Seneca Valley’s Kaltenberger focused on returning to WPIAL title game

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Friday, July 12, 2019 | 4:25 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.

Josh Kaltenberger didn’t feel the need to wait.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound rising senior at Seneca Valley and the anchor of the Raiders offensive line at center gave a verbal commitment to Power 5 conference member Purdue on June 14, just three days after receiving an offer from the Boilermakers.

Kaltenberger impressed the Purdue coaches at their camp with his mix of quickness, technique and strength, and that positive impression, he said, quickly was reciprocated.

“From the schools that had offered me and those that had shown interest but had not offered me, I knew that if Purdue offered, I would be going there,” he said. “They were easily my No. 1 choice. I prayed about it, talked to my family about it, and I was confident, from knowing the coaches, the campus, the program and the quality of academics, I was making the best choice and fit for me.”

Kaltenberger also generated scholarship offers from Mid-American Conference schools such as Kent State, Buffalo, Toledo, Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio)

Kaltenberger said having his college decision behind him gives him increased focus in helping Seneca Valley return to the WPIAL Class 6A title game after falling short of the championship in 2018.

“It’s nice to know that my future is taken care of, so it’s not a distraction during the season,” he said. “I can just worry about the team and my teammates and our goals. We want to get to the championship game at Heinz.”

Kaltenberger broke out as a junior. As the anchor along the offensive line, he helped the Raiders produce strong numbers in a 7-3 regular season before a come-from-behind playoff win over Central Catholic and a semifinal triumph over rival North Allegheny propelled the team to the WPIAL final.

The playoff wins over the Vikings and Tigers avenged regular-season losses.

“Those two games were probably the most favorite ones of my whole life,” Kaltenberger said.

Kaltenberger earned second-team all-conference honors. He found himself in strong company on the all-star lists as Pine-Richland graduate and Duquesne commit Mike Dorundo was tabbed the first-team center.

“Josh understands he’s one of the leaders not only of the line but of the entire offense,” Seneca Valley coach Ron Butschle said. “He’s making great progress, and we expect that from him. He’s physically matured, and he has the gifts to dominate at his position. His increased understanding of our offense and its concepts has made him a better player overall.”

Kaltenberger is ranked as Pennsylvania’s 15th-best prospect in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports. He is rated sixth best in the WPIAL.

Nationally, he’s ranked 22nd among centers.

“This offseason, it’s been about getting stronger in the weight room,” Kaltenberger said. “Being on the field more, it’s just working on technique, leverage, hand placement and all the little stuff that makes somebody a great player. It comes down to just getting better day by day until the start of preseason camp.”

Seneca Valley again will face McDowell in a Week Zero matchup Aug. 23 before its home opener against Central Catholic a week later.

“Everybody’s really excited and ready to get back to playing on Friday nights,” Kaltenberger said. “We’ve put in a lot of good work in the offseason, and we hope it will pay off. Our expectations are to not only get to Heinz Field but to win it. There’s nothing I want more than to end my senior season with a ring.”

Josh Kaltenberger file

School: Seneca Valley

Class: Senior

Ht/wt: 6-5/285

Position: Center

Stars: Three

Committed to: Purdue

Division I offers: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Toledo

Trib HSSN Preseason All-Stars

A.J. Beatty, Central Catholic

Fintan Brose, Hempfield

Tui Brown, Gateway

Michael Carmody, Mars

Josh Casilli, Peters Township

Johnny Crise, Highlands

Derrick Davis, Gateway

Daniel Deabner, Thomas Jefferson

Deamontae Diggs, McKeesport

Dorien Ford, Baldwin

Aaron Gunn, Union

Dayon Hayes, Westinghouse

Nahki Johnson, West Mifflin

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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