Westmoreland high school notebook: Franklin Regional’s Chiarizio to play at Duquesne

Sunday, December 25, 2022 | 12:09 PM

Franklin Regional tight end Nate Chiarizio is a Division I FCS football commit, but he was not a household name around Westmoreland County or Western Pa.


Because he did the dirty work for the Panthers.

But the team could not put a price on his role. He was critical to its success, especially in the rushing attack.

Franklin Regional was a power running team this season with quarterback Roman Sarnic and Zach Bewszka sharing carries, and Chiarizio was a key blocker.

Somewhat of a signing day surprise and an under-the-radar prospect, he put pen to paper to continue his career at Duquesne as a preferred walk-on. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Chiarizio had five receptions for 42 yards this season. The Panthers rushed for 201.9 yards per game for a 5.5 per-play average.

Chiarizio bounced between tight end and H-back.

“Nate is one of our hardest working players,” Panthers coach Lance Getsy said. “He took the offseason very seriously, and it showed on Friday nights. He was able to be that extra blocker that could set the edge for us. He had good hands and was able to make plays when we needed him to, but his biggest attribute was his work ethic and knowledge. He made a lot of calls for us up front and was able to talk to me on the sidelines about what the defense was doing to us.

“He is a tremendous young man and will be successful in anything that he does in life.”

Chiarizio also had interest from Case Western and Carnegie Mellon but wanted to make a run at FCS football.

“In a way, I see myself as a sleeper because I feel like there is a lot of stuff that goes unnoticed, especially with stats and everything,” he said. “So I do feel like I was that kind of slept-on recruit.”

Hockey break

Some of the top scoring teams in the PIHL are from Westmoreland County heading into the holiday break.

Latrobe (6-4) ranks second in goals in Class 2A with 57 (133 points), and Hempfield (5-3) is fourth with 52 (119).

Franklin Regional (4-6) has 87 points but leads the class in penalty minutes with 233.

Hempfield’s Nick Bruno leads 2A in scoring with 40 points (20 goals, 20 assists).

In Class A, Greensburg Salem (10-1) has blitzed teams with a class-high 82 goals.

Defending champion Norwin (8-2) is third with 70.

Mario Cavallaro of Norwin had 35 points, second most in the class, on 20 goals and 15 assists.

Greensburg Salem’s Owen Tutich is third with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists).

Taking a dive

Derry’s Ella Silvis scored a 200.30 in diving as the Trojans defeated Connellsville, 97-80, at the Trojan Natatorium. She joins a short list of standouts who have recorded a 200 or better in the 1-meter event.

WCCA wrestling

The next event on the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association winter calendar is the annual wrestling championships.

The event is set for Jan. 6-7 at Greensburg Salem.

On track

Four walls and a ceiling can’t stop Hempfield senior Liz Tapper from throwing heavy objects long distances.

The Michigan commit broke her indoor record in the shot put Tuesday in the first meet of the winter with a toss of 46 feet, 11 inches. The mark is No. 1 in the nation.

The meet was held in Hempfield’s auxiliary gym.

Peyton Murray also showed out in the opener by winning the shot put in 51-8 for the third-best throw in the state so far.

Also for Hempfield, Grace Iwig won the pole vault with a mark of 10-1.


Norwin has another Divison I track and field signee. Senior Anna DeFazio made her verbal commitment official by signing to run track and field and cross country at Saint Francis (Pa.). DeFazio’s primary race is the 800 meters, but she also runs with Norwin’s relays.

She qualified for the PIAA meet in cross country.

• Another Norwin track athlete, senior Ashley Laukus, plans to run track at Shippensburg. Laukus is one of the Knights’ top high jumpers.

• Franklin Regional football player Nick Petrucci committed to play at Division III Case Western. Petrucci is a 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman and long snapper.

Yough baseball player Jack Sampson signed to play at Washington & Jefferson.

A catcher and shortstop, he was one of the Cougars’ top hitters last season.

Penn-Trafford recognized a number of college signees. They included Lily Paladino (basketball, Penn State Behrend), Madison Keenan (field hockey, Allegheny), Alexa Forsythe (softball, Geneva), Jake McClintock (soccer, Pitt-Greensburg), Owen Demeri (football, Grove City), Kylee Piconi (softball, Frostburg State), Sam Didio (lacrosse, Baldwin Wallace), Brianna Pusateri (softball, IUP) and Josh Huffman (football, Carnegie Mellon).

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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