Five local athletes earned recognition on the Pennsylvania Football Writers’ Association’s All-State team.
Almanac MVP Josh Casilli led the list under the category athlete on the Class 5A football team. Using multiple methods, the Peters Township senior helped his team reach the WPIAL championships for the first time in program history and a 12-2 record.
Casilli finished with a school-record 22 touchdowns, seven of which measured 50 yards or more. The Penn recruit also led the Indians with 49 receptions for 635 yards. In addition to his passing numbers, he ranked second on the team in rushing with 347 yards on 34 carries for a 10.2-yard average.
Casilli along with Corban Hondru and Donovan McMillon excelled on a defense that allowed just 9.4 points per game. The 6-1, 185-pound safety intercepted four passes.
Meanwhile, Hondru and McMillon made the all-state squad on defense at linebacker and defensive back, respectively.
A three-year starter, Hondru racked up 69 total tackles, including 16 for losses, from his middle linebacker slots. He also rolled up 10 quarterback sacks.
Akron, Ball State, Dartmouth and Penn are interested in the junior, who also started at the H-back position on offense.
Just a junior too, McMillon is gaining the attention of recruiters as well. The safety forced four fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown in the WPIAL semifinals. In addition to two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, McMillon led the Indians with 84 tackles, including seven for losses.
McMillon, who is a standout wrestler for the Indians, also ranked third on the team as a wide receiver.
David Pantelis merited all-state honors as a wide receiver. The 6-1, 182-pound wide out pulled in 77 receptions for 1,169 yards and eight touchdowns. The Upper St. Clair senior accumulated 1,879 all-purpose yards.
Pantelis also excelled at cornerback on defense for the Panthers, who reached the WPIAL quarterfinals and finished 7-5 overall.
Pantelis, Hondru, Casilli and McMillon also all made the PFN Coaches Select All-State team. Pantelis and Hondru were first-team members while Casilli and McMillon made the second-team list.
The PFN squad involved 250 coaches nominating and voting on the unit.
Finally, Naman Alemeda of South Fayette gained all-state acclaim in Class 4A in the writers’ poll. The 6-5, 200-pound junior established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the WPIAL in his first year as a starter. He completed 194 of 293 aerials for 3,004 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Alemeda guided the Lions to its eighth straight undefeated season in conference play. SF reached the semifinals in the WPIAL Quad-A playoffs and finished 10-2 overall.
Thomas Jefferson led the Quad-A all-star list with four selections and Coach of the Year honors for Bill Cherpak. He utilized the talents of quarterback Shane Stump, running back Dylan Mallozzi, wide receiver Dan Deabner and lineman Logan Danielson to capture both a district and PIAA title with an undefeated record.