Penn-Trafford seniors defined excellence during high school careers

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Sunday, May 17, 2020 | 12:46 PM


Editor’s note: This is the 15th in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

During their high school careers at Penn-Trafford, Gabe Dunlap and Corina Paszek were the definition of excellence on the athletic field and in the classroom.

Dunlap went down as one of the best quarterbacks in school history, which was one of his goals.

“There’s this wall of passers in our workout center, and I was trying to make that. That was the biggest thing I was shooting for,” Dunlap said. “I was able to get up there, so I was happy about that. No one is ever chasing, but it was an, ‘Oh man, I hope I can get that,’ type of feeling.”

The Grove City commit didn’t just beat defenses with his arm, either. He was the only quarterback in school history to pass and run for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. He finished his senior year with 1,763 passing yards and a team-best rushing 1,164 yards.

The versatility and athleticism Dunlap displayed in high school has opened options for him at Grove City, where he could line up at several positions.

“I’m not really sure where I’m playing yet,” Dunlap said. “It’s in between defense, slot receiver and then like special teams, returning kicks and stuff. So I’m kind of walking into a whole new area, so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Paszek, meanwhile, set several school records in the pool and was a part of the Warriors’ state championship softball run last season.

She is the school record holder in the 200 individual medley and as part of the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.

“It was pretty amazing. I was pretty surprised in myself that I was able to do that,” Paszek said. “But I was definitely proud of myself, and it shows that hard work does pay off because I’ve been training for so long and swimming for so many years.”

She’ll attend Clarion and join the swimming team.

“Until I actually decided on Clarion, I didn’t know where I wanted to go,” Paszek said. “I didn’t have a dream school in mind. I didn’t know what division I wanted to compete in, but I knew that I wanted to swim in college.”

With the cancellation of the spring sports season, Paszek and the Warriors were robbed of their chance to defend their state softball title.

After finishing third in the WPIAL tournament, the Warriors bounced back in the PIAAs, beating WPIAL champion West Allegheny in the quarterfinals en route to the title.

“It was definitely very exciting,” Paszek said. “After not winning the WPIAL but coming back and winning the state championship, we not only surprised ourselves, but I think we surprised everyone else. I mean, we knew we could do it, but it was a very exciting and proud moment.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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