West Allegheny won its second consecutive WPIAL title on Saturday night, a 16-6 win over Central Valley.
The Indians did it with a core of juniors that also played an integral role on last year's team, as sophomores.
West Allegheny's leading rusher is junior Chayse Dillon. He rushed for 59 yards and finished with 100 yards receiving on Saturday. Junior quarterback Andrew Koester has also been a two-year starter. Senior Tory Delmonico had the lone touchdown for his team, a 3-yard touchdown run.
Then there's leading tackler, junior Armand Dellovade. He finished with 11 solo stops in Saturday's win, and according to head coach Bob Palko, a true competitor in every sense.
"Whatever the game is, pick it, even if it's a board game," Palko said. "The first guy you want on your team is Armand. He plays to win, no matter what it is."
Winning another WPIAL title is easy and harder the second time around. Easier, because of the routine. Harder, knowing that each team every week puts a bigger target on you.
"I think we have more experience this time around, but it got harder because everyone is keying in on you," Dellovade said. "Last year, no one really knew who we were. They're all starting to key in on us. It feels amazing, but we expected it," The next game is the state championship. We just have to get back to work, starting this week in practice."
Dellovade also credited Central Valley on a tough game. The Warriors finished the season 11-2, West Allegheny responsible for both losses.
"They were very physical, they're a very tough team," Dellovade said. "They're just like us. They're very fast, very physical. They matched up very well with us, and luckily we came out on top."
As for recruiting, Dellovade doesn't have any offers yet, but he has received a number of letters, and has been invited in for a lot of games on unofficial visits.
Pitt, out of all those schools, may be the toughest to beat out. Dellovade says he's been a lifelong fan of the Panthers. He was the Notre Dame game a couple weeks ago, on an unofficial visit--something he's still raving about.
"I've grown up a Pitt fan my whole life," Dellovade added. "That's been my dream school my whole life. That's where I want to go. The Pitt visit was amazing. I went to Pitt verus Notre Dame. That game was outstanding.
"It was crazy. I've been going to Pitt games my whole life, and that was probably the best one I've ever been to. To be a recruit there was amazing. I'm pretty close with Coach (Joe) Rudolph and Coach (Chris) Haering, too, because he's my position coach."