3 quarterbacks among 10 WPIAL players selected to 2023 Class 5A all-state team

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Friday, December 29, 2023 | 12:00 PM


Nolan DiLucia’s first season as a starting quarterback was quite productive … and rewarding. The sophomore signal caller helped Peters Township win the WPIAL Class 5A title and finish as PIAA runner-up.

He threw for a WPIAL-leading 3,036 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 392 yards and eight scores, and on Friday was selected to the Pa. Football Writers Class 5A all-state team.

DiLucia (6-2, 190) was joined by Peters Township teammate Mickey Vaccarello (6-3, 210), who was honored as a linebacker. The junior, who has college offers from Boston College, Miami (Ohio) and Syracuse, had 111 tackles, including 29 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks.

DiLucia was one of three WPIAL quarterbacks picked for the all-state team.

Gateway senior Brad Birch became the WPIAL’s fourth all-time leading passer with 8,496 yards after he passed for 2,214 yards and 20 TDs this season. He finished his career with 100 touchdowns.

Penn Hills senior Julian Dugger (6-3, 200), a Pitt recruit and four-year starter, tossed for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns to finish his career with nearly 5,000 career yards. He also rushed for 776 yards on 126 carries and scored 11 touchdowns.

Norwin had a pair of players honored — senior wide receiver Luke Denny (6-1, 185), who had 44 catches for 1,046 yards and 11 TDs, and senior defensive back Jackson Pons (6-2, 195), a Miami (Ohio) commit who had 84 tackles, 11 tackles for losses, two interceptions and seven passes defended.

Two area offensive linemen were recognized — Pine-Richland senior Ryan Cory and Penn-Trafford senior Zach Tomosovich.

Cory (6-4, 285), a Wisconsin commit, was a finalist for the Bill Fralic Award for the WPIAL’s top senior interior lineman. He anchored an offensive line that paved the way for a 3,000-yard rushing attack and helped Pine-Richland reach the WPIAL Class 5A finals for the second year in a row.

Tomosovich (6-5, 310), who will play at Army, cleared the way for a rushing attack that gained nearly 2,500 yards. Defensively, he had 21 tackles and one sack.

One of the younger players honored was Woodland Hills sophomore wide receiver Scoop Smith (5-6, 135), who caught 44 passes for 851 yards and had 17 touchdowns.

Bethel Park junior defensive lineman Clancy Orie (6-3, 235), who had 58 tackles and five sacks, rounded out the WPIAL selections.

Imhotep Charter running back Jabree Wallace-Coleman and coach Devon Johnson were named the Class 5A player and coach of the year after leading their team to a PIAA championship.

The all-state team was chosen by a statewide vote of sportswriters. The Class A, 2A and 3A teams were released Thursday. Class 4A, 5A and 6A were revealed Friday.

2023 Pa. Football Writers’ Class 5A all-state team

Player of the Year: Jabree Wallace-Coleman, Imhotep Charter

Coach of the Year: Devon Johnson, Imhotep Charter

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Nolan DiLucia, Peters Township – 6-2, 185 sophomore

Mikal Davis, Imhotep Charter – 6-1, 210 senior

Julian Dugger, Penn Hills – 6-3, 195 senior

Brad Birch, Gateway – 6-1, 185 senior

Running back

Jabree Wallace-Coleman, Imhotep Charter – 6-0, 200 junior

Cole Bartram, Northern York – 5-9, 190 senior

Dajoure Hollingsworth, Cathedral Prep – 5-8, 165 senior

Angel Cabrera, Hershey – 6-0, 225 senior

Jayden Zandier, Exeter – 6-1, 165 junior

Wide receiver

Luke Denny, Norwin – 6-1, 185 senior

Scoop Smith, Woodland Hills – 5-6, 135 sophomore

Josh Smith, Mechanicsburg Area – 6-1, 170 junior

Brennan Holmes, New Oxford – 6-1, 180 senior

Tight end

Aiden Black, Delaware Valley – 6-3, 230 senior

Offensive line

Jivani Cooley, Cathedral Prep – 6-5, 285 senior

Ryan Cory, Pine-Richland – 6-4, 290 senior

Michael Hershey, Spring Grove – 6-4, 250 senior

Zach Tomosovich, Penn-Trafford – 6-5, 305 senior

Tyler Duell, West Chester East – 6-6, 275 sophomore

Danny Aselton, Phoenixville – 6-4, 245 senior

Athlete

Aaryn Longenecker, Cocalico – 5-10, 175 senior

Kye Harting, Garden Spot – 5-10, 185 senior

Sam McCracken, Ephrata – 6-1, 215 senior

DEFENSE

Defensive line

Jahsear Whittington, Imhotep Charter – 6-2, 280 senior

Ayden Wysocki, South Western – 6-2, 250 senior

Mason Grear, West Chester East – 6-1, 245 senior

Aden Wentz, Cathedral Prep – 6-1, 240 senior

Clancy Orie, Bethel Park – 6-3, 235 junior

Linebacker

Mickey Vaccarello, Peters Township – 6-2, 205 junior

Justin Kalitsnik, Delaware Valley – 6-2, 180 senior

Jerrell Palmer, Chester – 5-10, 215 sophomore

Quintin Pfautz, Ephrata – 6-3, 215 senior

Khalid Bueno, Martin Luther King – 6-2, 215 junior

Defensive back

Ken Woseley, Imhotep Charter – 5-11, 185 junior

Ryder Machado, Delaware Valley – 6-1, 175 senior

Jay Boyd, Roman Catholic – 5-11, 175 senior

Jackson Pons, Norwin – 6-2, 195 senior

Jeremiah Knowles, Ephrata – 5-9, 160 senior

Athlete

RJ Roberts, Cathedral Prep – 5-9, 180 senior

Nathan Lusk, Cedar Cliff – 6-1, 190 senior

Kyle Keefe, West Chester East – 6-0, 170 sophomore

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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