BETHANY - Steubenville Catholic Central graduate Brannt Pieniazek feels blessed to be a part of Sunday's 2012 Rudy Mumley Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Game. Playing in this game is not just something he dreamed of, but also a chance to follow a family path.
"It's a huge honor," said Pieniazek. "Ever since I started coming to these games it's been my goal to get here.
"Ever since I started high school I looked at this game and basically it's like a dream come true almost. Also, my uncle played in this game, so it's like I'm following in his footsteps."
Now that he's ready to the play in the 7:15 p.m. game at Wheeling Island Stadium, the 5-foot-11, 168-pound receiver looks to help the Ohio squad put an end to West Virginia's two-game win streak.
"It's going to be huge," said Pieniazek. "Everyone on this team is real competitive. You can tell just by our practices.
"We do a lot of one-on-one stuff and everyone battles so we're going to go out there wanting to win. If we can get the win it will be huge."
Known for making big plays as a receiver, Pieniazek accounted for 39 receptions, 786 yards, and 10 touchdowns during his senior campaign. He is excited to see what he can do with the pair of quarterback the Buckeyes have on their roster.
"They're both good quarterbacks," said Pieniazek. "(Indian Creek's) Dave (Kemp) is like a gunslinger. He throws the ball pretty hard, but he's accurate.
"(Bridgeport's) Cole (Smelley) is accurate, too, so I've had a lot of fun working with both of them."
Despite his reputation for making big plays, Pieniazek would be happy to take a secondary role as long as it helped his team bring home a victory.
"Whatever I can do to help the team win I'll do," said Pieniazek. "It will be huge for myself to go out and have a big game, but I'm just going to go out there and do what I can to help us get a win."
The speedy wide receiver is also most excited to see what one of his talented defensive teammates can do.
"Sneak (William Houst), the defensive end from Big Red," said Pieniazek. "He's a freak on defense. West Virginia's probably going to have a pretty tough time trying to block him."
Pieniazek, who earned first-team honors on the district, county and conference levels, is headed to Slippery Rock University in the fall where he plans to walk on to the football team in the spring.
"It will be a big transition because they're D-2 and they're pretty good, but I've been training all summer so I think I'll be up for it," he said. "Whatever they bring at me I think I'll be ready for."