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Perkiomen Valley’s 1st-half burst bests Upper Dublin

UPPER DUBLIN >> The only thing that ended up slowing down the Perkiomen Valley offense Friday night was halftime. But it wasn’t enough to stop the Vikings for moving to 2-0.

After capping the first half with four consecutive touchdown drives to take a 28-9 lead on Upper Dublin, PV’s attack lost it groove and managed to collect just three points in the final 24 minutes.

“I think we just had a nice pace going. We were in a rhythm. I think we had them off balance a little bit in the first half,” Perk Valley coach Rob Heist said. “And then they made some corrections at halftime. And we had a hard time getting out of own way there in the second half.”

While the offense stalled out, the Vikings’ defense kept the host Cardinals in check and Perkiomen Valley came away from the non-league matchup with a 31-9 victory.

“We didn’t work too hard this past week, we kind of just thought, beginning of the season we were a little high on our horses,” Perk Valley’s Alec Jackson said. “But I think after this game we realized we need to step it up. Definite make changes and do better.”

Perkiomen Valley (2-0), ranked ninth in the PaPrepLive Top 20, routed Downingtown West 38-0 in its season opener but had a slow start against UD – the Vikes’ first two possessions ending in a turnover on downs and punt.

Down 3-0, a turnover got Perk Valley going – Kevin Delacruz’s interception setting the Vikings up at the Cardinals 13. Jon Moccia found the end zone on the next play with 12. 4 seconds left in the first quarter.

“I wouldn’t say we had them but we were in a good spot, let’s put it that way, until we turned the ball over down here,” Upper Dublin coach Bret Stover said. “That just seemed to flip it. And they’re that good that they just jumped on us.”

PV quarterback Cole Peterlin toss a pair of touchdown passes, extending the lead to 21-3 before a Malik Bootman 45-yard TD run had Upper Dublin (0-1) with 21-9 with 5:11 to go in the half.

But the Vikings answered with a 12-play, 70-yard drive Moccia finished by crossing the goal line from two yards out 19 seconds from intermission and PV had a 19-point edge.

“I’m pleased. We got a win and we have a young team so we’re going to have these little things that we’re going to correct in the early going here this season,” Heist said. “I can’t be unhappy. I think we played well especially our defense I thought was awesome tonight, really flying to the ball and tackling well.

“But offensively we just have to keep improving, we have to keep working and getting better every week. We got a real challenge coming up this week against Pennridge.”

Perkiomen Valley’s Jon Moccia works to elude an Upper Dublin defender during their game on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

The teams’ first seven drives of the second half ended in punts before PV’s Max Hand stopped the eighth with an interception. The turnover led to the half’s only three points, which came on a 32-yard field goal by Mike Weir at 3:15 in the fourth.

Peterlin was 20-of-28 for 166 yards – 121 in the first half – and two touchdowns while Moccia ran 14 times for 77 yards and two scores as the Vikings won their first two games for the third straight season.

“I think we did pretty good offensively. I think we got after it, we made very good plays,” Jackson said. “I think there’s always room to improve, always room to get better.”

Bootman had a game-high 98 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for Upper Dublin, which has a new look from the Cardinal teams’ that won three straight Suburban One League American Conference championships and the 2015 District 1-4A title.

“We had basically on offense, it was eight new starters and nine on defense,” Stover said.” Guys just a little bit of Friday night lights and it was faster than they’re used to. And they caught up, though.”

Perk Valley visits Pennridge next week while UD hosts Lansdale Catholic.

In the first quarter, Julian Gimbel connected with Jack Jamison for 35 yards down the PV 4 but the Cardinals could not get into the end zone and Chris Barbera’s 19-yard field goal made it 3-0 at 4:57.

“Seven would have big for us confidence-wise,” Stover said. “Credit to them, they stuffed us, stuffed us three times.”

Upper Dublin’s Jack Jamison catches a pass as Perk Valley’s Brian Fehr reaches for the tackle during their game on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)

Backfield pressure lead to Delacruz’s interception as Gimbel tried to throw a pass while in the grasp of Brian Fehr. The pick put the Vikings at the Cardinal 13 and Moccia scored the next snap.

