WASHS student-athletes to continue playing sports in college

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WAYNESBORO – It wasn’t graduation, but the gathering of about two dozen Waynesboro Area Senior High School student-athletes was a celebration of a future about to be embarked upon.

WASHS athletic director (and former collegiate swimmer) Eric McIlquham organized the get-together that took place in the early evening of May 4. Pictures Plus was on hand to take pictures of the student-athletes as they signed their mock Letters of Intent to their respective colleges.

It was a proud moment for the families of the young men and women putting their signatures on their near-term futures, as student-athletes representing a variety of sports (and majors) were on hand to participate.

The sports include football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and field, swimming, golf, and even lacrosse.

Since WASHS does not offer lacrosse, and Owen Taylor played the sport across the border in Maryland. He not only proved himself on the high school pitch, but he will play the sport at the next level.

Student-athletes filled out a questionnaire from McIlquham, with the usual information and with a twist. Below is what each had to say about their next four years:

Joelle Blake, swimming, Chatham University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school: A part of WASHS’s first official swim team.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend? I loved the environment of the team and coaches, the opportunities within the social work program, the city of Pittsburgh and the school campus.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am excited to learn more about my career as well as compete at the next level while making new connections.

What are your goals over the next four years?

To overall become stronger in and out of the pool, to reach newly-made goal time.

Who or what is your favorite:

Food: pasta

Song: Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)

Animal: Dolphin

Candy: Sour Patch Kids

Hobby: Music

Restaurant: Tropical Smoothie

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you where you are today?

My parents, coaches, teammates and the WASHS athletic staff

Ashley Donald, volleyball, Hood College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school: A part of WASHS’s first official swim team.

Jay Heefner Award (2018 and 2021), Miss Team Spirit (2020), MVP (2021), Mid-Penn Colonial Division 1st team All-Conference (2021), PIAA District 3 All-District 3rd Team

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

Because it felt like home, and I fell in love with the campus itself. It also offers everything I wanted out of a school while being able to play volleyball.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

Creating new friends and a new family, being able to continue my athletic career for my family and loved ones to watch.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Academically to keep above a 3.4 GPA and pursue my goal of receiving the libero position in volleyball and being aggressive on the court.

Who or what is your favorite:

Food: Pineapple

Song: Soul

School subject: Science

Memory: Last games played of 2021 (bus ride home) and winning conference

Animal: Dog

Candy: Sour Patch Kids

Restaurant: Niko’s

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

My parents for supporting me, Kim Saunders for being my mentor and always pusing me, senior girls for being by my side on and off the court.

Emily Channing, volleyball, Millersville University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Mason-Dixon All-Tournament Team (2019), Unsung Hero Award (2019), AAU Academic All-American (2021), 2-time Colonial Division champion (2020 and 2021), varsity captain (2021), Student Council President (2021-2022), historian of the Class of 2022 (2019-2022), historian of National Honors Society (2021-2022), distinguished honors all four years of high school.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

After many college visits feeling like I would never fully be comfortable, I stepped on to the Millersville University campus and knew that it would be the perfect place for me. I had also previously met the coach and some of the volleyball team at a performance showcase so I knew the team would be an amazing group of girls to be with for the next four years.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I’m looking forward to meeting all my new teammates, coaches and classmates and furthering my education in my designated career path. I am also looking forward to improving my skills and knowledge of the game.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Over the next four years I hope to make a positive impact on my new team, not only through my play but through my attitude and work ethic. I hope to learn more about the game of volleyball and to increase my knowledge in my studies as well.

Who or what is your favorite:

Food: Nachos

Song: She Will Be Loved (Maroon 5)

School subject: Chemistry

Memory: My senior volleyball season

Animal: Wiener dogs

Candy: Gummy worms

Hobby: Volleyball

Restaurant: Chipotle

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I would like to thank my mom and dad for always making sure I knew how much they supported me. Whether it was in volleyball or one of the other sports I played throughout my childhood, my parents never missed a single game. They always gave me a big thumbs-up and a smile before the game and a big bear hug after the game. I never would have gotten to where I am without them believing that I had the talent to reach my goals. I also would like to thank Coach (Kim) Saunders for not only teaching me the game of volleyball but also the importance of being a good teammate and leader. In all my years of playing volleyball I have never met a coach so passionate about the game and so willing to share every single bit of knowledge with her players.

