Ligonier Valley sending 11 players into college football

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 8:34 PM


There is a reason the Ligonier Valley football team has been outstanding the past four seasons.

The graduating senior class — which went 51-4 with four Heritage Conference titles, four Appalachian Bowl titles, two PIAA District 6 Class AA titles and four consecutive trips to the District 6 championship game — has 11 players moving on to play football in college.

Three linemen — Mike Petrof, Christian Jablonski and Wylie Spiker — signed to play Division I football. Petrof is headed the United States Naval Academy, Jablonski is going to Lehigh and Spiker to St. Francis.

Eight others will also continue their football careers at the next level.

Quarterback Sam Sheeder is headed to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, an NCAA Division III program in Terre Haute, Ind. Rose-Hulman is one of the top engineering schools in the country.

Three players are headed to Saint Vincent: athlete Kyle Silk, linebacker Ayden Kelley and lineman Dunavin Graham. Two are off to Washington & Jefferson: linebacker Ethan Boring and wide receiver John Beard III.

Running back Kyrie Miller is headed to Allegheny College and lineman Alex Torrance will play at Waynesburg for former Laurel Valley grad Chris Smithley.

“This was a special group,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “They grew up together playing Little League, at the YMCA, flag football and youth football. They’re all friends and loved football and football provided them the opportunity to continue in college.”

In the 16 years that Beitel has coached at Ligonier Valley, 44 players have gone on to play college football.

Now the Rams will switch gears as the district moves back to the WPIAL. Ligonier Valley will face some challenging new opponents in Shady Side Academy, Apollo-Ridge, Serra Catholic, Steel Valley and Summit Academy.

Ligonier Valley set a Heritage Conference record with 37 consecutive victories.

“They were a very competitive group,” Beitel said. “They were a great group to coach.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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