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Warriors Campenni to play in ‘dream’ game

WA lineman becomes sixth Warrior selected to Big 33 Game

Julian Campenni

As the awards and honors kept rolling in for Wyoming Area’s Julian Campenni, the 6’1, 260-pound lineman had his eye on the biggest one out there.

Sure enough, it happened.

Campenni has been selected to participate in the 54th Annual Big 33 Game which features the best players from Pennsylvania against the best from Ohio.

“We watched (the announcement) on PCN a few weeks ago,” said Campenni of the selection process. “I wanted to be selected but I wasn’t sure I would. It’s very exciting. It’s the biggest honor you can receive as a high school football player in the state of Pennsylvania.

“It’s a dream come true.”

Campenni is coming off an outstanding season when he made 106 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and forced seven fumbles. He was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class 2A all-state second team, was selected the WVC Coaches’ Small School MVP and also made The Times Leader All-WVC team.

Campenni becomes the sixth Warriors player to be selected to participate in the prestigious game.

He joins Al Harris and Charlie McDermott in 1979, Mark Sickler in 1983, John Garibaldi in 1984, and Jim Pizano in 1994. Harris, McDermott, Sickler and Garibaldi played in the game when it featured the best players from Eastern PA against the best from Western PA.

“It’s important to me that I represent Wyoming Area the best I can,” said Campenni. “My coaches and teammates have been very supportive. We have some of the best football in the WVC, and I know it has prepared me to play with anyone.

“I’m excited to go against some of these guys who will be going to some of the biggest schools in the country. It’s going to be like pre-college for me. I might be smaller but I know talent wise I can play with them. It’s going to be fun.”

Campenni fully expects to play in the June 18th game at Hershey Park Stadium despite past history in which many Division I-bound players end up pulling out of the game at the request of their respective schools. Dunmore’s Paul Gaughan – who is headed to Boston College - recently pulled out after being selected.

“I will be playing,” said Campenni. “Bowling Green is really excited about my selection and has given their blessings. We have two guys playing (Matt Johnson of Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt was also selected) and they are happy B.G. will be well represented.”

Campenni was the only Wyoming Valley Conference player selected and was one of four from District 2, along with Gaughan, Riverside’s Nick Rossi who is headed to Akron, and Delaware Valley’s Brandon Clemons.

Times Leader Sports Writer John Erzar contributed to this report.

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