Perkiomen Valley grabbed a 14-3 advantage when Jackson hauled in a Peterlin pass for a 24-yard touchdown at 9:27 to cap a four-play, 48-yard drive.

“Usually I’m more of a short pass kind of guy,” Jackson said. “I think it was a freak thing — no one saw me coming cause I’m taught to just look for blocks and stuff.”

The Vikings took a 21-3 lead at 5:29 as Isaiah Domine caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Peterlin to finish a six-play, 56-yard drive.

Lucas Roselli returned the ensuing kickoff to the PV 45 and on 1st-and-10 Bootman found space down the sideline to run to the end zone at 5:11.

The Vikings, however, answered by going 70 yards on a dozen plays for their fourth touchdown of the half. Facing a 4th-and-2 from the UD 27, Brendan Schimpf took a Peterlin pass 17 yards down to the 10. Three plays later, Moccia scored from two yards out.

Council Rock North’s Katie Lustig headed for Duke Rowing

NEWTOWN – When Council Rock North senior Katie Lustig began her current athletic career in rowing four years ago, she never imagined it would amount to much.

Now, the Newtown native is headed to Duke University to row with the Blue Devil women’s team.

“I just wanted to try it out, there was a camp nearby so I tried it and I loved it,” she said at an athletic commitment ceremony held for Rock North student-athletes in February. “I definitely didn’t start out rowing, thinking about college.”

Rowing with the Prince National Rowing Association (PNRA)/Mercer club, Katie’s career took off. That started her thinking maybe she could continue the sport at the next level.

Lustig had interest in some prestigious colleges around the country including Syracuse and Notre Dame, she knew her heart belonged to Duke.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “This time last year, I wanted to go there. Now, I am actually am going there.

“It’s crazy how it all worked out.

“I looked at Syracuse and Notre Dame but I went to Duke the first time and I was like, ‘yeah, this is my place.’”

“Academically, they’re amazing. But they also have a lot of services available to their athletes. Athletics just has a lot of assets down there and the community is amazing.”

The Blue Devils are coming off a solid season working under the tutelage of first-year coach Megan Cooke Carcagno, who turned in arguably one of the finest first-year coaching performances in Duke Athletics history during the 2015-16 campaign, receiving nearly every coaching award and leading the team to its first ever NCAA Championships appearance

Cooke Carcagno also led the Blue Devils to a second-place finish at the ACC Championship, helping Duke enter NCAAs with its highest ranking in program history at No. 12.

PNRA/Mercer coach Matt Carlsen believes Lustig will excel at Duke, adding that Katie has one of the faster erg scores on the team with a 7:34.0 (2-kilometers).

“I definitely expect that to drop below 7:30 by the time the season ends,” said Carlsen.

“Katie is a hard worker with a great personality. She knows how to bring a light-hearted mood to any situation.”

“I am excited to watch her progress through this season and over the next four years at Duke.”

For the past two summers, Lustig has been part of a varsity-8 plus coxswain girls boat that finished fourth at U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships that took place last June at Mercer Lake. Two years ago, the group captured a silver medal at nationals.

Individually, Katie has earned four gold medals at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta including metals she collected rowing with a group of eight U19 women and another she grabbed rowing with a U17 group operating a four-man boat with coxswain.

Lustig says this is her last year with PNRA Mercer thought the club does retain plenty of college rowers. She wants to go out with a bang at U.S. Rowing Nationals set for June at Nathan Benderson Park in Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida.

Katie has plenty of confidence heading into her final summer campaign as a high school rower.

“I would love to get to a final at nationals,” stated Lustig. “And it’s going to happen.

“There’s no way I’m leaving Mercer without getting to finals at nationals all three years.”

Two years ago in the finals, with Lustig on board the women’s varsity eight with coxswain, the girls left spectators shaking their heads in disbelief at the rowers’ tenacity and endurance.

While Mercer was lagging behind in fourth place early in the two-kilometer race, PNRA pulled ahead of third place Holy Name Academy (Washington) three-quarters of the way through, giving eventual champion Saugatuck Rowing Club (Connecticut) a run for its money.

