Luke Benson is an elite high school football player.
The 6-4, 220-pound Central Bucks West senior had a lengthy list of schools vying for his talents. When it came time to make a decision, Benson, who will play tight end, chose Syracuse University from a final list that also included Holy Cross and Temple.
“I just felt a sense of home at Syracuse and the offense they run really fits my playing style,” Benson said. “Academically it has everything I wanted. I just felt it was the right decision.”
Interestingly, playing football at the collegiate level – or any sport, for that matter – never really crossed Benson’s mind when he was a youngster.
“I never really was good at Little League stuff growing up, but then I started taking it more seriously in middle school,” he said. “When I saw that was an opportunity sophomore going into junior year, I really set my mind to it.”
Benson was one of nine student-athletes honored at a recent college commitment ceremony at West.
Luke Fehrman was a member of West’s state champion 4x800 relay and also was a key player on last fall’s District One championship soccer squad. He will continue his track career at the University of Hartford. He also considered Catholic University, Virginia Tech, Rhode Island and Maryland.
“What made me choose Hartford was – I wasn’t just going to be a number,” Fehrman said. “I will have a close relationship with my professors.”
Hartford is one of just nine schools that offers the prosthetics and orthotics major he will be pursuing.
“I was real focused on my education,” Fehrman said. “The coach at Hartford had a great plan for me in the future – just turning me into a better runner in a specific way.
“I always wanted to compete in college and even beyond college if I can. I didn’t start really loving (track) until sophomore year when we won our state title. I knew there was a lot of potential in the team and myself.”
Luca Jezzeny will take his golf talents to Brown University where he will major in applied mathematics/economics. He also considered several other Ivy League schools as well as Holy Cross and Hartford.
“When I went up and visited, I just really loved the campus, and coach (Michael) Hughes was great,” Jezzeny said. “They had my major as well. It was everything I was looking for in a school.”
Jezzeny began playing golf at a young age, and it wasn’t long before he began competing in tournaments.
“I just kept working really hard – I made it my goal to play Division I golf and just kept progressing through the junior ranks and eventually got there,” he said.
Two members of last fall’s league and district championship soccer squad – Carson Snyder and Reed Sturza – committed to play soccer at the collegiate level.
Sturza, who will major in computer science, chose Vermont from a final list that included the United States Naval Academy, Elon and Furman.
“I picked Vermont because they had my major, and they put in a new engineering building,” said Sturza. “It’s a good D1 soccer program, some guys were drafted that played there, and they seemed to love playing at Vermont.
“I have always wanted to play in college, and I wanted to go to the best school I could academically and soccer-wise.”
Snyder plans to major in either business administration or economics and will continue his soccer career at Moravian College. He also considered Arcadia, York and Scranton.
“When I went up for a visit, it felt like the perfect fit,” Snyder said. “I always knew I wanted to play soccer, and I just started contacting coaches.”
Four members of the lacrosse team will be playing at the next level. Twins Erik and Jake Ojert will both continue their careers at Ursinus College. Both also considered Catholic, Arcadia and Cabrini.
“I just really liked the campus, and the coaches were very nice with recruiting us,” Erik Ojert said.
“They have health sciences and none of the other schools have that major,” Jake Ojert said. “On our overnight, it was like a family environment, and the coach is a super nice guy.”
Both made the decision to pursue lacrosse at the collegiate level as freshmen.
“Freshman year just playing in high school – it’s like a different bond with the guys,” Jake said. “It’s just fun.”
“Freshman year of high school, I joined a competitive club team and we were playing tournaments in the summer,” Erik Ojert said. “Seeing those coaches on the sidelines and watching college lacrosse – I knew I wanted to play in college.”
Hartford was a late entry in the picture for Blake Ewaskey, who originally committed to the University of Scranton.
“It was a bigger city,” said Ewaskey, who also received a better financial package from Hartford. “The team was very welcoming, and they seemed very close.
“At the end of my freshman year, my coaches really pushed me to join a club team, and from then on, I loved the game even more.”
Garrett Hitchens chose Hood where he will major in pre-med in the honors college. His final list included Catholic University, Moravian and Mount St. Mary’s.
“I chose Hood for the combination of academics and athletics and also I liked the honors college aspect of it, and finally, it worked out,” Hitchens said. “I have been playing club for most of my life, and throughout high school, I knew I wanted to play in college.”