Westmoreland football players make it official on signing day

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 | 7:26 PM

It’s been quite a few days for Cade Yacamelli.

First he and his Penn-Trafford teammates celebrating their first PIAA football title, then came the welcome Saturday by the community, all the congratulations they received from their classmates and teachers Monday and Tuesday and being the guest of honor along with the other captains at the school’s Christmas function Wednesday, where they posed for pictures and signed autographs.

That wasn’t the only time he was signing something Wednesday.

The Penn-Trafford senior officially became a Wisconsin Badger on Wednesday morning when he signed his letter of intent.

“It’s been a crazy week,” Yacamelli said. “It’s been weird driving home instead of going to football practice. It’s official: I’m a Badger.”

Yacamelli said the weight was lifted off his shoulders when he committed to Wisconsin on June 21.

That allowed him to help carry the Warriors to their historic season that ended with the school’s first WPIAL and PIAA football titles.

Yacamelli rushed for 1,866 yards and 24 touchdowns. He caught 21 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns.

He said back in June what he liked the most about Wisconsin were the people. He can’t wait to be on the field for the first game when they play “Jump Around” between the third and fourth quarters.

Yacamelli said when the team returned home from Hershey on Saturday, he couldn’t believe what it met.

“I think every fire department in the (Westmoreland) county was there,” he said. “People were coming out of their houses and waving to us. I felt like I was a Steeler. It was unbelievable.”

Yacamelli wasn’t the only county football player to sign on Day 1 of the early signing period.

Hempfield senior Daniel Sierk signed with Bucknell, Greensburg Central Catholic senior Joe Blahovec with Youngstown State and Latrobe grad Trent Holler signed with Marshall. He played the past two seasons at East Carolina.

Sierk was a two-time WPIAL Class 6A second-team defensive end. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder said Bucknell will bulk him up and move him to defensive tackle.

“I like the academics and engineering program at Bucknell,” Sierk said. “I like the campus, the players and the coaches. The coaches have a great philosophy and are energetic.”

Blahovec played wide receiver for the Centurions. He committed to Youngstown State in July.

The 6-2, 190-pound senior also played linebacker and will play safety for the Penguins.

Blahovec said Youngtown State felt like home: “The coaches treated me and my family great.”

He was a second-team all-conference safety in the Class A Eastern Conference.

Blahovec caught 15 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown.

Holler has been recruited as an offensive lineman by Marshall.

He was a Tribune-Review Terrific 25 player his senior season.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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