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Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Apollo-Ridge's Tipton gets offer from Michigan State

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:42 p.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Apollo-Ridge receiver Tre Tipton (right) catches a touchdown against Sto-Rox during the first half of a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal playoff game Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at Deer Lakes.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Apollo-Ridge's Tre Tipton (1) walks off the field after losing to North Catholic in double overtime in their Class A game at Lt. J.C. Stone Field in North Park on Friday, August 30, 2013.

Usually, Tre Tipton is a step ahead of opposing players, in a prime position to elevate and make circus catches or intercept passes.

This past weekend, though, he got ahead of himself.

The Apollo-Ridge junior admits he was offside with an impulse commitment to Toledo — from which he quickly recoiled.

Tipton, a gifted receiver and defensive back with all-state accolades, thought he was doing the right thing, putting the recruiting process to bed Sunday night when he verbally committed to Toledo.

But the snap decision quickly came with regrets.

While it was a good-on-paper fit, the move lacked any serious discussion from people in Tipton's camp.

So about 24 hours after he accepted Toledo's offer, he called the team back to de-commit and put more thought into his future.

“I told them that I was sorry and I made a blind decision that didn't concern my mother or my coach; I wasn't ready,” Tipton said.

“I more so rushed myself because I didn't want to lose Toledo, but I had a talk with my mom, and she wanted me to wait.”

Tipton said it was no offense to Toledo. It could have been any school.

He simply was swept under the current and got antsy, wanting to secure arguably his largest offer — until Tuesday morning when Michigan State offered.

Tipton said the Spartans always have been high on his list and an offer from a Big Ten program certainly changes the perception of any prospect. He performed well at Michigan State's prospect camp.

“Michigan State really likes him,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said. “They said he did very well at their one-day camp and proved himself as one of their kind of players.

“Tre's going to take it slow. I believe Michigan State is a great fit.”

Skiba likes Michigan State, but his message for Tipton is to backpedal a bit and see what's in front of him rather than making a full sprint. Skiba played at Laurel and had Division I attention as a tight end before choosing Pitt.

“We talk a lot about his options and finding the right fit for him,” Skiba said. “He needs to slow down after the Toledo mistake.”

Tipton also has offers from St. Francis (Pa.), Duquesne, Ohio and Massachusetts.

Johnny Football

Another local player also has upped the ante after drawing his first offer from a BCS school. Central Catholic junior wide receiver/safety Johnny Petrishen, of Lower Burrell, picked up an offer from Virginia last week. That gives Petrishen (6-2, 190) 17 offers, most of them from the Ivy League. Most schools want him as an “athlete.”

All-star baseball

A total of 13 Alle-Kiski players were selected to play in Sunday's WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Games at Kelly Automotive Park — formerly Pullman Park — in Butler.

The Class A team will play Class AA at 1 p.m., followed by Class AAA vs. Class AAAA at 4 p.m.

Local selections on the Class AAAA roster are Ryan Sciullo of Kiski Area and Nick Stotler of Plum; Class AAA: Zach Junk and Caleb Thorn of Knoch; Class AA: Todd Coleman and Matt Olesnevich of Deer Lakes, and Noah Shannon and Matt Swartz of Freeport; Class A: Jason Anthony and Dom Conte of Riverview, Joey Luciana and Sam Thimons of St. Joseph, and Alex Demonte of Springdale.

Players will be honored at an awards banquet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Southpointe Hilton Garden Inn.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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