Racing reports indicate the event commentator noted a 42-stroke rate by Saugatuck and momentum from PNRA/Mercer that seemed to lift the bow of the boat out of the water on every stroke.

As the race ended, PNRA/Mercer clinched the silver medal spot, missing the National Championship by less than 1.4 seconds.

After finishing fourth last season, the group is looking to get back to the finals this summer and perhaps win.

TOP PHOTOCouncil Rock North senior Katie Lustig (second, from right), flanked by her parents and PNRA/Mercer Rowing Coach Matt Carlsen, left. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

Matt Owens leads Council Rock South ice hockey to SHSHL finale (PHOTO GALLERY)

HATFIELD – Loving your chosen sport means more than trying to emulate its professional stars. Real passion includes talent, dedication and direction. Based on those criteria, Matt Owens, of Council Rock South, must certainly be infatuated with ice hockey.

Matt entered the ice hockey wars at the young age of two years old. “My dad got me into it. He played hockey growing up.”

Those early years on the ice proved challenging as young Matt tried to synchronize maneuvering around a frozen surface while wielding a big stick. “The shooting was tough because when I was younger. Whenever I shot, I would fall down.”

Matt obviously mastered and perfected his hold on the basic skills. Fifteen years later, the Council Rock South junior is assistant captain of the Golden Hawks team. This past season, he led his fellow icemen in total points with 15 goals scored and 13 assists.

More tellingly, Matt has developed the kind of commitment that embraces future aspirations. “I’ve been playing for all my life. I want to keep going. I kind of like working for something, working for a goal. The appeal of hockey is making a future for myself.”


To reach such goals requires real devotion. In addition to playing for the Golden Hawks, Matt practices and travels with his club team, the Minutemen, based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

“Playing for the Minutemen helped get a lot of publicity for college scouts and other junior teams. We went to Minnesota every month for a tournament. We went to Denver, also.”

Club involvement also created a rather hectic schedule when the season overlapped with Matt’s participation in the Suburban High School Hockey League (SHSHL). In essence, he hit the ice every day during the week and played games on the weekends.

His Monday practices with CR South focus on team chemistry. “We practice from 6:10 to 7:10. We work on flow drills, passing, and a lot of aggressive corner drills.”

The practice paid off as the Golden Hawks finished in second place in the SHSHL’s National Division. South racked up a 12-4 league mark, just a half-game behind William Tennent, who finished with a 12-3-1 record. The Hawks outscored their opponents by a 106 to 46 goal margin.

Their impressive record earned Council Rock a berth in the SHSHL’s playoffs held the week of February 28. “We went into it thinking we weren’t going to win that much. As the playoffs went on, we got our hopes up.”

In the opening round, the Hawks faced Souderton. Unfortunately, they also faced a depleted lineup. Three players and their coach Joe Houk were all serving suspensions. The remaining ice warriors, however, rallied and clinched a hard-fought 4-3 victory when Luke Hurwitz found the back of the Indian goal with 4:50 left in the game.

Next up for the Hawks was top-seeded Central Bucks West. Two goals by Dylan Feoli, and single scores from Matt Owens and Jared Wagenman helped knot the score at 4-4 at the end of regulation play.

Trey Elmer’s goal three minutes into overtime assured the Hawks a 5-4 upset win.

“That game really brought us together. I was in the box on the last play. The last play was a two-on-one and that was the first time we passed the puck up North/South, not East/West. We got the puck toward the offensive zone. After the game, we were very excited. We partied it up in the locker room and had a good time.”

The big victory sent the Hawks into the championship game against Central Bucks South, a team they had vanquished 5-1 during the regular season.

“We went in with a lot more confidence than we did for the beginning playoff game and that helped a lot. We were leading and then we got penalties and that brought us down.”

With seven minutes and 21 seconds left in the game, CR led 4-3. Back-to-back penalties on Trey Elmer and Joe Houk, however, left them facing a big two-men-down disadvantage.

“In that situation, we want to stop them from scoring and just keep our heads and not run around. We just try to play our position and keep people from in front of the net and make them shoot from outside the hash mark.”

The odds proved too great as the Titans wheeled off three quick goals to capture a 6-4 victory and claim the championship crown. “I felt kind of broken-hearted. I thought we had a great chance and penalties ruined us. That was what hurt us all season.”

