College Corner: Greencastle grad Kirkwood kicking his way into Navy football lineup


Fall sports are well underway and the results are in: Greencastle athletes are showing up with some big performances on the collegiate stage. 

On the gridiron, ex-Blue Devil Nate Kirkwood is finding increasing opportunities to handle kicking duties for the Division I Navy Midshipmen. Kirkwood has been perfect on PATs and has already banged in two field goals this fall. He’s also been a weapon on the kickoff team, where he is averaging 60.9 yards per kick.

In this month’s College Corner, we’ll shine the spotlight on Kirkwood and others on the football field, while also taking a look at former Greencastle athletes involved in soccer, field hockey, cross country, volleyball, and golf.

Next month College Corner will check in on Chambersburg athletes competing at the next level, before rotating back to Waynesboro and Greencastle, once again.

Additions for College Corner can be sent to Andy Sandrik via email at [email protected].


Nate Kirkwood, Sophomore, Navy

Kirkwood, a placekicker who started the season second on Navy’s depth chart, is already starting to ink his name into the scorebook for the Midshipmen.

The 6-foot-2, 174-pound Kirkwood made his season debut on Sept. 14 in a 28-24 loss to Memphis, nailing a 36-yard field goal while also crushing a 65-yard kickoff. In Navy’s next game, a 44-30 loss to South Florida on Sept. 30, Kirkwood handled all of the kicking duties. He went 3 for 3 on PATs and 1 of 2 on field goals, connecting on a 44-yard try, while also driving six kickoffs for 361 yards, for an average of 60.2 yards.

Navy (1-3, 0-2 AAC) returns to the gridiron on Saturday with a home game against North Texas (2-2), a squad coming off a 45-31 win over ACU.

Ethan Shank, Sophomore, Juniata

Juniata’s leading tackler is none other than Shank, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back.

In five games of action, Shank has racked up a team-best 44 tackles, including a half tackle for loss. He’s also logged an interception and two pass break-ups.

Shank totaled a season-high 12 tackles in a 34-0 loss to Alfred on Sept. 9.

Juniata (1-4, 1-1 Landmark) returns to action on Oct. 14 with a home game against Susquehanna (5-0), a team coming off a 50-21 win over Catholic.

Darren Kline, Freshman, Misericordia

Kline has appeared in two games for the Cougars.

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound linebacker logged no stats in game action.

Misericordia (1-3, 1-2 MAC) returns to the field on Saturday with a home game against Eastern (1-3, 1-2 MAC), a team coming off a 45-7 loss to Lebanon Valley.

Jacob Kumfert, R-Freshman, Saint Francis University

Kumfert, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman, has been inactive up to this point for the Red Flash.

The Business Major is providing depth for a Saint Francis squad that is 1-4 this season, including 1-1 in the NEC.

The Red Flash, who were scheduled to face Wagner on Thursday, return to the field on Oct. 12 for a home game against Wagner (2-3, 2-0 NEC), a team that is coming off a 52-3 loss to Rutgers.

Tavon Cooper, Freshman, Shippensburg

Cooper is still learning the ropes and waiting to see the field in his first year of college football.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Cooper is listed on Shippensburg’s roster as a defensive back following a 2022 high school season that saw Cooper earn Mid-Penn Colonial Division Offensive Player of the Year honors.

The Accounting Major will continue to hone his craft on the practice field for the Raiders.

Shippensburg (1-4, 1-1 PSAC) returns to action on Saturday, when it plays host to West Chester (3-2, 1-1 PSAC), a team coming off a 24-21 (OT) win over Bloomsburg.

Sawyer Brookens, Freshman, Shippensburg

The grandson of Ike Brookens and nephew of Tom Brookens — both former members of the Detroit Tigers — is looking to prove his worth in the college football arena.

Measuring in at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Brookens will be looking to challenge for playing time as a tight end and long snapper. He is currently waiting for his first minutes of the season.

