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Area players in McDonald’s Classic

Nazareth High School will once again host the annual McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star Classic.

The game will be played Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Times News area athletes are well represented in this year’s classic, with 11 players from the region rostered for the Red Squad.

Northern Lehigh put together a special season - advancing to the PIAA Class 2A state semifinals, collecting 11 wins and taking home a District 11 Class 2A championship - so it’s fitting the Bulldogs placed four players on the Red Squad.

Northern Lehigh will be represented by Dylan Smoyer - its all-time single-season passing yards, career passing yards, single-season passing touchdowns, career passing touchdowns, single-season completions, and career completions record holder; Trevor Amorim - its all-time single-season reception yards, career receiving yards and career receptions leader; Matt Frame - a 1,600-yard rusher this past season; and defensive back Brett Misera - who came away with seven interceptions this past season.

Coming off an improved 5-4 season, Pleasant Valley has placed three players on the Red Squad: Wide receiver Ryan Blass, free safety Robert Papaleo and defensive lineman John Brennan.

Northwestern, which finished the regular season 10-0 and advanced to yet another District 11 Class 4A championship, put two players on the Red Squad in talented defensive back Taylor Wikert, and disruptive defensive end Ben Dunstan.

Palmerton and Lehighton will be represented by one player each - Lucas Heydt for the Blue Bombers, and Gauge Hartney for the Indians.

The Red Squad roster is made up of players from Stroudsburg, Dieruff, Northern Lehigh, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain West, Parkland, East Stroudsburg South, Northwestern, Emmaus, Allen, Catasauqua, East Stroudsburg North, Pocono Mountain East and Allentown Central Catholic.

The Gold Squad has players from Phillipsburg, Wilson, Freedom, Palisades, Easton, Saucon Valley, Notre Dame Green Pond, Pen Argyl, Bethlehem Catholic, Nazareth and Northampton.

Dieruff High School head coach David Lutte will be at the helm of the Red squad, while Liberty’s Shawn Daignault will coach the Gold Squad.

Former Whitehall and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley - currently a member of the New York Giants - will be on hand to perform the game’s ceremonial coin flip.

The game serves as a charity event, with all the proceeds going to support the Ronald McDonald House.

Northern Lehigh's Dylan Smoyer
Palmerton's Lucas Heydt
Northwestern's Taylor Wikert