Though disappointed, Matt and his Golden Hawk teammates knew they could rally for the upcoming Flyers Cup playoffs. “We’re facing Souderton first and we’ll have our whole team so we’re going in with more confidence than we did with the league playoffs. Then, we will have CB South in the second round and we will be seeking revenge.”

With a dedicated performer of Matt’s caliber leading the charge, the Golden Hawks should offer a strong Flyers Cup showing.

TOP PHOTO: Council Rock South’s Matt Owens (23) fights with CB South’s Nick Morelli (36) for position in recent SHSHL championship battle won by the Titans. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)

Council Rock South softball players lead 15 college commits to next level

Flanked by her family and coaches, Council Rock South middle infielder Phylicia Wilkov, front & center, committed to the Yale University softball program in a commitment ceremony held recently at CRS. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

SOUTHAMPTON – Last Friday at Council Rock South, 15 Golden Hawks playing nine sports committed to a dozen different colleges or universities.

They have one thing in common. So says CR South softball Coach Greg Heydet.

“When you have Division I or II players, their attitudes, desire and friendship is basically the same,” said the coach. “The reason that they are good is because they work hard, they listen and they make adjustments.”

Two of Heydet’s players – Phylicia Wilkov and Melanie Wilkinson – are moving on to the next level with the former player going to Yale and the latter headed to Rider.

Wilkov started out freshman year playing the outfield but moved to shortstop. Last year she played both short and third base.

On offense is where Phylicia made a huge adjustment in the middle of her varsity career. She changed her batting stance at the beginning of last season and it paid huge dividends her junior year.

After batting .311 as a sophomore, Wilcov turned in a .463 clip last year. She led the Golden Hawks with 25 hits, three doubles and an on-base percentage of .508. She was also tied for the team lead with 14 runs scored and was second with 15 RBIs.

“She was our most consistent power hitter last year,” said Heydet. “She believes in the coaches and will do whatever makes the team successful.”

Flanked by her family and coaches, infield-outfielder Melanie Wilkinson, front & center, committed to the Rider University softball program in a ceremony held last Friday at CRS. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

Her first two years at South, Wilkinson played third base. Last year, she offered to help out in the outfield, since the Hawks had a sudden weakness there. The coach says she should be back at third base for her senior year.

Those attributes are just part of the reason why her teammates recently elected Melanie to a second year as co-captain.

“The last two years, Wilkinson has matured as a player and teammate,” said Heydet. “She constantly looks to help.”

As a sophomore, Melanie batted .349 while leading the team with four home runs and 16 RBIs. Last year, Wilkinson was third at CR South with a .385 batting average. With an on-base percentage of .445, she also led the Hawks with five home runs and 17 RBIs.

Heydet says had CR South had an outfield fence, Melanie would’ve had at least 10 home runs. She brings a lot of power to the plate and is a verbal player on the field, he adds.

“Melanie reads the ball well off the bat. She is a very hard-nosed player who works very hard on her game.”

COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 2017 Athletic Commitments

Josh Kim              Baseball               Villanova University

Lukas Clark          Golf       Penn State University

Griffin Smith      Golf       Rider University

Caroline McGovern         Field Hockey      Boston College

Sarah Womer    Field Hockey      Shippensburg University

Joe Doyle            Wrestling             Binghamton University

Zach Trampe      Wrestling             Binghamton University

Jenna Fox            Swimming           West Chester University

Maria Buonomo               Soccer   Mount St. Mary University

Kasey Schlupp   Soccer   Philadelphia University

Jesse Magee      Soccer   West Chester University

Payton Spadaccino          Basketball           Bloomsburg University

Phylicia Wilkov  Softball Yale University

Melanie Wilkinson           Softball Rider University

Mary Kate Simpson         Lacrosse               Iona College

Council Rock North student athletes take game to next level (PHOTO GALLERY)

Fourteen athletes committed to collegiate sports Thursday at Council Rock North, Pictured in the front row, from left, Julianne Mangano, Sabrina Crane, Anna Lehman, Katie Lustig, Claire Jarema and Kayla Robinson. Second row: Isabella Zuzulo, Taylor Amazeen, Cameron Allen, Aidan Burke, Kevin Brandbergh and Anthony Caruso. Missing: Pat Bartlett and Joe Preciado.     (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

NEWTOWN >> Council Rock High School North and Council Rock South have both released a list of student athletes committing to collegiate sports.

