WEXFORD, Pa. — Pittsburgh Central Catholic senior linebacker Cole Sullivan is continuing to improve as a senior and his performance vs. North Allegheny Friday night at Newman Stadium showed that to all of western Pennsylvania.
Sullivan forced two fumbles, one that came off of a strip sack and led to a great fumble recovery from fellow senior linebacker and Penn State commit Anthony Speca to set up a touchdown and and another on a punt return. He also scored two touchdowns as a tight end, one off of an impressive catch in the corner of the end zone for 13-yards and another on a tight end screen for nine-yards.
Following the 50-22 win over North Allegheny, Sullivan gave credit to his coaching staff for the work they have done to improve the team this offseason. Much of this is from first-year head coach Ryan Lehmeier and the changes he has brought to the program, which has Central Catholic at 5-0 to for the first time since 2014.
“I mean I just got to thank God and all the coaching staff that’s put in all the work for us this offseason, during the season and all the preparation we’ve had,” Sullivan said. “We just all buy into everything they say.”
His second forced fumble that came off a punt return sealed the game early for the Vikings in the third quarter. Sullivan said he was just trying to make a play on the ball and ended up with the desired result.
“I was obviously watching the ball, but I could see the returner out of the corner of my eye,” Sullivan said. “It looked like he was going to make a play on it, so I just tried to time it as good as I could.”
Cole Sullivan is a Michigan commit in the Class of 2024 as a linebacker. He has been working with linebackers coach Chris Partridge to improve his game, particularly block destruction and using his hands to get off the block.
Sullivan is also going to see No. 3 Michigan host undefeated Rutgers at Ann Arbor Saturday afternoon in front of more than 100,000 people at Michigan Stadium, also known as the “Big House.”
“It’s awesome, I’m excited,” Sullivan said. “I’m going up to the game tomorrow, so I’m excited to see him. We’ve been chatting all the time. I’ve been asking him to help me out with technique or just anything. He’s just always there for me to ask questions too.”
His receiving touchdowns come as a tight end, as he uses his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame to bully smaller opponents and create separation for catches. He said that his work on the offensive side of the ball is crucial for him knowing how offenses work when he plays linebacker.
It also doesn’t hurt that senior quarterback Peyton Wehner, who is one of the best signal callers in the WPIAL right now, is his cousin and knows how to target him.
“I mean, obviously I want to help my team anyway I can,” Sullivan said. “I think playing on offense too helps me understand the game better, what offenses are going to try and do to attack you. So it helps me especially on the other side of the ball.”
North Allegheny 15 pic.twitter.com/cwBu3QDjm6
— WPIAL Sportsmen (@wpialsportsnews) September 23, 2023
While there are many statistical goals that players want to achieve in their final season in high school, Cole Sullivan is more focused on the team itself. He is currently playing on one of the best teams in the state, with one of the best offenses, but still hasn’t won a PIAA title since 2015.
“My goal is just to go undefeated this year,” Sullivan said. “Hopefully win the WPIAL and then on to states. That’s really my only goal this year.”