Norwin notebook: Big day finally arrives for Giansante

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Saturday, February 13, 2021 | 9:01 AM


Finally, the day of promise arrived for Anthony Giansante.

Signing Day allowed Giansante, the burly senior lineman from Norwin, to finally make his dream of playing Division I football a reality. After his first run through the recruiting process fell through for reasons out of his control, the second was a take.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman signed Feb. 3 to play at Western Carolina, a Division I FCS program from the Southern Conference.

“I’m just feeling grateful,” Giansante said. “Grateful to have the opportunity to play football where I am wanted, where I can learn a lot and where I feel like I will fit in.”

Even with a global pandemic surging, recruiting continued. Athletes had to trade in-person campus visits for Zoom calls and virtual tours, but many still locked down opportunities to continue playing at the next level.

“I feel extremely fortunate and blessed that my hard work and preparation was recognized,” Giansante said. “Especially with all of the changes in recruiting due to the pandemic.”

Months ago, Giansante had a different western destination. But Western Kentucky pulled his scholarship, negating his verbal commitment and knocking him for a loop.

A first-team all-conference pick in Class 6A, Giansante set out to attract more schools, grinding in the weight room and reaching out to coaches on social media with workout videos and highlights.

He ended up with more than a dozen Division I offers. Once Western Carolina offered, it took the lead and eventually won out over Central Connecticut State, Missouri State, Gardner-Webb and others.

Norwin holds fundraiser

The Norwin wrestling team recently raised $2,814.50 for a local animal shelter and personal care home within the school district.

During one of the team’s practices, wrestlers performed a number tasks, such as pushups, pull-ups and other exercises, after getting people in the community to sponsor them.

First-year coach Kyle Martin called the project “SCRAP,” which stands for service, competition, relationships, achievement and passion. He said the team collected pledges.

The team ran 24.5 miles, completed 2,950 pushups, 710 pullups and 18,400 jump ropes and ran one group Hillcrest Hill climb.

“I’m really proud of them,” Martin said. “It’s something we’re going to do every year.”

Pen to paper

A number of Norwin athletes signed letters-of-intent during the first week of February to make their college commitments official.

They included: Connor Chrisman (football, Slippery Rock), Nick Fleming (baseball, Mount St. Mary’s), Mara Polczynski (basketball, Grove City), Ryan Scavnicky (baseball, Franciscan), Zach Potthoff (baseball, Swathmore), Nick Condrasky (lacrosse, Pennsylvania College of Technology), Courtney Spiering (lacrosse, La Roche), Hunter Geibel (lacrosse, Allegheny), Cameron Masten (lacrosse, Saint Vincent), Joseph Rush (lacrosse, Walsh), Tommy McLaughlin (lacrosse, Saint Vincent), Cory Johnson (lacrosse, Pennsylvania College of Technology), and Jordan Kutchak (swimming, Clarion).

In other recruiting news, Norwin’s Logan Divald will continue his golf career at Penn State Altoona.

College scene

Marietta women’s basketball freshman guard Olivia Gribble scored a team-high 17 points, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, to pace the Pioneers (4-2) to a 91-67 victory over Muskingum.

Another Norwin alum, Wesminster junior guard Magen Polczynski, had a team-high 16 points and added five rebounds and four assists as the Titans beat Waynesburg, 65-58.

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

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