CR North hosted a signing ceremony Thursday morning and CR South followed with its own on Friday morning.


COUNCIL ROCK NORTH 2017 Athletic Commitments

Julianna Mangano      Cornell University       Field Hockey

Pat Bartlett     Georgia State University         Football

Anthony Caruso                       New Jersey Institute of Technology    Soccer

Kayla Robinson            Charleston Southern University                      Soccer

Kevin Brandbergh       Fairfield University                 Swimming

Aidan Burke    Mercyhurst University                        Wrestling

Joe Preciado    Quinnipiac University             Baseball

Sabrina Crane Bryant University        Softball

Taylor Amazeen                      Boston University        Softball

Claire Jarema Bryant University        Lacrosse

Anna Lehman  Lehigh University        Lacrosse

Katherine Lustig          Duke University           Rowing

Isabella Zuzulo            Penn State University  Fencing

Cameron Allen            Yale     Fencing

COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 2017 Athletic Commitments

Josh Kim          Baseball          Villanova University

Lukas Clark      Golf     Penn State University

Griffin Smith   Golf     Rider University

Caroline McGovern    Field Hockey    Boston College

Sarah Womer  Field Hockey    Shippensburg University

Joe Doyle         Wrestling        Binghamton University

Zach Trampe   Wrestling        Binghamton University

Jenna Fox        Swimming       West Chester University

Maria Buonomo          Soccer Mount St. Mary University

Kasey Schlupp Soccer Philadelphia University

Jesse Magee   Soccer West Chester University

Payton Spadaccino      Basketball       Bloomsburg University

Phylicia Wilkov            Softball            Yale University

Melanie Wilkinson      Softball            Rider University

Mary Kate Simpson     Lacrosse          Iona College

Neshaminy High School has also announced a list of student-athletes moving on to the next level. They include offensive tackle Chris Wilson (Wagner), boys soccer standouts Dylan McDonald (Syracuse) and Dan Grinrod (West Chester), girls soccer players Maggie Daeche (Drexel), Alyssa Tobin (West Chester), Emily Tomlinson (Millersville), field hockey players Mia Sexton (Temple) and Emily Alexis (Sacred Heart), baseball players Zach Boop (Lehigh) and Eddie Parry (East Stroudsburg) and softball player Devan Masciulli (Millersville).

Neshaminy hosted its athletic commitment ceremony Friday afternoon.

Ten student-athletes stepping up for Neshaminy (VIDEO)

Pictured in the first row, from left; Emily Tomlinson, Devan Masciulli and Mia Sexton. Second row: Alyssa Tobin, Maggie Daeche, Emily Alexis and Dan Grinrod. Third row: Zach Boop, Chris Wilson and Dylan McDonald.            (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

LANGHORNE – Neshaminy senior Maggie Daeche couldn’t have picked a better way to start out her varsity soccer career. The backfielder for the lady Skins was part of a state championship team in 2013 that went unbeaten throughout the season.

Now, she’s put the icing on the cake, choosing to continue her athletic and academic quests at Drexel University. While she also had an interest in taking her game to James Madison University, she says ultimately she wanted to stay closer to the Delaware Valley.

“I wanted my parents to be able to come and watch me play,” said Daeche. “They’re a big part of my life so I really want them to come and watch.

Well, that and she wants to get a taste of urban life by attending a campus in University City, Philadelphia.

“I’ve always lived here; I’ve lived in the same house my whole life,” she said. “So I thought it would be cool to live in the city for just a short amount of time because I’ve never done that before.”

For others, a college choice comes down to a connection with your future teammates.

Midfielder Alyssa Tobin had also considered Wagner and Kutztown but felt she was treated a lot better when she took her official trip to West Chester.

“I just liked the area a lot more,” said Alyssa. “When I went on a visit, the girls were a lot nicer there. They made me feel more comfortable.”

