New Castle News


December 27, 2010

Parkway All-Stars: Meet the best and brightest football standouts

NEW CASTLE — The Parkway Conference reaffirmed its status as one of the state’s toughest Class AAA football leagues this year.

Montour survived unscathed to claim the conference championship, but fell to Parkway foe Central Valley in the WPIAL championship game. The two other Parkway playoff qualifiers (West Allegheny and Hopewell) made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals, too.

Those four teams dominated the Parkway all-star teams. New Castle (3-4 conference, 5-4 overall) missed the playoffs, but had seven players on the first team: Jesse Ambuster, Marcus Carter, Joe Oliva, Chris Avery, Johnny Matarazzo, Jalen Holmes and Raysean Glenn.

Hopewell’s Rushel Shell was named the Parkway’s Player of the Year. The junior running back, a great-nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, finished the season with 2,510 rushing yards, giving him 6,766 yards on his career. He is 880 yards shy of the all-time WPIAL rushing mark, set by 2000 Fort Cherry graduate Mike Vernillo.

Ambuster, a senior, earned first-team honors at tight end. He had six catches for 101 yards. He scored two touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion.

 “He is a real versatile kid. We were looking for a tight end this year and we sort of threw him in there,” New Castle coach Frank Bongivengo Jr. said. “He had a great year blocking and receiving. He did a good job catching and running. It was nice to have him step into that role and do a great job for us.”

Carter, a junior, was a unanimous selection at wide receiver. He led all county receivers with 31 receptions and was second in receiving yardage with 570. He had four touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.

“He is a really good athlete. He made some really big catches for us down the stretch,” Bongivengo said. “He is very athletic and makes a lot of big plays for us. It’s nice to know he is coming back. Hopefully, next year, he can have a big year for us.”

 Oliva, a senior, earned first-team honors at offensive guard.

 “He has been a three-year starter for us. He has done a great job,” Bongivengo said. “He is one of those kids who is a relentless type of worker. He does well academically. He is one of those kids you want on your team and you know what you’re going to get every day.”

 Avery, a junior, was a unanimous choice at center and earned first-team honors at defensive line.

 “Chris is a kid who moved in right toward the end of the summer. Boy, what a great addition he was this year as a center and on the defensive side of the ball,” Bongivengo said. “He is a high-energy kid who plays with relentless passion. At center, the ball wasn’t snapped all the way out to the quarterback yet and he was out on linebackers. He plays every play like it’s his last.

 “I personally thought he was one of better defensive linemen in the league. He was in on a ton of plays. Most teams had a trouble blocking him. He plays the game with a passion. We expect him to be a dominating force next year.”

 Matarazzo, a junior, followed up a solid sophomore year with first-team honors at quarterback. He paced the county in passing. His passing attempts (199), completions (107) yardage (1,634) and touchdowns (9) led all area quarterbacks. He rushed for 104 yards and scored four touchdowns as well.

 “He had a really good year for us. He is another kid who is a relentless type of worker,” Bongivengo said. “We put a lot on our quarterbacks’ shoulders. He handled it very well last year and this year. We expect big things from him next year. He’s always doing what you expect him to do and it’s good to have himback at quarterback.”

 Holmes, a sophomore, burst onto the scene at running back for the Red Hurricane. He finished third in the county with 864 yards on 110 attempts. He caught 10 passes for 108 yards and reached the end zone 12 times.

 “We have some really good running backs in our league, so that’s a nice honor for him. He was a kid who stepped in and was a really pleasant surprise for us,” Bongivengo said. “He made some really nice runs. We didn’t know how he was going to react in game situations. He is a hard-nosed kid and a tough kid. He is a kid who is going to get better and better. He has really good vision. When you have that and a low center of gravity, that helps. The more he plays, the better he will get at seeing things.”

 Glenn, a senior, earned first-team honors at defensive back.

 “He worked his way into that position. At the beginning of the year, it was really up in the air and he worked his way in there. He was our quarterback on defense. He knew where everyone was supposed to be and what they were supposed to do. It showed,” Bongivengo said. “He made a lot of plays for us this year. He did a great job. He is a kid you root for because he really didn’t play much the last two years. He stepped in and did well this year. He had some big games for us. I am really proud of him.”

New Castle looks to rebound next season.

“We have a lot of kids coming back with a lot of experience. Hopefully, we can have a better season than last year,” Bongivengo said. “We felt last season, as a coaching staff and the players, was a little disappointing for us. We will get back on it and be ready to go.”



TOP 24


Tight Ends: Jesse Ambuster (New Castle), Sr.; Mitch Postel (West Allegheny), Sr.

Wide Receivers: *Marcus Carter (New Castle), Jr.; *Devin Wilson (Montour), Soph.; Robert Foster (Central Valley), Darren Massey (Montour), Jr.

Tackles: *Austin Heter (Montour), Sr.; Dustin Pringle (Blackhawk), Sr.; Tom Phillis (Central Valley), Sr.; Ben Jeannot (Moon), Sr.

Guards: *Jake Turnley (Central Valley), Jr.; Joe Oliva (New Castle), Sr.; Eddie Martin (Montour), Sr.; Zach Skank (West Allegheny), Sr.

Centers: *Chris Avery (New Castle), Jr.; Travis Gallagher (Blackhawk), Sr.

Quarterbacks: *Dillon Buechel (Montour), Jr.; John Matarazzo (New Castle), Jr.

