High school notebook: Derry’s DeLuca picks up another Division I offer
Dom DeLuca knows the farther he can help guide Derry into the WPIAL football playoffs, the better his chances are to get college exposure.
Of course, that is not something DeLuca would admit being the team-first senior leader he is for the Trojans.
He wants to see Derry win its first WPIAL title.
But schools are noticing the player whom Trojans coach Tim Sweeney refers to as the top defensive player around.
“If there is a better one in the WPIAL, I’d like to see him,” Sweeney said.
DeLuca reeled in his second Division I offer, this one a little closer home, as Robert Morris reached out to the 6-foot-5, 230-pound H-back/tight end/linebacker.
His other offer is from Towson.
Derry (10-1) advanced to the WPIAL 3A semifinals with a 46-0 win over Central Valley on Friday.
Several Westmoreland teams will get rematches in the next round of the WPIAL playoffs. Game sites have not been determined.
Derry gets North Catholic (10-1) in the Class 3A semifinals, and Franklin Regional (7-3) takes on Gateway (11-0) in the 5A quarterfinals and Jeannette (11-0) faces Rochester (10-1) in the Class A semifinals.
Derry and North Catholic shared the Big East title, but Derry blanked North Catholic, 27-0, in Week 4.
Gateway trounced Franklin Regional, 63-3, during Big East play.
And Jeannette has beaten Rochester in the playoffs the last two years: 30-26 in last year’s quarterfinals at Peters Township, and 30-20 in the 2016 semifinals. The Jayhawks had to rally late to win both.
Norwin junior softball player Carly Cook committed to Cal (Pa.). A second baseman, Cook hit .340 with 12 RBIs last season for the Knights.
• Penn-Trafford senior baseball player Dom Costellic committed to La Roche. He is an outfielder and pitcher for the Warriors.
Lake Erie effect
A number of WPIAL football players, including DeLuca, have received scholarship offers from Division II Lake Erie.
Yough running back Dustin Shoaf and Greensburg Central Catholic lineman Matt Hogan are also being pursued by the Storm.
When a school seems to come out of nowhere to recruit a region, a coach usually has connections to the area. That is the case with Lake Erie. New assistant Jimmy Moore played at Gateway.
The Big 5/6 Conference announced all-section teams for girls volleyball in the WPIAL’s largest class.
Area players to make the first team from Section 3-4A are: senior Madelyn Beasley and junior Mekayla Dedo of Hempfield; senior Rachel Langsdorf and junior Tori Nicholes of Norwin; seniors Beth Havrilla and Carly Augustine of Latrobe; and senior Stephanie O’Donnell of Penn-Trafford.
The section coach of the year is Drew Vosewfski of Latrobe.
It won’t be long before the winter sports season arrives around the WPIAL. The first practice date for basketball, wrestling, swimming, gymnastics and rifle is Nov. 16.
Teams can begin playing games, meets and matches on Dec. 7.
“We looked flat. If the kids want to have a pizza party and turn in uniforms on Monday ... they play like that, they’re going to.” -- Jeannette coach Roy Hall after Friday’s 18-14 quarterfinal playoff win over Monessen.