The 2009 Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 football team

A Western Pennsylvania Thanksgiving Day sports tradition


Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

The Fabulous 22 is certainly a winning bunch this year. Eleven of the 22 players on this year's all-star team will play in the WPIAL championships tomorrow at Heinz Field.

The Fabulous 22 is a Thanksgiving high school football tradition in Western Pennsylvania. The first team was picked in 1980. Along the way, loads of Fabulous 22 players have gone on to play at Division I colleges, some have been All-Americans and some have played in the NFL.

The team is made up of the top 22 players in the WPIAL and City League and is picked by the Post-Gazette scholastic sports staff, based on help from high school and college coaches.


AARON DONALD

The skinny: A dominating defensive lineman. Was Fabulous 22 as a junior. Extremely quick off the ball, Donald was often double-teamed throughout the season. Brother of standout Toledo linebacker Archie Donald.

College: Has made verbal commitment to Pitt. Made decision this past spring.

Thanksgiving food you must have: My mom's apple pie.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Beyonce. I'd like to take her on a date.

Favorite old song: This song by Luther Vandross. I don't know the name ... and I'm not singing it.

Career if not an athlete: Own my own business.

Most memorable career moment: The game we beat Upper St. Clair this year.

People might be surprised to know that ... I might be playing basketball for Penn Hills this year.


MIKE HULL

The skinny: Ranked among the top 10 linebackers in the country by some scouting services. A starter since his freshman season, had more than 100 tackles this season. A hard hitter with good quickness and a nose for the ball.

College: Committed to Penn State as a junior. Pitt, West Virginia and Michigan also had offered at the time.

Thanksgiving food you must have: My mom's green bean casserole.

Person you would like to spend a day with: The girls on "The Girls Next Door" show.

Favorite old song: "Beat It" from Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: An engineer.

Most memorable career moment: Making it to the playoffs my sophomore year.

People might be surprised to know that ... [I] sing in the shower.


MIKE CAPUTO

The skinny: Burst on the scene this season after transferring from Blackhawk. Has six 200-yard rushing games for Class AAA finalist Indians. Has 2,211 yards on 293 attempts and has scored 30 touchdowns. Also a standout at defensive back.

College: Expected to be looked at by Division I colleges next season.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Just the original turkey, chicken and stuffing.

Person you would like to spend a day with: I'd split the time with my mom and my girlfriend, Alexa.

Favorite old song: "Bad" by Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: An engineer.

Most memorable career moment: Definitely beating Thomas Jefferson [in WPIAL semifinals].

People might be surprised to know that ... I am very quiet and reserved.


RUSHEL SHELL

The skinny: Has had one of the most prolific starts to a career in WPIAL history. Made Fab 22 as a freshman. Needs only 19 yards to reach 4,000 already in his career. This season, has rushed for 2,465 yards on 250 attempts for Class AAA finalist. Has 32 touchdowns.

College: Pitt offered a scholarship when he was a freshman. Expected to be heavily recruited by Division I colleges in the future.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Turkey and mashed potatoes.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Kim Kardashian.

Favorite old song: The Cha Cha.

Career if not an athlete: A construction worker.

Most memorable career moment: Whenever I took the opening kickoff back against New Castle.

People might be surprised to know that ... In five years, I'll marry Kim Kardashian and live in Florida.


JESSE DELLA VALLE

The skinny: Versatile player lined up as a running back and a wide receiver for the Titans. Caught 33 passes for 729 yards. Rushed for 248 yards on 37 carries. Scored 25 of team's 37 touchdowns, leading Shaler to WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals.

College: Undecided. Division I schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: I'm just a turkey guy, to be honest.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Sylvester Stallone. "Rocky" is my favorite movie.

Favorite old song: Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

Career if not an athlete: I want to get into the business world and explore that.

Most memorable career moment: Going undefeated for four years at St. Bonaventure (fifth through eighth grade)

People might be surprised to know that ... I announce soccer games at Shaler.


BRENDON FELDER

The skinny: Top-scoring player (19 touchdowns) on high-flying Gators. Versatile back lines up in several positions. Has 669 yards rushing on 80 carries this season (8.4 yards per carry average). Returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. Transferred from Boston area to Gateway this season.

College: Committed to North Carolina.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Sweet potatoes.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Deion Sanders. He's one of my role models.

Favorite old song: "Juicy" by Notorious B.I.G.

Career if not an athlete: I want to have a professional, business life. Probably something in sports management.

Most memorable career moment: Coming to Gateway and being on a great team, about to play for a championship.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm real highly on God. He's my inspiration.


