Andy and Katherine Adomitis have been watching their sons play at Heinz Field for nearly a decade.
It started as their older son Graham led Pittsburgh Central Catholic to two WPIAL championship game appearances at Heinz Field in 2013 and 2014, and it continued as their younger son Cal led PCC back again in 2015 and 2016.
Cal’s decision to walk on at Pitt turned four seasons of high school football at Heinz Field into four more of college football — and a fifth in which Cal grew into a scholarship All-American, Mannelly Award-winning long snapper in his hometown.
But as Cal signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals after going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, being cut in August and assigned to the practice squad, the streak appeared to be nearing an end.
Until long-time Bengals’ long-snapper Clark Harris tore his bicep against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first week of the season.
Cal was in attendance at Paycor Stadium as the Bengals lost 23-20 to the Steelers in Week 1, watching as emergency snapper Mitchell Wilcox’s errors resulted in special teams’ errors with Evan McPherson’s missed kicks, but he didn’t play.
He did play Sunday at Acrisure Stadium as the Bengals knocked off the Steelers 37-30, and the Adomitis family was once again able to watch as Cal played in Pittsburgh.
Even if Andy and Katherine’s seats may have been their worst at Acrisure yet.
“Saw a lot of (No.) 48 Adomitis jerseys, friends and family come out to support you in your hometown, they were up in the nosebleeds where the away family section is, but they were all decked out in their black and orange and they were all here, so it was cool,” Cal said following Sunday’s game.
McPherson connected on 3-of-3 field goal attempts and 4-of-4 point-after attempts Sunday, after missing a key field goal and extra point attempt in the waning minutes against the Steelers the first time around, and Cal served as a reliable snapper.
Cal was snapping for the Bengals and Kenny Pickett was playing quarterback for the Steelers. The two did meet after the initial game at Paycor Stadium as unused backups, but the second time around pitted the pair as starters on NFL rosters in a key rivalry game. A far cry from their days as captains together at Pitt.
“Obviously, I was rooting for him to do his thing, but obviously that we come out with the dub,” Cal said. “Just glad everyone stayed healthy. We texted a little bit earlier in the week, but both of us, once the week kind of gets going, gotta stay off the phone and get locked. But it was good catching up with him after the game.”
The pair, along with Deslin Alexandre and Cam Bright, served as Pitt’s 2021 captains. Pickett and Cal both earned All-American honors on the way to an ACC championship and NFL dreams. And despite returning to Acrisure as an away player for the first time Sunday, once Cal entered the facility, he felt like he was back home.
After four years at PCC and five years at Pitt, staying in hometown Pittsburgh for nearly a quarter century, Cal laid a foundation on not just being a good football player, an excellent long-snapper, but a good human being.
“Cal’s Kids” raised $115,000 for UPMC Children’s Hospital, surpassing a fundraising goal of $94,000 originally set by Cal, and he even sheared his signature locks in a ceremony upon reaching his goal. He may be playing in Cincinnati now, but his impact in Pittsburgh will not soon be forgotten.
Cal is now 10 games into his rookie season, and while it’s been a whirlwind journey since signing with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent, he’s learned from a long-time NFL long-snapper in Clark and quickly grown accustomed to life as a professional.
“So far, so good,” Cal said. “Once you step on the field, it just feels like football.”