Westmoreland high school notebook: Transfer to prep school a tough decision for Franklin Regional lineman

Friday, July 15, 2022 | 12:15 PM

Andrew Nesler is on the move.

The rising senior football player is leaving Franklin Regional for The Hill School, a prep academy in Pottstown, about 70 miles east of Hershey.

Nesler, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound lineman, said the transfer is motivated by personal and family reasons.

He was a key player on defense last season and rotated in on offense.

The move is bittersweet, but one he feels could be life-changing.

“I wish I wasn’t leaving,” he said. “I’ve been playing with those same dudes for my whole life. It is just some personal reasons. I’m not resentful towards FR football in any way, shape or form. Transferring gives me the ability to reclassify if my 2023 season ends fruitless.”

Nesler, known as “Rew” among his friends and teammates, hopes the prep-school route can lead him to a college program.

He said his parents are considering a move out of state.

“Prep school ensures I’m not leaving mid-school year,” he said. “It’s the right move for me. I need to put myself in an environment where I’m fully able to commit to football without any distractions. I only get one shot at this, and if I don’t give it my all, I will never forgive myself.

“It’s sad to leave behind my whole life. Everything I’ve known has been within the confines of the Murrysville bubble. I feel in a way I’m betraying my community, my friends and the people I love. I feel guilty for it, but this move is what’s best for me and my future, with new competition and new connections I hope to market myself to bigger and better things.

“I hope that Murrysville will still accept me for who I am and support me through this decision.”

Nesler made headlines in May for his “DefenseForDefense” fundraiser for disabled military veterans.

Thrower camp

Norwin, Yough, Burrell and Valley are among the local schools sending athletes to the inaugural Willie Thrower Foundation Invitational Quarterback Camp on Saturday at Valley Memorial Stadium in New Kensington.

The event, organized by Serra Catholic coach Jose Regus and the Black Coaches Association, begins at 10 a.m.

Past WPIAL quarterbacks and current coaches will work the one-day camp.

Big-game Blair 

Latrobe rising senior basketball standout Emma Blair, the reigning Tribune-Review Westmoreland Player of the Year, is having a big AAU summer with the Western PA Bruins 2022 U17 team.

Blair, who has a Division I offer from USC Upstate, recently displayed her double-double propensity. She scored 27 points and grabbed 24 rebounds — in front of a number of D-I coaches — as the Bruins took on West Coast Elite (Calif.).

Her teammate, both at Latrobe and with the Bruins, Camille Domenick, also is garnering college attention for her defense and unselfish play. Pitt-Johnstown offered her a scholarship this week.

Jeannette alumni game

Jeannette deemed its first soccer alumni/parent game a success after more than 30 former players took part in the event Sunday at McKee Stadium.

The Blue (Deyton) Team held off Red (Steele), 5-4, in the well-attended game made possible by the booster club.

Current players received their varsity letters at halftime.


A pair of rising Norwin senior football players have Division III college interest.

Westminster offered a roster spot to wide receiver/defensive back Anthony Pirillo, and his teammate, running back/linebacker Christian Beck, has an opportunity to play at Misericordia in Dallas, Pa.

Mt. Pleasant senior Jeremiah Kitz signed to play baseball at Penn State Fayette.

Hempfield rising senior quarterback Jake Phillips has an opportunity to play at Saint Vincent.

• Nate Dlugos, a 2023 receiver and defensive back at Greensburg Central Catholic, was offered by Oberlin.

• Waynesburg offered football roster spots to Greensburg Central Catholic’s Ryan Kimmel and Hempfield’s Ian Tuffs, Anthony Vallano and Eli Binakonsky. All are seniors.

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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