Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli named Tribune-Review Westmoreland County Player of the Year

Saturday, December 25, 2021 | 9:52 PM

Before the start of the WPIAL playoffs, Penn-Trafford equipment manager Frank Wall made a casual comment about Cade Yacamelli.

“He’s going to carry us to the title,” Wall said.

Wall’s prediction was spot on thanks to the senior running back/safety.

He was not the only reason the Warriors won their first WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A titles, but his play was at the top of the list.

Penn-Trafford found ways to win in the playoffs, and Yacamelli was at the head of the pack. The Warriors defeated Fox Chapel (42-14), Pine-Richland (24-6), Moon (24-21), Exeter Township (49-14) and Imhotep Charter (17-14).

“He took over games when we needed him,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “He scored early against Fox Chapel. He dominated the second half against Pine-Richland, and he had the big plays against Moon.

“In the state playoffs, he had the big run against Exeter Township, and against Imhotep Charter, he came up with big plays. We asked him to do a lot on defense: play coverage, play in the box or blitz. He did everything with extreme confidence.”

Because of his outstanding play, the Wisconsin commit is the Westmoreland County Player of the Year.

He edged out Belle Vernon senior Devin Whitlock.

Yacamelli rushed for 1,866 yards and 24 touchdowns. He led the team in receiving with 21 catches for 351 yards and five touchdowns.

He and quarterback Carter Green formed a solid one-two running punch. Green rushed for 1,155 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“He was just a complete player,” Ruane said. “He was a leader, and he was humble. I was impressed how he handled himself with all the interviews during the season.

“People only see the player. We as coaches see what the fans don’t see. He’s a competitor and a great person.”

It was Yacamelli’s leadership early in the season after the Warriors had lost consecutive games that helped turn the season around. He showed confidence that he and his teammates would get back on track.

The Warriors won their final 11 games to finish 13-2.

“I couldn’t sleep,” Yacamelli said. “I knew we were better than we were playing.”

Penn-Trafford finished the regular season strong and then throughout the playoffs, Yacamelli showed why Wisconsin wanted him.

He savored the underdog roll and used it as motivation.

“That was OK. No one thought we could win, and we proved them wrong,” Yacamelli said.

“Maybe people will give respect now.”

Yacamelli was an unselfish player, always lauding his teammates for their blocking.

“We had chemistry,” Yacamelli said. “We had character and bonding. Coach Ruane said this was the tightest group he’s ever coached.

“I loved my teammates, and I loved being the underdog. There are heroes on this team that don’t get talked about.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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