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Close Relationships Leads OLSH’s Vann Kavals to Akron



Relationships are the foundation of every recruiting process and that played a major role in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School (OLSH) product Vann Kavals’ college decision.

Thanks to a strong connection with defensive line coach Nyeem Wartman-White and the rest of the coaching staff at Akron, Kavals announced Saturday via X that he is committed to the Zips.

“I’ve been talking to coach Wartman-White for a while now and he’s been in a bunch of different camps I’ve been to and we’ve built a good relationship through this recruiting process,” Kavals told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

 The 6-foot-5, 235-pound defensive end picked Akron over other offers such as Miami (Oh.), Air Force, Lehigh, Penn, Cornell and Robert Morris.

Kavals took an unofficial visit to Akron in June to get a better feel of the program and what the coaching staff had to offer.

“I like how open the staff is with me. You don’t find too many schools that close that you really like and I believe I could go there and have an impact on the team.” Kavals said.

While Kavals has formed a strong relationship with Wartman-White, he had the benefit of his high school coaches knowing Akron head coach and Pittsburgh native Joe Moorhead.

“It’s nice knowing that coach [Donnie] Militzer and my old defensive line coach Chase Johnson know coach Moorhead very well, so its nice being able to put my trust in somebody when they can as well,” Kavals said

Along with those bonds with the coaches, it also helps that Akron isn’t too far from Pittsburgh.

“It was a nice two-and-a-half-hour quick ride, which was a big part in it because it was close to home,” Kavals said.

With that close proximity and playing in the Mid-American Conference, Akron has been a desirable location for WPIAL and City League athletes.

Akron’s 2024 summer roster boasts a handful of local talent including Noel Roach (Penn Hills), Kam Cheatom (Brashear), Myles Walker (Central Valley), Dominic Monz (South Fayette), Alex Fox (New Castle), Colin Lyons (McKeesport) and Joseph Castle (Norwin).

“It feels great knowing I can be a part of something playing with a bunch of local guys. I’m excited for it,” Kavals said.

With his college decision behind him, Kavals is now working towards his final high school season pulling double duties as OLSH’s quarterback and leading edge rusher. It comes after a junior campaign that was limited due to injury. Still, Kavals posted over 20 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

“I’m going to keep working hard like I’ve been doing, get the team ready and help some of my other teammates get to this point,” he said.

For more on Kavals, check out PSN’s WPIAL Profiles: OLSH 2025 DE Vann Kavals.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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