Westmoreland high school notebook: GCC’s Mack catches Maine’s eye

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Sunday, January 22, 2023 | 4:17 PM


Amari Mack caught the attention of college coaches when he received a scholarship offer to play at Sacred Heart as a sophomore.

Schools are still plenty interested in the senior from Greensburg Central Catholic.

Mack, a 6-foot, 180-pound running back, wide receiver and defensive back, has a preferred walk-on offer to play at Maine.

This season, he had 15 receptions for 285 yards and a team-best six touchdowns. He also rushed for 239 yards and four touchdowns for GCC (8-3).

Defensively, he had 22 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

His 10 total touchdowns were third in the team.

“Coach (Patrick) Kugler came in and was very honest with me,” Mack said. “He told me the pros and cons of the matter, and we talked on how I felt about it. Although it is not an offer, I’m still grateful for the opportunity and will continue to get better.”

Kugler, Maine’s offensive line coach, played at North Allegheny and Michigan.

Mack, who is from Jeannette, also has an opportunity to play at John Carroll, a Division III school in Ohio.

D-I offers for Tomosovich

Penn-Trafford junior football lineman Zach Tomosovich has four NCAA Division I offers after Bowling Green and Akron reached out to him last week.

“Tomo” is a 6-5, 300-pound, two-way tackle for the Warriors.

His other offers are from Toledo and Miami of Ohio.

Binakonsky to the ’Hurst

Mercyhurst will be the college football home of Hempfield’s Eli Binakonsky.

The senior, who played multiple positions for the Spartans, including running back, linebacker, tight end and H-back, made a verbal commitment to Mercyhurst in Erie.

The Lakers play in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Binakonsky was recruited to play linebacker — and for good reason. He led Hempfield in tackles with 105, seven for loss, and had two interceptions.

He had seven rushing touchdowns and one via receiving.

His other offers of consideration were from Notre Dame College (Ohio), Gannon and Jacksonville State.

Binakonsky, who began his high school career at Jeannette — he was a kicker as a freshman and was the leading tackler on the WPIAL title team — follows in his father’s footsteps to college football.

Jeremy Binakonsky was a standout lineman at Jeannette before he went on to play defensive tackle at Division I Morehead State.

Fulton to Clarion

Latrobe breakthrough running back and linebacker Robert Fulton also will continue his playing in the PSAC.

He committed to Clarion, where he expected to play running back.

Fulton, a 6-foot, 205-pound bruiser, rushed for a school-record 1,567 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in his only season at Latrobe. He transferred from Central Catholic.

He had 209 yards and five touchdowns in his first game and ran for 252 and four scores against Franklin Regional.

Fulton had 23 tackles and three sacks on defense.

Latrobe registered its first playoff win since 1968 and had seven wins, the most for the program in 21 years.

Pons ‘re-offered’

Norwin junior wide receiver and defensive back Jackson Pons initially was offered a chance to play at Kent State, but a coaching change reset the program’s scholarship plans.

A new staff is in place — coach Sean Lewis left for Colorado and was replaced by Kenni Burns — and the Golden Flashes have reconnected with Pons.

A 6-1, 185-pounder, Pons played wideout and safety for the Knights but also saw some time at quarterback last season.

He lists a half-dozen Division I offers. The others are Mississippi State, Central Michigan, Gardner-Webb, Bowling Green and Toledo.

Signing day approaching

The regular signing day for NCAA Division I and II football players will be Feb. 1.

The signing period for Division I will run through April 1. Division II runs through Aug. 1

All other sports signees could sign beginning Nov. 9 until Aug. 1.

The early signing period for football was Dec. 21-23.

Game time changed

Jeannette boys basketball will play Wednesday at Leechburg. The game was moved from Tuesday because of a scheduling conflict.

Recruiting

Hempfield senior football player Jake Phillips added a pair of Division II offers from Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference programs. Clarion and Cal (Pa.) like Phillips, a 6-2, 200-pound quarterback who threw for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games last season.

• One of Phillips’ favorite targets, wide receiver Ian Tuffs, was offered to play at Division II Frostburg State and Edinboro. Tuffs led Hempfield with 28 receptions for 523 yards and had 47 tackles and two interceptions on defense.

• Hempfield senior tackle/defensive end Ethan Shaw has an offer from Edinboro.

• Daniel Calabrace, a lineman from Latrobe, announced he will continue his playing career locally at Saint Vincent. The 6-foot, 255-pound Calabrace played guard, center and defensive end for the Wildcats.

Norwin senior Anthony Petrulo (6-2, 230), who played defensive end and linebacker for the Knights, pulled in three recent Division II offers, from Edinboro, West Liberty and Clarion.

• Norwin senior Noah Vogel, who received a Division I offer recently from Marist, added Division II offers from IUP, West Liberty, Clarion and Cal (Pa.).

And yet another Norwin senior, lineman AJ Clemens, was offered by West Liberty, Notre Dame College and Clarion, all Division II programs.

• Westminster offered roster spots to Hempfield seniors Gino Caesar and Tyson Gregory.

Yough senior Hannah Wright will continue her soccer career at Carlow.

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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