High school notebook: P-T record-breaking kicker headed to Division II Ashland

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Saturday, February 10, 2018 | 9:57 PM


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Nick Tarabrella will get his kicks at the next level.

The record-breaking Penn-Trafford senior placekicker committed to continue his football career at Ashland (Ohio), a Division II school that competes in the Greater Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Tarabrella will graduate with four Warriors' kicking records: career extra points, career field goals, and extra points in a single game and season.

Also a talented soccer player, Tarabrella decided to stay with football, foregoing offers to play at Howard, Seton Hill, Wheeling Jesuit, Mercyhurst, Marietta and Mount Union.

He also had a preferred walk-on opportunity with Pitt.

More signees

A number of Westmoreland athletes made their commitments official as the NCAA's regular signing period began last week.

Division I and II players signed letters of intent. Division III players do not get athletic scholarships, so they do not sign letters.

Area recruits recognized by their schools include:

• Franklin Regional soccer players Jake Trapanotto (Seton Hill) and Zach Guidry (Penn State Behrend)

• Penn-Trafford soccer player Josh Konkus (Geneva)

• Hempfield football players Ty Gaffney (Thiel) and Austin Goekel (Geneva)

• Hempfield track and field athletes Bailey Traczynski (Wheeling Jesuit) and Kaitlin Lander (Slippery Rock)

• Mt. Pleasant football player Cody Vokes (West Liberty)

• Norwin boys soccer player Tanner Cook (La Roche)

• Norwin girls soccer players Madison Mihalchik (Saint Vincent) and Michelina Rush (Baldwin Wallace)

• Norwin football player Zacary Turkowski (Marietta)

• Norwin cross country runners Matt O'Neill (Duquesne), Jessica Gibson (Saint Vincent) and Carson Shipley (John Carroll)

• Yough soccer player Alex Vilcheck (Slippery Rock)

Slike nears decision

Greensburg Central Catholic senior kicker Ethan Slike has seen a spike in college interest and could be close to committing to a school.

Slike has offers from Robert Morris and West Virginia Wesleyan. He can go to Akron or St. Francis (Pa.) as a preferred walk-on.

Slike was 6 for 6 on field goals last season for the Centurions.

Two sports in college?

Mt. Pleasant senior Christiana Czegan has aspirations to play two sports at Cal (Pa.). She announced this week she has committed to the Vulcans' softball and women's soccer programs.

A productive shortstop who helped Mt. Pleasant win a state title last season, Czegan also was a key defender for the Vikings' playoff soccer team.

“I really just have a passion for both sports and it would be really hard for me to give one up,” Czegan said.

Two-sport college careers are nothing new, but some athletes walk back the idea after realizing the grind that comes with it. At least two local girls have pulled off the feat recently: Greensburg Salem graduate Claire Oberdorf plays softball and basketball at Marist, and GCC grad Haley Moore plays volleyball and basketball at Westminster.

WPIAL pairings

The WPIAL will announce basketball playoff pairings at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree. The league said preliminary and even first-round games could be played as early as Thursday.

Opponents must share game film from their previous two games.

The WPIAL finals are scheduled for March 1-3 at Pitt's Petersen Events Center.

East-West game

Four county football players were selected for the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association East-West all-star game set for 2 p.m. May 6 at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona. They are Jeannette do-it-all athlete Robert Kennedy, who committed to Lackawanna junior college; Franklin Regional linebacker Bryce Lauer (Toledo), Penn-Trafford lineman Will Mayr (IUP) and Ligonier Valley lineman Jake Neiderhiser (Geneva).

The East-West is the sister game to the annual Big 33 Classic.

Honoring the champs

Jeannette will play its regular-season finale boys basketball game Monday night at home against Saltsburg, but football will be the theme of the night. At halftime, the Jayhawks' WPIAL and PIAA champion football team will be honored, and the Elliott Group will present Jeannette a check to help cover expenses for championship rings.

A number of county political representatives and Jeannette school board members also are expected to attend the ceremony.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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