The 43rd Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star football game on Friday at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium highlighted the outstanding gridiron talent of this crop of senior athletes throughout the region.
The move to Friday night doesn’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of the crowd, which was outstanding on Friday night, including a 50-50 drawing of over $600.
For the most part, the game itself seemed to go off with few hitches, but there are still some tweaks that I would like to suggest.
The contest, which saw the North pelt the South 41-7, avenging the 2012 44-6 win by the South, lasted nearly three hours.
That is understandable with the 15-minute quarters which are played as opposed to the
12-minute ones during the regular season. But another contributing factor to the length of the game on Friday was the 17 penalties for 140 yards accrued by the two teams which slowed the action to a snail’s pace.
One suggestion is that the game begin a half-hour earlier from its 7:30 p.m. start. Regular season (and playoff games) all begin at 7 so I think people would still be able to get to the Lantzy game in timely fashion.
The executive committee may also want to consider shortening the quarters to 14 minutes although with an earlier start time, that might not be necessary.
Any time saved for those that were on deadline on Friday, would be appreciated.
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Lantzy award winners: In addition to the other announced awards prior to Friday’s game, Shawn Dell of Forest Hills, Micah Tennant of Ligonier Valley and Pat Irwin of Bishop Guifloyle were the recipients of the Robert P. Gardill scholarship for scholastic achievement.
Presented after the game, the South individual awards went to Brock Medva of Shade (defensive back), Ryan Siwy of Bishop McCort (defensive line), Tennant (offensive line) and Drew Glotfelty of Berlin Brothersvalley (offensive back). The North award winners were Brodey Thompson of Marion Center (defensive back), Jacob Wirick of Bedford (defensive line), Cody Anna of Cambria Heights (offensive line) and Danny Ferens of Penns Manor (offensive back).
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Wondering what if: The PIAA crowned its baseball and softball champions on Friday officially ending the school year.
In softball, the eastern teams had the upper hand for the most part with only Canon-McMillan in Quad-A claiming a title for the west with a 4-3 victory over Neshaminy in 12 innings.
In Class A, Williams Valley defeated Neshannock 11-1 in six innings while in Class AA, Brandywine Heights edged Riverside 1-0 and in AAA, Valley View shut out Fort LeBoeuf 5-0.
In baseball, Bishop McCort and North Star were probably both thinking about what might have been as District 9 upstart Johnsonburg, which didn’t even win a district title, won 5-0 over Canton in Class A.
The other games were Loyalsock 5-4 over Beaver in Class AA, West York 2-1 over Upper Moreland in AAA and North Penn 6-5 over Lower Dauphin in nine innings in AAAA.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat