Westmoreland County high school notebook: Norwin senior wowed by Donald at workout

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Saturday, July 9, 2022 | 10:01 AM


Noah Vogel went to Pitt for what initially looked like an unremarkable football workout. Another day in the blazing summer heat.

But his day ended up becoming quite remarkable.

Vogel, a senior tight end and defensive end at Norwin, received one-on-one instruction from Pitt great and Super Bowl champion Aaron Donald on June 28.

Already a fan of Donald’s game, Vogel is now a fan of his technique and work ethic, too.

“His attention to detail is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed in person,” Vogel said. “Within minutes of working out, I could see he is a perfectionist in every move he does. Everything is based on feeling, if something feels good or off.”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Vogel has trained with Al “Poodie” Carson of Israeli Krav Maga Western Pennsylvania for about two years. Carson has worked with Donald and was able to set up the hour-plus workout for Vogel with the star Los Angeles Rams defensive end.

“He works with amazing players like NFL free agent Niles Scott and (Kent State’s) Antoine Cook. He teaches (Donald) different hand techniques,” Vogel said. “After training with Pitt defensive linemen for a couple weeks, he called me and asked if I wanted to go to Pitt and work out with Niles and AD.”

Vogel had to make sure he was doing drills correctly and through to a finish and not getting captivated by Donald, a former Penn Hills star.

“I was able to listen and watch him do certain techniques like his famous cross-chop move, which I was using a week later with some of the Pitt guys,” Vogel said.

Norwin opponents might see Vogel swipe away an arm or two as he pursues ball carriers this season. Donald is known for his quickness and swift swipes.

The workout with Donald wasn’t all technique for Vogel, though. He was enthralled by Donald’s pursuit of perfection.

“He definitely showed to lead by example is often louder then words will ever be,” Vogel said. “He also really demonstrated that being coachable will make you an even better player than your talent.

“As great of a player he is, he was still learning and being coached on an arm drag move by coach Poodie.”

Another offer for Gribble

Greensburg Central Catholic rising freshman basketball player Erica Gribble now has two Division I scholarship offers.

Gribble, who was offered by Saint Joseph’s last fall, picked up an offer last week from Buffalo.

Gribble, who is from North Huntingdon, is a 5-foot-8 point guard who can shoot 3-pointers and handle the basketball.

Her oldest sister, Alayna, played at Pitt and Saint Joseph’s, and Olivia, the middle sister in the family, plays at Marietta.

1-2 punch

The recruiting website PrepRedzone.com lists a pair of Westmoreland County players as its top two athletes for the 2024 football class in Pennsylvania.

Junior Quinton Martin, a running back/defensive back at Belle Vernon, is No. 1 in the state, while Norwin junior Jackson Pons, a wide receiver and defensive back, checks in at No. 2.

Overall, Omillio Agard of St. Joseph’s Prep is No. 1, Martin is No. 2, Tyseer Denmark of Roman Catholic No. 3, Peter Jones of Malvern Prep No. 4 and Cooper Cousins No. 5 in Pennsylvania for ‘24. Pons is No. 22 overall.

Rosensteel Classic

The inaugural Moe Rosensteel Memorial Kickoff Classic soccer event is set for Sept. 3 at Norwin.

The classic, named for the late Katelyn “Moe” Rosensteel, a standout player at Ringgold who was killed in June 2020 by a lightning strike at Mammoth Park, will feature three girls games. Matchups are Ringgold vs. Hermitage at noon, Thomas Jefferson vs. Franklin Regional at 1:30 p.m. and Norwin vs. Latrobe at 3 p.m.

Money raised from the event will go toward the Rosensteel Scholarship, given annually to a standout senior player.

On tap

Hempfield rising senior Liz Tapper, a WPIAL, PIAA and national champion in the discus and a district and state champion in the shot put, now has three Division I offers after getting an official invite to Wake Forest. The other offers are from Penn State and Duke.

Tapper plans to make official visits to Duke, Michigan and Penn State before the summer ends and hopes to announce her decision in the fall.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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