6 WPIAL football players earn 2022 Class A all-state honors

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Thursday, December 29, 2022 | 10:00 AM


Six WPIAL Class A football players were awarded Pa. Football Writers all-state honors Thursday, including Union quarterback Braylon Thomas, who led the Scotties to their first WPIAL title since 1959 and trip to the PIAA championship game.

The junior ran for 1,466 yards and 20 touchdowns and threw for 1,202 yards and 14 more scores. Tenth-seeded Union upset No. 1 Bishop Canevin, 26-0, in the WPIAL finals.

Thomas was joined on the all-state team by a pair of Crusaders — wide receiver Xavier Nelson and defensive back Jason Cross. OLSH quarterback Nehemiah Azeem, Mapletown running back Landan Stevenson and Clairton offensive lineman Tyreese Washington-Law also were selected to the 41-member team.

Stevenson ran for a WPIAL-leading 2,342 yards and scored 45 touchdowns as the Maples celebrated their first undefeated regular season since 1968 and won the first playoff game in team history. He finished his career with 5,993 career rushing yards and 102 touchdowns.

Alex and Andrew Erby were named the Class A player and coach of the year, respectively, after leading Steelton-Highspire to the PIAA title with a 22-8 win over Union.

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

2022 Pa. Football Writers’ Class A All-State Team

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Alex Erby, Steel-High – 6-4, 205, junior

Braylon Thomas, Union Area – 6-2, 180, junior

Dan McGarry, Curwensville – 5-10, 175, senior

Nehemiah Azeem, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart – 5-9, 175, senior

Running back

Jalen Wagner, Reynolds – 6-1, 190, senior

John Shuster, Windber – 5-11, 190, senior

Landan Stevenson, Mapletown – 5-10, 180, senior

Riley Parker, Canton – 6-0, 190, senior

Ronald Burnette, Steel-High – 5-10, 180, junior

Wide receiver

Ross Eyer, Muncy – 6-4, 185, senior

Xavier Nelson, Bishop Canevin – 5-8, 160, senior

Haydin McLaughlin, Reynolds – 6-0, 190, senior

Tight end

Austyn Smyth, Northern Lehigh – 6-3, 200, senior

Offensive line

Andrew Erby Jr., Steel-High – 6-4, 275, junior

Mason Nelson, Canton – 6-2, 290, senior

Jackson VanNorman, Northern Lehigh – 6-1, 250, junior

Nate Leksell, Reynolds – 6-0, 255, senior

David Sanchez, Mahanoy Area – 6-1, 290, senior

Tyreese Washington-Law, Clairton – 5-10, 240, senior

Athlete

Branson Eyer, Muncy – 6-1, 175, senior

Nick Frame, Northern Lehigh – 6-2, 180, senior

DEFENSE

Defensive line

AJ Jimenez, Northern Lehigh – 6-1, 215, senior

Eugene Green, Steel-High – 6-2, 215, junior

Britton Spangle, Glendale – 5-10, 215, senior

Jesse Rodino, Marian Catholic – 6-3, 210, junior

Jacob Scheib, Tri-Valley – 5-11, 210, senior

Linebacker

Hayden Ward, Canton – 5-11, 165, senior

Jason Shuda, Muncy – 6-1, 220, senior

Ben Manley, Mahanoy Area – 6-2, 225, senior

Cody Dumm, Northern Cambria – 5-9, 180, senior

Ethan Karpowich, Northern Lehigh – 6-1, 225, senior

Reece Huntzinger, Tri-Valley – 5-10, 170 senior

Defensive back

Brock Polinsky, Minersville – 5-11, 165, senior

Colm McGroarty, Mahanoy Area – 5-9, 155, junior

Tanner Trybus, Cambria Heights – 5-11, 170, senior

Jason Cross, Bishop Canevin – 6-0, 165, junior

Jaeion Perry, Steel-High – 6-1, 175, junior

Specialist

Bailey Ferguson, Canton – 6-0, 170, senior

Athlete

Weston Bellows, Canton – 5-10, 190, senior

Mitchell Tingley, Lakeview – 5-7, 185, junior

Tyler Biggans, West Branch – 5-10, 200, junior

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Alex Erby, Steel-High

COACH OF THE YEAR: Andrew Erby, Steel-High

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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