There is a father-son connection at the 49th annual Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Football Classic.

Both head coaches will have an opportunity to work with their sons.

North head coach Kevin Marabito of United is joined on his staff by his son, Brett.

“This is kind of like the last time that Brett and I will be coaching together,” Kevin Marabito said. “He’s moving on to Ligonier Valley, where he teaches.

“The other neat thing about this game was the first time I ever coached in this game was 1991. June 29 of that year, I was getting married and June 29 of this year, my son is getting married. It’s kind of a neat twist.” 

Another of the North assistant coaches, Roger Beitel of Ligonier Valley, has his son, Zach, playing defense for the Yankees.

On the South side, Don Fyfe of Shade is the head coach and his son, Brady, will be one of the quarterbacks for the Rebels, while assistant coach Doug Paul of Berlin Brothersvalley, has his son Isaiah, playing wide receiver.

“It makes you feel older,” said Paul, who also coached his older son, Dante. “It’s a great experience, one last time coaching them, especially in an all-star game with some of the best players in the area. It’s a great experience. I’ve been the head coach three times, and this is first time that I’ve been an assistant. I’m great friends with Coach Fyfe, and he’s helped me out a number of times.” 

Lantzy youth clinic: The Ken Lantzy free youth football clinic is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.

Youths in grades 1-6 are invited to the event and will work with the Ken Lantzy players from the North and South squads.

Each participant will receive a free T-shirt.

Band and cheerleaders: The Lantzy marching band was added three years ago with Alan Bixel of Conemaugh Valley and Eric Pfeil of Greater Johnstown taking charge of the coordination.

“There will be two $500 scholarships handed out to two members of the marching band this year,” said Ken Lantzy chairman Ralph DeMarco. “We have had cheerleaders in the past, but this year we have a North squad and South squad of cheerleaders. We’re excited. It’s another opportunity to showcase young talent that has just graduated from high school. There will also be two scholarships available for cheerleaders.”

The way they line up: The North and South head coaches, Marabito and Fyfe, selected the other schools that are on their respective rosters for the 49th annual Ken Lantzy game, via the draft.

The North schools include United, Ligonier Valley, Northern Cambria, Richland, Forest Hills, Cambria Heights, Westmont Hilltop, Conemaugh Valley, West Shamokin, Purchase Line, Meyersdale, Tussey Mountain, Somerset, North Star, Marion Center, Saltsburg, Blairsville, Greater Johnstown and Glendale.

The schools in the South are Shade, Berlin othersvalley, Hollidaysburg, Bishop Guilfoyle, Chestnut Ridge, Homer-Center, Conemaugh Township, Bedford, Portage, Penn Cambria, Central Cambria, Windber, Penns Manor, Everett, Northern Bedford, Blacklick Valley, Bishop McCort, Ferndale and Bishop Carroll.

Game recap: The 2018 Ken Lanzty game didn’t have to deal with the weather drama of the previous year when ferocious thunderstorms had the officials trying to decide whether to play or not to play.

For the 48th annual contest, the weather was ideal as a large crowd gathered at Trojan Stadium for a narrow 17-14 North win.

The game was knotted at 14 and appeared to be headed to overtime when Greater Johnstown’s Austin Barber drove the North down the field, and with time winding down, Berlin Brothersvalley’s Carter Raupach kicked the winning field goal to give the Yankees the victory. 


Cory Isenberg is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5080.​ Follow her on Twitter @CoryIsenbergTD.