June 09, 2008 18:18PM

The Big 33 All-Star Classic is set to kick off Saturday, June 14th. Just days before Pennsylvania's finest take the field against some of the better athetes the Buckeye State has to offer, here are some preview snippets for each player:

The Players
AJ Alexander, Altoona Area HS - Ran for 1,011 yards and had 267 return yards. He also lined up at quarterback on some occasions. He helped the Mountain Lions to a 7-3 regular season record in 2007.

Jonathan Baldwin, Aliquippa HS - This 6'6, 233-pound beast of a man will continue playing his football at Pitt, and the Big-33 game marks the second high-profile high school all-star game Baldwin has played in. The Quips' star receiver caught a 46-yard touchdown pass in the US Army All-American game in San Antonio back in January.

Vaughan Carraway, Muhlenberg HS - He was one of the best vertical threats in Berks County, totalling up 818 yards receving on 49 receptions to go along with 13 touchdowns. He added 204 rushing yards scored 19 total touchdowns for the Muhls.

RJ Dill, Camp Hill Trinity HS - Dill, a 285-pound monster on the line, helped pave the way for a 12-0 start to Trinity's 2007 season. The Shamrocks finished as District 3 "AA" runners-up last season.

Nate Eachus, Hazleton Area HS - He's the best running back out of District 2 since Berwick's Brant Quick, perhaps better. Eachus ran for 2,196 yards and scored 31 touchdowns. 842 of those yards came in the Cougars' 2/4/11 "AAAA" playoff run against Easton, Liberty, and Parkland.

Austin Fedell, North Allegheny HS - He paved the way for the Tigers' ground attack, spear-headed by a physical running back named Carl DiCiantis. Fedell's blocking helped NA amass an average of 247 rushing yards per game, en route to a second straight WPIAL semi-final berth.

Robbie Gumbita, Mount Pleasant Area HS - The two-time defending "AAA" Keystone Conference champions got many big contributions from this hulking 6'5, 300-pound lineman.

Jarred Holley, Easton Area HS - He was one of the most sought-after cornerbacks in the Keystone State. Everybody tried to avoid throwing the ball his way, but yet the Rovers' defensive back totaled 46 tackles and 2 INTs.

John Jackson, Central Bucks South HS - He was seldom used as a receiving threat in the Titans' running-oriented offense, but he did register 80 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Jackson paved the way for a ground attack which chewed up over 306 yards per game.

Chris Johnson, Roman Catholic HS - Johnson was the field general for the purple and gold offense which scored 385 points and was crowned as the PCL Red Division champions. Johnson threw for 1,380 yards and 18 scores a season ago.

Mike Jones, Bishop McDevitt HS - Jones was lightning quick, and could be used in a variety of ways, whether receiving, returning kicks, or taking handoffs out of the backfield. The slippery Crusader back gained 1,390 rushing yards, 337 receiving yards, and scored 23 touchdowns for the Crusaders, a tradtional Mid-Penn power.

John Laub, Parkland HS - He set a school single-season record for passing yards, over 2,200 of them, in helping the Trojans reach its second PIAA finals since 2002.

Philip Long, Souderton HS - Souderton has been known for staunch defenses. In 11 games last season, the Indians held 9 of 11 opponents to 14 points or less. Long chipped in on the defensive effort with 42 tackles and 3 sacks, and boasts an imposing 6'1, 297-pound frame.

Pete Massaro, Marple-Newtown HS - This 6'1, 240-pound Division-1 lineman will continue his football career at Penn State.

Lucas Nix, Thomas Jefferson HS - Nix was a driving force behind Thomas Jefferson's battering ground attack. Benefitting from the coaching of a former Division-1 offensive lineman in head coach Bill Cherpak, Nix helped block for two 1,000 yard rushers and lead TJ to its second PIAA championship in Class "AAA."

Josh Potts, Harrisburg HS - He helped Harrisburg win its first-ever District 3 championship in dominating fashion over Governor Mifflin, and will continue his football career in Philadelphia at Villanova.

Antwuan Reed, Greater Johnstown HS - Reed was hands down one of the most electrifying running backs in the scope of District 6 big schools in his time for GJ. Reed ran for over 1,900 yards and scored 23 touchdowns in 2007, and has run for more than 3,300 yards in his briliant career.

