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CB South seniors sign


Life can take some unusual twists. Ryan Sphar can vouch for that.

The recent Central Bucks South graduate attended a prospect day at Vassar College and while there met the coach of Emerson College, who was his coach for scrimmages. It was a chance meeting that led Sphar to check out Emerson. The rest is history.

Sphar – one of four CB South seniors recognized at a special college commitment celebration on June 7 – will enroll at Emerson where he will continue his lacrosse career.

“I realized Vassar was a little bit too hard to get into, so it actually worked out really well,” Sphar said. “Emerson is rebuilding its program right now, so it offers a really good chance for me to come in and start playing right away.”

Sphar, who will major in marketing/communications, also considered Michigan State and Temple.

“I visited the campus and really liked it,” Sphar said of Emerson. “I like the way they teach their classes and the emphasis they have on up-to-date technology. Obviously, I have a chance to play there. I wouldn’t have been playing at my other schools.”

Angus Ballentine will also be continuing his lacrosse career at the collegiate level, choosing Widener University from a final list that included York and Stockton.

“When I went on my overnight there, the team was really cool and all together,” Ballentine said. “I liked the team chemistry they had, and I wanted to be part of it.

“I think I always knew I wanted to pursue lacrosse (at the collegiate level).”

Ballentine will major in communications/media.

“Both kids were three-year varsity players, and they were part of a great senior class,” South coach Mike Strayline said. “They’ve had great careers at CB South. They’re both academically strong kids also.

“Angus was a two-year captain and was one of our best midfielders. He really controlled the game. He did everything in the midfield unit. Ryan was an LSM on defense and did a lot of faceoffs. He helped our defense, talked and communicated and played very well with that leadership. Both guys are outstanding kids.”

Lizzie Axler will continue her swimming career at Susquehanna University. She also considered Ithaca, Albright and West Chester.

“From the very beginning, I could see myself there,” Axler said. “They really reached out to me, and they gave me the warm fuzzies, and I could imagine myself building relationships with the people there. They were very friendly.”

Axler, who will major in music education with a minor in Spanish, began considering the possibility of swimming at the next level as a sophomore.

“I just love swimming so much that I could not imagine myself not swimming in college because it’s great to keep my regimen going and keep me mentally and physically strong through college,” she said. “I think it’s a great idea for anyone.”

Axler was a sprint freestyler and also competed in the butterfly.

“But she could do anything,” South coach Kevin Whelan said. “She has an almost 4.0 GPA, she’s so involved musically in the school, and she’s probably one of the nicest kids I’ve ever coached.

“I could say this about a lot of kids, but I could really say it about Lizzie – we’re just really, really sad to see her go. She’s such a positive influence, and equally important to her were her fast times but then making sure the younger kids were enjoying their time on the team. She really was so concerned about the mentality of the team and really wanted to make sure the freshmen felt welcome. She was one of the best seniors you could ever ask for.”

Meghan LoStracco will continue her lacrosse career at Gwynedd Mercy University where she will major in occupational therapy.

“It wasn’t expected, and it kind of just happened, and I went with it,” LoStracco said of competing at the collegiate level. “The coach saw me at one of my brother’s games and reached out to me. We just kept talking. I went to a bunch of practices, and it just developed.”

South coach Janique Craig called LoStracco a “phenomenal teammate.”

“She’s worked really hard and has played low defense for us,” the South coach said. “She overcame a few injuries over the years, and I’m very proud of her that she is going to play collegiate lacrosse at Gwynedd Mercy. I think she’s going to do a great job for them.”

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