By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Monroe-Woodbury Bradley Byrnes has spent the early part of this week catching up with Class AA opponents and making some friends.
Even better, he gets to play in a football game on Wednesday night, the Section 9 Exceptional Senior Game. The all-star game will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night at Newburgh Free Academy.
Former Wallkill coach Dave Der Cola, who led the Panthers to the 2004 Class A state championship game, will coach Team American. Former Monroe-Woodbury coach Jim Hintze is leading the National squad.
“I just feel grateful to be playing in this game,” said Byrnes, who is playing on the National team. “I’m excited and honored to be a part of it. It’s cool to be able to play with kids I’ve never played with and just get to know them. I think everyone is looking forward to the game and it should be a lot of fun.”
The popular all-star game returned in 2012 after a hiatus of approximately 30 years. The Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association and Mid-Hudson Athletic League previously held senior showcase games. Seniors from any Section 9 team are eligible for the game.
Burke Catholic, Millbrook and Newburgh, which have reached the semifinals of the state playoffs, won’t have representation. Teams for the Exceptional Senior Game were picked by Section 9 coaches. There are modified rules for the game, including no blitzing.
The all-star game has become one of the highlights of the season for players. The game is competitive, but at the same time, laid-back. Players on each sideline mingle during the game and form bonds during practices leading up to the exhibition.
“I’m super excited to play in the senior game,” said Port Jervis linebacker Mike Piscitelli, who is playing on the American team. “It gives me a chance to showcase my talents one more time. I’ve met a lot of good friends and great coaches this week. I’m looking forward to going as hard as I can one more time.”
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Section 9 Exceptional Senior Game game day rosters
- Goshen: OL Leo Horrego; RB Henry Bowers; WR Mason Glenn; DB Xavier McKenna; WR Neil Lingerman; K/P Max Heinrich
- Port Jervis: OL Austin Vanwie; OL Arte Ichita; QB Branden Roesch; LB Mike Piscitelli; DB/K Carson Sauschuck
- Marlboro: OL Vinny Garitta; RB Phil DeSantis; DL Nico Ramos
- Chester: OL Aiden Wittekind; RB Anthony Battiato; DB Josh Delgado
- Warwick: OL Nick Fotino; RB Harrison Parrelli; WR Connor Perez; DL Dan McNally; LB Sean English
- O’Neill: OL Dan Larkin; DB Larry Dunn
- Pine Bush: RB Tyler Waller; LB Tyrese Gumbs; LB Jayden Kyler; DB Caleb Stevens
- Pine Plains: TE Matt Beam; DL Aiden Kieran
- Valley Central: WR Frank Torres; WR Shane Cuevas; LB Connor Prezioso
- Spackenkill: WR Marlin Brooks; DL Kyiev Bennermon; DL Anthony Rocco; DB Adam Loughran
- Rondout Valley: WR Spencer Sands
- Onteora: QB Miles Eberhard
- Roscoe: QB Collin Hauschild
- Middletown: LB Darnell Kornegay; DB Jeniel Foster
- Wallkill: LB Dale Rubino
- Washingtonville: OL Julio Monterrey; DB Nicholas Lia; OL Michael Douglas
- Monroe-Woodbury: TE Garrett Welch; DB Jermain Veras; DE Matt Seguinot; DE Jack Colbath; LB Owen Chambers; OL Paul Dellarose; RB Brad Byrnes; WR Kenny Hernandez
- Cornwall: C Derek D’Esposito; DE Cameron Graboff; DT Brandon Handforth; G/P Jack Strohmeier; RB T.J. Gayle; WR Seth Goitia; WR Ian Engenito
- Saugerties: C Brett Igoe; DB Tavin Rell; OL Brandon Salmi; RB Jack Hindes
- Roosevelt: DB Justin Martin; LB Quin Winkler; WR Tyler Van Steenburg
- Ellenville: DB/S Ray Younger; DE Mo Williams; DT Joe Horl; LB Cameron Hayes; RB/LB Seth Van Demark; TE/QB Zach Bonitz
- Minisink Valley: DB/WR Dominick Vetrano; OL Andrew Fenner; LB/DB Vinny Vetrano
- Dover: DE Chris Franke; LB Colin Belanger
- New Paltz: DT/G Max Lunati; QB Jimmy Verney; TE Brian Kenney
- Red Hook: K/WR Tanner Guidi; LB Tristen Schiafo
- Kingston: RB Javar Tinsley
- Liberty: RB Roy Penn-Constantino
- Monticello: RB Khadeem Richards
- Highland: WR Max Vidal