WEST PITTSTON – The UNICO All-Star Classic wasn't the last time GAR standout Shakir Soto will be on the football field this year.
Soto has been selected to play in the Chesapeake Bowl on Dec. 29 in Landover, Md. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end will then leave GAR and enroll early at the University of Pittsburgh. Soto made a verbal commitment in April to play for Panthers.
The PIAA allows senior athletes to play in two postseason all-star games while still in high school, so Soto is getting his second game in just before he leaves for Pitt in January. He had the East's only sack in the 34-7 loss to the West.
Dallas quarterback Ryan Zapoticky is still sifting through his choices of where to play college football. He said Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Princeton and Robert Morris are possibilities.
GAR players had the opportunity to play in the UNICO game for the first time since 2009. The Grenadiers won the District 2 Class 2A titles in 2010 and 2011 and were ineligible to play since their season hadn't ended.
Wyoming Area was in the same boat Wednesday as the Warriors will play in the PIAA Class 2A state playoffs Saturday against Pen Argyl. The Warriors selected to participate in Wednesday's UNICO game were announced during the pregame ceremonies.
While no attendance total is released, the crowd appeared to be much bigger than in past UNICO games played on Wednesday nights. Perhaps the weather, which was somewhat mild until the fourth quarter, was the difference.
The Best Dressed Award goes to the one girl in the UNICO court. Her gown was an exquisite Baltimore Ravens purple.
The Worst Dressed Award goes to former GAR head coach Tony Khalife for his tacky Pittsburgh Steelers gloves.
The Schuylkill County All-Star Game was also played Wednesday night for the first time. Like the UNICO game, it used to be held in the summer.