On the practice field and the playing field, Allegheny football in the 2017 season has a family flair.
Three sets of brothers are wearing the Gators’ blue and gold: The Lees, the Antinozzis and the Ballas
Logan Lee is the Gators’ junior quarterback and is a three-year starter. He currently ranks in the top three in the North Coast Athletic Conference in passing yards, completions and touchdowns. He also has been busy helping to mentor his brother, Grayson, who is a first-year linebacker. The Lees come from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
“Playing alongside my brother has been an amazing experience,” says Grayson. “This is the first time in both our careers that we have been on the same team so it is fun being able to joke around with each other on and off the field. I am very excited for the remaining years we have together and am thankful that I have a brother like him to look up to and learn from.”
“Honestly, playing alongside my brother is a new feeling for me,” adds Logan. “We went to different high schools so outside of the backyard, we’ve never gotten to play on the same team. I’m looking forward to the remaining years we have playing together, and I’m very grateful that we get to share this part of our football journey together.”
Proud mom Sonja Lee says: “The fact that Logan and Grayson are playing on the same college team is even more rare for us, I think, for a couple of reasons. The first being they went to different high schools so they have never been able to play on the same football team. The second being we are nine hours from Allegheny so for both of them to choose Allegheny (being in completely different majors) is not all that likely, either. Now they make the nine-hour drive home together. So needless to say it is very significant to me. I am very grateful to Allegheny and Coach Hammer for working with us and making it happen. My favorite image so far this year has been seeing Grayson high-five Logan when Logan came off the field after scoring a touchdown. I couldn’t have been more proud of them.
“I remember right after Grayson committed he texted Logan asking him when he thought the locker rooms were going to be finished. Logan’s response was ‘OUR locker rooms will be finished by the end of spring break.’ Grayson and I both knew then that he made the right decision.”
The Antinozzi brothers are from Brookhaven, Georgia. Vito is a junior linebacker who has been injured during this season. He did not play his sophomore year, but saw plenty of action as a first-year gridder in 2015. Dominic Antinozzi is a first-year offensive lineman, lining up at left tackle.
“I really enjoy playing with Dominic,” says Vito. “He really is an awesome player to watch. This is the first time we have played together since 2008.”
“The last time I played football with my brother, the Under-13 Panthers lost every game, and I had a great time,” says Dominic. “Being able to play with Vito at the collegiate level at a program like Allegheny is an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it for the next two years.”
The Balla brothers come from New Kensington, Pennsylvania. Tyler Balla is a junior running back who has been a two-year starter. He currently ranks in the top three in the conference in rushes, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Chase Balla is a first-year defensive back and has seen significant playing time in all the games this season at both cornerback and as a kick returner.
“Playing with my brother is obviously a lot fun,” says Tyler. “To be able to watch him progress on and off the field is something pretty special.”
Get the latest on Allegheny football at alleghenygators.com.
Photo by Ed Mailliard. From left, the Antinozzis, the Lees and the Ballas.