WHEELING - It's been quite a few months for Buckeye Local product Jordan Piergallini.
Not even in his craziest dreams did Piergallini ever envision the finish to his prep sports career that he had Sunday evening during the 67th annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The young man burst onto the scene in track and field and finished second in the Division II state meet in the 100 meter dash.
OHIO’S Jordan Piergallini races to beat West Virginia’s Gianni Fuscaro to a fumble in the end zone during the third quarter of Sunday’s OVAC?All-Star Game at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Just a few weeks later, he was named to the Ohio squad. Being on the team wasn't good enough.
Playing in a different position at end, Piergallini was in the right place, at the right time, to recover an Ohio fumble in the end zone for a third-quarter touchdown.
"I think everything turned out alright for us," Piergallini smiled. "To score felt awesome, but it was even better because, basically, I was just backing up my best friend (Josten Dear) that I grew up with. If the ball didn't roll my way, I wouldn't have scored. Josten deserves all of the credit in the world because he played great tonight."
BEST BACKS IN THE OVAC?
Some might be willing to debate that, but Piergallini doesn't even need to discuss it.
When he saw his prep teammate Josten Dear and Cambridge's Dashaun Lewis' names on the roster, he immediately liked the Buckeye State's chances to snap its two-game losing skid.
"Those guys are the best backs in the OVAC ... no doubt about it," Piergallini said.
Shadyside product Matt Hammond was one of the more laid back Ohio players this week. He didn't get into any trash talking or anything of the sort.
Similarly to what he did with the Tigers, Hammond just went about his business and business was good.
Hammond blocked a punt and had two sacks in the game.
"We came to play and wanted to get some revenge for the last couple of years," Hammond said. "When you break through the line (on the punt), it was just wide open. Wow! That was fun."
As well as he played, Hammond still found a reason to be unhappy.
"I didn't have a tackle," Hammond laughed. "But, at least we won."
You'll have to forgive Cole Smelley is a little boastful this week.
The Bridgeport High product secured ultimate bragging rights over his brothers - Curt and Chris - with the victory.
The Smelley twins were members of last year's Ohio squad, which lost to West Virginia, 24-3.
"This feels great," Smelley said. "I'll probably start (getting on) my brothers tonight that we won and they didn't."
While the crowd was large and the program was thick, the OVAC had quite an undertaking financially last week.
According to Executive Secretary/Treasurer Tom Rataiczak, the Mumley Classic costs upwards of $130,000 for the week.
BACK TO WORK
Ohio head coach Eric Schumacher is certainly going to enjoy Sunday night's outcome for quite some time, but it might be some time before he actually gets to.
Both Ohio and West Virginia high school teams hit the field this morning to begin two-a-days as they start preparations for the fourth weekend in August when they make their regular season debuts.
"It'll be a little bit of a shock (going to practice) because, unfortunately, we won't have 33 all stars coming out of Conotton Valley," Schumacher said. "It'll be fun, and I am looking forward to the season. I won't have a chance to enjoy this (victory) until we play our last game (of the regular season)."
QUEEN AND HER COURT
The West Virginia schools did prevail on one portion of the evening. They swept all of the awards involved with the annual Queen of Queens pageant.
Wheeling Park's Odessa Copney was crowned the Queen. Her court consisted of Linsly's Cecelia Favede, John Marshall's Mia Jordan, Brooke's Jessica Kuna and Weir's Allison Viakley. Magnolia's Anna Haught was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow queens.
The OVAC McDonald's All-Star Band put forth yet another brilliant performance after practicing together for just a little more than four days.
Buckeye Local's Austin Ferguson was the winner of the scholarship, which was presented, at halftime.