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KDKA/WPIAL Super 7 Player of the Year Winners Announced



It was a historic season for WPIAL football, with four PIAA title winners and five finalists across all six divisions — with only Class-1A coming up just short. As such, there were a lot of very talented players among WPIAL squads this season.

But only one from each division could win the KDKA Super 7 Player of the Year honor, and those players have officially been announced after more than 100,000 votes. While the debate could rage for days as to who truly earned Player of the Year honors for each conference, each winner is a deserving candidate.

City League — Westinghouse QB Keyshawn Morsillo 

Morsillo led Westinghouse to a 10-2 (5-0 City League) record in 2021, eventually falling to Farrell in the PIAA Class-2A quarterfinals.

In winning the award for City League teams, Morsillo beat out Brashear’s Ta’Mere Robinson and Perry’s Tyreese Fearby — one of the top recruits in the 2023 cycle and a Kentucky signee, respectively.

Morsillo threw for 1,411 yards and 17 touchdowns on 58-of-89 passing attempts while also adding 733 yards on 77 rushing attempts.

The junior dual-threat quarterback will return for another season to lead Westinghouse toward a City League title and PIAA title.

1A — Bishop Canevin WR/DB Xavier Nelson

Another junior leader, Nelson led WPIAL Class-1A with 945 yards through the air this season, and he made it work with just 42 receptions — racking up 22.5 yards per catch for the Crusaders.

Nelson beat out Leechburg’s Tommy Burke and Clairton’s Kanye Hawkins to earn the honor.

Bishop Canevin fell to Redbank Valley in the PIAA Class-1A semifinals this season, but Nelson showcased his game-breaking speed and ability to lead the Crusaders to a 13-2 season.

With another season left at Bishop Canevin, Nelson should once again compete for not only the 1A lead in receiving yards but the WPIAL lead.

2A — Steel Valley RB Nijhay Burt 

Steel Valley didn’t make it to the WPIAL Class-2A finals this season, but it wasn’t because of Burt.

Burt rushed for a WPIAL Class-2A-leading 2,044 yards on just 153 attempts — averaging 13.4 yards per attempt. He also added 35 rushing touchdowns on the ground to dominate 2A football.

Burt’s stellar senior season edged out Sto-Rox’s Jaymar Pearson and Serra Catholic’s Max Rocco for the 2A honors.

3A — Central Valley OL/DL Sean FitzSimmons 

FitzSimmons helped Central Valley to back-to-back Class-3A titles and three consecutive WPIAL titles through dominant defensive line play.

A Pitt signee, FitzSimmons has already finished his time with the Warriors, but his senior season will go down in the record books. He racked up 123 tackles (58 solo), 49 tackles for loss and 21 sacks — all leading the Warriors.

FitzSimmons beat out fellow teammate Landon Alexander — who set the Central Valley career rushing record this season — and North Catholic’s Joey Prentice.

4A — Belle Vernon QB Devin Whitlock 

While Belle Vernon suffered a loss to Aliquippa in the WPIAL Class-4A championship, Whitlock led the Leopards to an unbeaten regular season.

In 10 games, he also passed for 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns on 64-of-96 passing attempts and rushed for 1,189 yards and 23 touchdowns on 109 rushing attempts.

As a 1,000 yard passer and rusher, he beat out Aliquippa’s Tiqwai Hayes and Laurel Highland’s Rodney Gallagher for the honor.

Whitlock is a two-sport athlete in football and basketball who hasn’t yet chosen his college destination.

5A — Penn-Trafford RB/DB Cade Yacamelli 

On the run to Penn-Trafford’s first WPIAL and subsequent PIAA title this season, if the Warriors needed anything, Yacamelli was there.

In a battle against unbeaten Moon in the WPIAL title game, he fueled Penn-Trafford’s offense with almost 200 yards of total offense. And against powerhouse Imhotep Charter in the PIAA title, while Penn-Trafford wasn’t able to get much going on the ground, Yacamelli fueled the win.

With 1,866 yards and over 20 touchdowns on just 194 rushing attempts, Yacamelli’s stellar senior season led all over Class-5A football. And now Yacamelli will be off to Wisconsin, committing to the Badgers as an athlete who will likely lean toward the offense.

Yacamelli beat out Pine-Richland’s Jeremiah Hasley and Moon’s Ben Bladel for the honor.

6A — Mt. Lebanon WR/DB Eli Heidenreich 

Mt. Lebanon’s magical state title run wouldn’t have been possible without the trio of Joey Daniels, Alex Tecza and Eli Heidenreich.

Heidenreich, however, earned was honored as the most important of Bob Palko’s WPIAL and PIAA Class-6A title-winning squad.

With 1,330 yards and 20 touchdowns through the air, on just 54 receptions, Heidenreich provided Daniels with a consistent target through the entire season. He also added 647 yards and seven touchdowns on just 60 carries to complete an all-around stellar season.

Heidenreich, who signed with Navy, beat out Tecza and Central Catholic’s Donovan Hinish for the honor.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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