Paronish accepts half scholarship, will play football for Clarion
Written by: Josh Funk on Friday, January 30th, 2009
During his career at Northern Cambria, free safety Andrew Paronish did a little bit of everything and lined up in many different positions on the gridiron.
Now, the multi-faceted athlete will take his game a little further north – 70 miles, exactly – to the Autumn Leaf Capital of the World.
Andrew Paronish was offered a half scholarship by Clarion University, which he accepted. He’ll sign his letter of intent to play for Coach Jay Foster and the Golden Eagles Wednesday, according to his father and former Colt head coach, Andy Paronish.
The half scholarship, Mr. Paronish was told, is the largest scholarship that Coach Foster has awarded in his time at Clarion, which is a little more than three years. The reason behind the offer was this:
“They were impressed with Andrew’s ability to play several positions on both sides of the ball, and they expect him to play in his freshman year,” Mr. Paronish wrote. “He is guaranteed the scholarship for four years, and if there would be an injury, he would maintain that scholarship.”
The commitment is certainly welcome news. Back in March, Andrew had received letters of interest from a variety of different colleges, including Division-1 schools like Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, and Pitt.
In October, a room in the Paronish household had letters from colleges covering the floor. The number of letters was so high in number that the carpet was barely visible.
Recently, Andrew had narrowed down his final college choices to Clarion, Slippery Rock, Shippensburg, Kutztown, and Mercyhurst. Mr. Paronish described the process as “a war,” and that his son had narrowed it down to those five schools “because it got to be overwhelming.”
Andrew Paronish knew a thing or two about overwhelming the opposition during his career with the Colts, a Class “A” school located in northwestern Cambria County. During his sophomore year, he totaled 184 tackles and picked off four passes. As a junior, Andrew battled a severely sprained ankle, but still registered 97 tackles.
In his senior year, #35 ran for 1,199 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Defensively, he totaled 117 tackles, picked off three passes and recovered two fumbles.
Most impressively, Paronish enjoyed all the success playing under three different head coaches in the last three years. Northern Cambria made two playoff appearances in the last three years.
Clarion is a Division-II football program that competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Western Division. The PSAC is one of the largest Division-II athletic conferences in the country.
The Golden Eagle football program, though, has experienced some rough times recently. Clarion did have a period of dominance, and made an appearance in the D-II national semifinals, in which it lost to Northern Colorado. Two of its notable alumni include current North Allegheny head football coach Art Walker, Jr., an All-American in 1991, and offensive lineman Reggie Wells, who is playing in Super Bowl XLIII for the Arizona Cardinals.
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