Tigers land one on Big 33 squad
STATE COLLEGE — The Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association has picked the 34 players who will make up this year’s Big 33 team, and they dealt five-time Class A state champion Southern Columbia its first loss.
Tigers’ fullback Henry Hynoski, the Class A Player of the Year, was named to the team, becoming the first Southern player ever to make the squad, but in a stunner, his teammate Josh Marks, the 6-5, 315-pound lineman who is headed to Penn State, was left off the team, which was announced Saturday.
Marks was one of several big-name players left off the team, which will likely be the focus of much criticism statewide. The team will be coached by Tom Loughran of South Park High School and has a distinctly western Pennsylvania feel to it. Twenty of the 34 players picked were from western Pennsylvania, including 16 from the WPIAL. Thomas Jefferson, McKeesport, Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and State College, all western teams and all of which failed to win a state title, had multiple players picked.
Woodland Hills had three players picked. By comparison, Class AAAA state champion Upper St. Clair had just one pick, as did AAA champ General McLane. AA champ Wilson had no players selected.
Among the other high-profile players who didn’t make it were Manheim Township quarterback Pat Bostick, a Pitt recruit; Wilson Area quarterback D.J. Lenehan; Pottsville lineman Brad Hallick (his teammate Gary Bardzak did make it); Pottsville running back Tom McFarland; and Harrisburg standouts Deries Hodge and Nate Brown.
Offensive linemen selected ahead of Marks, including Bardzak, are Jeff Battipaglia, St. Joe’s Prep; Upper Perkiomen’s John Fieger, Seton-LaSalle’s Gino Gradkowski; Chris Jacobson of Keystone Oaks; Bishop McCort’s Wayne Jones and Stefan Wisniewski of Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Defensive linemen picked were Mount Lebanon’s Andrew Devlin, McKeesport’s Larry Gooden, Woodland Hills’ Rob Gronkowski and Kennett’s Corey Medina.