Running Backs: *Rushel Shell (Hopewell), Jr.; *Julian Durden (Montour), Jr.; *Mark Piccolo (Moon), Sr.; Jalen Holmes (New Castle), Soph.

Fullback: C.J. Revtai (West Allegheny), Sr.

Multi-Purpose Back: Aaron McKinney (West Allegheny), Sr.

Kickers: Steve Amic (West Allegheny), Sr.; Philip Pritchard (Blackhawk), Sr.



Defensive Ends: Jesse Broda (West Allegheny), Sr.; Ben Jeannot (Moon), Sr.; Travis Gallagher (Blackhawk), Sr.; Austin Heter (Montour), Sr.

Linemen: Nate Shuster (Blackhawk), Sr.; Austin David (Central Valley), Jr.; Chris Avery (New Castle), Jr.; Dondre Elvoid (West Allegheny), Sr.

Outside Linebackers: Jimmy Pratchenko (Central Valley), Sr.; Evan Pass (Montour), Sr.; Cody Mutkus (Hopewell), Sr.; Aaron McKinney (West Allegheny), Sr.

Inside Linebackers: *Mike Shansky (Blackhawk), Jr.; *Lukas Turnley (Central Valley), Sr.; *C.J. Revtai (West Allegheny), Sr.; Zach Gula (Hopewell), Jr.

Defensive Backs: *Ramone Brown (West Allegheny), Sr.; Joe Savage (Ambridge), Sr.; Michael Kupper (Central Valley), Sr.; Raysean Glenn (New Castle), Sr.; Brendan Kearney (Blackhawk), Jr.; Brad Waskaski (Central Valley), Sr.; Chad Bertrand (Moon), Sr.; Dylan Bongiorni (West Allegheny), Jr.

Punters: Steve Amic (West Allegheny), Sr.; Robert Foster (Central Valley), Soph.

*Unanimous selection

MVP — Rushel Shell (Hopewell), Jr.

Coach of the Year — Lou Cerro (Montour)




Tight Ends: Matt Critchlow (Hopewell), Sr.; Aaron McGee (Montour), Sr.; Chad Phillis (Central Valley), Jr.

Wide Receivers: Christian Farris (Hopewell), Sr.; Chad Bertrand (Moon), Sr.; Alex Sinclair (West Allegheny), Sr.; Keenane Blakely (Ambridge), Sr.; Dominic Belcastro (Central Valley), Sr.; Aaron Reed (Montour), Jr.

Tackles: Anthony Kashiwsky (Hopewell), Sr.; Dom Marinelli (Montour), Jr.; Vinny Nerti (New Castle), Sr.; Greg Kaulius (West Allegheny), Sr.

Guards: Luke Helling (Ambridge), Jr.; Zach Kaszer (Blackhawk), Sr.; Rich Smallwood (Hopewell), Sr.

Centers: Travis Tislaretz (Central Valley), Jr.; Rob Swan (Hopewell), Sr.; Matt Christiansen (Montour), Jr.; Cole Campbell (West Allegheny), Sr.

Quarterbacks: Joe Savage (Ambrdige), Sr.; Curtis Lewis (Central Valley), Jr.; Nolan Harmotto (Hopewell), Jr.; Dylan Bongiorni (West Allegheny), Jr.

Running Backs: Brandon Mansell (Blackhawk), Jr.

Fullbacks: Mike Shansky (Blackhawk), Jr.; Lukas Turnley (Central Valley), Sr.; Zach Romah (Hopewell), Jr.

Multi-Purpose Backs: Justin Fleo (New Castle), Jr.

Kickers: Joe Savage (Ambridge), Sr.; Greg Nicastro (Central Valley), Sr.; Lucas Tournay (Montour), Sr.



Defensive Ends: Brett Alberti (Blackhawk), Sr.; Brendan Price (Hopewell), Sr.; James Napier (New Castle), Sr.; Joe Marcello (Central Valley), Sr.; Randy Gillette (New Castle), Sr.

Down Linemen: Luke Heilig (Ambridge), Jr.; Dustin Pringle (Blackhawk), Sr.; Dom Martinelli (Montour), Jr.; Kyle Henderson (Moon), Sr.

Outside Linebackers: Christian Cuspard (Blackhawk), Sr.; Chad Phillis (Central Valley), Jr.; Aaron McGee (Montour), Sr.; Cam Grady (Moon), Jr.; Daryl Faulkner (Moon), Sr.; Mitchel Postel (West Allegheny), Sr.; Mike Motto (New Castle), Sr.

Inside Linebackers: Corey Neill (Central Valley), Sr.; Anthony Rippole (Montour), Jr.; Jesse Ambuster (New Castle), Sr.; Zach Casciato (West Allegheny), Jr.; Dan Dellovade (Moon), Jr.; Matt Critchlow (Hopewell), Sr.; Steve O’Hara (Blackhawk), Jr.

Defensive Backs: Justin Tress (Blackhawk), Sr.; Josh Desmond (Blackhawk), Jr.; Robert Foster (Central Valley), Soph.; Desmon Clemons (Central Valley), Sr.; Darren Massey (Montour), Jr.; Devin Wilson (Montour), Soph.; Aaron Reed (Montour), Jr.; Sherrod Naylor (Montour), Jr.; Christian Farris (Hopewell), Sr.

Punters: Anthony Pritchard (Blackhawk), Sr.; Chad Bertrand (Moon), Sr.; Jesse Ambuster (New Castle), Sr.


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