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Central Bucks East seniors ink letters of intent

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Soccer had always been Mason Stein’s primary sport. At least until his junior year when the recent Central Bucks East graduate had a change of heart and decided to focus on wrestling.

“Junior year was when I turned the corner and decided to be a one-sport athlete,” Stein said.

Stein, who also considered Lehigh University, will continue his wrestling career at the Division I level at the University of Maryland.

“They really sold that Big 10 mindset, competing at the highest level, and that really attracted me to just how competitive the league is and how hard the practices are going to be,” said Stein, who will major in computer science.

Stein’s East teammate, Quinn Collins – who also excelled in lacrosse – will take his wrestling talents to the D-I level. The PIAA 3A state runner-up signed with Rider University after narrowing his final choices to Rider and Appalachian State.

“For one, they had my major,” said Collins, who will major in cyber security. “The location was huge because it’s very close, and my family gets to come and see me participate in sports. That was huge, and I felt at home when I went there.

“I knew I wanted to stay with lacrosse or wrestling. I continued to have success in this sport, and I kind of figured this is what I was going to do.”

Stein and Collins were two of 13 Central Bucks East seniors recognized on Tuesday, June 7, for committing to compete in collegiate sports.

Nils Updale will have the opportunity to compete in both wrestling and lacrosse at Ursinus College where he will major in biology and biotech. He also considered Elizabethtown and Wilkes.

“I’ve always been a three-sport athlete until freshman year,” Updale said. “So I’ve always been able to keep up with the intensity of both sports. I’ve been wrestling since I was 5, so I really don’t want to give that up, and I don’t want to give up lacrosse either. It just worked out that Ursinus is the right fit.”

Vihaan Patel will continue his lacrosse career at Savannah College of Art and Design where he will major in interior design.

“This was the first school I really wanted to go to and I applied to first,” Patel said. “I got in on early admission. I knew they had a lacrosse team, but I actually wasn’t thinking of playing because I was like – I don’t know if I can do it, and then randomly, a couple of months ago, the coach reached out to me, asking to talk to me and meet me, so I was kind of excited.”

Quinn Moody always believed his future at the collegiate level was in baseball until he tore his labrum.

“I had always played football more as a side thing for fun,” Moody said. “Once I got hurt from baseball, it was like – I’ll give football a shot and see what I can do, and it took off from there.”

Moody will play Division I football for Sacred Heart University where he will major in business.

“Honestly, I just thought it was the best opportunity for me to develop and play sooner,” said Moody, who also considered Lehigh, Delaware and Elon. “Sacred Heart fit me well socially and academically, and it had the major I wanted, so it was a pretty good fit overall.”

East teammates Jimmy Mullevey and Rocco Ianiero will also play collegiate football.

Mullevey, who will major in marketing/business administration, chose Ithaca College from a final list that included West Chester, New Hampshire and Catholic University.

“Ithaca has amazing academic support for athletes while their football is incredibly competitive,” Mullevey said. “I just felt at home at Ithaca.

“I’ve always had the dream to play in college, but I didn’t think it was a reality until the beginning of my senior year when I strapped on the pads for the first game – that’s when I realized it was a reality for me.”

Ianiero chose Ursinus College from a final list that included Geneva and Westminster.

“The coaches and the people on the team made me feel like I was playing here at East,” said Ianiero, who will major in computer science. “In seventh grade, Nils Updale’s dad recruited me to play seventh grade football from Diamond Ridge Camp, and that really started it. In 10th and 11th grade – that’s when I really fell in love with the sport.”

Mia Kotulka will major in environmental science at Villanova University where she will continue her cheerleading career.

“Villanova had a really good balance of academics and athletics,” said Kotulka, who also considered Penn State and Pitt. “Freshman year I didn’t think I wanted to (cheer) in college, but after being on the team my freshman year and continuing all four years of high school, I really found a passion for the sport.”

Tyriq Toney-Bailey and Liam Cummiskey will both play collegiate basketball. Toney-Bailey will continue his career at Delaware Valley University. He also considered Elizabethtown and Cairn.

“I wanted to stay close to home, and I liked the coaching staff,” said Toney-Bailey, who will major in business. “From the minute they were trying to recruit me, they kept in constant contact with me. Not just with basketball – they would call to see how I was doing, so they stuck with me. The guys were all good teammates, so it was an easy decision.”

Cummiskey will major in sports management at Moravian College. He also considered DeSales and Catholic.

“I had to picture it without basketball, and Moravian just felt the most like home and most like a family environment if I wasn’t playing basketball,” Cummiskey said. “My freshman year one of my coaches said I had the potential to be a college basketball player, and that’s when the idea first came to me.”

Chloe Mettille will continue her volleyball career at Chestnut Hill College where she will major in international relations.

“I started playing volleyball in third grade because my older sisters always played,” Mettille said. “I didn’t play club this year because I had two injuries, and I wasn’t really looking to play in college until the very end. My club coach, who’s an assistant at Chestnut Hill, offered me the position, so I thought I would take it.”

Evan Clark will continue his track and field career at East Stroudsburg where he will major in computer science.

“I played baseball when I was younger, and the only thing I was really good at was stealing bases – it occurred to me that maybe I should make track my sport instead of baseball,” said Clark, who also considered Lincoln Memorial University. “My coach said, ‘You should try pole vaulting,’ and I kind of just stuck with it.

“I went up to East Stroudsburg, and I liked the community. The coach was a really good guy. He was a pole vaulter, and I’m a pole vaulter, so that’s encouraging, and I liked the campus.”

Jordan Groves chose Juniata College from a final list that also included Virginia Tech and Pitt. It was the opportunity to play soccer that made Juniata a frontrunner.

“The girls on the soccer team were super inviting, and they also have a very strong STEM program,” said Groves, who will major in biology. “I was going back and forth from the beginning of high school, and I kind of decided I wasn’t going to play when I started my applications.

“I switched soccer teams, and my current coach really encouraged me and was very helpful, making the process a lot easier.”


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