Monday, May 3, 2021

Schuylkill County Football Scholar Athletes Named

The 2021 Schuylkill County Football Scholar Athletes have been named.

Every school year, the Schuylkill Chapter No. 25 of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame holds their annual scholar athlete banquet. This year's list marks the 60th anniversary of the Schuylkill Chapter 25 Scholar Athlete program.

Each school district was instructed to select their athlete based on the criteria of outstanding football ability and performance, outstanding academic application and performance, and outstanding school leadership and citizenship.  

Typically, the organization holds a banquet to honor the recipients of the award, but  for the second consecutive year, it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

A Committee group led by Dr. Steve Toth is working on production of a 2021 Scholar Athlete video that will be released at a later date.

The following are the Schuylkill County athletes that were chosen from each the 13 school districts that would have been recognized at the banquet.

**EDITOR' S NOTE :  Shenandoah Valley chose not to nominate a Scholar Athlete 2021 and are expected to resume participation in the program next year.


Shane Martin - Blue Mountain

Martin, a 3 year starter and varsity letterman for the Eagles on both sides of the ball. Shane played defensive end and lead the team in sacks the last two seasons. On offense he started at tight end and also played the O-line when needed. Shane was a valuable part of all facets of the special teams (kickoff, punt, PAT and field goal) for Blue Mountain. 

He was awarded the 2020 T102 Lineman of the Year and named to the Republican Herald All Area Defensive Second Team. 

Shane played in the 2020 North versus South All-Star game and was named to the PA Football News All Academic Team. 

He also played and lettered in basketball. 

Shane’s college preparation was in the Engineering and Technology Academy where he maintained a 3.638 GPA. He is a member of the Varsity Club, Run for Life Club, Leo Club and Big Impact. 

His community service project was with Manor Care Long Term Care Facility and he is currently employed by Cracker Barrell. 

The son of Tanya and Chris Martin, Shane’s future plans are to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. He has received college acceptances to Millersville University, West Chester University, Bloomsburg University and Penn State University.


Ben Terry – Mahanoy Area

Ben Terry, at 6’0” and 170 lbs., played defensive back, running back, wide receiver and quarterback for the Golden Bears. Terry, a 3-year starter and 4-year letterman, was team captain and quarterback during his senior year. His senior season (in 9 games) he led the team in rushing yards (1,185), touchdowns (24), and passing yards (397).

He was selected to the Schuylkill Football League Division 2 Second Team, Schuylkill County Football Coaches Assn. North All-Star Team, Republican Herald All-Area Team, Hazleton Standard Speaker All Area Team – Most Versatile Athlete, and a 1st Team All State Selection. He also lettered in track and field and baseball.

Terry, an honors student, has a GPA of 96.32. He is a member of the National Honor Society. the Interact Club, Ski Club, and Theater Arts where he is the Program Director. He volunteers for Meals on Wheels, with the Mahanoy City Little League, and at the Senator Rhoades Elementary Track Meet.

The son of Michael and Betty Terry of Barnesville, Terry plans to attend East Stroudsburg University, major in Exercise Science and become a Physical Therapist.


Owen Brady – Marian Catholic

Owen Brady, son of John and Judy Brady, is a senior at Marian Catholic High School. He is a four-year member of the Marian Colts Football team, where he is a three-year letterman and starter. For the Colts, he played many positions including receiver and tailback on offense and linebacker and safety on defense. He is also a four-year member on the Marian Colts Baseball team where he is a three-year letterman and senior captain.

Owen is an active member of the National Honor Society and a three-year member of the Student Council. He has been a member of the Green Club, FBLA, and the Red Cross Club. He has also been the President of the Spanish Honor Society and is recognized as a member of the 600 Scholar Club for both his Math and English scores on the SAT.

He is an altar server, a parish council member, and a Eucharistic Minister at his home parish.

Owen plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at York College of Pennsylvania.


