Penn Hills’ Hardy named state’s Class 5A Football Player of the Year

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Friday, December 28, 2018 | 2:09 PM


Daequan Hardy had a performance for the ages in the PIAA Class 5A football championship game.

Apparently, members of the statewide media took notice.

The Penn Hills senior was named the state’s Class 5A Player of the Year and joined three of his Indians teammates on the Pennsylvania Football Writers all-state team.

Senior quarterback Hollis Mathis, senior running back Terry “Tank” Smith and senior wide receiver Dante Cephas also were selected to the all-state team.

In addition, Indians coach Jon LeDonne was named the state’s Class 5A Coach of the Year.

Hardy, a wide receiver and defensive back, scored two receiving touchdowns, returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score and made a 100-yard interception return as Penn Hills defeated Manheim Central, 36-31, in the state championship game in Hershey.

He finished the season with 22 touchdowns, including 12 receiving, five rushing, three interception returns, one punt return and one kickoff return.

Joining the Penn Hills contingent on the all-state team were a trio of Gateway players — sophomore running back Derrick Davis, senior wide receiver Courtney Jackson and senior defensive back Jeremiah Josephs.

Three offensive linemen from WPIAL schools also were selected — Mars junior Michael Carmody, Latrobe senior Trent Holler and North Hills senior Lirion Murtezi.

Also honored were West Allegheny senior linebacker Mateo Vandamia and McKeesport senior defensive back Konota Gaskins.

2018 PENNSYLVANIA FOOTBALL WRITERS ALL-STATE TEAM

CLASS 5A

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Desman Johnson, Penn Wood – 6-2, 240 junior

Evan Simon, Manheim Central – 6-2, 195 junior

Hollis Mathis, Penn Hills – 6-1, 175 senior

Ian Haynes, Franklin – 6-3, 195 junior

Running Back

Dayjure Stewart, York High – 6-0, 200 senior

Christian Cole, Oil City – 6-1, 205 senior

Derrick Davis, Gateway – 6-1, 185 sophomore

Terry “Tank” Smith, Penn Hills – 5-9, 210 senior

Tyler Flick, Manheim Central – 6-0, 190 senior

Adam Houser, Shippensburg – 5-10, 180 senior

Wide Receiver

Courtney Jackson, Gateway – 6-0, 170 senior

Trey Glass, Warwick – 5-8, 165 junior

Josh Burgess, Great Valley – 6-0, 190 senior

Dante Cephas, Penn Hills – 6-1, 195 senior

Kennedy Poles, Penn Wood – 6-1, 175 senior

Tight End

Hayden Rucci, Warwick – 6-5, 240 senior

Offensive Line

Michael Carmody, Mars – 6-6, 280 junior

Trent Holler, Latrobe – 6-2, 290 senior

Connor Bishop, Archbishop Wood – 6-3, 260 senior

Josh Moore, Wallenpaupack – 6-6, 315 senior

Brock Gingrich, Cocalico – 6-3, 275 junior

Lirion Murtezi, North Hills – 6-3, 295 senior

Athlete

Daequan Hardy, Penn Hills – 5-10, 175 senior

Jaheim Morris, Cedar Cliff – 5-9, 165 junior

Specialist

Gavin Dionisio, Archbishop Ryan – 5-8, 150 senior

DEFENSE

Defensive Line

Chance Smith, Wallenpaupack – 6-3, 270 senior

Nick Coomer, Warwick – 6-4, 285 senior

Justin Resto, Cedar Cliff – 6-1, 235 senior

Sam Mueller, Governor Mifflin – 6-2, 250 senior

Linebacker

Landan Moyer, Manheim Central – 5-9, 190 senior

Donovon Ball, Cedar Cliff – 6-0, 210 senior

Mateo Vandamia, West Allegheny – 6-2, 222 senior

Dylan Urbanowski, Archbishop Wood – 6-1, 205 senior

Matt Feeney, Exeter – 6-1, 225 senior

Defensive Back

Jeremiah Josephs, Gateway – 5-11, 170 senior

Rob Rideout, York High – 6-0, 170 senior

Will Rivers, Manheim Central – 5-7, 145 senior

Konota Gaskins, McKeesport – 6-1, 185 senior

Jalen Goodman, Lower Merion – 5-11, 160 senior

Athlete

Bobby Whalen, Cedar Cliff – 6-1, 175 senior

Noah Palm, Cocalico – 6-0, 190 junior

Player of the Year: Daequan Hardy, Penn Hills

Coach of the Year: Jon LeDonne, Penn Hills

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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