Westmoreland notebook: Derry’s DeLuca picks Merychurst for football

By: HSSN Staff
Sunday, January 27, 2019 | 7:24 PM


Dom DeLuca is one of the top multisport athletes in the state, so the Derry senior had plenty of options when it came to college recruiting.

He is an all-state linebacker in football, a state championship-caliber wrestler and you could do a lot worse as far as volleyball front-liners go.

Decision time came this weekend and with it, the revelation that football is the game he admires most.

“At the beginning of this year, I really knew I wanted to play football (in college),” DeLuca said. “I love everything about it.”

And Mercyhurst loved everything about DeLuca’s physical, throwback approach to the game, which is why he gave the program a verbal commitment.

He announced his decision Sunday morning. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound DeLuca also had offers from Towson, Robert Morris, Lake Erie, Cal (Pa.) and Lock Haven.

His wrestling offers were from Bucknell and VMI.

He was recruited as a linebacker but said he could move to defensive end in the future.

“I felt at home there,” he said of Mercyhurst. “I had a couple more visits set up, but I knew in my heart that it felt right. Academically, it’s an amazing school.”

A day after getting a verbal commitment from Yough standout running back Dustin Shoaf, the Lakers landed another one of Westmoreland County’s top players.

Shoaf led the WPIAL in rushing the past two regular seasons and finished with more than 5,000 yards.

DeLuca and Shoaf had been conversing lately because they had interest from similar schools.

Mercyhurst freshman tight end Jason Armstrong, a Latrobe graduate, hosted DeLuca and Shoaf when they visited the campus.

DeLuca, though, said he ultimately owned his decision.

“No, they didn’t really sway me,” he said. “(Shoaf) texted me after I told him, and he was excited to be teammates and possibly roommates. Jason told me to go where I feel right at. He’s an amazing guy and football player.”

DeLuca also played H-back and tight end for Derry, which reached the WPIAL Class 3A championship game last season.

The Division II signing period starts Feb. 6.

Rosso on the rise

Penn-Trafford senior football player Niko Rosso is seeing increased interest from Division II schools as signing day nears.

IUP and Edinboro this weekend offered a scholarship to Rosso, a 6-1, 195-pound linebacker and tight end. Rosso had 93 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and forced two fumbles last season for the Warriors.

Marabito hired

IUP congratulated via Twitter one of its former baseball assistants for landing his first high school head coaching job.

Brett Marabito, a former Laurel Valley and Pitt-Johnstown baseball standout, is the new baseball coach at Ligonier Valley. A special education teacher at Ligonier Valley, Marabito also has coached baseball and football at United High School.

The Seward native graduated from Laurel Valley in 2010.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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