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Event Spotlight:
Pappas, Morris Highlight KiXX' All-Stars
Five Total KiXX Named to Team, with Pappas and Morris Voted to be Starters

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia KiXX Correspondent

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced its 2002 All-Star teams Wednesday and five Philadelphia KiXX players-goaltender Peter Pappas, defender Pat Morris, midfielder Gary DePalma and forwards Joel Shanker and Chris Handsor-earned spots on the roster.

Pappas and Morris will be two of the five starters on the East roster, while Shanker, DePalma and Handsor will serve as three of the 11 reserves for the game that will be held on February 17 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Pappas, who will be making his fifth All-Star appearance, has been one of the best goaltenders in the MISL this season. He has recorded 11 wins and an 11.46 points-against average. Last season, he was named Goalkeeper of the Year and has continued his solid play this season.

"It is an honor to be voted on to the MISL All-Star team," Pappas said. "There are a number of great players in this league, and to be considered one of the best for this season means a lot to me."

Pappas was at the Philadelphia Flyers practice facility earlier on Wednesday where he exchanged bobblehead dolls with Jeremy Roenick. Pappas will be honored with a bobblehead doll on Saturday night when the KiXX face the Milwaukee Wave at the First Union Spectrum at 7:05 p.m. The first 5,000 children 14 and under will receive the limited edition doll.

"This has been quite a day for me," Pappas said. "First, I get to meet Jeremy Roenick and then I get voted to the All-Star Team."

Morris was the second-leading vote getter among defenders for the East and will be making his first All-Star appearance. He has 14 total goals and eight assists this season for a total of 40 points. He is one of the best defenders on the KiXX and having grown up in Philadelphia this honor means a great deal to Morris.

"I relish the opportunity to represent the city I grew up in," said Morris, who attended Northeast Catholic High School. "And to be named a starter means that much more."

Despite not making the roster as starters, Shanker, DePalma and Handsor have all put together stellar seasons thus far. Handsor leads the KiXX in points with 58 and two-point goals with 20. He also ranks sixth in the league in scoring and will be making his third All-Star Game appearance.

Shanker, a first-time All-Star, is second on the KiXX with 45 points. He has tallied two three-point goals, 15 two-point goals and nine assists, while DePalma, also a first-time All-Star, has played in a team-high 20 games, recording 17 total goals and three assists for 38 points.

The 2002 MISL All-Star Game, which will be the marquee event of the League's three-day All-Star Weekend, will feature an East Squad comprised of players from the Baltimore Blast, Harrisburg Heat, and Kixx as well as a West Squad consisting of players from the Cleveland Crunch, Kansas City Comets, and Milwaukee Wave.

The remainder of the East starters will be two-time Defender of the Year Sean Bowers of the Blast, three-time All-Star David Bascome of the Heat and Denison Cabral and Paul Wright of the Blast.

Baltimore's Scott Hileman will join Pappas in goal for the East Squad. Harrisburg's Nick Corneli and Chris Morman and Baltimore's nine-year veteran Lance Johnson round out the East roster.

The starting six for the West will be goalkeeper Victor Nogueira, defenders Lovelace Ackah and Troy Dusosky and forward Joe Reiniger of the Wave, Hector Marinaro of Cleveland and Dino Delevski of Kansas City.

The head coaches for both teams will be announced via teleconference on Tuesday, January 29 and will be determined by the won-lost percentage of MISL teams through play on Saturday, January 26.

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.