Like Daeche, Tobin was part of the team that won states in 2013. While the Skins made an early exit from districts in each of the next two years, Neshaminy returned to postseason prominence. Indeed, the Skins won four straight in shutout fashion, topping No. 3 seed Pennridge 2-0 in the final.

“It was amazing,” said Tobin. “We hadn’t gotten that far the past couple years so it was really good to be able to do that.”

Tobin thinks getting onto the varsity program at NHS as a freshman will help when she gets to West Chester.

“I got to play with girls of a lot of different ages and that will help a lot in college,” she said. “I’ll be playing 20-year-olds and girls who are a lot older.”

A forward as a sophomore and junior, Tobin in her final high school campaign, moved back to a central midfield position. She prefers the middle of the field, she said, because she likes to see the play developing in front of her.

For Neshaminy football player Chris Wilson – who also considered East Stroudsburg and Millersville – the 6-5, 295-pound lineman chose Wagner because the Seahawks said they’d play him at left tackle.

Chis likes being able to protect the quarterback’s blind side but it goes a little further, for him.

“I’m left-handed and I feel like I get a better punch with my left hand,” said Wilson. “It definitely suits me better, working from the left side.

“I really like the responsibility of being able to say to the quarterback, ‘I can protect you and you can rely on me.’

“I like having that connection with my quarterback – that he can trust me on every single play.”

Head coach Steve Wilmot thinks Chris might be better suited to a guard position at Wagner. The Seahawks have a pair of tackles who are not only tall – each is 6-7 – both are very experienced. No matter where Wilson winds up on the O-line at Wagner, Wilmot is sure he’ll be successful.

Last season, Chris earned All-Suburban One League (SOL) honors and was elected the “Most Improved” player for the Skins.

“Playing offensive line is a craft. Besides the strength and toughness you have to have to play the position, you must play with great technique,” explained Wilmot. “Chris worked very hard at perfecting his technique.  Every day, he came to practice looking to improve.”

Wilson sure seems like he feels he benefited from the program at NHS.

“The coaching staff is great, here,” said Wilson. “They’re there for me, not only for football, but also for my home life and academics.

“Every person on that team is my brother,” he added. “I would go to war for those guys and I know that they would do the same for me.”

With Wilson on the front lines, Neshaminy returned to the District 1 tournament the past two years, making it as far as the District 1 Class 4A semifinals in 2015 and the Class 6A quarterfinals last fall.

The boys soccer team at NHS, meanwhile, after failing to make states the past three years, returned to the PIAA Tournament in 2016.

Two players for the Skins – Dylan McDonald and Dan Grinrod – made an impact on the team’s return to states. Both are heading off to play collegiate soccer with McDonald going to Syracuse and Grinrod staying closer to home at West Chester.

After getting off to a lukewarm start last fall, Neshaminy caught fire late in the season after head coach Tom Foley switched the playing formation from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 alignment.

After winning eight straight in the regular season, the Skins toppled Owen J. Roberts in a District 1-4A opener before falling at the hands of Council Rock North in the D-1 quarterfinals. The team bounced back and made states, however, with D-1 playback wins over Lower Merion and defending state champ CB East.

“It was a good season for our last year, here, making it out to states – something that we haven’t done since I’ve been here,” said Grinrod.

Grinrod was a three-year starter who also saw time in a reserve role as a freshman. With 23 career goals and 43 assists, he capped his time off a Neshaminy with 15 goals and 16 assists last fall.

“Dan has a tremendous touch on the ball,” said Foley. “He has great vision, is a great passer and an intense competitor. He had an outstanding year and will be very difficult to replace.

McDonald was a four-year starter in the backfield. In addition to earning first team All-SOL honors as a defender, he made it onto a similar list for varsity football, where he was a placekicker.

“Dylan is versatile; he reads the game as well as any player that has come through Neshaminy,” said Foley. “He’s just an outstanding defender, very dangerous in the air, great speed, and tough. He will certainly be next to impossible to replace.

McDonald finished his time at Neshaminy with 23 career goals and 10 assists.

