Penn-Trafford trio signs letters of intent, proving program’s power

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022 | 5:53 PM


The WPIAL and PIAA trophies in the display case at Penn-Trafford tell the story of how far the football program has come.

But so do the college signers.

The hardware is the centerpiece, the ultimate goal, but NCAA signing day also symbolizes the progress the Warriors have made in recent seasons to become an elite team in the state.

On Wednesday, the first of the three-day early signing period, the Warriors had three more Division I commits validate verbal promises with their signatures.

All seniors, Conlan Greene signed with Temple, Joe Enick with Central Michigan and Daniel Tarabrella with Duquesne.

All three played key roles in leading the Warriors to a banner season last fall (11-2) and another winning season this year (6-5).

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Greene played quarterback and defensive end this season but was recruited as a defensive lineman at Temple.

“The work we have been putting in the last couple of years has been leading up to this, and dreams are finally turning into reality,” Greene said. “It’s an awesome feeling to be doing it with two of the best people I know, Joe and Daniel.”

Greene threw for 1,478 yards and 11 touchdowns and led the Warriors in rushing with 752 yards and 10 TDs.

“It’s a total honor that all of us get this opportunity to play football for a few more years,” Greene said. “It’s definitely the best way to end a great high school football story.”

Enick, the WPIAL’s lineman of the year as evidenced by his Bill Fralic Memorial Trophy, was a force on both lines the past two years.

This season, he made 33 tackles and had a team-leading 7.5 sacks.

Enick (6-foot-3, 290 pounds) said signing day, in its pure form and function, should be more about his family than him.

“The amount of hours and sacrifices they have given for me, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for them,” he said. “Like when I first started football, me, my dad and Grandpap Enick would do hand and footwork with an old MMA bag in his backyard.

“It’s been a long journey to this point, and I couldn’t have gotten here without the support of them.”

As for another signing day’s significance to Penn-Trafford, Enick added: “It just shows what a great community and coaching staff we have. Coach (John) Ruane, (Dan) Tarabrella, (Dave) Ruby, (Sam) Guzik and the whole staff are just about as good as they come. Even down to our equipment manager and trainers … me and many other teammates wouldn’t have been able to play in the state final without their help.

“P-T football teaches more than just football. It teaches about life and overcoming adversity. It’s an honor to be called a Warrior. Signing day is for everyone who was with me through this journey and helped me along the way.”

Tarabrella played wide receiver and linebacker this season. He caught a team-best 40 passes for 629 yards and four touchdowns while producing a team-high 74 tackles, 43 solo, and two fumble recoveries.

Duquesne likes him as a linebacker.

“This day symbolizes so much to me,” Tarabrella said. “It was always my dream to play Division I ball, and today represents an accomplishment of that goal. My hope is that it brings more attention to the deserving athletes of P-T football. This program is moving in the right direction.”

Ruane said Greene, Enick and Tarabrella are fantastic players with bright futures.

“These are three of the most productive players we have ever had,” Ruane said. “And three instrumental players in us winning a state title. All of them have measurables on the field, but more importantly, they are three ultra competitors. No egos, just athletes who play hard for their teammates.”

Penn-Trafford had two Division I players as seniors last year in running back/defensive back Cade Yacamelli (Wisconsin) and lineman Declan Ochendowski (Cornell).

Junior lineman Zach Tomosovich is drawing D-I attention this year.

That means a half-dozen FBS or FCS prospects played on the state title team.

“We are all really proud of them, and believe me,” Ruane said, “they worked hard to earn scholarships while no one was looking.”

Norwin also had a pair of signees Wednesday, both nationally rated special teamers.

Senior kicker and punter Joey Castle signed with Akron, and senior Xander Smith, a long-snapper, made it official with Buffalo.

Both are on sign-and-wait deals in terms of scholarships.

Castle averaged 32.6 yards per punt this season, with seven grounded inside the 20-yard line.

Senior tight end Nate Chiarizio of Franklin Regional signed to play at Duquesne. The 6-3, 240-pounder will be a preferred walk-on.

He mainly was a lead run-blocker for the Panthers.

Chiarizio only began playing football in eighth grade.

Also, Jeannette alum Robert Kennedy is set to sign with N.C. State.

A safety with a fifth year of eligibility remaining, Kennedy is a grad transfer from Old Dominion.

He also played at Lackawanna and East Carolina. Kennedy had 52 tackles, 33 solo, with an interception, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles this season for ODU.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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