It was a day for the record books.
With 14 student-athletes committing to play collegiate sports, Quakertown Community High School, according to athletic director Sylvia Kalazs, is sending 24 seniors on to the next level, the most ever for the high school.
Five of the 14 athletes – Justin Bennett, Brad Bryan, Will Chenoweth, Riley Davis and Ashton Herd – have committed to play collegiate football.
“You do have a burden on your shoulders,” football coach George Banas told them. “You’re numbers 31 through (35) that we have put through to college, and we don’t have one kid so far who hasn’t made it all four years. Let’s make sure that continues.
“Each one of these (players) endured so many individual obstacles to get where they’re at. Everyone has a story. We’re glad and honored to be a part of that.”
Bryan chose Lebanon Valley from a final list that included Ursinus and Drexel. The Quakertown quarterback will major in actuarial science.
“It’s a great location, and the coaches created personal relationships,” Bryan said.
Bennett, who played on both the offensive and defensive lines, will continue his football career at Alvernia where he will major in criminal justice.
“It’s a great location, a small campus and small classes,” said Bennett, who also considered Bloomsburg, Penn State and Lehigh.
Chenoweth will continue his football career at Ursinus College where he will major in sports marketing. He cited the location and overall academics as reasons for choosing the Centennial Conference school over Moravian College and Temple University.
“I started thinking about playing college football when I was a young kid and always had aspirations of playing in college,” he said.
Davis will play collegiate football at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he will major in mechanical engineering.
“It’s a good engineering school and has a great football program,” Davis said.
Herd, a first team All-SOL American offensive lineman, chose Ithaca College where he will major in physical therapy.
“Ithaca has an accelerated physical therapy program and a great team culture and atmosphere,” said Herd, who also considered Millersville.
Adria Retter, a state medalist in the discus, will continue her track and field career at Swarthmore College where she will major in cognitive science. She also considered Lehigh and Messiah but chose Swarthmore for its small familial environment, rigorous academic setting and the track team dynamic.
“The recruiting process started at the end of junior year due to my shoulder injury,” said Retter, who came back from surgery for a torn labrum to experience remarkable success. “After PR-ing in the fall of my senior year with discus, coaches started paying serious attention.”
Alyssa Lamberson will be part of the cheerleading program at Temple University where she will major in early childhood education.
“At first, I actually was not going to cheer in college,” she said.
“Eventually, the more I thought about it not being in my life anymore, the more upset I became, and I decided that I was going to continue because it makes me happy.”
Cameron Cronk and Justin Flor will continue their volleyball careers at Cairn University and Eastern University, respectively.
Cronk, who will major in youth ministry, also considered Lancaster Bible College.
“I went to Cairn and met the coach, and I was sold once I met the team,” he said. “Cairn is also the best school for my major.”
Flor, who will major in math and engineering, also considered Kean University, Penn State and Lehigh but chose Eastern for the “beautiful campus and great coach.”
“Sophomore year of club volleyball I went to a college camp and immediately wanted to play,” Flor said. “At the end of junior year, coaches began contacting me.”
Mackenzie Mahler will continue her volleyball career at Penn College of Technology where she will pursue an OTA (occupational therapy assistant) major. She also considered Kutztown and Penn State Altoona.
“High school volleyball was ending, and I realized I wanted to keep playing,” Mahler said. “Penn College of Technology is not as far away and is a decent sized campus.”
Nathan Spak, who will major in kinesiology, will continue his swimming career at the University of Scranton.
“I started thinking about swimming in college in eighth grade when I started getting more serious about it,” said Spak, who also considered Misericordia and Immaculata. “I chose Scranton for the education and the swim team experience I will have.”
Jeff Royall will major in criminology and play lacrosse at Lycoming.
“It’s a small school with a great lacrosse program,” said Royall, who also considered Stevenson. “Freshman year the coach for lacrosse contacted me, and they recruited me my junior year.”
Matthew Lucas, a pre-med major, will continue his basketball career at Cairn University. He also considered King’s College, Hood, Bucks County Community College and Penn State Altoona.
“Cairn has a great academic program in the medical field, it’s a Christian school and it has a great athletic program for basketball,” Lucas said.
Corey Cope will attend Western New England University where he will continue his wrestling career and major in finance.
“It has a great finance/business program,” said Cope, who also considered Lycoming and Delaware Valley. “I’ve been wrestling my whole life and love the sport so much that if the opportunity came, I knew I had to keep wrestling in college.”