Close to a dozen Seneca Valley student athletes signed on the dotted line Wednesday to play sports at the collegiate level.
“I think this is great for the community and the district,” said Athletic Director Heather Lewis. “What a fabulous opportunity to be a student athlete in college.”
Wednesday was the first day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s winter signing period. Six seniors signed letters of intent to play college football in exchange for financial aid. Another three students signed letters of intent to play soccer at the collegiate level. They are:
- Jon Dorogy: The Citadel, South Carolina
- Forrest Barnes: The Citadel, South Carolina
- R.J. McCauley: California University of Pennsylvania
- Jordan Brown: James Madison University, Virginia
- Nick Dahlstrom: Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania
- Dean Ketterer: Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania
- Morgan Williams: Kent State, Ohio
- Ryan Vilella: Xavier University, Ohio
- Melissa Lynskey: Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
Seneca Valley Head Football Coach Don Holl said he was proud of his players, who were freshmen when he joined Seneca Valley four years ago. This the first class Holl said he has seen through from their first year of high school to graduation.
“All the credit goes to these guys and how hard they’ve worked,” he said.
The six players, who made it to the WPIAL semifinals in 2012 before being falling to North Allegheny, aren’t the only ones moving on to play college ball. Holl said there also are four or five other seniors who intend to play football at Division III schools.
When it comes to seniors Williams and Lynskey, Girls Soccer Coach Dave Sylvester described them as great players—and leaders.
“We like to see the girls get recognized for their achievements in the classroom and the athletic field,” he said “I’m pretty excited to see what they’re going to do on the next level.”
Lynskey, who plans to major in engineering, said she’ll miss the closeness she and her fellow players shared, but is looking forward to meeting her future team.
“I’m excited to go to Lafayette,” she said. “It was my number one choice.”
Vilella also expressed excitement at moving on to play college soccer.
“It’s an opportunity to go on to the next level and make myself more accomplished as a player,” he said.
As for Brown, who started as quarterback his last three years of school and led the WPIAL in regular-season passing yards, he said he visited a variety of schools, including the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland, where his brother, C.J. Brown, is quarterback, before settling on JMU.
“I think it’s the perfect fit for where I’m going to be for the next four years,” he said.
He’s already excited at the prospect of meeting up with his older brother—even though they'll be on opposite side of the playing field. James Madison and Maryland play each other his sophomore year, Brown said.
“I can’t wait to play against him for the first time,” he said.
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