David Niebauer, Sophomore, Bridgewater

Niebauer, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound running back, is still working to earn his first collegiate reps for Bridgewater.

The Eagles (3-1, 1-0 ODAC) return to action on Saturday with a road game at Shenandoah (3-1, 1-0 ODAC), a team coming off a 38-3 win over Ferrum.

Jake Yelton, Freshman, Shepherd

Yelton has been inactive up to this point for Shepherd.

He is listed on the roster as a 6-foot, 215-pound tight end and fullback.

Yelton, a Criminal Justice Major, and the Rams (4-1, 1-1 PSAC East) return to action on Saturday with a road game at Lock Haven (3-2, 1-1 PSAC East).

Landon Searles, R-Freshman, Peru State

Searles, a 6-foot-4 defensive lineman, is still waiting for his first collegiate reps.

Peru State (2-4) returns to the field on Oct. 14 for a home game against Graceland (3-3), a team coming off a 41-21 loss to Midamerica Nazarene.


Mia Libby, Freshman, Messiah

With Libby appearing in every game this season, Messiah is the No. 5-ranked team in NCAA Division III this fall.

Libby, a 5-foot-1 midfield player, has appeared in all 10 games for the Falcons, including seven starts, and has logged seven shots on goal for the Falcons. With Libby serving as a regular in the lineup, Messiah is outscoring opponents 23-6.

Libby and the Falcons (8-2, 1-0 MAC Commonwealth) will look to win their fifth-straight game on Saturday, when they play host to Widener.

Thomas Oberholzer, Senior, PSU Mont Alto

Through 10 games this fall, Oberholzer is the leading scorer for Mont Alto.

The 6-foot, 185-pound midfield player leads the Lions with nine points, which have come on three goals and three assists.

Oberholzer most recently found the back of the net on Sept. 27 in a 4-2 win over PSU Hazleton.

Mont Alto (4-6, 3-1 PSUAC) returns to the field on Saturday for a road game at PSU Lehigh Valley.

Courtney Andruczk, Sophomore, High Point

After a 2022 season at UC Santa Barbara that saw Andruczk record one assist in eight matches of play, the 5-foot-5 forward is playing soccer at High Point this fall.

She’s appeared in six games for the Panthers and recorded the first goal of her collegiate career in a 3-2 win over Winthrop on Sept. 23.

High Point (4-4-5, 2-1-1 Big South) returns to the field on Saturday for a road game at Longwood.

Foday Bangura, Sophomore, Villanova

Bangura, a Greencastle athlete who went to Mercersburg Academy, appeared in three early-season games for Villanova.

The 6-foot-1 defender started in all three of those games, but hasn’t been in the lineup since his team played to a 1-1 draw against Michigan State on Sept. 4.

The Wildcats (1-4-3, 1-2 Big East) return to the pitch on Saturday with a home game against Seton Hall.

Gershon Bangura, Freshman, Northampton Community College

Bangura, a 6-foot-2 forward, has appeared in seven of eight games for Northampton Community College, and recently recorded his first collegiate goal for the Spartans.

Bangura, who also has four starts to his name, found the back of the net in a 3-2 loss to PSU Lehigh Valley on Sept. 14.

The Spartans (2-5-1, 1-3-1 Region 19) return to the field on Saturday for a home game against Delaware County Community College.

Rylee Henson, Freshman, La Salle

One year after being named all-state as a high schooler, Henson has been earning semi-regular time for the Explorers this fall.

A 5-foot-8 defender, Henson has appeared in six games for La Salle, including three starts. She provides depth for an Explorers’ defense that is allowing 1.54 goals per game.

La Salle (6-5-2, 4-1 A-10) returns to action on Saturday with a home game against George Mason.

Kirstin Eichelberger, Freshman, Hagerstown C.C.

Eichelberger, a Greencastle native who went to James Buchanan, has started in nine of 10 games for Hagerstown, which is off to a 7-3 start this fall.

