Donta Green again named state’s Class 2A coach of the year after guiding Westinghouse back to PIAA final

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Thursday, December 28, 2023 | 12:00 PM


Donta Green has helped turn Westinghouse football into a dominant force in Pittsburgh’s City League and beyond.

For the second straight season, Green guided the Bulldogs to the PIAA championship game, and for the second consecutive season, he has been selected as the Pa. Football Writers’ Class 2A coach of the year.

Westinghouse lost to Southern Columbia in the state finals for the second straight season, falling 21-20 to finish 13-1 overall. But along the way, the Bulldogs defended their City League championship and won four PIAA playoff games, including a 28-8 victory over WPIAL champion Beaver Falls in the semifinals.

Three of Green’s Bulldogs were recognized on the Class 2A all-state team — senior wide receiver Taymir O’Neal, senior defensive lineman Michael Richardson and senior athlete Ty Abram.

O’Neal (5-11, 195) was a big-play receiver who caught four passes for 76 yards, including a touchdown, in the PIAA championship game. Richardson (6-2, 195) had 16 sacks as an edge rusher. Abram (5-11, 195), a running back/linebacker, rushed for more than 1,100 yards and had 13 touchdowns while also leading the Bulldogs in tackles.

WPIAL runner-up Steel Valley had two players selected to the all-state team — junior running back Donald Barksdale and senior offensive tackle Mike Crist.

Barksdale (5-10, 170) ran for 2,061 yards and scored 37 touchdowns in leading the Ironmen to a second straight WPIAL title game appearance. He also had 53 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns on defense.

Crist (6-3, 300) was a finalist for the Bill Fralic Memorial Award for the best WPIAL lineman and helped anchor Steel Valley’s bulldozing offensive line.

Also honored on the 2A all-state team were Imani Christian junior linebacker Dayshaun Burnett, Neshannock defensive back Anthony Bonner and Western Beaver wide receiver Dorian McGhee.

Burnett (6-4, 220) was a reliable tackler for the Saints, who reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. One of highest-rated outside linebackers in the nation, Burnett holds scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia, among others. Offensively, he threw for more than 500 yards, rushed for more than 300 and also caught more than a dozen passes.

Bonner (6-0, 180) was the defensive player of the year in the Midwestern Athletic Conference after he posted 58 tackles and five sacks.

McGhee (6-1, 200), a first-team all-conference selection, caught 42 passes for 1,199 yards as part of Western Beaver’s explosive aerial attack.

Running back Garrett Garcia, from PIAA champion Southern Columbia, was named the Class 2A player of the year.

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 will be revealed Friday.

2023 Pa. Football Writers’ Class 2A all-state team

Player of the Year: Garrett Garcia, Southern Columbia

Coach of the Year: Donta Green, Westinghouse

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Carson Nagle, Bald Eagle Area – 5-11, 185 junior

Jase Ferguson, Central Clarion – 6-0, 185 junior

Drew Branstetter, Camp Hill – 6-1, 180 junior

Kabron Smith, Farrell – 5-11, 195 senior

Running back

Alex Achenbach, Williams Valley – 5-11, 185 senior

Garrett Garcia, Southern Columbia – 6-1, 225 senior

Donald Barksdale, Steel Valley – 5-10, 172 junior

Luke Blessing, Mount Carmel – 5-11, 185 junior

Ben Miller, Wilmington – 5-11, 200 senior

Wide receiver

Reese Gaughan, Riverside – 6-0, 200 senior

Camron Watkins, Bald Eagle Area – 6-2, 205 senior

Dorian McGhee, Western Beaver – 6-1, 200 senior

Taymir O’Neal, Westinghouse – 5-11, 195 senior

Xavier Diaz, Mount Carmel – 5-9, 160 senior

Tight end

Jacob Schultz, Mount Carmel – 6-2, 190 junior

Offensive line

Jed Feldmeier, Troy – 6-2, 255 senior

Mike Crist, Steel Valley – 6-3, 300 senior

Noah Shimko, Mount Carmel – 6-5, 305 junior

Sean Sokolowski, Mercyhurst Prep – 6-4, 255 senior

Joe Eckenrode, Bishop Guilfoyle – 6-2, 273 junior

Jude Bremigen, Southern Columbia – 5-10, 210 junior

Athlete

Danny Pigga, Dunmore – 6-0, 165 senior

Kahale Burns, Bald Eagle Area – 5-7, 145 senior

Louden Murphy, Southern Columbia – 6-1, 180 senior

DEFENSE

Defensive line

Michael Richardson, Westinghouse – 6-2, 195 senior

Max Johnson, Line Mountain – 6-4, 190 sophomore

Isaac Carter, Southern Columbia – 6-1, 215 senior

Chris Conte, Dunmore – 6-5, 275 senior

Eric Clark, Bald Eagle Area – 6-3, 250 senior

Linebacker

Dominic Fetterolf, Southern Columbia – 6-1, 220 junior

Braylon Beckwith, Central Clarion – 5-9, 180 junior

Chandon Maurer, Line Mountain – 6-1, 195 senior

Marion Norris, Farrell – 5-10, 200 senior

Nick Donvito, Dunmore – 5-9, 200 senior

Dayshaun Burnett, Imani Christian – 6-2, 200 junior

Defensive back

Pace Prosser, Berlin Brothersvalley – 6-2, 188 senior

Riley Vanderpool, Towanda – 5-10, 155 junior

Cael Harter, Annville-Cleona – 5-8, 145 senior

Anthony Bonner, Neshannock – 6-0, 180 senior

Specialist

Brady Spalding, Troy – 5-8, 145 senior

Athlete

Evan McCracken, Richland – 5-9, 185 senior

Kobe Moore, Camp Hill – 6-0, 180 senior

Ty Abram, Westinghouse – 5-11, 195 senior

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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