Fort Cherry pair among 4 WPIAL players picked to Class A all-state football team

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Thursday, December 28, 2023 | 10:00 AM


Matt Sieg accounted for more than 4,000 yards of offense this season in leading the Fort Cherry football to its first WPIAL championship and a runner-up finish in the PIAA Class A playoffs.

The sophomore quarterback was rewarded for his efforts Thursday with selection to the Pa. Football Writers’ Class A all-state team.

Senior teammate Lou Ryan (6-0, 230) also was selected as a linebacker after he made 130 tackles, including 17 solo. He was the Black Hills Conference lineman of the year.

Sieg (6-1, 180), the Black Hills Conference offensive MVP, rushed for 2,389 yards and 40 touchdowns on 255 carries and also completed 86 of 158 passes for 1,670 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns and had an interception return for a score for the Rangers (15-1).

In his two-year career, Sieg has thrown for 2,891 yards and 31 touchdowns and run for 4,371 yards and 72 scores.

In addition to the Fort Cherry tandem, Bishop Canevin senior Jason Cross and Union senior Braylon Thomas were repeat selections to the all-state team.

Cross (6-1, 170), a West Virginia recruit and defensive back, was the Black Hills Conference defensive MVP after he recorded 41 solo tackles, 18 assisted tackles and 11 tackles for loss. Offensively, he caught 34 passes for 668 yards.

Thomas (6-1, 180) was picked as an all-state quarterback for the second straight season after he threw for 2,077 yards and ran for 1,201. He had 50 combined touchdowns (28 passing, 22 rushing) as Union reached the WPIAL quarterfinals a year after winning the district title and reaching the PIAA final. He is just the fifth quarterback in WPIAL history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in a season.

Alex Erby was named the Class A player of the year for the second straight season after leading Steelton-Highspire to the PIAA title with a 42-8 win over Fort Cherry.

South Williamsport’s Chris Eiswerth was named the Class A coach of the year after his team won the District 4 title and reached the PIAA semifinals.

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 A all-state team

Player of the Year: Alex Erby, Steelton-Highspire

Coach of the Year: Chris Eiswerth, South Williamsport

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Alex Erby, Steelton-Highspire – 6-2, 210 senior

Matt Sieg, Fort Cherry – 6-0, 170 sophomore

Braylon Wagner, Redbank Valley – 6-0, 160 sophomore

Braylon Thomas, Union – 6-1, 180 senior

Running back

Luke Stevenosky, Minersville – 5-10, 220 senior

Austin Johnson, Muncy – 6-1, 220 junior

Lukas Gumble, Lackawanna Trail – 6-0, 200 senior

Ronald Burnette, Steelton-Highspire – 5-10, 180 senior

Ryan Casella, South Williamsport – 6-0, 230 senior

Wide receiver

Durrell Ceasar Jr., Steelton-Highspire – 6-1, 180 senior

Ashton Kahle, Redbank Valley – 6-0, 174 senior

Mason Clouse, Redbank Valley – 6-3, 170 senior

Tight end

Michael Gelatko, Marian Catholic – 6-4, 230 junior

Offensive line

Josiah Bowser, Northern Bedford – 6-4, 270 senior

Chris Confer, South Williamsport – 5-10, 290 senior

Andrew Erby Jr., Steelton-Highspire – 6-4, 275 senior

Cooper Patterson, Lackawanna Trail – 6-1, 220 sophomore

Christian Clinger, Redbank Valley – 6-1, 237 senior

Reese Yahner, Brockway – 6-3, 260 senior

Athlete

Ty Dumm, Northern Cambria – 6-0, 165 junior

Ethan Smith, North Star – 5-11, 180 junior

Mitchell Tingley, Lakeview – 5-8, 180 senior

DEFENSE

Defensive line

Garrett Jasper, Cambria Heights – 6-2, 240 junior

Eugene Green, Steelton-Highspire – 6-4, 220 senior

Landen McGarvey, Glendale – 6-1, 220 junior

Brandon Ross, Redbank Valley – 6-1, 240 senior

James Rodino, Marian Catholic – 6-3, 233 senior

Linebacker

Lou Ryan, Fort Cherry – 6-0, 230 senior

Hudson Ward, Canton – 5-10, 160 senior

Jesse Rodino, Marian Catholic – 6-3, 220 senior

Sam Shipley, Moshannon Valley – 6-1, 180 senior

Caden Adams, Redbank Valley – 6-0, 181 senior

Defensive back

Daemyin Mattocks, Mercer – 5-11, 170 senior

Max Kimmel, Lackawanna Trail – 6-3, 185 junior

Dylan Scheller, South Williamsport – 6-3, 160 senior

Jason Cross, Bishop Canevin – 6-1, 170 senior

Danick Hinkson, Lakeview – 6-1, 190 senior

Specialist

Owen Clouse, Redbank Valley – 6-0, 165 senior

Athlete

Colm McGroarty, Mahanoy Area – 5-10, 160 senior

Jaeion Perry, Steelton-Highspire – 6-1, 175 senior

Eion Snider, Northern Bedford – 6-2, 190 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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