Philipsburg-Osceola's Lanich and John ready for Lezzer Classic|
Thursday, June 21, 2012
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - After four years of high school football, it's all come down to one final game for two Philipsburg-Osceola football players.
Kyle Lanich and Michael John will strap on the pads one final time to participate in the 28th annual Lezzer Lumber Classic on Friday evening.
The duo will represent the Mounties one final time as members of North squad at War Vets Field in Huntingdon.
For Lanich, it will be the second all-star game in just over a month.
The Mountie lineman participated in the 2012 PSFCA East-West All-Star Game in Monroeville on May 6. Lanich's West team won the game, 45-24.
He played center in that contest, a position he hadn't played at P-O in two years.
Lanich had just one miscue with West quarterback Perry Hills of Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the game. But, it resulted in an 88-yard touchdown, so it was alright with Lanich.
"I'd done it for seven years before that (played center), but I hadn't done it in two years, so I was a little rusty," said Lanich. "He (Hills) told me after it happened, ‘Don't tell anyone that it was messed up, just tell them we planned that.'"
The imposing lineman, who is off to Edinboro to play football and major in secondary education next year, was excited to play in the East-West Game, but was even happier to be chosen for the Lezzer Classic.
"It's still pretty exciting," Lanich said. "I wasn't expecting it (Lezzer) to come so soon. I'm still pretty tired and out of shape. They run you a little more at this one than they did at the East-West game.
"I'm pretty excited to be doing this. It's an honor."
Lanich plans to make the most of his last game with his teammate and good friend John as well.
"It's nice to play in one final game together," Lanich said. "I will probably never play with him again, so it's nice to be on the same team one more time. We are really good friends."
Lanich also plans to make some more friends along the way. Getting to play with schools he's played against, along with some other schools he hasn't, gives Lanich an opportunity to network with many different people.
"It's an all-star game," said Lanich. "You are here to make friends and have fun, so that's what I plan on doing."
Lanich's teammate is also looking forward to making some new friends as well.
"I haven't made any friends yet, but I'm sure I will," John said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the other kids here.
"It also just feels great to be selected to play. It shows that I've worked hard to get here."
John, who rushed for 1,172 yards this past season, will play defense for the North. But where on the field he plays doesn't matter to the Juniata-bound player.
"I'm going to be on defense most of the time," he said. "And it didn't matter which side I play on, it's just an honor to be selected to play in the Lezzer Game."
And while the quiet Mountie is prepared to help his new teammates against the South, he says there's something more important.
"I think we will do alright," he said. But it's an all-star game, so it's all about having fun."
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.