Malecki injured at Big 33

One of the top defensive players to sign with the Panthers phenomenal football recruiting class of 2006 was rugged defensive tackle John Malecki. He was one of six future Panthers chosen to play in the prestigious PNC Big 33 Football Classic. Malecki recently injured his shoulder in practice and appears out for the game. The spoke with him about his injury.

"I was playing offense and going one on one with Jared Odrick. He's as intense as me and he made a move and my arm got caught under his," stated John Malecki. "I could immediately feel pain in my left shoulder. It's the same shoulder I just had surgery on."

The PNC Big 33 football classic is considered one of the top scholastic All-Star games in the nation highlighting Pennsylvania and Ohio's top football players. The classic has been described as the "Super Bowl of High School Football".

"I'm getting my shoulder checked in the morning. They believe that I may have simply hyper-extended it. That would require nothing more than two weeks of therapy. It doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it did the first time I injured it. I feel pretty good right now. Dealing with another twelve weeks of therapy would drive me insane. I'm glad it's not that serious this time."

Malecki joined future Pitt Panthers Dorin Dickerson (WR) from West Allegheny High School in Imperial, PA, Nate Nix (LB) from Thomas Jefferson High School in Clairton, PA, Greg Webster (LB) from Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, PA, Nate Byham (TE) from Franklin Area High School in Franklin, PA and Aaron Smith (WR/KR) from Gateway High School in Monroeville, PA participating in the Big 33.

"I'm frustrated right now. I thought this would be a great end to my high school career and it just camp to an abrupt end. I guess I could have attempted to play with my shoulder but everyone told me not to risk it. I guess you could say I'm an "asset" to the Panthers now. The only thing I can do it let it heal and prepare for my freshman season at Pitt."

Publishers Note: John Malecki is an outstanding football player and person. He personifies the intensity and toughness Head Coach Dave Wannstedt is looking for in every recruit. The staff at the would like to wish him a speedy recovery and long and successful collegiate career.

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

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