By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
The Southern Columbia High football team has a rich tradition when it comes to winning District 4 titles as well as state championships.
The Tigers, under the direction of 30-year coach Jim Roth, are also known for producing some of the best small-school football players in the state each year, and 2013 was no exception.
Southern placed three of its players on the Pennsylvania Football Writers’ Class A All-State Team, which was released Thursday.
Named to the first team for the six-time state champion Tigers were senior linebacker Cody Pavlick, senior offensive lineman Josh Tripp and junior Luke Rarig at athlete.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Pavlick is repeat member of the Class A All-State first team. This past season he made 103 tackles and had four sacks for defending District 4 champ Southern, which has now won 22 district titles in the last 23 seasons.
On the offensive side of the ball, Tripp is a 6-5, 270-pound road grader that helped pave the way for the Tigers to amass nearly 6,000 yards of total offense in 2013, including more than 4,200 yards on the ground.
One of the beneficiaries of Tripp’s blocking belonged to the 6-foot, 180-pound Rarig, who caught 37 passes for 713 yards (19.3 avg.) and eight touchdowns.
But Rarig just didn’t catch the ball. The multi-purpose player also returned two punts for touchdowns this season for the Tigers along with an interception return for a touchdown.
In addition, Rarig was Southern’s placekicker and he made one field goal and 49 PATs for 121 total points this year.
The only other players from the Valley to make the Class A first team were Bloomsburg 5-11, 175-pound senior wide receiver Colby Klingerman, plus South Williamsport’s 5-11, 200-pound junior running back in Dominick Bragalone.
This is the second consecutive year that a wide receiver with the last name of Klingerman has made the Class A first team for Bloomsburg. Last year Colby’s brother, John, made the team for the Panthers.
Bragalone, it should be noted, is the Co-Player of the Year along with Old Forge senior running back Brandon Yescavage. The latter torched Southern Columbia for 195 yards and three touchdowns in their PIAA Class A first-round playoff game in November.