Ready for final game

Saturday night’s Lezzer Lumber classic will mark the final time three Golden Eagles and two Blue Devils will hit the football field in their high school careers.
Tyrone’s Tyler Mertiff, Brian McManigal and Dan Grazier will strap on the pads one last time, as will Ryan Myers and Bret McCartney from Bellwood-Antis.
Throughout this week, The Daily Herald will talk to the five players and get their thoughts on playing in one last game.
Brian McManigal
Offensive Line
Tyrone Area
Less than 48 hours before his final high school football game, Tyrone graduate and Juniata College recruit Brian McManigal is looking forward to running onto Gray-Veterans Memorial Field one last time.
The Lezzer Lumber Classic showcases the best football players in Central Pennsylvania. Many bitter rivals become friends following the week of practice.
“We all turn into teammates,” said McManigal. “All rivalries are over when you step on the practice field on Monday morning. I even have a B-A sticker on my helmet and Ryan Myers and Bret McCartney have T’s on their helmets.”
McManigal and many other players in this game will use it as preparation for college.
“This is a big time tune-up for me,” said McManigal. “Division III gets some of the best players from high school. This game will help me adjust to the quickness of the game at the next level. Practices are much tougher this week because this is not your normal scout team. You are practicing against some of the best players in the area. You have to go 110 percent on every play to look half decent. The defensive linemen on this team are unbelievable.”
McManigal is also adjusting to working with coaches other than John Franco, John Meredith and John Gressler.
“It is different working with new coaches,” said McManigal. “It is hard at times to get used to new and different teaching styles and techniques. I am happy that we will come out of here with a well-rounded base and have learned from other coaches and how other teams work.”
McManigal was excited when he was selected to the squad and has enjoyed the experience.
“I have come out of this experience learning how much faster the game is played at the next level,” said McManigal. “It is great to be playing with the best players in the area and I have made friends with players from different towns.”
The loss at Forest Hills still has a bitter taste in McManigal’s mouth, but a win Saturday night will take a little of the sting away.
“We finished with a bad game on a bad field,” said McManigal. “It would be great to walk away with a win on our home field. It is something I will be able to tell my kids about someday that I walked off of Gray Field my last time a winner.”
The Lezzer Lumber Classic is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field.
Tickets may be obtained prior to the game at either Levines from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. or at the Tyrone High School Athletic Office from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The price of tickets is $4.00 per ticket prior to the game and $6.00 at the gate.