Additional college commits for the Skins include soccer player Emily Tomlinson (Millersville), field hockey players Mia Sexton (Temple) and Emily Alexis (Sacred Heart), baseball players Zach Boop (Lehigh) and Eddie Parry (East Stroudsburg) and softball player Devan Masciulli (Millersville).

Council Rock South student athletes take game to next level (PHOTO GALLERY)

Fifteen student athletes from Council Rock High School South announced their intention to take their respective varsity game to the next level. The event was held Friday morning in the school cafeteria. (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

NEWTOWN >> Council Rock High School North and Council Rock South have both released a list of student athletes committing to collegiate sports.

CR North hosted a signing ceremony Thursday morning and CR South followed with its own on Friday morning.

Neshaminy High School has also announced a list of student-athletes moving on to the next level. They include soccer standouts Dylan McDonald (Syracuse) and Dan Grinrod (West Chester), field hockey players Mia Sexton (Temple) and Emily Alexis (Sacred Heart), baseball players Zach Boop (Lehigh) and Eddie Parry (East Stroudsburg) and softball player Devan Masciulli (Millersville).

Neshaminy is hosting its athletic commitment ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.


Josh Kim  Baseball   Villanova University

Lukas Clark       Golf Penn State University

Griffin Smith    Golf Rider University

Caroline McGovern          Field Hockey    Boston College

Sarah Womer  Field Hockey    Shippensburg University

Joe Doyle          Wrestling Binghamton University

Zach Trampe   Wrestling Binghamton University

Jenna Fox         Swimming        West Chester University

Maria Buonomo      Soccer      Mount St. Mary University

Kasey Schlupp Soccer      Philadelphia University

Jesse Magee    Soccer      West Chester University

Payton Spadaccino Basketball        Bloomsburg University

Phylicia Wilkov         Softball    Yale University

Melanie Wilkinson Softball    Rider University

Mary Kate Simpson          Lacrosse   Iona College

COUNCIL ROCK NORTH 2017 Athletic Commitments

Julianna Mangano           Cornell University            Field Hockey

Pat Bartlett         Georgia State University               Football

Anthony Caruso               New Jersey Institute of Technology        Soccer

Kayla Robinson Charleston Southern University                                Soccer

Kevin Brandbergh            Fairfield University                          Swimming

Aidan Burke       Mercyhurst University                   Wrestling

Joe Preciado      Quinnipiac University                     Baseball

Sabrina Crane    Bryant University             Softball

Taylor Amazeen               Boston University            Softball

Claire Jarema     Bryant University             Lacrosse

Anna Lehman    Lehigh University             Lacrosse

Katherine Lustig               Duke University                Rowing

Isabella Zuzulo  Penn State University    Fencing

Cameron Allen  Yale        Fencing

Council Rock North athletes get set to jump to the next level

Fourteen athletes committed to collegiate sports Thursday at Council Rock North, Pictured in the front row, from left, Julianne Mangano, Sabrina Crane, Anna Lehman, Katie Lustig, Claire Jarema and Kayla Robinson. Second row: Isabella Zuzulo, Taylor Amazeen, Cameron Allen, Aidan Burke, Kevin Brandbergh and Anthony Caruso. Missing: Pat Bartlett and Joe Preciado.           (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

NEWTOWN – While 14 Council Rock North student-athletes today announced their commitment to take their games to the next level, some made the decision as to exactly where that might be quite a while ago.

Field hockey midfielder Julianne Mangano had expressed interest in attending either Penn or Lafayette but Ivy League rival Cornell came calling last March so she decided to go with the Big Red.

“Cornell was the first school that offered and I knew I wanted to go there right away,”

With an older sister that went to Cornell, Mangano had a previous attachment to the school.

“I’ve been visiting the campus since second grade,” said Mangano. “For me, I always pictured that as the college I would go to.”

A quick glance at her stats – 46 points including 32 assists, as a junior – and it looks like the Big Red is getting a pretty solid midfielder in Mangano, a two-time Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference first team selection and two-time Pennsylvania High School Field Hockey Coaches Association second team all-state pick.

Equally, Mangano is pretty stoked about her college choice.

“I really love the people and the coaches; the players were really nice,” said Julianne.

“They’re really accommodating for balancing your schoolwork and the sport, whereas a lot of other schools aren’t.”

