8 Elkers to play in Varischetti All-Star Game Aug. 7

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

Eight Ridgway Elkers will play for the Allegany Mountain League (AML) at the 5th annual Frank Varischetti All-Star game that will be held Friday, Aug. 7 at Frank Varischetti Field in Brockway. The game was originally set for Friday, June 26 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The eight Elkers who were a part of three-straight District 9 championships include Paul Gresco, Jake Wickett, Robert Briggs, Greg Simon, Matt Dush, Austin Green, Tyler Watts and Hayden Haupright. The game pits 2020 graduates from the former AML against their counterparts from the former Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference (KSAC).

According to Game Manager, Nick Hoffman organizers were forced to alter the format in order to comply with limitations on outdoor events and to provide the safest environment possible for players, coaches, and other essential personnel. No tickets are being sold for the game which will be aired on WKBI, 93.9 FM, and live-streamed on WDDH, 97.5 The Hound’s Facebook page. ‘We must adhere to all the guidance and guidelines in effect in order to protect the health and safety of everyone involved,’ Hoffman said in a Wednesday release from the game’s organizers which include the Frank Varischetti Foundation, Brockway Area School District, and Brockway Gridiron Association.

Elk County Catholics Tony Gerg is the head coach for the AML. Leo Gregory, John Wittman, Jared Emmert and Stephen Bobby will represent the Crusaders on the field. Five Kane Wolves will play for the AML. They include Jake Alcorn, Teddy Race, Aaron Hottel, Chris Stewart, and Kevin Scharba.

The KSAC squad includes St. Marys Dutch players Jake Walter, Cain Pfoutz, Forest Cressley and Gage Burford of St. Marys.

Players were nominated and selected by the votes of head coaches from the two former leagues.

There will be 16, $1,000 scholarships are given out by the game’s sponsors.

Other members of the AML squad include Derek Sunafrank and Caleb Nuzzo of Bradford, Jon Wood of Brockway, Caleb Rieder of Cameron County, Thomas Wilson of Coudersport, Cameron Magee and Colton Gietler of Otto-Eldred, Josh Rees, DJ Michelitsch and Eli Petruzzi of Port Allegany, Caden Smead and Jacob Disshon of Sheffield and Bryent Johnson of Smethport.

The KSAC squad includes Ben Smith, Colton Zacherl, Mitch Knepp and Austin Newcomb of Clarion, Anthony Kamenski, Ethan McElroy, Johnathan Elmadollar and Hunter Rowe of Karns City, Jayden Blazosky, Kirk Wolbert, Brady Rapp, Isaak Jones and Alex Rapp of Keystone, Derek Ishman, Sam Shepler, Shane Knox and Jeremy Harris of Punxsutawney, Ethan Hetrick, Samuel Hetrick, and Trent Bowersox of Redbank Valley and Jake Walter, Cain Pfoutz, Forest Cressley, and Gage Burford of St. Marys.
The KSAC won last year's contest 20-7. The AML had won the previous three.