Eric Reynolds, Central Bucks South HS - Reynolds was a one-man wrecking crew for the Titans, who finished 11-1 in 2007. Reynolds ran for 2,832 yards, good enough for second-best in the state behind Jeremiah Young's 3,344. Reynolds scored 38 touchdowns and averaged over 236 yards per game.

Adrian Robinson, Harrisburg HS - Robinson was one of the Cougars' team leaders on defense, helping the silver and black win its first District 3 championship and reach its first-ever PIAA semi-finals against Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Robinson will continue to play football at Temple.

Cameron Saddler, Gateway HS - Saddler was a dynamic playmaker for the Gators, who reached its 10th WPIAL finals and second in the last 4 years. #5 totaled 2,310 all-purpose yards despite missing a couple of games with a hamstring injury and scored 28 touchdowns.

Mike Shanahan, Norwin HS - The Knights' talented 6'4 wide receiver led the team in both receptions and receiving yards. He helped Norwin turn in one of its best regular seasons in school history and earn a berth in the WPIAL playoffs.

David Soldner, Manheim Township HS - He's easily the best place-kicker in Blue Streaks history, and is one of the top graduating kickers in all of District 3. Soldner connected on 38-of-40 extra points, but, more impressively, connected on 22 field goals. Soldner scored 104 points on the season.

Matt Stankiewitch, Blue Mountain HS - This 295-pound lineman played for a tough, hard-nosed coal region football team, and his style of play fit the Eagles' philosophy very, very well. This star lineman will continue playing at Penn State.

Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS - Sunseri played for a Vikings' team that was double-loaded -- not only could the Vikings beat you with a workman-like ground game, but a vicious passing attack. Sunseri threw for 1,962 yards and 23 touchdowns in helping a Viking offense score a school-record 612 points last season.

Andrew Taglienetti, Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS - Taglienetti finished as one of 2 Central backs with over 1,000 rushing yards. He was also a threat as a defensive back and a receiver out of the backfield. Taglienetti scored 17 touchdowns for the PIAA champions.

Wayne Tribue, Central York HS - Tribue was one of the biggest, and best, linemen in York County. The 290-pound lineman is the only York County representative on this year's Big-33 roster.

Dan Vaughan, Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS - Vaughan was a fullback and defensive end for Central Catholic, running for 759 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns. Vaughan was one of 3 Viking running backs to score 10 or more touchdowns -- Andrew Taglienetti and sophomore Jeff Knox were the others.

Brandon Ware, Harrisburg HS - Ware was hard to miss along the Harrisburg line this season. Standing in at 6'5 and 340 pounds, just lining up opposite this Cougar would seem intimidating. He was a driving force in the blocking for a Cougar offense featuring weapons like running back Cameron Artis-Payne.

Corey Watts, North Allegheny HS - Watts doubled as a fullback and a linebacker for the WPIAL semi-finalist Tigers. He ran for 166 yards while also providing blocking for Carl DiCiantis. From his linebacker position, Watts racked up 59 tackles, and was one of the Tigers' key defensive leaders.

Brandon Weaver, Washington Trinity HS - Weaver played for a Hiller squad that garnered a lot of pre-season hype and some attention in a couple statewide polls. The Hillers qualified for the WPIAL "AAA" playoffs, reaching the second round before being eliminated.

Mark Wedderburn, Cardinal O'Hara HS - This 6'7 tight end hauled in 26 passes for 386 yards in the Lions' Wing-T offense a season ago. It's questionable whether Wedderburn's receiving stats would have been greater had star quarterback Tom Savage not missed half the season with an injury.

Quentin Williams, Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS - Williams is the fourth Viking selected to the Big-33 team, and he's very deserving. Williams hauled in 23 passes for 443 yards and 6 touchdowns last year.

Christian Wilson, Montour HS - Wilson was one of 11 Keystone State running backs to crack the 2,000-yard rushing mark last season. Wilsom ran for 2,021 yards and scored 25 touchdowns for the WPIAL runners-up. Wilson was also a stud linebacker for the Spartans.

Mike Yancich, Washington Trinity HS - Yancich was one of the best linebackers in the WPIAL last season, regardless of the classification. He racked up over 200 career tackles and is a Penn State commitment.

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