The 49th Ken Lantzy All-Star Classic provides father and son Don and Brady Fyfe with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Don Fyfe was tapped as the South squad head coach, and Brady Fyfe is one of two quarterbacks for the Rebels in the annual classic set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Greater Johnstown High School’s Trojan Stadium.
“I think this is going to be a great experience for us, and it’s always fun to be around him,” Brady Fyfe said early in the week. “He has given me a lot of advice. He was a QB in college and high school, and he played in the Lantzy game 30 years ago. He can give me a bunch of notes that I can take with me to Lock Haven in the fall. It’s a big help for him to be a QB before.”
The younger Fyfe has changed his uniform number (3) for the Lantzy game and will be wearing his dad’s No. 17 from when Don Fyfe played at Chestnut Ridge.
“It’s sort of his anniversary so I guess we will celebrate with a No. 17,” said Brady Fyfe, who was the area’s top passer, going 232 of 356 for an amazing 3,677 yards, while adding 1,270 yards on the ground on 180 carries.
Coach Fyfe, who is the offensive coordinator for the South, said that he is thrilled to be coaching his son one last time.
“He knows the offense so well so if guys have questions they can go to him, and he better know the answers,” the South coach said. “He knows what we’re doing, and it’s really special to be able to coach him again and just hang out with him because soon he’ll be off to college.”
The other South quarterback is Macen Akers, of Everett, who has thrown for close to 1,400 yards and rushed for 1,270 yards.
Coach Fyfe said that he has been impressed with the skill of the athletes on the South squad.
“The fun is putting everyone in the right place and filling in the pieces of the puzzle,” Coach Fyfe said. “That will take a couple days. It’s a marathon not a sprint.”
When it comes to receivers, Fyfe and Akers will have plenty of viable candidates.
A familiar connection for the younger Fyfe is teammate Dawson Snyder, who had 71 catches for 1,053 yards during the regular season.
“Brady and I have a pretty good chemistry,” said Snyder, who will be playing for St. Francis next year. “It’s been pretty easy to adapt to playing with all of these different guys.
“They are fun to be around.
“They make it fun and obviously are good at what they do, which is why they are here.”
Also in the mix are Isaiah Paul of Berlin Brothersvalley (42 catches for 513 yards), Jude Gdula of Blacklick Valley (25 for 315), Jacob Mowry of Chestnut Ridge (25 for 309) and Daniel Potopa of Bishop Guilfoyle (31 for 501).
The running attack will be keyed by Jared McGill of Chestnut Ridge (136 carries for 804 yards), Dylan Arnold of Bedford (209 for 1,147), Cory Myers of Conemaugh Township (135 for 878) and Matthew Somogyi of Penns Manor (171 for 1,039).
“The offense is a lot different that we play at Township,” Myers said. “It’s a lot more upbeat. We’re used to just ground and pound, but now there is a lot more pass blocking and they are going to toss the ball around. I think we are coming together well as an offense. I think we have a lot of team chemistry. There are a lot of great athletes here working together to try to win this game on Friday.”
The South offensive line is also coming and includes Brandon Dawson of Bedford, Dominic Davis of Portage, Hunter Leech of Bishop McCort, Trevor Mlaker of Homer-Center, Bryant Speck and A.J. Abraham of Bishop Guilfoyle, Alex Fouse of Northern Bedford and Shane Clark of Everett.
“This has been awesome,” Dawson said about being selected to play in the Lantzy game. “It’s really well-organized and I’ve enjoyed being out here with all of the guys. We’ve done a pretty good job on the one-on-one pass drills against the defense, which is pretty salty. I thought our offensive line did pretty well against the caliber of defense that we were playing against in practice.”
Logan Walerysiak of Conemaugh Township will be handling the kicking chores for the South, which lost to the North 17-14 last year.
“I’m really excited to see how Friday goes,” said Dawson, who is headed to Frostburg State.