Dyllan Smith – Minersville Area

Dyllan Smith played both Offensive and Defensive Line, as well as Linebacker in his career at Minersville. He was a Team Captain and 2-year starter for the Miners. He was a 4 year member of the varsity baseball team.

Smith, a Vocational Technical student and a consistent honor roll student, has a GPA of 92/100. He received the Presidential Award for Academic Achievement, and the Minersville Area High School Academic Achievement Award. He is a member of the 5th Quarter Club, the MAHS Cancer Fund Committee and he volunteered for the Carwash for Cancer. He is employed at Strike Zone Alleys.

The son of Charissa Matukewicz and Paul Smith and stepson of Scott Matukewicz of Pottsville, Dyllan will continue his education in the field of electricity supply and begin a career as a electrical linesman upon graduation.


Keegan Brennan – Nativity BVM

Keegan, at 5’9 and 150 pounds, was a 2 year starter and played multiple positions including defensive back, cornerback, safety, wide receiver, slotback, and special teams. He was the team leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns and set school records with 5 touchdowns in a single game and 255 yards receiving. 

He was a Republican Herald and SCFCA All Star selection, played in the Schuylkill All Star Game, and was twice named to the Eastern Pennsylvania Football and PA Football News All Academic Gold teams. 

He was Captain and a 4 year member of the baseball and basketball teams. He played on basketball teams that captured a Schuylkill League title, 3 District titles, and a State Championship. 

He is Vice President of Student Government, a Class Officer, an Interact Club office, and a Student Ambassador. 

He volunteered time to the SPCA and the Seton Manor Nursing Home. He was employed by Brennan and Company Landscaping. 

Keegan carries a 4.11 GPA and ranks 4th in his class. 

The son of John and Shannon Brennan, he has accepted a scholarship offer and plans to study Business and Finance at Hood College.


Dylan Dietz – North Schuylkill

Dietz, at 5’10” and 172 pounds, played Free Safety, Wide Receiver, spent time at Quarterback, and was also a Kicker and Punter for the Spartans. Dylan was a 4-year letterman and a 3 year starter. He was named a Captain during his Senior season. Dylan was an integral part of North Schuylkill’s District XI AAA Championships in 2018 and 2020, and the Spartans’ Schuylkill League Division 1 Championship season in 2019.

Dietz was named to the 3A All State 2nd team Defense, as a Safety. He was also named to the 3A Team, the 2020 Standard Speaker All Area Team, and 2020 Schuylkill County Football Coaches Association Dream Team- Defense. Dylan was selected to the SCFCA’s 1st team for defense, and 2nd team

offense for the North. He was chosen as a member of the East roster for the annual East/West 1-3A All Star game.

Dietz has a GPA of 3.833. He is a member and Vice President of the National Honor Society. He is also a member of the Spartan Baseball team,and participates in North Schuylkill’s “Friends Forever” club. He volunteers his time to help out with the “Breaker Boys” baseball team. Dylan has been involved in several other community-based projects, including cleaning up the Ringtown park, re-mulching the playground at North Schuylkill Elementary School, and helping to re-paint walls at the Eureka Park in Ashland. He is employed at Tri-State Envelope, Ashland, as a bailor.

The son of Lloyd and Tiffany Dietz, of Frackville, Dylan will be attending Bloomsburg University, where he plans on majoring in Digital Forensics, with a minor in Criminal Justice.


Anthony Perilli – Panther Valley

Antonio was a 4 year starter and 4 year letterman for the Panthers. At 6’ 260 pounds he played guard and tackle on the offensive and defensive lines. He was selected to the Schuylkill League All Star team on both offense and defense in 2020 and on offense in 2019. He was also a member of the Panthers track program and powerlifting squad. 

Antonio is ranked 11th in his class with a 98.3 GPA and has made the Distinguished Honor Roll every marking period throughout high school.

