Westmoreland H.S. notebook: GCC’s Joe Blahovec on the rise

Saturday, June 26, 2021 | 7:29 PM

Behind the scenes, Joe Blahovec could be carving out a path to a Division I football career.

The incoming senior at Greensburg Central Catholic has been raiding prospect camps as the summer forges ahead toward a new season, and recently he caught the eye of an FCS program that recruits the WPIAL heavily.

Youngstown State made a scholarship offer to Blahovec, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back.

Blahovec said he met some YSU coaches at the Pitt camp about two weeks ago, and they invited him to their camp after his strong performance.

The YSU camp was Wednesday. The Penguins offered Thursday, letting him know they like his skills as a safety.

“I spoke with coach Joe Schaefer, their defensive coordinator, after the camp and the next day,” Blahovec said. “Later that evening, he called and made me the offer. I had a great workout and interaction with the coaches and some of their players, so I was not surprised that I got the offer but I was surprised that it came that quick.”

Blahovec caught 21 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Centurions. He also had three interceptions and returned kickoffs.

Blahovec also attended a camp at Temple and is considering camps at Cornell, Richmond and Lehigh.

Spadaro offered

Southmoreland rising senior Gracie Spadaro has her first Division II scholarship offer, and it is local.

The 5-foot-10 forward, who was the Trib Westmoreland’s Player of the Year as a sophomore, picked up an offer from Seton Hill.

Spadaro averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals this past season as the Scotties made another run to the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.

Volleyball nationals

The Westmoreland Elite 17 Black volleyball team qualified for the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Tournament, which was set to begin Saturday in Las Vegas.

The team, coached by Greg Lockley, consists of: Sydney Andrews (Penn-Trafford), Rebecca Hess (Greensburg Central Catholic), Julia Kubera (Franklin Regional), Anna Novak (Burrell), Isabella Panasko (Charleroi), Samaree Perkins (Obama Academy), Haley Stormer (Ligonier Valley), Grace Thompson (Plum), Maura White (Elizabeth Forward), Deanna Perry (Franklin Regional) and Gianna Zamperini (Connellsville).

Another local player, Ella Evans (Franklin Regional) also qualified for nationals with team Renaissance 17 Black.

Local ties

A high school golfer with local ties is a state champion in Colorado.

Katie Lehigh, a junior who plays for Loveland, won Class 5A individual and team titles at City Park Golf Course in Denver.

Lehigh is the cousin of former Franklin Regional basketball player Johnny O’Toole, now at Penn State Behrend.

Lauren Lehigh, Katie’s sister, won the same title in 2019. She is a sophomore at New Mexico and finished second in the Mountain West Conference this season.

The Lehigh girls have family throughout the Pittsburgh area.

WCCA events

The Westmoreland County Coaches Association is getting set for a full slate of events for the summer, fall and winter.

The 7-on-7 football championship will be 9 a.m. July 15 at Latrobe.

After that, the plan is to have the boys golf championship Sept. 10 at Latrobe Elks, the cross country championships Oct. 13 at Westmoreland County Community College, boys basketball shootout Dec. 18 at Hempfield and Jeannette, wrestling championships Jan. 7-8, 2022 (location to be determined) and swimming and diving championships Jan. 28-29 at Derry.

The girls golf tournament has not been set.


Greensburg Central Catholic senior lineman Cole Spivak will continue his football career at Division III Carleton in Northfield, Minn. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Spivak is a two-way tackle for the Centurions.

• Former Jeannette football player Brett Birch, now at Gateway, picked up an offer from Slippery Rock. Another former Jayhawk, Louis Callaway, now at Woodland Hills, has an offer from Bluefield State.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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