Senior Daniel Tarabrella pushes Penn-Trafford to ‘keep climbing the ladder’

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 | 7:07 PM

It was not a surprise to Penn-Trafford football coach John Ruane that Daniel Tarabrella had a fantastic junior season, helping the Warriors win their first WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A titles.

“His desire is through the roof,” Ruane said. “He wants to be great, he wants to be on a great team, and he wants his teammates to excel. He’s the type of kid you dream to coach, and I can’t say enough about him.”

And Ruane knows that Tarabrella won’t stop working hard to build his legacy this season. He’s a leader on and off the field.

Tarabrella was the Warriors’ leading tackler in 2021. His trap blocking from his slot back position in the PIAA championship game helped spring running back Cade Yacamelli on some big runs against Imhotep Charter.

“The coaches had a great game plan, and I just executed it,” Tarabrella said. “We worked hard all season and everyone pulled together. I played with a lot of confidence.”

Now, Penn-Trafford is starting a new season Friday at Canon-McMillan. The Warriors had a scrimmage at Trinity last Saturday and Tarabrella said he felt the team accomplished what it needed to.

Tarabrella is one of five captains. The others are quarterback/defensive end Conlan Greene, wide receiver Jake Otto, quarterback/wide receiver/safety Tommy Kalkstein and lineman Joe Enick.

While he led the team in tackles, which included 18 in the WPIAL championship game against Moon, he will be counted on to contribute on offense.

He said he’s always looking to improve.

“He’s a real student of the game,” Ruane said. “He goes overtime outside of football to get himself right. He’s a very heady kid, his father is a coach, and that certainly gives him a little bit of an edge. He knows what’s going on.”

Tarabrella said he has things to work on to make himself a better player.

“I need to play faster and learn on how to take on blocks better,” Tarabrella said. “I also need to block better and work on catching the ball.

“My job as a captain is to bring the team together and keep climbing the ladder. We need to continue to push ourselves to be great. We need to learn from our mistakes and get better.”

Tarabrella’s dad, Dan, coaches the defensive line. He played college football at Tulsa.

“I’ve learned a lot from my dad,” Daniel Tarabrella said. “We watch game film a lot, and he helps me when he can.”

And Tarabrella does a lot of things away from the football field.

He also plays basketball and is the setter on the volleyball team.

He loves the outdoors and doing things with his family.

“I like to hike, hunt and fish,” he said. “I also help at church and do community service around the area.”

That’s what leaders do, lead by example.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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