DAVID MILLER

The skinny: Led the WPIAL in scoring for the second consecutive season, scoring 27 touchdowns and a two-point conversion for 164 points. Has rushed for 1,940 yards on 226 carries and 3,080 yards past two seasons. Will play in WPIAL Class AA championship game tomorrow.

College: Undecided, but a few Division I schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Corn. My dad carves it off the cob for me.

Person you would like to spend the day with: Terrell Davis from the Denver Broncos.

Favorite old song: "Sweet Caroline"

Career if not an athlete: I am going to be a teacher ... an elementary school teacher.

Most memorable career moment: When I played midget football, we beat Penn-Trafford. I played for Norwin, so it was a big rivalry.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm afraid of the dark.


PAUL JONES

The skinny: Ranked by scouting services as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the country. A strong-armed quarterback who came back from broken ankle this year and completed 112 of 215 passes for 1,687 yards and 16 touchdowns. For career, completed 358 of 617 for 5,667 yards and 60 touchdowns.

College: Made verbal commitment to Penn State as a junior. Will enroll for spring semester.

Thanksgiving food you must have: My grandma's turkey, mashed potatoes, corn and ham.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Barack Obama.

Favorite old song: Anything Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: An engineer or teacher.

Most memorable career moment: Senior night.

People might be surprised to know that ... I wasn't even going to play high school football.


RICHARD GRAY

The skinny: Intense pass rusher moves well and plays with determination. Missed most of past two seasons with injuries, but has developed into leader for Wolverines. Woodland Hills' defensive dominance coincides with his improved health. Has double figures in sacks.

College: Undecided (Has offers from MAC schools).

Thanksgiving food you must have: I need my grandmother's ribs.

Person you would like to spend a day with: LeBron James.

Favorite old song: "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: Anything involving sports, probably.

Most memorable career moment: Probably this year, when I scored my first touchdown.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm afraid of heights.


MILES DIEFFENBACH

The skinny: One of the most talented offensive linemen in the WPIAL. Ranked the No. 6 center in the country by scout.com. Is aggressive on the field, but smart and uses his knowledge of the game to his advantage.

College: Committed to Penn State in the spring. Pitt, Florida State and Boston College were among other schools that offered scholarships.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Everything. There's not just one food I can have.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Jesus. I'm a very religious person.

Favorite old song: "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC

Career if not an athlete: A high school or college athletic director or football coach.

Most memorable career moment: Down by a run in the last inning of a baseball game in fifth grade, I hit a grand slam with two outs.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm related to Abraham Lincoln.


ROB KALKSTEIN

The skinny: One of the most prolific passers in WPIAL history. Enters tomorrow's AAAA title game with 6,383 yards passing, third best in WPIAL history. This season, is 102 of 159 for 2,148 yards.

College: Undecided. Some Patriot League schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Taylor Swift.

Favorite old song: "No Easy Way Out" from the Rocky IV sound track.

Career if not an athlete: A coach.

Most memorable career moment: Hopefully, still yet to come.

People might be surprised to know that ... My favorite show is "The Office".


ORNE BEY

The skinny: Leads WPIAL Class AAAA finalist in rushing. Averaging 9.2 yards per carry with 769 yards on 84 carries. Tied for second on team with 12 touchdowns.

College: Committed to Miami of Ohio. Will play slotback or running back.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Macaroni.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Adrian Peterson

Favorite old song: Anything by Notorious B.I.G.

Career if not an athlete: I'm majoring in sports medicine, so probably somewhere in that field.

Most memorable career moment: The first game of this season when I played against Penn Hills and won the MVP award.

People would be surprised to know ... My older sister and I have the same birthday ... Feb. 8. She's two years older than me.


DEONTAE HOWARD

The skinny: Needs only 4 yards in WPIAL Class A final to reach 4,000 for his career. Has more than 3,500 yards the past two seasons. Has 1,815 on 154 carries this season and has scored 30 touchdowns.

College: Has an offer from Towson State. Toledo and other MAC schools interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: My mom's macaroni and cheese.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Adrian Peterson.

Favorite old song: "Before I Let Go" from Frankie Beverly & Maze.

Career if not an athlete: Sports broadcaster.

Most memorable career moment: Getting the winning touchdown last year against Farrell to take us to the state championship game.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm very old-fashioned. I like old music and old movies.


DREW CARSWELL

The skinny: Tall receiver was a nightmare for local cornerbacks. Tied for fourth in WPIAL with 40 receptions and was sixth in the league with 605 yards receiving. He has more than 1,100 yards receiving in past two seasons. Helped lead Sto-Rox to playoffs for second consecutive year.

College: Committed to Pitt.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Macaroni.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Chad Ochocinco.

