Trio tabbed All-State

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Three local players - Blake Bowman, Owen Daniel and Erik Smeltz - were honored among the best in the state as the 2012 Pennsylvania Sports Writers released the All-State Football Team.

All-State teams for Classes A and AA were released Wednesday, Dec. 19.

Tri-Valley senior Blake Bowman was tabbed at running back, Williams Valley senior Owen Daniel was recognized as the athlete on defense and Line Mountain tight end Erik Smeltz was recognized for the Class A team.

Daniel, who returned to football during his sophomore season, finished this season with 48 receptions for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 339 yards on 26 carries with a score, returned an interception 100 yards for a score and returned two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns.

He was pleasantly surprised by the selection.

"Oh God no. I had no idea," Daniel said. "My sophomore year I didn't even notice the all-star teams that they came out with. I definitely didn't expect to go All-State. It's probably one of my greatest accomplishments ever."

Bowman finished his senior season with an area-best 2,198 yards rushing on 274 carries, scoring 33 rushing touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,581 yards rushing, setting school records for both single-season and career yards.

Bowman was thrilled with the honor.

"I was just excited because I did put a lot of work into it, but I never thought that would happen," Bowman said. "It was an honor because I always looked at when Matt McGinley, I think he got second team All-State, I always looked up to him. It feels good to be up with him."

Erik Smeltz made a name for himself as one of those new breed hybrid tight end/slot receivers, catching 38 passes for 625 yards, (16.5 per catch) and five touchdowns. He was also an outstanding blocker for a team that pounded out 2,5000 yards on the ground.

The Class AA team included Mount Carmel defensive tackle Eric Joraskie and Jim Thorpe athlete Patrick Duvgindeaud.

The selection of the All-State teams are overseen by the sportswriters who cover high school football around the commonwealth. Players were nominated in all four classifications, then a statewide ballot was sent out affording all writers an opportunity to cast votes.

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