Three Cocalico athletes make college commitments

By on March 13, 2019
Cocalico athletes (left to right) Evan Kreider (Shippensburg), Rowan Lapi (Northwestern) and K.C. Miller (Wilmington) announced their college intentions during a ceremony at the high school Feb. 6. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Cocalico athletes (left to right) Evan Kreider (Shippensburg), Rowan Lapi (Northwestern) and K.C. Miller (Wilmington) announced their college intentions during a ceremony at the high school Feb. 6. Photo by Missi Mortimer

At 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6, three Cocalico seniors put pen to paper, committing to further their education and athletic careers at an NCAA Division One or Two institution.

More than 50 family, friends and Cocalico staff attended the National Letter of Intent Signing Day ceremony at the high school cafeteria in Denver as Rowan Lapi, Evan Kreider and Katherine Miller made their college decisions official.

“We have three athletes who are here to publicly announce their decisions,” started Cocalico Athletic Director Whitney Seltzer. “To be able to have the talent and opportunity to compete at a Division One or Division Two collegiate level is a great accomplishment.”

Rowan Lapi

Rowan Lapi played two years for the Cocalico girls’ soccer team under Coach Dan Hogan. At the same time she was playing spring club soccer for Penn Fusion Soccer. In her junior and senior seasons, Lapi played year-round for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Still with Penn Fusion, she was no longer allowed to play for her high school team.

“Rowan is an amazing young lady,” described Craig Scangarella, Lapi’s Penn Fusion coach. “Her leadership, character and commitment to her club, teammates, community and family are high standard. In all of my 18 years of coaching, I’ve never met a student-athlete who is as dedicated and driven. She is a role model for all of our female players.”

Lapi has chosen Big Ten Division One Northwestern, where she plans to major in economics and business.

“I enjoy stocks,” and when asked if that might make her a business tycoon, she laughed. “Something like that.”

When asked why Northwestern?

“I visited Northwestern the summer before my sophomore year,” explained Lapi. “I fell in love with the campus in Evanston. The soccer culture and the coaches were amazing. The academics are unbeatable.”

And looking back at Cocalico?

“The block schedule puts into mind the fact that you have to get your work done,” said Lapi. “You have to have time management. Plus an abundance of teachers that care. The same with athletics. Coach Hogan was there for me with every step. I’m very glad to be able to say I’ll be a graduate of Cocalico High School.”

Evan Kreider

For Kreider’s two sports (cross country, track and field), it’s all about running. But his running career started in junior high on a soccer field.

“I think it was almost exactly five years ago, Coach (Lyndon) Engle was talking to me about somebody from the junior high soccer team, who could really run,” explained Coach Ron Derr while introducing Kreider.

Derr, who coached Kreider in both sports, went on to describe Kreider’s honors in a career that isn’t over yet.

“For cross country, he’s a three-time League medalist, two time District qualifier and three-time State qualifier,” tallied up Derr. “Those numbers would all be bumped up higher if he hadn’t lost his entire sophomore year to an injury.”

Finishing the resume, Derr rattled off Kreider’s list of track and field accomplishments.

“In track, he has been a two-time District qualifier and a two time League medalist,” he said. ‘We have another season coming right around the corner. If we had a hall of fame, he would be right there with the best I’ve ever been able to coach.”

If not soccer, then why not wrestling?

“My dad was a state medalist in wrestling but never once did he ever talk about or try to convince me to give wrestling a try,” Kreider said.

Kreider also had kind words for his soon to be alma mater.

“I owe all of my success to the coaches here at Cocalico,” he said. “The experience here has taught me so much about who I am as a person. And how important being part of a team can be.”

Kreider will take his career to Shippensburg University.

“The decision to run at Shippensburg was an easy choice for me,” he said. “I wanted a place that I could call home for the next four years. And where I could be comfortable earning my degree in Exercise Science. My plan as of now, is to go to a two-year grad school for physical therapy and to become a physical therapist.”

Katherine Miller

The name on her birth certificate may be Katherine, but everyone calls her K.C. and they know where to find her, the bowling alley. Miller will go to college at Wilmington University in Delaware. She will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Film (and bowl).

“I know the work ethic that she puts into everything,” admitted Cocalico bowling coach (and K.C.’s Dad) Bryan Miller. “It’s only going to be ten-fold when she goes to college. And I can’t wait to see what she does with her next four years.

Miller has been part of an Eagles’ team that has won the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three championship the last three years. She was fourth in the L-L girls’ singles in 2018, and finished sixth at Districts this season.

“This young lady stays up at night watching bowling videos,” added Bryan Miller. “It is her life. It is her love. I just want her to stay fearless.”

“The recruiting process for me started when I went to Texas (age 16) for the bowling combine,” explained K.C Miller. “And my mom kept bugging me to make a recruitment video to put on YouTube. That’s where a lot of recruitment is done.”

What can she do with her degree of choice?

“My future plan can turn my major into something with bowling,” detailed Miller. “I want to work with bowling companies in advertising.”

Miller also credits the Cocalico classroom.

“They round out the types of classes I needed to take,” said Miller. “They definitely made me stretch. There were a couple of times that I didn’t know if I could handle it. I was able to get a sense of how the real world was going to be.”

“It’s like my Dad always tells me. It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” finished Miller. “I know in college I’ll have to remind myself of that.”

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