Cara Toney, swimming, California University of Pennsylvania

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Making varsity all four years of high school, being a part of Executive Council my junior and senior years, being co-captain my senior year

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I decided to commit to Cal U after I went on a college visit and after getting to see the entire campus and meet with the swim coach I felt something click and it was the right fit for me. I will enjoy the next four years there.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am most looking forward to being in a new environment and getting to meet new people. I am also excited about being part of a new team and having that community. I also look forward to my classes and meeting the professors.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Make good grades through all four years; be able to qualify for the PSAC Championships; step out of my comfort zone and try to open up more opportunities for myself whether it’s academic or athletic.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Lilly King

Food: Macaroni and cheese

Song: Intimidated (KAYTRANADA)

School subject: History

Memory: My niece being born

Animal: Sloth

Candy: Watermelon Sour Patch Kids

Hobby: Kayaking and thrifting

Restaurant: Chick-fil-A

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I definitely would thank my parents and my coaches for pushing me to be my best throughout the years and rally helping me throughout the whole college process.

Brody Rhodes, football, Lycoming College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Honor roll and Honor roll with high honors, 2018 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, 6 Hammer awards, 2019 Indian Pride award, Mid-Penn Colonial Division First-Team All-Star (Return specialist), Second Team Receive, and 2021 Team MVP.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?
I selected Lycoming College because I feel that the university, academics, students, staff and coaches best suited me to put me n a spot to thrive, succeed and grow on and off the field.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am most looking forward to create new bonds and create a family feel with others like the one that we’ve created in Waynesboro.

What are your goals over the next four years?

One of my goals over the next four years is simply to grow, not only physically but especially mentally. I am looking to find a career that I love and gather the tools I will need to pursue that career in my future. My goal for the football team is to put them in the best spot to win/be successful by being a playmaker.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Food: Fried rice

Song: Kacey Talk

School subject: Math

Memory: Mechanicsburg Hail Mary

Animal: Dolphin

Candy: Cookie Dough Bites

Hobby: Hanging out with friends

Restaurant: Hibachi

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

Anyone who has ever supported, cheered and pushed me, but especially my family, friends and coaches.

Dylan Byers, golf, Alvernia University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Made it to post-season golf my last three years, made the honor roll as a high school athlete.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I fell like the golfing opportunities there as well as academics will help me grow as a student and a golfer.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

As I continue my life, I would like to earn a sports management degree and lead my collegiate team to victories.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Earn a degree in sports management, continue to grow my golf game by practicing and learning from my new coaches and teammates; perform well in tournaments, to help my team to match wins. I would like to continue to develop relationships within the golf industry.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Washington Commanders

Food: Sushi

Song: Home Sweet (Russel Dickerson)

School subject: Math

Memory: Making it to the second day of states

Animal: Rottweiler

Candy: Muddy Buddies

Hobby: Golfing

Restaurant: Texas Roadhouse

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I’d like to thank my parents for helping me through school and becoming a better golfer to get the opportunity to be able to play in college.

Louie Lindsay, football, College of Wooster

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Playoff victory in football, Honorable Mention Mid-Penn Colonial Division quarterback, co-offensive MVP for the football team, Mid-Penn Colonial Division co-champions in basketball, defensive MVP for the basketball team.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I love the culture of the football program, the town of Wooster and the independent study program they offer.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

Meeting new people and competing at the next level.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Get a bachelor’s degree, contribute to the success of the football team, and put myself in a position to get hired to a good-paying job.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Food: Pizza

Song: Humble (Lil Baby)

School subject: History

Memory: Winning a playoff game

Animal: Dog

Candy: Twix

Hobby: Piano

Restaurant: Wendy’s

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

My parents, coach (Josh) Sprenkle, (Tom) Hoffman, Dayhoff, Proctor and Stoner, and all my coaches. I also thank my teammates for welcoming me in with open arms last year.

Cora Helman, cross country/track and field, Shenandoah University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Varsity in cross country and track and field; National Honors Society; Honor Roll all four years

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I liked the location and the size of the campus. In addition, I liked the atmosphere of the campus.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I’m excited to make new friends and compete at the college level.

