Quaker Valley wide receiver Jakub Pickett recognized for strong senior season

By:
Sunday, January 15, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Quaker Valley senior Jakub Pickett has made a name for himself on the football field.

Opposing coaches and players have noticed.

Pickett, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver/defensive back, repeated as a first-team all-conference selection on offense this year.

“Jakub has many strengths as a football player,” QV coach Jason Cappa said. “He has the intangibles that make him a great leader, teammate and player on any team. On the field, he has great football IQ and is always ready for the next play. As a receiver, he has very good speed, great hands and is aggressive going after the football.

“Jakub has a positive attitude in any situation and has a personality that makes everyone like him. He is always looking for ways to affect other people around him.”

QV quarterback Troy Kozar passed for 725 yards during the 2022 season, and Pickett accounted for most of the team’s receiving yardage. Pickett caught 27 passes for 490 yards (18.1 yards per reception).

“Jakub was my go-to receiver, for sure,” said Kozar, a senior. “I had a ton of confidence when passing to him. Outside of football, we are really tight, so we bond well already, and football was the same way.

“We would go to the field to get in extra work, and we worked on in-game scenarios to get used to making plays.”

A four-year starter, Pickett led the Quakers in receiving both as a junior and senior and was a starter in the defensive secondary both years.

During his senior season, the athletic wideout caught five passes for a school-record 163 yards and two touchdowns on Sept. 16 in his team’s 40-22 conference win against Seton LaSalle.

“Jakub put in a lot of work in the offseason in preparation for his senior year,” Cappa said. “Outside of Quaker Valley football workouts, he was also working with a receivers coach and a speed trainer. So, when Jakub broke the single-game receiving record, I was not surprised at all.”

Pickett is planning to continue his education and play college football and has received interest from multiple schools. He is being recruited by the likes of Cal (Pa.), Clarion and Edinboro at the Division II level, along with Division III schools Washington & Jefferson, Westminster and others.

“Jakub has been doing a great job researching schools that will not only be a great fit on the football field but match his educational interests,” Cappa said. “Whichever school is lucky enough to sign him, they are going to get a student-athlete that will far exceed their expectations of a football player, student and wonderful person.

“Jakub will undoubtedly be successful wherever he chooses to continue his academic and athletic career.”

The 6-1, 180-pound Kozar received honorable mention consideration for the Trib HSSN Football Player of the Week honor with his performance against Seton LaSalle. He completed 12 of 23 passes for 237 yards and TD passes of 5, 50 and 35 yards, the last two to Pickett. He also scored on runs of 50 and 2 yards.

Kozar currently is a starting guard on the Quaker Valley boys basketball team, the defending WPIAL Class 4A champion. Kozar and junior guard Joseph Coyle led QV to a 59-55 section win Jan. 6 against West Mifflin with a pair of 18-point performances.

“For having a very young and inexperienced team, I think we’re doing well creating good team chemistry,” Kozar said. “It always takes time when you’re not used to playing much in varsity since it’s such a different level, so we are adjusting quickly to work out the kinks.

“We’ve started the year off pretty strong and we are only looking to improve.”

The Quakers are aiming to successfully defend their WPIAL title on the hardwood this season.

“We really have set some high expectations for ourselves,” Kozar said. “Our goals are to make the playoffs and compete at a high level all season and contend for the WPIAL title. We also have plans to make the state playoffs. No matter the circumstances, we are just going to focus on playing well as a team and win games.

“Coach (Mike) Mastroianni instills a next-game-up approach for us and makes sure we never get too down on ourselves when things aren’t going our way. All in all, we’re very excited for the rest of the season.”

Three other all-conference players for the QV football team were senior running back Gavin Eshenbaugh, senior offensive lineman Abe Djedid and sophomore linebacker Dominic Cox-Giles. All three were honorable mention selections.

Tags:

More Football

Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford football to honor newest hall of fame class
Central Catholic QB Payton Wehner wins Willie Thrower Award
What to watch for in WPIAL sports on April 6, 2024: Top WPIAL QB to be honored with Willie Thrower Award
Vinnie Heller earns Thomas Jefferson’s prestigious Breisinger Award
Springdale hires Chad Walsh as football coach hoping he can change team’s fortunes