Favorite old song: I'm not sure. I don't think I have any. Too old for me.

Career if not an athlete: A trainer.

Most memorable career moment: Interception for 98 yards in week nine of this year.

People might be surprised to know that ... I dislike defense a lot.


BRE FORD

The skinny: Tough runner with good quickness. Rushed for more than 1,300 yards this season.

College: A Division I college recruit for next year.

Thanksgiving food you must have: My grandma's homemade dinner rolls.

Person you would like to spend a day with: LeBron James.

Favorite old song: "Thriller" from Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: Sports broadcasting.

Most memorable career moment: Winning the WPIAL championship last year.

People might be surprised to know that ... I'm the only athlete in the family.


ADAM LAZENGA

The skinny: A three-year starter on offense and defense. A force at linebacker for a team that had 26-2 record the past two seasons.

College: Undecided, but Ivy League and Patriot League schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Mashed potatoes with gravy.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Ray Lewis. I like the energy he brings on Sundays.

Favorite old song: "It's Tricky" by Run DMC.

Career if not an athlete: Probably working on Wall Street.

Most memorable career moment: Winning the WPIAL title last year with my friends and watching the clock wind down.

People might be surprised to know that ... I have a 4.1 grade point average.


DOM TIMBERS

The skinny: Has rushed for 1,414 yards on 211 carries and scored 26 touchdowns. Played first two seasons at Central Catholic before transferring to Woodland Hills.

College: Has made verbal commitment to Syracuse.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Ham.

Person you would like to spend a day with: LeBron James.

Favorite old song: "Sweet Caroline."

Career if not an athlete: A mentor toward athletes.

Most memorable career moment: The first touchdown I scored when I was a freshman [at Central Catholic].

People might be surprised to know that you ... I work a roofing job over the summer.


CHRISTIAN BRUMBAUGH

The skinny: Led the WPIAL in regular-season passing touchdowns (23) and was fourth in passing yards (1,593). Led Lions to Class AA Century Conference title and undefeated regular-season.

College: Is considered a Division I prospect for next year.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Turkey.

Person you would like to spend a day with: One of the Steelers. I'll go with Ben Roethlisberger.

Favorite old song: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

Career if not an athlete: I'm looking to try to be an architect or a mechanical engineer. If that doesn't work out, a teacher.

Most memorable career moment: Either the Canevin game when we secured the undefeated regular season or my freshman year when I threw my first touchdown pass.

People might be surprised to know that ... I am a volunteer firefighter.


KHAYNIN MOSLEY-SMITH

The skinny: Strong lineman runs 40-yard dash in less than five seconds. Anchors a Woodland Hills defense that plows through opposing linemen.

College: Committed to Pitt.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Macaroni and cheese. No turkey.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Barack Obama.

Favorite old song: "Sweet Caroline" at Pitt games.

Career if not an athlete: FBI agent.

Most memorable career moment: When I got my first scholarship offer from Ohio U.

People might be surprised to know that ... Baseball is my favorite sport.


JIM GIANSANTE

The skinny: Caught 53 passes this season for 1,234 yards. Won 42 games in his three years as a starter.

College: Undecided. Has an offer from Bowling Green and other MAC schools are interested.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Mashed potatoes and corn.

Person you would like to spend a day with: Larry Fitzgerald.

Favorite old song: "PYT (Pretty Young Thing)" by Michael Jackson.

Career if not an athlete: CEO of a business.

Most memorable career moment: Winning a state championship two times.

People might be surprised to know that ... My best sport is baseball.


KEVIN WEATHERSPOON

The skinny: A big-play receiver who has 30 catches for 593 yards with 10 touchdowns.

College: Made a verbal commitment to Pitt this summer. Was recruited to play receiver.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Yams and my mom's macaroni and cheese.

Person you would like to spend a day with: I'd have to pick a female. Candace Parker.

Favorite old song: Anything from "The Five Heartbeats."

Career if not an athlete: A businessman.

Most memorable career moment: Catching the winning touchdown pass at Heinz Field as a freshman.

People might be surprised to know that ... I love to watch the Disney Channel.


CODY COOK

The skinny: Rushed for 4,280 career yards in only three seasons. Finished this season with 1,920 yards and scored 22 touchdowns.

College: Some Division I colleges are showing interest.

Thanksgiving food you must have: Stuffing with cranberry sauce.

You'd like to spend a day with: Will Smith

Favorite old song? "Thriller" from Michael Jackson

Career if not an athlete: Engineer.

Most memorable career moment? First touchdown sophomore year against Sto-Rox.

People might be surprised to know that ... I cook my own meals. My favorite one is probably spaghetti.


First Published November 26, 2009 10:00 AM


Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here