What are your goals over the next four years?

I want to find the career path for me while continuing to improve the sport I enjoy.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

My coaches, teammates, teachers, family and all the others who support me throughout my academic and athletic career.

Rhyan Day, football, Bridgewater College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Team captain (2021 and 2022), First-team All-State, Mid-Penn Colonial Division First Team on defense, Honor Roll

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I picked Bridgewater because I liked the small class sizes as well as a great community. I also connected with the coaches and it felt like home. Bridewater also has a great Health and Physical Education program.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am looking forward to grow as a student and excel with my athletic career.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Study Health and Physical Education and minor in coaching; play the sport I love and have a great college experience and meet new friends.

Who or what is your favorite:
Team: Washington Commanders

Food: Cheeseburger

Song: Humble (Lil Baby)

School subject: Gym

Memory: Winning first playoff game in Waynesboro history

Animal: Dog

Candy: Skittles

Hobby: Hanging with friends

Restaurant: Olive Garden

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I would like to thank my family and teammates for all the support. I would also like to thank all the coaches that have helped me get to where I am today.

Becca Cordell, soccer and basketball, Wilson College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

I have been on varsity three out of the four years of high school soccer; my senior year I earned Second Team All-Conference (Mid-Penn Colonial Division) and was invited to the senior all-star game. For basketball, I have also been on varsity three out of the four years of high school. For academics, I have always gotten honors and sometimes high honors.

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I selected Wilson College because it is close to home and they had the major I wanted. I also really wanted to play sports and they have given me the opportunity to do that.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am looking forward to learning new things and making friendships.

What are your goals over the next four years?

My goal is to do the best I can whether it is with sports or academics, also to learn everything I can about my major so I can make a difference.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Food: Pizza

Song: You Belong to Me (Taylor Swift)

Animal: Cheetah

Candy: Twix

Hobby: Video games

Restaurant: Subway

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

My parents, my family, all my coaches and friends.

Hope Freels, basketball, Wilson College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Honorable mention in field hockey

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

Small school, close to home

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am looking forward to having the team environment again, with new people. The people you meet while playing sports are the best people ever. Academic wise, I am excited to be able to focus on what I want to do in life and my education be geared towards what I need to succeed.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Have fun, but while maintaining my grades and sport life. Also, to try new things, branch out of my comfort zone.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Maryland

Food: Blackened chicken bacon ranch wraps

Song: As it Was (Harry Styles) or Memories (Conan Gray)

School subject: History

Memory: Making the game-winning free throw in our first game (Franklin County Tip-Off Tournament)

Animal: Lion

Candy: Reese’s

Hobby: Watching TV or movies

Restaurant: Aki

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I would like to thank my dad for being my biggest supporter. I would also like to thank my old basketball coaches Tyler and Vanessa for never giving up on me and pushing me to be my best self on and off the court.

Bryson Shaull, soccer, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

2021 Mid-Penn Keystone Division (1st Team All-Conference); 2020 Mid-Penn Keystone Division (1st Team All-Conference); 2019 Mid-Penn Colonial Division 2nd Team All-Conference; National Honor Society member since sophomore year; DC United (2019-2020) and Baltimore Celtic player (2020-2022)

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

UMBC was a great fit for me both academically and athletically. The soccer team also has a great relationship with the Baltimore Celtics, my club soccer team, which made it an easy decision for me.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I’m looking forward to the new challenge of college soccer. I’m especially excited to compete against some of the best soccer players in the country, also getting to represent Samuel Benshoff by wearing his number 12 for the next four years; and, hopefully play professionally as well.

What are your goals over the next four years?

To make a name for myself at the college level, be named to All-Conference teams, make an NCAA appearance, qualify for the MLS combine, play professional soccer

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Liverpool

Food: Buffalo wings

Song: Into Yesterday (Sugar Ray)

School subject: Gym

Memory: Senior Bucknell team camp

Animal: Dog

Candy: Sour Patch Kids

Hobby: Sports card collecting

Restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

Definitely my mom. She got me started in the sport and helped me develop a love for it. Also my teammates and coaches through the years.