Eichelberger, a 5-foot-2 midfield player, has totaled one goal and one assist for the Hawks.

Her first collegiate goal was a game-winner, and it came in a 4-0 victory over Garrett College on Sept. 5.

Hagerstown returns to the field on Saturday with a road game at Christendom.

Sydra Royer, Freshman, Hagerstown CC

Royer has been a fixture in the Hagerstown lineup this season, with the 5-foot-6 defensive midfielder assisting a Hawks’ defense that is allowing just 1.1 goals per game.

Royer has appeared in all 10 games for Hagerstown, including eight starts, and she recorded a goal in a 4-0 win over Garrett College on Sept. 5.

Kenneth Hott, Senior, Lancaster Bible

Hott, who grew up in Greencastle and went to Cumberland Valley Christian, is a 5-foot-8 forward on Lancaster Bible’s reserve soccer roster.

The Chargers reserve team is 0-4 and set to return to action on Oct. 9 with a home game against PSU Mont Alto.

Avery Parks, Sophomore, St. Bonaventure

Parks, a 5-foot-4 midfield player, has appeared in one game for St. Bonaventure this fall.

The Bonnies (3-4-5, 2-2-1 A-10) return to the pitch on Sunday with a road game at UMass.


Delaney Fulfer, Senior, Wilson

Fulfer, a 5-foot-6 defender, has provided depth for a Wilson defense that is allowing two goals per game.

Fulfer has seen action in four games, totaling 65 minutes of playing time. She last appeared on Sept. 20 in a 3-2 overtime loss to Elizabethtown.

The Phoenix (5-4, 0-1 United East) return to competition on Oct. 11, when they host Southern Virginia.

Kaley Barnhart, Senior, Wilson

Barnhart, a 5-foot-2 forward, has been inactive for the Phoenix this season.

She’s appeared in 22 games for Wilson over the course of her career, recording one goal.

Olivia Winslow, Junior, Virginia Wesleyan

Winslow enters this season with a wealth of collegiate experience to support the Marlins.

Winslow, a 5-foot-10 forward, has appeared in 28 games over the course of her career, including 15 starts, and has a goal and an assist to her name.

This season Winslow has appeared in three games for Virginia Wesleyan, most recently seeing the field on Sept. 25 in a 10-0 loss to Christopher Newport.

The Marlins (3-7, 0-2 ODAC) return to action on Saturday with a home game against Eastern Mennonite.


Weber Long, Sophomore, Wake Forest

Long kicked off his season with a collegiate-best time in the 8K at the Virginia Invitational on Sept. 23.

At that race, he blazed to the finish line in 24:28 for 105th place. Long shaved more than 20 seconds off his previous-best time of 24:50, which he ran at the ACC Championships last fall.

Wake Forest returns to competition on Oct. 13 for the Nuttycombe Invitational at Wisconsin.

Danny Miller, Senior, Lynchburg

Miller is quickly rounding into postseason form after just two meets this fall.

He kicked off his season at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Sept. 15 and there he ran a time of 28:18 for 78th place.

Miller heated up two weeks later at the Lehigh Paul Short Run on Sept. 30, completing the race in 26:57 for 186th place. That time was faster than the 27:30 he ran at the 2022 ODAC Championships and just off his 8K PR of 26:36, also established in 2022.

Miller, an Information Technology Major, and the Hornets return to competition on Oct. 13 for the Roanoke Invitational.

Denver Norcross, Senior, Southern Virginia

It’s been a busy fall at Southern Virginia for Norcross, a Greencastle native who ran for James Buchanan.

Norcross has competed in three meets this season, starting with the LVC Dutchmen Invitational on Sept. 9, where he ran a 32:32 for 99th place. One week later at the Lancer Pink Invitational on Sept. 16, Norcross climbed to a 36th-place finish in 31:29.

Finally on Sept. 30 at the Berry Invitational, Norcross ran to an 81st-place finish in 31:52.

