Peters Township’s Casilli ready to build on breakout ’18 season
Monday, July 1, 2019 | 6:52 PM
The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 23 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.
Whether he is torching opposing defenses with his hands and deceptive speed, or he’s acing another test in the classroom, the arrow is pointing up for Peters Township’s Josh Casilli.
The 6-foot, 180-pound rising senior is a wide receiver and strong safety.
“Josh is the ultimate competitor and teammate,” coach T.J. Plack said. “Yes, he is naturally gifted, but he works so hard at every workout and practice. He competes when no one else is watching. That is what separates him from the rest.”
Casilli, who has a 4.6 GPA, averaged better than 18 yards per catch with 47 receptions for 877 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018.
“I believe my speed and my ability after the catch are my strengths,” said Casilli, who turned many short passes into long gains.
Casilli believes he needs to improve his route running and blocking ability on offense but is excited to start working on those things at camp next month.
“Football is starting to ramp up in the summer, and it just makes the anticipation that much higher,” he said.
There is excitement for Casilli and his Indians teammates after a breakout 2018 season in which Peters Township was co-champion with West Allegheny in the Class 5A Allegheny Eight Conference. The Indians finished 10-3 overall and reached the district semifinals before losing to eventual champion Penn Hills, 22-14.
“We have a different team, and we are no longer seen as an underdog, so we have to prove ourselves,” Casilli said. “There is no way to tell how we are going to be until we put the pads on.”
The one aspect of having a successful season is the excitement generated all throughout the Peters Township community.
“We get a great turnout for our games, and the adrenaline that Friday night brings us is something special,” Casilli said.
While the expectations for Peters Township have grown, so, too, have the hopes for the team’s talented receiver and defensive back.
“We expect Josh to perform at a high level,” Plack said. “He does a lot of things for us in every aspect of the game. When the ball is in his hands, he always has an opportunity to make a big play.”
School: Peters Township
Division I offers: Air Force, UMass, Penn, Dartmouth, William & Mary, Lehigh, Lafayette, Youngstown State, Duquesne, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, Cornell, Holy Cross, Fordham, Columbia, Maine
2018 statistics: 47 receptions, 877 receiving yards, 51 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns
Trib HSSN Preseason All-Stars
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.
Tags: Peters Township