Andrew Brizan, football, Moravian University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Honor Roll

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I selected Moravian University because of the health science program and how at home I felt.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I am looking forward to meeting new teammates and coaches, as well as beginning a new chapter in my life.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher, make it to the playoffs, get a starting spot, increase my strength.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Food: Jamaican

Song: Switch it Up

School subject: Science

Memory: All of senior year

Animal: Otters

Candy: Reese’s

Hobby: Lifting

Restaurant: Chilis

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting to where you are today?

I would like to thank my mom for being such an inspiration to me; my family and friends for the support they all gave me, and my coaches for teaching me everything I know and pushing me to do better every day.

Aidan Mencia, football, Lebanon Valley College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Offensive MVP two times; Honor roll all four years; Student of the Month; Indian Award; Mid-Penn Colonial Division Offensive MVP

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I loved the community and family vibe it had. All the football guys were very respectable and presented themselves very well. Academically, the professors are always there to help with anything you need, great support from the school and community.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

Build a family with all the football guys and make connections like no other, to obtain a great education with a major in business administration.

What are your goals over the next four years?

To gain my real estate license and get my college degree. While playing football, trying my best to take advantage of the time I have in front of me while staying happy.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Food: Steak

School subject: History

Memory: Playing and laughing with my grandfather

Animal: Dog

Candy: Kit Kat

Hobby: Video games

Restaurant: Sushi Bomb

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting to where you are today?

Everyone in my family for supporting me 100 percent of the way, and the whole Waynesboro community for helping me get to where I am today.

Maddox Brooks, baseball, James Madison University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

2022 Pre-season Mid-Penn Colonial Division MVP; 2021 Mid-Penn Colonial Division 2nd Team

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

It was the best fit academically and athletically; they have a great coaching staff and program.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

Attending James Madison University and playing in the Sun Belt Conference.

What are your goals over the next four years?

To graduate college and have the best athletic career possible.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

My mother and father, grand-parents, my sister Taylor, my Uncle Scott Biesecker, Dale Roop, Tim Merry; my teammates and the coaching staff at Waynesboro, and the JMU coaching staff.

Kasyr Deputy, football, Thiel College

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Honor Roll; 2nd Team All-Mid-Penn Colonial Division on defense

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I chose Thiel College because I wanted to go somewhere I would play physical. I’m going to a young team that I feel we are all focused; we could get something done this year. I love the area, not much to get distracted with.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I look forward to playing football and making my name known. Also, after a couple years, I might take a break and focus on school to become a therapist.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Goals I set for the next four years are working on my mindset as I go through college and into life; focusing on my family and balancing with being away from home and building my relationship with God more and more every day.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Philadelphia Eagles and Brooklyn Nets

Food: Tacos

Song: Survivor (NBA Young Boy)

Animal: Dog, chameleon

Candy: Reese’s

Hobby: Playing basketball

Restaurant: Longhorn’s

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I would like to thank my family; first, my mom. She’s always been there supporting me; my dad and his crazy workouts. My coaches have been a big part as well. I want to thank Coach Sprenkle, Coach Dayhoff and Coach Lesher and everyone who has helped me along the way.

Garrett Beaver, baseball, Salisbury University

Athletic and academic accolades achieved while in high school:

Honors with distinction

Why did you select the college/university you are going to attend?

I selected Salisbury because it selected me. From the moment I arrived there until the moment I left, it was home. The warm weather is always a bonus, and they were the first school to recruit me.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your academic and athletic career?

I’m looking forward to the friendships that I will make and the coaches I’ll meet.

What are your goals over the next four years?

Graduate college with a major in English and a concentration in secondary education.

Who or what is your favorite:

Team: Boston Red Sox

Food: Peanut butter and jelly

Song: Last Call (Kanye West)

School subject: English Literature

Memory: Bus rides after wins

Animal: Beaver

Candy: Twix

Hobby: Pickleball

Restaurant: Aki

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to where you are today?

I would like to thank all my coaches and friends that have helped me along the way. I would also like to thank my mom for loving me and my dad for making me the best I can be.

Other student-athletes going on to play their sport in college are Ben Steiger (soccer, Southern Virginia University); Dillon Turner (track and field, Wingate University) and Joel Weber (cross country, Pitt-Johnstown).