 He was a class officer, member of the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society. Antonio volunteered for his church, the Summit Hill Recreation Committee, Carbon County Friends of Animals as well as the Panther Valley Harmony Scholars program for the American Cancer Society. 

The son of Joseph and Jan Perilli, Antonio has been accepted at Penn State University.


Brody Robinson – Pine Grove Area

Robinson joined the Pine Grove Area football team as a junior and his impact was immediate. During the 2019 campaign, he led the team with 94 tackles and was named the PGA Defensive Player of the Year. He made numerous all-star teams as a 2nd team selection for the Tri Valley Football League, the Pottsville Republican All-Area, and Eastern PA Football. In 2020 Robinson broke school records with 26 tackles in a game and 144 on the season. He added 669 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and was the PGA Defensive MVP and the PGA Player of the Year. He was named an AP Class AAA All State Linebacker, PA Football Writers Class AAA All State Linebacker, SCFCA Dream Team Defensive Player of the Year/ 1st Team Linebacker, SCFCA 2nd Team Running back, Schuylkill League South Defensive Player of the Year, All Area DPOY, 1st Team All-Area Linebacker, T-102 Defensive Player of the Year, and PA Football Gold All- Academic Team. Robinson was selected for the East-West All –Star game.

Brody carries a 101.429 grade point average and ranks 3rd in his class. He has made the Distinguished Honor Roll in each of his four high school years. He is a 2-year member of the National Honor Society and was inducted into the Spanish National Honor Society. He is the International Club Treasurer and a member of Student Council, SADD, the Travel Club, the Varsity Club, He serves as a Peer Tutor and a Youth Football Volunteer.

The son of William and Tara Robinson, Brody has accepted the Board of Trustees Scholarship from Lebanon Valley College. He plans to continue his football career while studying for his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Lebanon Valley College.


Robert Walchak III – Pottsville Area

Walchak, a 3-year starter and 4-year letterman, played running back and outside linebacker and was co-captain for the Crimson Tide his senior year. At 6’1” and 180 lbs., he holds a career record of 1556 yards rushing, 22 touchdowns, 212 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. Bobby was Rookie of theYyear, All Area First team (2 years), All District First team (2 years), All State First team, and All State Second team.

Academically, Walchak has a weighted GPA of 4.0 and is ranked 24 in a class of 224. He consistently earned Honor Roll status, is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, and was on the All Academic Gold Team for football. He volunteered for the John S. Clarke playground renovation. He also helped the Knight of Columbus by serving Thanksgiving meals and participated in his school’s holiday food basket deliveries. In addition, he worked part-time over the last 4 summers at JFK pool in Pottsville.

The son of Bob and Amy Walchak of Pottsville, Walchak will attend Penn State University as a Preferred Walk On. He plans to continue his collegiate football career and major in kinesiology.


Mason Reber – Schuylkill Haven Area

At 6’ 1 195 pounds Mason was a 4 year starter and earned 3 varsity letters. He played linebacker on defense and running back and tight end on offense, and special teams. He was Team Captain in his junior and senior seasons. He led his team in tackles and sacks last season and finished with 202 career tackles. He was a Dream Team SCFCA All Star, a Mini Max Award recipient, and was named to the PFN Coaches All State Team. He attended Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill Campus as a high school student. Additionally, he has been a National Honor Society member since 2019 and has made Distinguished Honor Roll since 2017. He also made the 2021 and 2020 PA Football News All Academic Gold Team and was a member of the school’s Junior Honor Guard.

Mason is the Co-Vice President of the Biology Club and a member of Biology Club, Veterans Committee, Student Council, Trout Committee, and Spanish Club He is a recipient of the Senator David G. Argall Good Citizenship award. He was Haven’s first ever High School Homecoming King. Mason has volunteered time at Bear Creek Camp, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Camp Schuylkill Haven Borough Day, and Island Fest. and local blood drives.

