Nick Tarabrella had two signing days. The first when the strong-legged kicker was coming out of Penn-Trafford to solidify his pledge to Ashland (Ohio).
When he had a change of heart, the college sophomore found himself signing his name again last Wednesday, only with a different Division II program: Shippensburg.
The move for Tarabrella is two parts academic, one part athletics. Call it a business decision.
“Shippensburg is a great business school that will set me up to succeed very well,” he said. “And with football, the first thing I noticed was it is a family atmosphere with tons of energy from the coaches and commitment with every single player.”
Tarabrella left Penn-Trafford as the career leader in field goals (17) and extra points (161). While he did not kick in his first season at Ashland, which plays in the Greater Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, he thinks he can compete for playing time next season with the Raiders.
“I believe if I keep working this offseason in the weight room and perform during spring ball, I have a shot to win that starting position.”
Initially, Tarabrella (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) had offers from Howard, Seton Hill, Wheeling Jesuit, Mercyhurst, Marietta and Mt. Union, along with a preferred walk-on opportunity with Pitt.
He also had a chance to play soccer in college.
Holy Cross: Sophomore guard Austin Butler (Latrobe) had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three steals to lead the Crusaders (13-11, 4-7) past Army, 56-42.
Saint Vincent: After losing two games in a row, the first-place Bearcats (19-4, 12-2) rebounded with an 88-60 win over Waynesburg as sophomore David Stephen scored 17 points, senior Mike Simmons (Kiski Area) added 13, senior Tom Kromka 12 and sophomore Shemar Bennett 10. SVC outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 47-19.
IUP: Senior point guard Carolyn Appleby (Greensburg Central Catholic) led the fourth-ranked Crimson Hawks (20-1, 15-1) to their fifth straight win, 66-52 over Gannon, as she scored a game-high 23 points to go with six rebounds and five assists.
Saint Vincent : Sophomore Madison Kollar (Latrobe) scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season as the PAC-leading Bearcats (19-4, 13-1) topped Waynesburg, 80-57. Senior Maria Morgan and junior Taylor Boring had 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Seton Hill: The Griffins (15-8, 9-7) stayed in fourth place in the PSAC West with their second-highest scoring output of the season at home in a 97-80 victory over Slippery Rock. Sophomore Cheyenne Trest scored 18 points, and sophomore Courtney Cecere added 14. The Griffins shot 50 percent from the field.
Seton Hill moved to No. 9 in this week’s D2SIDA Atlantic Regional Poll.
Arizona State : Redshirt junior Josh Shields (Franklin Regional) ran his winning streak to 12 with a decision at 165 pounds as the No. 10 Sun Devils fell to No. 5 Missouri, 30-12.
Shields is ranked No. 4 in his weight class.
Bucknell: Junior 197-pounder Drew Phipps (Norwin) pulled an upset as the Bison lost to Army, 22-19. Phipps knocked off No. 4 Rocco Caywood, 7-3. Freshman 157-pounder Zach Hartman (Belle Vernon) added a major decision for the Bison.
Pitt-Johnstown : The usual suspects led the fifth-ranked Mountain Cats (16-3, 6-1) to a share of the PSAC team title with a 30-9 win over No. 16 Mercyhurst. Senior 133-pounder Joey Alessandro (Hempfield), a transfer from Seton Hill who is ranked No. 2 in his weight class, picked up an 8-0 decision. No. 1 Chris Eddins (Greensburg Salem), a junior at 149, improved to 17-0 with a technical fall.
Eddins is ranked No. 2 in the latest Division II Most Dominant Wrestler category, which leads into the end-of-the-year NCAA awards. Alessandro is eighth.
Pitt : Redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi (Derry), ranked fifth at 133 pounds nationally, scored a 17-5 major decision to help power No. 16 Pitt past No. 8 N.C. State, 18-16.
Washington & Jefferson : Senior Josh Armstrong (Greensburg Salem) and freshman Jaden Datz (Southmoreland) posted third-place finishes at the 61st PAC Championships in Greenville. Datz went 2-1 at 174 pounds, and Armstrong had a 1-1 record at 141.
Notre Dame : Sophomore pitcher Morgan Ryan (Hempfield) picked up her first collegiate win, allowing five hits and one earned run over five innings for the Irish.
Penn State: Freshman pitcher Bailey Parshall (Belle Vernon) won her college debut, posting eight strikeouts and one walk in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-2 win over Ball State in six innings at the FGCU Kickoff Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. Freshman infielder Chelsea Bisi (Derry) started the first four games for the Nittany Lions.
St. Francis (Pa.): Freshman pitcher Meadow Uncapher (Mt. Pleasant) was victorious in her college debut, throwing a four-hitter as the Red Flash opened with a 7-1 victory on the road against Savannah State (Ga.). She walked four and struck out three. Uncapher initially had planned to play at Seton Hill before a coaching change impacted her decision to change programs.
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.