Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin’s Vogel commits to IUP football

Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 5:39 PM

Norwin’s Noah Vogel had his top schools all lined up and was about to make a decision on his football future when a new opportunity came in.

An opportunity he could not refuse.

IUP had been interested in Vogel since his junior year but increased its financial offer only a few days before national signing day, and Vogel accepted.

The kid they call “Gingy,” “Bear” and “Voges” is now a Crimson Hawk.

“They came to see me in school and said to have a strong offseason and we’ll see you in a year,” Vogel said about how he left it with the IUP coaches. “I visited when they wanted me to walk on. Then I just had a great meeting (Thursday) with the coach and, a night later, they gave me an athletic scholarship.”

Vogel, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound tight end and defensive end who had his senior season cut short because of a knee injury — he still earned team MVP and made first-team all-conference for defense — had several other offers.

One offer was from Division I Marist, while others were from Division II programs including Cal (Pa.), West Virginia Wesleyan, Frostburg State, Wheeling, Bluefield State, West Liberty and Clarion.

Vogel had 37 tackles, 12 for loss, and seven sacks in five games last season.

Tsourekis resigns

Sotiri Tsourekis resigned as boys soccer coach at Penn-Trafford after three seasons.

Tsourekis left to coach the girls team at Elizabeth Forward. He was 21-26-1 (17-19-1 in section) with two playoff appearances with the Warriors.

“I loved my time there,” Tsourekis said of Penn-Trafford. “I was happy to be part of the team’s history and will be rooting for the players I have left behind.”

Maine gets Mack

Amari Mark accepted a preferred walk-on offer to play at Division I Maine. A running back and receiver who also stood out at defensive back for Greensburg Central Catholic, Mack had 15 receptions for 285 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 239 yards.

Mack (6-0, 180) had two interceptions.

Caesar to Edinboro

Hempfield workhorse running back Gino Caesar signed with Edinboro, another PSAC program.

Caesar ran for 1,111 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and did not fumble.

He had a 215-yard, 39-carry game as a junior against Franklin Regional.

Caesar is expected to play running back for the Fighting Scots.

Burnett coaching

Jarrel Burnett, who played on Seton Hill’s first football team and used to live near Greensburg, has accepted the head football coaching job at Hanover High School, a PIAA Class 3A program just east of Gettysburg.

Burnett, who went to high school in Maryland, coached at Greensburg Central Catholic and Renaissance Christian Academy before he became a probation officer in his home state and worked on staffs at New Oxford and Southwestern high schools.

“While we don’t play in the WPIAL, my goal is to build my team to play with passion and effort like WPIAL teams do and compete at their level sooner than later,” Burnett said.

Hockey postseason

The PIHL playoffs are set to begin soon, and a few local teams have secured a postseason berth.

Latrobe (10-5-1) is playoff-bound in Class 2A, which takes eight teams.

In Class A, Greensburg Salem (13-4) and Kiski Area (12-3) have qualified. Defending champion Norwin (10-4-1) is looking to lock up one of the 12 spots in the classification.

Burrell (8-5-2) clinched in Division II.

More signees

Franklin Regional lineman Andrew Nesler made his verbal commitment to Kent State football as a preferred walk-on official. Nesler (6-2, 285) spent time at The Hill School, a prep school in Pottstown, before returning to Murrysville.

• Elijah Morgan-Washington, a senior at Greensburg Central Catholic, signed to play football at Division III Bethany. Morgan-Washington (6-2, 240) played tackle, center, defensive tackle and defensive end for the Centurions and made first-team all-conference at tackle.

Hempfield lineman Ethan Shaw signed with IUP. Shaw (6-4, 240), who had 12 tackles for loss last season, is expected to play on the defensive line for the Crimson Hawks.

• Another commit from Hempfield is Will Nelson, who signed with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Division III program in Troy, N.Y. Nelson (6-2, 255) is a two-way lineman.

• Ian Tuffs, a 6-3, 185-pound wide receiver from Hempfield, signed with Edinboro. Tuffs led Hempfield with 28 receptions for 523 yards and had 47 tackles and added two interceptions.

• Hempfield wide receiver/defensive back Tyson Gregory committed to Division III power Mount Union.

• Norwin linebacker Anthony Petrulo committed to Clarion.

• Clarion signed Jaisean Blackman (6-1, 265), a defensive lineman from Monessen.

• Kaleb Riggs (6-1, 250), a defensive tackle from Greensburg Salem, signed with Edinboro.

Yough soccer player Joe Obeldobel signed to play at Seton Hill. The senior finished with 58 career goals. He is an All-WPIAL midfielder.

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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