The son of Kevin and Rebecca Reber, Mason expects to attend Penn State University on an ROTC 
scholarship and study mechanical engineering.


Nate Wickersham – Tamaqua Area

Nate has been a four year varsity letter winner and two year starter for the Blue Raider football team. He played important roles on the 2019 football team that went to the PIAA State Quarterfinals. In the state quarterfinals, he was named the T-102 Defensive Player of the Game. In 2019 Nate was second on the team in tackles with 76 and recorded three fumble recoveries. In 2020, Nate was the starting quarterback and accumulated over 1100 offensive yards. Defensively, he led the team in tackles and sacks and he was also the punter and place kick holder.

Nate was selected as the Tamaqua Linebacker of the Year in 2019. In 2020Times News Player of the Week and T-102 player of the game in the regular season finale. He served as Captain for every game in 2020. Nate also extremely successful in wrestling where he was a three-time state qualifier and two-time state medal winner, including 3rd in 2020-21. He was a 2021 Republican Herald All Area Co-Wrestler of the Year. He also was the catcher for the baseball program.

Academically, Nate ranks 21st in a class of 172 with a 95.01 grade point average He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish and Science National Honor Societies.

Nate has been the class President for three years. He is also a member of the Tamaqua World Language Club, Student Advisory Board, Chemistry Club, Physics Club, the Raider STEP-UP program and the Youth Summit.

The son of Dennis and Melissa Wickersham. He has been accepted at multiple universities, including Wilkes, Millersville, West Virginia, Bloomsburg, Buffalo. He plans to attend American University and major in Mechanical Engineering.


Chase Herb – Tri-Valley

Chase, a 3-year starter, was a 4-year varsity letterman for the Dawgs. He rushed for 2,903 yards and 28 TD’s and had 607 receiving yards and caught 8 TD’s in his career. He recorded 275 tackles as a linebacker and defensive end for Tri-Valley.

Chase was selected to the 2020 Schuylkill County Football Coaches Association 1st team at running back and defensive end. He was also a member of the 2020 Dream Team and 2020 Defensive Lineman of the year. He has started and lettered all 4-years in baseball.

Herb, in the academic curriculum, has a GPA of 93.3 and ranks in the top third of his class. He has been a member of Athletes for Christ for 3-years. Chase has worn many hats at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Hegins and has volunteered in community services like the Hegins Craft Fair and Hegins Wine Festival.

The son of Tamie and Craig Herb, Chase has been accepted and plans to attend Northampton Community College. He intends to major in accounting.


Jacob Herman – Williams Valley

Herman at 6’0” 180lbs played Defensive Back & Wide Receiver. He was a 4-year starter and 4-year letterman and Team Captain his senior year. He was part of the District 11-Division 2 championship teams his freshman, junior & senior years. His accomplishments during his senior year included: Schuylkill League leader in interceptions; 492 receiving yards, 20 receptions, 20 tackles, 15 individual tackles, 5 reception touchdowns, 5 interceptions and 1 pick 6.

Jake was selected All State Defensive Back, Schuylkill Football League (Division 2) First Team Defensive Back and Second Team Wide Receiver. He was named a T-102 Defensive Player of the Game. He was awarded the Williams valley Unsung Hero Award his senior year. He has also lettered 4 years in Baseball and 2 years in Basketball.

Herman, a Distinguished Honor student has a 4.0 GPA in the honors curriculum. He received the Tower-Porter Rotary Student of the Month. He is a member of the Prom Committee, Elementary Field Day Committee & is an Elementary Guest Reader. In the community, Jake is an Altar Server in at his church, Christ The Savior Orthodox Church, Harrisburg. He also volunteers at Keystone Military Families food pantry.

The son of Kevin & Eleanor Herman, Tower City, Jake has enlisted in the Air National Guard where he will be part of the Cyber Transport Systems. He also received a scholarship and plans to continue his education in Information Technology at Juniata College


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