Four Area Cagers to Play in Kozel Game on Saturday

DUBOIS, Pa. — Four Clearfield and Curwensville seniors have been invited to play in the eighth annual Alice R. Kozel Foundation District 9 Basketball All-Star games sponsored by Quaker Steak & Lube in State College set for Saturday in the Penn State-DuBois gymnasium.

Elizabeth Sopic of Clearfield and Dani Struble and Jackie White of Curwensville will play in the girls game that tips off at 4 p.m. Sopic and Struble are on the Blue Team, while White is on the White Team. Mike Johnson of Clearfield will play for the Blue Team in the boys game at 6.

In addition, Curwensville\’s Vic Gearhart will be one of three coaches for the Blue Team in the girls game.

Three-point shooting contests are planned as halftime highlights for both games. The boys will compete during girls game and the girls will compete during the boys game.

\”These games have been the showcase District 9 All-Star games for nearly a decade,\” co-director Rich Rhoades said. \”We are thrilled this year that Quaker Steak & Lube in State College has come on board as a sponsor, and we are excited to be taking the game to Penn State-DuBois. (Co-director) Larry Salone is really the driving force behind these games. This was his idea eight years ago, and without his support we wouldn\’t be able to put on an event of this magnitude.\”

Each game will feature the 20 best senior boys and girls basketball players in District 9 and those players, along with the D9Sports.com All-American Awards & Engraving District 9 All-District Team members, will be honored earlier in the day at the Church of God in Brookville.

“We are pleased to announce that after a year without a banquet we have been able to bring the banquet back to this event,” Rhoades said. “It makes this one of the premier all-star events in Northwestern Pennsylvania.”

The list of players in this year’s event is impressive. Two of District 9’s top three all-time scorers — all-time leader Calvin Grumley of Johnsonburg and Jesse Bosnik of Elk County Catholic — will be in uniform. They’ll be on opposite teams with Grumley leading the White Squad and Bosnik pacing the Blue Squad.

Other headliners include St. Marys’ Louis Pisani and North Clarion’s Justin Schmader, the district’s top scorer this year at 28.5 points per game. Pisani teams up with Grumley on the White while Schmader joins Bosnik on the Blue.

Fresh off a trip to the state finals, two DuBois Central Catholic players — Chris Wulderk and Cody Wilson — will be playing on opposing teams, the White and Blue teams respectively.

In the girls’ game, Brookville’s Paige Elkin, Curwensville’s Dani Struble and Clarion-Limestone’s Jenna Johnston lead the Blue Squad. Union’s Tiffany Corle, Clarion-Limestone’s Heather Stewart and Punxsutawney’s Lauren Martino lead the White Squad.

“We’ve seen over 300 players participate in these games in seven years and going into this one — and you never know how the games will go — this is as impressive of a set of rosters we’ve had in awhile, especially on the boys’ side,” Rhoades added. “Remember, Grumley and Bosnik are Division I baseball recruits. This is probably it for them as far as competitive basketball goes.”

NOTES – There will be a small admission to the games. For more information on the games, go to www.D9sports.com.

The girls rosters:

BLUE – Elizabeth Sopic, Clearfield; Dani Struble, Curwensville; Paige Elkin, Brookville; Whitney Cline, Bradford; Jenna Johnston, Clarion-Limestone; Janele Divins, Union; Missy Aul, St. Marys; Samantha Reitz, Punxsutawney; Cherian Burkhardt, Rocky Grove; Kylynn Smith, Clarion.

Coaching Staff: Vic Gearhart, Curwensville; Doug Lloyd, Bradford; Josh Meeker, Union.

WHITE – Jackie White, Curwensville; Tiffany Corle, Union; Carlie Cook, Brookville; Heather Stewart, Clarion-Limestone; Andie Beveridge, Elk County Catholic; Lauren Martino, Punxsutawney; Hope Morris, Coudersport; Jena Gruver, Redbank Valley; Haley Callihan, Karns City; Nicole Siffrinn, Bradford.

Coaching Staff: Brian Green, Coudersport; Gus Simpson, Clarion-Limestone; Dave Kerschbaumer, Karns City.

The boys rosters:

BLUE – Mike Johnson, Clearfield; Kurt Baumgratz, St. Marys; Gary Cooper, Union; Dan Ferringer, Keystone; Tom Morris, Bradford; Jesse Bosnik, Elk County Catholic; Justin Schmader, North Clarion; Justin Smith, Smethport; Cody Wilson, DuBois Central Catholic; Ryan Hritz, Clarion.

Coaching Staff: Jay Acker, Smethport; Ryan Cornecki, North Clarion; Dave Fuhrman, Bradford.

WHITE – Joe Monteleone, Redbank Valley; Tim Kearns, Rocky Grove; Jake Switzer, Keystone; Jimmy Higgins and Josh Salter, Elk County Catholic; Shawn Courson, Allegheny-Clarion Valley; Chris Wulderk, DuBois Central Catholic; Zak Kossack, Smethport; Louis Pisani, St. Marys; Calvin Grymley, Johnsonburg.

Coaching Staff: Brice Benson, St. Marys; Jim Marron, Allegheny-Clarion Valley; Don Wanninger, Redbank Valley.GAME

OFFICIALS: Girls (Ron Walter, George Schneider, Kris Stiglitz); Boys (Bud Bifano, Dave Wright, Jeff Jovenetti).

TRAINERS: Jim Stricek, Brockway; Sarah Kirk, Brookville.

The Alice R. Kozel Foundation is a non-profit organization created in 1999 to provide funding for children and youth activity programs. To contact the foundation, please call 814-375-6999. We appreciate all contributions, ideas, questions and assistance.

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