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Central Bucks South seniors recognized


The list of student-athletes was diverse, representing eight different sports.

On Thursday, May 16, 14 Central Bucks South seniors were recognized for committing to compete in their respective sport at the collegiate level.

Three – Josh Conley, Ben Grove and Chase Stribling – will continue their volleyball careers at the next level. Grove and Stribling will both be competing at Stevenson University with Grove playing for the men’s team while Stribling will play beach volleyball.

Stribling, who will major in elementary education, also considered Marymount and Elizabethtown.

“Stevenson was one of the only schools that offered beach volleyball, which is what I prefer compared to indoor,” said Stribling. “I didn’t even start playing volleyball until my sophomore year of high school. I fell in love with it immediately.

“The summer after sophomore year, I really branched out, and I was like, ‘Let’s try playing outdoor, let’s try something else,’ and I loved that even more.”

Grove, who will major in biomedical engineering at Stevenson, also considered Loyola Chicago, Arcadia, Misericordia and Eastern.

“I liked the campus and location, their volleyball program was really good, and the academics were really nice as well,” Grove said. “Basically, my sophomore year, I fell in love with it, and I knew immediately I wanted to play in college.”

Conley will attend Wilkes University where he will major in mechanical engineering.

“The school community was nice, the team was very welcoming, and I liked the coach,” said Conley, who also considered Elizabethtown. “Junior year I started thinking – I want to continue this in college. I really took to the sport, and it was something that interested me to pursue further.”

Nick Esterly and Brendan Hazell will play collegiate football. Esterly will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he will major in civil engineering. He also considered Penn State and Catholic University.

“I just wanted an environment that’s going to challenge me in both football and academics,” Esterly said. “I played soccer my first two years of high school. All my friends were on the football team, and they were like, ‘You should give this thing a shot,’ so I decided to try it, and I ended up loving it.

“After my junior year and I got all-league, I was like, ‘This is something I definitely want to do at the next level.’ I kept working at it, and thankfully, I was able to make it happen.”

Hazell chose Delaware Valley University but also considered Alvernia and Rowan. He will major in turf management.

“When I went to the campus, I knew from the moment I stepped out of the car that it was home,” Hazell said. “I started playing football sophomore year. I never really thought about playing in college when my coach said, ‘You could probably do this at the next level,’ and that’s when I started thinking about it more seriously.”

CJ Haney will continue her softball career at Niagara University where she will major in biology.

“I chose Niagara because it was just a wonderful new environment and new experience away from home,” said Haney, who also considered Monmouth and Charleston. “I always knew I wanted to compete in college because I always strive to be the best I can be. I’m just naturally a competitive person. For softball, I just love the team spirit and adrenaline.”

Katie Bosak, Cate Hildebrand, Evan Morrow and Lucas Knappenberger will continue their track and field careers at the next level.

Bosak will major in exercise science as part of the PA program and will compete in cross country and track at Slippery Rock University. She also considered the University of Kentucky and College of Charleston.

“Slippery Rock has a great program for exercise science,” Bosak said. “Running in college was something I’ve wanted to do since I started running at 5 years old. I enjoy racing and training a lot and didn’t want that to all stop after high school.”

Hildebrand will compete in track at West Chester University where she will major in special education.

“I wanted to be close to home, and I just really liked the environment of West Chester,” said Hildebrand, who also considered Bloomsburg. “I just really enjoyed running track, and it was recently – probably at the beginning of the spring season, I realized I wanted to continue doing it.”

Morrow, who will major in aeronautical engineering, chose Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from a final list that included Stony Brook, Vermont, Gettysburg and Middlebury.

“I chose (RPI) most for the academics, but the athletics are very good for a D3 school,” said Morrow, who will also compete in cross country. “I started doing cross country in sixth grade for CYO, and in eighth grade, I started to get good at it, and ever since then, I’ve been training to get to college.”

Knappenberger, who will major in mechanical/biomedical engineering, chose Carnegie Mellon from a final list that also included RPI, Rochester Institute of Technology and Lehigh.

“I wanted to find a good mix of academics and athletics,” Knappenberger said. “My freshman year I joined track just for fun. I wanted to get in shape, and then my sophomore year I broke out and realized I could get good at this, so my junior and senior year I was really working to get to the college level.”

Yordana “Yoyo” Samayoa will continue her basketball career at Lock Haven University. She also considered Ursinus and Bloomsburg.

“I think it was the people I met when I went on my visit – Lock Haven just felt very homey, and that was the biggest thing for me,” Samayoa said. “I started playing basketball in fourth grade. I’ve always been a competitive person. Once I realized I really liked basketball – I just always saw myself playing college because I enjoyed the game so much and wanted to keep going with it.”

Jessica Berry and Jesiana Borreli will continue their cheer careers at the collegiate level.

Berry will major in business/marketing at West Chester University. She also considered Bloomsburg and the University of Tampa – but would not have cheered at those schools.

“I saw the bond the (cheer) team had that drew me to them,” Berry said. “At first, I didn’t want to cheer in college, but my coaches told me about it. I wanted to continue it especially since my senior year I couldn’t cheer most of the season.”

Borreli will enroll in the biomedical pre-med track and cheer at Bloomsburg University.

“I really liked the atmosphere when I toured it, and I really liked the area, the location,” said Borreli, who also considered West Chester. “I have been cheering for six years.

“Once I finished this season of pyramiding, I was like, ‘I can’t stop now because I’ve come so far.’”

Jake Neill will continue his wrestling career at Franklin & Marshall where he will major in finance. He also considered Bucknell and Binghamton.

“(F&M offers) a great education and it felt like home,” said Neill, acknowledging it required commitment to reach the next level. “I started to buy into what it truly takes to be good. I did everything – my nutrition, my workouts, my recovery. I put my full effort into everything.”

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