EAST PALESTINE -Three-sport athletes are on the endangered list.
As the years go by, more and more athletes are focusing one or two sports. A select few still compete in three sports, while even fewer dare to attempt to compete in four sports during a school year.
Wellsville's Angelica Scarabino is one of those athletes. Scarabino, who will be a sophomore in the fall, plays volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and she runs track and plays softball in the spring.
Wellsville’s Angelica Scarabino runs the third leg of the 4x100 relay during the Columbiana County Meet May 1 at Reid Stadium in East Palestine. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
Despite having to split time between the softball field and the track, Scarabino managed to have a successful spring season. Her success included winning a county title in track at the 109th Columbiana County Meet at Reid Stadium in East Palestine.
Scarabino was one of her girls on the Tigers' county title winning 4x100 relay team. The team finished first with a time of 52.59. Scarabino, who ran the third leg of the relay, was joined on the team by Mikyla Tipton, Maleya Fultz and Shartece Taylor.
"It feels awesome because I am with a bunch of girls who are older than me," Scarabino said about winning the county title. "I'm going to miss Mikyla next year when she's gone. I'm excited to have a few more years with Shartece and one more year with Maleya.
"They took me under their arms because I am only a freshman. They showed me what to do, and I can lean on them for help."
Tipton, who recently graduated, ran the first leg of the race. Fultz, who will be a senior, ran the second leg. Taylor, who will be a junior in the fall, ran the final leg.
Scarabino not only plays multiple sports for the Tigers, but she also competes in multiple events on the track. Scarabino runs in individual events as well as in relay races.
"During the 4x1 I want to do the best I can because I have a bunch of girls I can really rely on," Scarabino said. They are all like my sisters. I grew up with them and everything, but in my individuals I just want to do the best I can to the best of my ability."
Even the most experienced athletes get nervous competing on a big stage, but the pressure a freshman feels can be too tough to take.
"As a freshman, yes it is tough, but it is only going to make me better because I am competing against girls that are older than me," Scarabino said.
Wellsville also won the county title in the 4x1 last year at Salem. This year, Scarabino replaced Monica Wilson as the third leg. Wilson was out this year with an injury.
"I was nervous because I started the 4x1 halfway through my track season, and I also play softball," Scarabino said. "I don't have practices with the girls, so they just come to the meets and we'll run. At meets, we don't have any practices, but we just go as hard as we can. We ended up winning. I was really excited."
The Tigers ended up finishing fourth at the county meet with 53 points.
"The season is going excellent," Scarabino said. "I'm so happy that I have the girls that I do because they are all like my sisters. They help me if there is something wrong. If there is something right, they will congratulate me. They are just awesome to be with."
During the spring season, Scarabino has to split her time between the softball field and the track. Scarabino said it it tough going back-and-forth between the two sports.
"It's really tough because I will go from a softball game to a track meet the next day to a softball game the next day to a bus ride far away because we're in the big ITCL and the schools are farther away," she said.
"I just to try as hard as I can. If you can't do as good as you can, at least you gave it your all."
While other athletes get a break throughout the course of a year, Scarabino does not a lot of time off from the field, the track our the court.
"Well, I started varsity in volleyball," she said. "I tried the best I could, and I succeeded. I gave it my all in basketball. I lettered. I was very satisfied. Softball and track, I give it my all. I start on the softball team, and I'm just so happy to be on the 4x1 team winning county.
"I go from one to the other. It is very hard, but I have the strength of God to give me my strength to get through it every day."
Despite being the youngest member of the foursome, Scarabino fits in well with the three other girls on the team.
"We're all like sisters," Scarabino said. "We act the same. We have the same attitudes and everything. We just love each other. We have the same personalities."
The 4x1 team continued to have success after the county meet. The team qualified for the regional meet, but the girls came up one race short of reaching the state meet in Columbus.
Though playing four sports is difficult, Scarabino said she plans on continuing to play four sports in her final three years as a Tiger.
"I'm definitely going to try my hardest to keep doing four sports every year, but if one gives in to the other, then I just want to do the best I can with either sport," she said.
Playing four sports is already difficult enough, but Scarabino had the added problem of overcoming an ankle injury. Scarabino was injured in a game Feb. 4 at home against Southern Local.
"Yeah, I tore ligaments in my right ankle, but I'm happy I could just bounce back and help this 4x1 team win county," Scarabino said.
Scarabino still wasn't at full strength in the spring.
"It was tough," she said. "I had to go through a few months of therapy. It hurts. It's still swollen. Sometimes I have to ice it down and make sure the swelling doesn't come back so I can still compete."
With being so busy playing sports, Scarabino does not have a lot of free time.
"Whenever I have practices, say I have track practice after school, I go from track practice straight up the hill to softball practice, or I will go from a softball practice to a track practice at Beaver Local," Scarabino said.
Scarabino is also a good student in the classroom.
"I study as hard as I can to keep my grades up," she said. "I watch TV, and just hang out with family and friends."
Sunday is about the only day Scarabino has free on a normal basis.
"It is tough," she said. "My dad just tells me to give it my all, so does my mom. They are always helping me with my home work, and anything I need, they are there for me. I really appreciate it.
"I would also like to say a big thank you to my coach -Cissy (Wilson) - and Coach Brenda and definitely my 4x1 team, because I can always see Shartece in my mind when I am running the third leg, 'Pump you arms as fast as you can. Run on your tip-toes.'
"Mikyla gets us all together and so does Maleya. We'll say a prayer before the event."