MINERSVILLE - William Powanda, a three-year starter for the Minersville football team and co-captain this season had a very shocked look on his face when he was named the 2012 Scholar-Athlete at the 51st Annual National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Dinner at Hillcrest Hall on Sunday evening.
The Battlin' Miners 5-10, 185-pound running back, was chosen among 14 Scholar-Athletes from throughout Schuylkill County, as the award recipient and the first from his school since Justin J. Klitsch won the honor back in 2002.
Powanda, who ranks in the top 10 percent of his class, is headed for Lebanon Valley College in the fall and was All-Anthracite first team, All-County first team NS 2011 Coaches All-Star team selection.
Local Scholar-Athlete selections included Marian's Anthony Pilla, who will attend Drexel University in the fall after being a three-year starter for the Colts at center, defensive end and defensive tackle; William Stalgaitis of Panther Valley, team manager and student coach who was chosen for major contributions to the Panthers' football program, is ranked in the top 15 in his class and will attend Misericordia University on a scholarship this fall; and Tamaqua's Anthony Iacoviello, who ranks third in his class, and was a two-year starter at offensive guard and defensive tackle for the Blue Raiders. Iacoviello has been accepted at the University of Scranton, Lebanon Valley College and Susquehanna University.
Championship trophies were presented to Mahanoy Area for winning the Eastern Conference Class I championship, Nativity for being the Eastern Conference Class I runner-up, Tamaqua for being the Eastern Conference Class II runner-up, Pottsville for being the District 11 Class AAA runner-up, Shenandoah Valley for being the District 11 Class A runner-up and North Schuylkill for being the Anthracite Football League champion.
The annual Educator's View of a Scholar Athlete" was given by North Schuylkill High's principal Christian Temchatin.
"Last year's recipient, Edward Pavalko, gave me an idea of what a Scjholar-Athlete should be," he said, of the Spartan gridder who is now at Colgate University. "He was not only a good athlete, but a good student and someone everyone looked up to as well."
Also recognized were Marian head coach Stan Dakosty, Terry Case of Pottsville and deceased inductees Bill Wolff of Saint Clair and Bill Schappell of Shenandoah Valley as the newest members of the Schuylkill County Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.