North Pocono gridders prep for annual summer all-star classic
North Pocono will be well-represented when the 2019 Dream Game kicks-off on Wednesday, July 17.
The 85th annual event, which is sponsored by the Scranton Lions Club, is slated for a 7 p.m. start at John Henzes/Memorial Stadium in Peckville.
The Dream Game is the longest-running high school all-star game in the entire country. It features graduating seniors from the Lackawanna Football Conference making their final appearance on the local grid scene.
North Pocono players selected for the City roster include: Donny Blaine, Dan Walsh, Tyler Motichka and Dale Moore.
“I'm very proud of these four young men,” said head coach Greg Dolhon.
“Donnie, Dan, Tyler and Dale always represented the school district and our community well. It's a great honor to be chosen for the Dream Game and I'm really excited to see them wear the North Pocono colors one more time.”
This year's City squad will be coached by Kyle Cook of Susquehanna, while Honesdale's Mike Jurkowski will guide the County squad.
Blaine put the finishing touches on a brilliant high school career last fall.
A four-year starter at quarterback, Donny closed out his campaign as North Pocono's all-time most prolific passer.
Blaine wound up his career with more than 5,000 yards passing. As a senior, he earned First Team All-LFC honors while throwing for 1,672 yards and 15 touchdowns. Donny was also a threat on the ground, especially up close. He rushed for 197 yards and 10 more scores on 75 carries.
“Donny had a fantastic career at North Pocono,” said Coach Dolhon. “But, as good a player as he was here at North Pocono, I think this is just the beginning for him.”
Blaine will be continuing his academic and athletic career at the next level. He's signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Kutztown University this fall.
“Donny always wanted to play football at the college level,” Coach Dolhon said. “And, I'm so happy for him that he's going to have an opportunity to live out that dream at Kutztown.”
Walsh and Moore provided reliable targets for Blaine last season as two of the best wide receivers in the entire LFC.
Dan led the team with 40 receptions in 2018. He scored nine touchdowns and added another 95 yards on the ground en route to a First Team All-LFC bid.
Walsh also played corner defensively and will likely see action both ways during this year's Dream Game.
“Dan is just such an explosive athlete,” Coach Dolhon said. “He's a threat to break loose at any moment from anywhere on the field. If they try to cover Dan man-to-man all game long, I predict he's going to have at least one long touchdown.”
Walsh will continue his career at Lock Haven where he'll play either football or baseball … or both!
Moore also enjoyed a stellar senior season in Moscow. Dale broke into the starting line-up during his sophomore year and never looked back. He starred on both sides of the ball at wideout and outside linebacker.
Moore closed out the '18 season with 33 receptions, good for 507 yards and four touchdowns en route to a First Team LFC All-Star berth. He reportedly will be serving his country in the military.
“Dale is a very versatile player,” Coach Dolhon said. “He's tough and physical. Dale can definitely be a game-breaker. He had a couple of huge interceptions for us this year.”
Motichka began his high school career at outside linebacker, but moved to the inside last fall. He earned a starting position as a junior, then became the Trojans' defensive anchor as a senior. Tyler also earned First Team All-LFC honors.
Motichka won't be playing football next year, but he will be attending Penn State University's Main Campus and pursuing a degree in engineering.
“Tyler had a great senior year,” Coach Dolhon said. “He made a ton of tackles for us because he can pursue so well sideline-to-sideline.”
Last year's Dream Game turned into a track meet and ended with the City posting a 49-20 victory.
More than 7,500 fans attended the game on a muggy summer night in Peckville.
With this win, the City extended its lead in the all-time series to 42-38.
Four games ended in ties.