Norcross is chasing his 8K PR of 30:07, which he set in 2021 at the USA South Championships.

Southern Virginia returns to competition on Oct. 13 for the Roanoke Invitational.

Taryn Parks, Junior, North Carolina

Two meets into the season, Parks has been inactive for the Tar Heels.

She was a standout for North Carolina last fall, when she ran seven races and finished Top 30 at the ACC Championships (20:27) and NCAA Southeast Regionals (20:48) before taking 153rd at the NCAA Division I Championships in 20:56. Parks owns a 6K PR of 19:54.

Parks is even more decorated as a track athlete, where she is the two-time defending ACC champion in the mile.

The Tar Heels cross country squad returns to action on Oct. 13 for the Nuttycombe Invitational at Wisconsin.

Kyle Baker, Freshman, Shippensburg

Baker, an Exercise Science Major, has been inactive for Shippensburg through four meets this season.

The Raiders return to action on Oct. 21 at the PSAC Championships.


Madie Eagler, Freshman, Saint Vincent

Eagler has been a staple in the Saint Vincent lineup, with the 5-foot-8 setter having a big impact in all 13 of the Bearcats’ games this fall.

She started in 11 of those matches, and for good reason. In 46 sets of work, Eagler leads Saint Vincent with 326 assists, while also totaling 33 points, 19 kills, 10 service aces, 110 digs, and eight blocks.

Eagler’s best statistical match came on Sept. 23 in a 3-1 loss to Mount Aloysius, when she logged season-best efforts in assists (42) and digs (13).

The Bearcats (6-7) return to the court on Saturday with a road match at Thiel College.

Gabby Baughman, Senior, PSU Mont Alto

Baughman, a 5-foot-4 defensive specialist, has been a crucial member of the Mont Alto machine.

Baughman has appeared in all 18 matches for the Lions this fall and in 67 sets of work she has accumulated 194 digs, 21 service aces, 23 points, two kills, and three assists.

She turned in a monster effort in a 3-2 loss to Notre Dame of Maryland on Oct. 4, recording season-best totals for digs (27) and service aces (5).

Mont Alto (10-8, 6-0 PSUAC) returns to the court on Saturday, when it plays host to PSU Du Bois.


Timothy Ehko, Junior, Geneva

Ehko has been a reliable Top 3 scorer for Geneva all season.

He’s competed in four meets this season for the Golden Tornadoes and has been a steady presence in the Geneva lineup. 

Ehko kicked off his season on Sept. 5 at the Geneva Fall Opener and shot a 2-over 73 to finish fourth overall. Then in a 314-354 win over Carlow University on Sept. 9, Ehko checked in as the runner-up with a score of 76, finishing only one stroke behind teammate and match winner Austin Goehring (75).

On Sept. 14, the Grove City Invitational saw Ehko shoot an 87 to finish 64th overall and third on his Geneva squad. Illness kept Ehko out of the lineup for the Golden Tornadoes’ next two meets, but was able to make a successful return to the team.

Competing in the La Roche Invitational on Oct. 2, Ehko led all Geneva golfers with an 87.

Ehko, a Criminal Justice Major, and the Golden Tornadoes return to the golf course on Oct. 9, when they compete at the Westminster Invitational.

Ben Irr, Freshman, PSU Mont Alto

In his first season of college golf, Irr has slowly but surely worked his way through the pecking order at Mont Alto.

He began his season by shooting a 78 at the PSUAC Invitational on Sept. 7 and followed it up on Sept. 19 at the PSU Wilkes-Barre Invitational by shooting a 90 to finish as his team’s fifth golfer.

Irr then had his highest finish of the season at the PSU Brandywine Invitational on Oct. 3. There, he was Mont Alto’s No. 2-ranked golfer, carding a score of 81 to finish 19th overall.

Mont Alto returns to action on Sunday for the PSUAC/USCAA Championships in State College.

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