CR North girls soccer player Kayla Robinson also decided early, making a verbal commitment to Charleston Southern way back in November 2015.

Robinson had scholarship offers from Atlantic 10 rival St. Joseph’s and had expressed interest in James Madison and Marist. In the end, the Holy City seemed to beckon her name.

“I fell in love with the city,” said Robinson. “I feel like it’s a beautiful place for me to grow as a person and as a soccer player.

“It’s a great fit for me.”

Kayla expressed gratitude to former Lady Indians coach Wendell Beres, who moved her from center-back to forward as a sophomore. The move paid great dividends to both player and coach as Robinson put 52 balls in the back of the net during her time at the Rock.

She thinks she can make an impact on the Buccaneers’ offense at CSU.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I feel like I definitely have the potential to be a great forward in college.”

Anthony Caruso is another soccer player for Rock North who is moving on, though his job both in high school and at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where he’ll play collegiately, is to keep the ball out of the net.

While Caruso is encouraged by the fact that the Highlanders are graduating three senior goalkeepers, he’ll have to battle current freshman Victor Pujades, a 6-foot, 160-pound netminder from Spain who, last fall, broke the NJIT record for shutouts with seven.

As a high school senior, Caruso notched nine shutouts of his own and a 0.89 goals-against average, helping the Indians to their first state playoff berth in five seasons.

Anthony is quite familiar with waiting his turn to play, however. After seeing some time in net as a sophomore, he had to sit as a junior with Billy Storm in the net for North.

“Freshman year is going to be a building year for me – getting into the new workout schedules,” he said. “I think that’s going to be a good year for me and I think sophomore year I can start competing for a spot.”

Catcher Taylor Amazeen had the opposite experience playing high school softball; she suited up right away behind the plate for the Lady Indians. She says that helped her grow into the player she is today, one that’s headed to Boston University.

“I have learned so much from the older kids here,” said Amazeen. “I always played with kids my own age on my travel teams. Coming into high school, I was this young freshman and all these seniors were going to these great schools.

“They were so talented that I learned so much from them – not so much learning how to be a better player but more about how to be a better person and a better teammate.”

While Amazeen has been a steady force behind the plate for pitchers Hannah Mumber (Class of 2015), Elyse McMenamin, Amanda Camp (2016) and Jenna Khantzian, she and her cohorts have had to endure changes at the top that have seen three coaches in three seasons.

Still, the Rock North ladies managed to win 16 games and make it into the second round of districts last spring. A Second Team All-SOL selection as a junior, Amazeen is hoping to lead the team to states before she heads off to Bean Town.

Another Lady Indian with plans to play collegiate softball is centerfielder Sabrina Crane, who is taking her skills to Bryant University, in Rhode Island. Crane also expressed interest in playing for Iona, St. Joe’s and Bucknell but one visit to the campus in Smithfield changed all that.

“I just fell in love with the campus and all the coaches and players were amazing,” said Crane. “I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else.”

The Bryant Bulldogs had a rough start last year but bounced back to finish 9-7 in the Northeast Conference (NEC). The team is led by 2014 NEC Coach of the Year Shayne Lotito, who guided Bryant to a 32-22 record an NEC regular season and NEC Tournament championship three years ago.

With Crane, a first team All-SOL National and second team All-Pennsylvania selection in 2016, the Bulldogs could reach those heights again.

Sabrina says she’s grown a lot at North.

“I’ve learned something from each of the seniors that have graduated,” said Crane. “Each of them taught me something new about playing the game. Council Rock softball is an awesome program – we’re a really tight-knit team.”

“Last year was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had playing softball. We really came together as a team.

The other athletes at Rock North moving on to the next level include Pat Bartlett (Georgia State football), Aidan Burke (Mercyhurst/Wrestling), Joe Preciado (Quinnipiac/Baseball), Claire Jarema (Bryant/Lacrosse), Anna Lehman (Lehigh/Lacrosse), Kevin Brandbergh (Fairfield/Swimming), Katherine Lustig (Duke/Rowing), Isabella Zuzulo (Penn State/Fencing) and Cameron Allen (Yale/Fencing).