Area senior athletes announce college selections
Area senior athletes announced their college plans at ceremonies at both Ephrata and Cocalico High Schools on National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
At Cocalico, five players made their plans known in front of family, friends and coaches during a ceremony held in the CHS library.
Football and track star Jhet Janis made it official when he announced he will throw the javelin at the University of Oregon. His football teammate Mitch Shober signed to play football at Division Two Clarion, while girls lacrosse player Katie Costanza will continue her playing career at Lock Haven. Finally, two CHS field hockey players, Carrie Sensenig and Emily Johnson, will move on to the Division One level where they’ll play at Old Dominion and Bucknell, respectively.
Meanwhile at Ephrata, six athletes took part in a ceremony while a total of 13 Mountaineer seniors signed that day. Announcing to those family and friends in attendance were: soccer players Joel Chachapoya and Kole DeHaven, who will both play their college ball at Penn State-Abington; track and field star Crystal Hartman, who will throw for Division Two Shippensburg University; and field hockey players Olivia Fagan, Emma Frees and Alyssa Sadorf, who will take their talents to Lebanon Valley, Ursinus College and Messiah College respectively.
Players who didn’t attend the signing but announced their future plans were: Colin Albright, baseball, Lebanon Valley; Brooke Overly, field hockey, Ursinus College; Nicole Wilkerson, Messiah College, field hockey; Dakota Keefer, lacrosse, Lebanon Valley; Blake Weaver, lacrosse, Lebanon Valley; Madison Labrecque, soccer, West Chester University; and Alex Smith, track & field, Elizabethtown College.
Janis, who has grown into one of the top javelin throwers in the country, has competed at States the last two years and finished fourth a year ago as a junior. He owns the school record in that event (204 feet) and placed sixth place at the Penn Relays this past year and fourth in the World Games.
“I chose the University of Oregon because I really fell in love with the bond that everyone on the track team seems to have, and the way the athletes are treated around the campus. It’s unreal. I think it will be a good fit,” he said.
Shober played four years of varsity football at Cocalico where he developed into one of the top safeties in the league. A two-time all-star, he finished with more than 260 tackles throughout his career.
“I’m looking forward to bigger challenges both academically and athletically at Clarion,” he said. “I chose the school because it will give me a great education in the field of early childhood and special education. Clarion will also give me the opportunity to continue to play the sport I love.”
Costanza, a well-rounded midfielder who possesses good stick skills as well as excellent speed, is a two-time section all-star and was an L-L League All-Star a year ago. She has scored 103 goals and 58 assists in her first three seasons at Cocalico.
She plans to study psychology at Lock Haven.
“I chose Lock Haven because they are a very competitive and successful team and I knew I would fit in perfectly with the other players, and I fell in love with the coaches,” she said.
Sensenig, an All-League and All-State selection this past year, considered several other Division One programs such as Penn State, Virginia, UMass, Lafayette and Temple before deciding on Old Dominion, where her sister Dana was a star player before eventually becoming an Olympian in 2008.
“I chose ODU for several reasons,” she explained. “The language pathology program, the credentials and reputation of the head field hockey coach Andrew Griffiths, ODU’s legendary field hockey history and great facilities, and lastly a great field hockey team.”
Johnson, a two-year starter at Cocalico, plans to major in anthropology at Bucknell.
“I knew it was a perfect fit both athletically and academically,” she said. “I fell in love with the entire coaching staff and school.”
For Ephrata’s DeHaven and Chachapoya, it’s no coincidence they would up at the same school.
“I chose Abington, among other schools, to play with Kole in college,” Chachapoya, who will major in biological sciences, said. “I had three schools I was considering- West Chester, Drexel and then obviously Penn State-Abington, and at the end, I chose Penn State-Abington.”
DeHaven also wanted to play with his best friend.
“That’s one of the main reasons why I chose to go there,” he said. “But the other reason is because I want to be a physician’s assistant and they have a really good program there. I had three schools I was considering- Penn State-Abington, Misericordia, and West Chester.”
“It was kind of weird how it all happened,” he added, when asked about his wanting to play at the next level with Chachapoya. “I was kinda leaning toward another college and then Joel texted me one night and we talked about it for a little bit and we decided that it would probably be a better fit for us to go to the same college together. And I think we committed the same night too.”
Frees and Overly will also be teammates at the next level. According to Frees, Ursinus was the perfect fit for her both academically and athletically.
“I really liked the field hockey team at Ursinus and their biology program, it has a great funnel into the pre-med area, which is what I’m looking to do when I grow up,” she said. “I was also looking at three schools. I was interested in Ursinus, St.FrancisUniversity, and then Ithaca and ultimately Ursinus was the best fit.”
Frees, along with Sadorf and Fagan, formed a terrific trio on the defensive end for Ephrata this past season, which led to a Section Two championship.
Sadorf said she also considered West Chester before opting to join 2013 EHS grad Moriah Pfautz at Messiah.
“I chose it because I really like their campus and the people around it,” she said.
Fagan, an All-League defender in high school, will make the transition to LVC after also considering Misericordia.
“I chose LVC because I really like their physical therapy program, which will be what I’ll be majoring in. And I just really loved the campus there,” she said.
Hartman, an accomplished thrower for the EHS track team, considered HillpointUniversity and PennState before ultimately choosing Shippensburg.
“Ship just fit me the best,” she said.
Bruce Morgan contributed to this story.