Monacelli’s football career will continue with Erie Express

B.J. Monacelli is continuing his football career with the Erie Express, which plays in the Premier Amateur Football League.

The defensive back from Cassadaga was signed earlier this week.

“We are very excited to have a player of B.J.’s ability and intellect,” said Paul Pennington, the Express’ director of operations, in a statement on the team’s Facebook page. “He is a very smart and physical player, and we are expecting a great season from him as we push to achieve the goals we have set.”

Monacelli, a recent Washington & Jefferson University graduate, was a two-time All-Presidents Athletic Conference first-team safety and finished his career with 11 interceptions, 161 tackles, four forced fumbles, 7 tackles for loss and 31 pass breakups.

In high school, he earned first-team all-state recognition by the New York State Sportswriters Association and was inducted into the Cassadaga Valley Central School Athletic Hall of Fame.

“I look forward to continuing my career with the Express and I’m excited to contribute to their success,” he said in a statement released by the team. “This is a great way for me to continue to improve and advance my game for the future while playing for a championship team. I am eager to be a part of this team’s success and to see the opportunities that arise the rest of the season.”

The Express (5-1) will meet the Mid-West Rams at 5 p.m., Saturday at Dollinger Field, which is located at 501 W. 12th St., in Erie.

It’s been a busy spring for Monacelli. In May, he was one of about 80 players who showcased his talents at a Canadian Football League tryout conducted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“I expected it to be a long road, and it’s not going to be easy for a Division III kid,” he told The Post-Journal last month. “I expected that, and even if I don’t get any offers this year, I still plan on pursuing it for a year or two.”

After football, Monacelli’s future appears bright, particularly after he was a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District IV Team last fall.

Monacelli’s coach at W&J was Mike Sirianni, a 1990 Southwestern Central School graduate.