Skip to main content

Hey Now... Lehigh FB Recruits are All-Stars

Without question one of my guilty pleasures is that I still listen to Smashmouth, whose late 1990s "we're -pushing-40-so-we-better-cash-in-now" music has not aged well. Astro Lounge songs still grace my digital music player - including, yes, All Star.

For incoming Lehigh football recruits, after graduation and before summer football camp, it's not all American Pie - it's also a time for high school all-star games, including the much-publicized Lehigh Valley All-Star Classic (taking place tonight at Nazareth's Andrew Leh Stadium at 7 pm).

While there are high-school all-star games in other states, the Lehigh Valley and the state of Pennsylvania seem to have what some might say is an unhealthy obsession with all-star football in June. Pennsylvania has three big-time ones, the "Big 33" game versus Ohio, the PSFCA East/West game, and multiple (only slightly) smaller all-star games like the LV All-Star classic tonight. And that doesn't even count the nearby Maryland Crab Bowl and NY/NE Football Classic, all of which get significant Lehigh Valley attention.

Of all the all-star games, the biggest in the "Big 33" game currently pitting the best of Pennsylvania versus the best of Ohio. Routinely packed with top-flight players heading to Pitt, Penn State and Ohio State, having players picked to play is not only a huge honor for the players, it's also something college football fans crow about as well. While Pennsy lost an exciting game 38-31 last weekend, one of the pleasant surprises was that an incoming Lehigh recruit - freshman LB Sam Loughery - made it onto the Big 33 roster and played well:

When Wisconsin recruit A.J. Fenton of Erie McDowell was injured during a practice about a week prior to the Big 33 Classic high school football all-star game, the Pennsylvania team needed a replacement.

Loughrey, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker who will play at Lehigh University, was called on to fill in and take part in the prestigious game, which has more than half a century of tradition....

When the Pennsylvania coaching staff learned Fenton would not be able to play, officials began attempting to contact Loughrey last Monday, five days before the game was to be played at Hersheypark Stadium.

He couldn't be reached until Tuesday, three days after the Pennsylvania team started practicing in Hershey.

"I packed my bags and got up there as fast as I could," Loughrey said. "It ended up being tons of fun. All of us -- the guys from Pennsylvania -- got along together great. We played against great competition."

Loughrey was a PG East Fabulous 22 selection after this past season. He was a first-team selection to the WPIAL Class AAAA All-Big East Conference team and played a key role on the Vikings' 2007 WPIAL and PIAA championship teams.

"He's an outstanding football player," Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. "He's one of the great tacklers who has ever played at Central Catholic. He's a very ferocious, downhill-type of get-after-it kind of kid."


Another big one is the PSFCA East-West All-Star game, where the East took advantage of turnovers to score a 37-22 win over the West. One of the big stories of this game (well, Lehigh-wise, anyway) was when the East-West game didn't select incoming Lehigh freshman Zach Barket to participate despite the fact he had shattered every single-season rushing record in the state with his 66 touchdowns (and, no, that's not a typo). Barket did end up playing in the game, even if he didn't score a touchdown in his 8 carry, 16 yard rushing performance.

Joining him on the winning East team was a cavalcade of incoming Patriot League recuits: OL Tyler Swoyer (Lafayette), RB Jeremiah Young (Bucknell), DE Jon Wagner (Bucknell), and DB Mike Yeager (Colgate). And the West also featured Patriot League players as well: LB Roman San Doval (Holy Cross) and OL Brandon Morris (Bucknell).

The Lehigh Valley All-Star game tonight will feature (on the Lehigh side) incoming freshman LB Billy Boyko (out of Northhampton HS). For good measure, former Lehigh assitant coach Rob Melosky will be inducted into the LV Classic hall of fame, too.

****

Other Lehigh players have also shown up in all-star games. Incoming freshman QB Mike Colvin was on the New Jersey roster in the NJ/NE football classic, where celebrity head coach Phil Simms decided to seemingly to line up in the "I" formation whenever Colvin went out there, disappointing most Lehigh fans hoping to see Colvin make his mark. He played alongside players who will be taking their talents to FCS schools James Madison, William & Mary, New Hampshire, Villanova, Maine, Stony Brook, Tennessee State, Towson, Delaware, Colgate, Fordham, and Wagner. (Also on the East roster was LB Zach Protin, who will be taking is talents to "that school in Easton".)

And in December 2008, incoming Lehigh players freshman OL Lex Utt, freshman P/K Jake Peery and freshman ATH Gabe Johnson also played in the Maryland Crab Bowl in the first state-wide all-star game since 2004. It was a good chance for the Lehigh trio to face off against all-State competition - including top-flight talent from Penn State and Maryland.

If there are other Lehigh highlights in all-star games, I'll point them out here.

Comments

rich said…
Tom Bianchi playing in NJ North-South game
rich said…
1 toputin for nextyear

Mike Reilly de6'3" 225 Old Tappan NJ

Lists UConn, Rutgers et al and us and Bryant . Guess we are his safe school
rich said…
dan Cintron played NJ north-south game . had 59 yd reception caught on two yd line

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Lehigh's Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond&…

Lehigh Wrestling Gets Superstar Treatment at PPL Center. Lehigh Football Needs The Same At Murray Goodman.

"We knew it would be nice," Lehigh wrestling head coach Pat Santoro said. "But it was even better than we expected."

Pat was talking about the reception his Lehigh wrestling squad experienced at Allentown's PPL Center this weekend, when a sellout crowd over nearly 10,000 people came to watch No. 1 Penn State grapple with No. 5 Lehigh in a collegiate wrestling event.

It was, by all accounts, something special to behold. 

"I thought it was really cool and an exciting place to wrestle," said Penn State wrestler Nick Nevills. "These fans were really into it, a rowdy bunch. It's a lot more fun as an athlete to wrestle in an environment like this. I'd say it was one of the most exciting times I have had in my career."

The sense of spectacle at the PPL center, though, puts a spotlight on what more can be done at Lehigh itself to make their athletic contests into spectacles.  It requires money to be spent and energy to be expended.  But the…

Troy Pelletier Hasn't Stopped Outworking His Rivals On His Journey To Professional Football

Many Patriot League football fans remember the 153rd meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette, one that ended happily for the Mountain Hawks.

They might remember the MVP performance of QB Brad Mayes, or perhaps the halftime speech by OL Zach Duffy that seemed to spur the Mountain Hawks to victory.

Or perhaps they might remember the spectacular single play of Mayes rolling right and finding WR Gatlin Casey in the end zone to give the Mountain Hawks a lead they didn't relinquish.  It was an incredible play by Mayes, who returns this upcoming year for his senior season, and Casey, who, having exhausted his eligibility at Lehigh, will be playing one more year at Middle Tennessee State.

As great as those individual moments are, though, they are not my biggest takeaway of that game.

Too many Lehigh people forget that Lehigh was down 31-21 at half, and that victory was no sure thing.  And they sometimes forget that so much of that victory came from the grinding of WR Troy Pelletier, deliver…