Westmoreland high school notebook: Jeannette football teammates change college plans
Jeannette's Gio Vonne Sanders and Kareem Hall originally planned to continue their football careers at the same prep school. They announced those intentions in February.
But both had a change of heart.
Instead of going to Palmetto Prep, a post-grad school in Columbia, S.C., they have other ideas.
Sanders and Hall will play in Friday's night's WCCA Foothills Football Classic all-star game at Norwin. In all likelihood, it will be Sanders' last football game.
Sanders is circling back to the sport many thought he would stick to in college, wrestling. He plans to accept a partial scholarship to wrestle at Pitt. He also had an offer from N.C. State for wrestling.
“I think it is a great decision on his part,” Jeannette football coach Roy Hall said. “I think he will make an excellent college wrestler.”
Kareem Hall is taking a preferred walk-on offer to play football at Bowling Green. The quick-cutting running back and defensive back likes the challenge of trying to make a Division I roster.
“It just wasn't the right thing,” Kareem Hall said of prep school. “It was too far from home, and I feel more comfortable going to Bowling Green. The coach was looking at me last season and said if I work hard I could earn a scholarship next year.”
The unique thing about Sanders is he did not wrestle last season as he sat out with a football concussion. But Pitt still wants him.
Sanders was the WPIAL runner-up at 152 pounds in 2016 and finished with 97 career wins.
Sanders and Hall were a potent tandem in football. Sanders passed for 1,570 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, and Hall rushed for 1,089 yards and 20 scores as Jeannette finished runner-up in WPIAL Class A for the second straight season.
One of the Foothills Classic's most talented players will have to miss the game. Norwin's Anthony DelleFemine, a standout wide receiver, had knee surgery this week to repair a torn meniscus and will rehab before he begins his playing at Robert Morris.
The Foothills kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday at Norwin, so it would have been a final home game for DelleFemine.
Stone leaving soon
Southmoreland 6-foot-11 basketball standout Brandon Stone is sticking to his plans to attend Christ School in Arden, N.C. He said he will head south in mid-August.
He will “reclassify,” meaning he will attend the prep school for two years and graduate in 2019, while hoping to strengthen his Division I scholarship offers.
He has offers from Duquesne, Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, Appalachian State, Youngstown State and Stony Brook. Increased competition, he believes, will make him more college-ready.
“I'm excited for the competition and playing against top players and teams every night,” Stone said.
Stone averaged 25.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, and blocked 2.5 shots last season.