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Seven area football players receive all-state status

December 20, 2012
The Altoona Mirror

From Mirror, wire reports

Wyomissing linebacker Alex Anzalone can add player-of-the-year honors to go along with a state title on his impressive high school football resume.

The 6-3, 225-pound Notre Dame recruit recovered from a miserable first half in the Class AA title game last week against Aliquippa to help guide a group of 20 experienced seniors to the school's first state championship - and the first for a team from Berks County.

Regarded as one of the top five outside linebacker recruits in the 2013 high school recruiting class, Anzalone's combination of on-field skills and leadership earned the senior Class AA Player of the Year honors as part of the 2012 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Football Team.

All-state teams for Classes A and AA were released Wednesday, with the AAA and AAAA squads to be unveiled today.

Locally, the area was represented by Bellwood-Antis running back Casey Gray and teammate Keith Shawley, a defensive lineman, Moshannon Valley's Austin Mital, an offensive lineman, Bishop Guilfoyle defensive linemen Nick Ceschini, Northern Cambria linebacker Alex Atkins, Glendale defensive back Doug Twigg, and in Class AA, Penn Cambria linebacker Mack Behe.

The selection of the all-state teams are overseen by the sportswriters who cover high school football around the commonwealth. Players were nominated in all four classifications, then a statewide ballot was sent out affording all writers an opportunity to cast votes.

Anzalone had a monster two-way season for the undefeated Spartans, with nearly 1,500 rushing yards and 30-plus touchdowns to go along with more than 100 tackles on defense.

He wasn't the only Wyomissing player to make the team as one of the top 33 players in the state at the Class AA level. Anzalone was joined by kicker Jonah Bowman, who drilled a state championship record 52-yard field goal in the 17-14 victory over Aliquippa last week; along with offensive lineman Ben Wertz and defensive lineman Jeriko Reyes.

Veteran Spartans head coach Bob Wolfrum was the Class AA Coach of the Year. He has 243 wins with the Spartans and one state title along with six District 3 titles.

Anzalone was one of eight Class AA players making a repeat appearance. Hickory's DeShawn Coleman, Imhotep Charter's David Williams, South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth, Mount Carmel's Eric Joraskie, Wilkes-Barre GAR's Shakir Soto, Behe and Lewisburg's Brandon Smith each made the squad last year.

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