Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sports - Busy summer sets stage for Penn College fall sports seasons

Williamsport, PA - Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports athletes begin workouts this week in preparation for their openers, and administrators have busy behind the scenes throughout the summer laying the groundwork for what they hope will be successful seasons — with an added incentive for most teams.

Since spring classes ended in May:
·      The college became a full member of NCAA Division III
·      College President Davie Jane Gilmour was voted vice chairwoman of the NEAC President’s Council
·      The college finished sixth in the North Eastern Athletic Association Presidents’ Cup standing and tied for second in community service
·      Forty-two Wildcats were named NEAC Scholar-Athletes
·      Former women’s volleyball coach Bambi Hawkins was rehired to fill the same position after a four-year absence
·      The college renewed its partnership with Fox Sports Williamsport
·      Four former Wildcats were selected for induction into the college’s athletic Hall of Fame.

New opportunities

The NCAA Division III Management Council notified Penn College June 22 that it successfully completed the provisional membership process and, as a full NCAA Division III member, the college will be eligible to compete for national championships and will have voting rights on NCAA legislation.

“This is wonderful news for Wildcat Athletics and for Penn College,” Gilmour said. “Full Division III membership will help us attract more student-athletes. These students enter our gates with a heightened sense of grit and drive, and we know that Penn College student-athletes find the competition, discipline and teamwork required of a collegiate athlete integral to their record of success as leaders in their chosen professions.

“The college’s work toward full NCAA membership has already injected a welcome boost to campus spirit, which was on full display when we recently introduced our new Wildcat Athletic logo to a capacity crowd of students, faculty and staff. I want to commend everyone at the institution who played a role in moving this process forward.”

“This … is the result of years of strategic planning and hard work from all members of the Penn College community,” said Elliott Strickland, vice president for student affairs. “The fact that the NCAA approved our full membership a year ahead of schedule is a testament to the amazing team we have in athletics and the leadership of President Gilmour and our board of directors. This would not have happened without the incredible contributions of Scott Kennell – our former director of athletics, who began this process and saw us through the majority of the affiliation – and John Vandevere, our current director of athletics, who expertly brought us through the finish line.

“Our affiliation with the NCAA at the Division III level will provide our students with the best athletic and academic experience possible, and we are excited to show how this growth will continue, both through student-athlete success in the classroom and in competition within the North Eastern Athletic Conference,” Strickland added.

“We are delighted and proud of the NCAA’s decision to accept Penn College as a member of Division III,” Vandevere said. “This is an achievement that was accomplished because of the vision, support and hard work from so many throughout our campus. Our department is very grateful for the efforts of our community to help us reach full NCAA Division III membership.”
Nationwide, there are nearly 450 schools and more than 185,000 student-athletes competing in NCAA Division III athletics.

Next in line

Penn College joined the NEAC after becoming a provisional member of NCAA Division III in 2014-15 and Gilmour has served on President’s Council committees for strategic planning and sportsmanship. After serving a two-year term as vice chair, she will become the chairwoman in July 2019.

“Dr. Gilmour has quickly become an engaged member of the NEAC … She brings a level of enthusiasm and commitment needed to continue moving the NEAC forward,” NEAC Commissioner Candice Murray said.

“I am honored to serve in this capacity with the NEAC, and I look forward to working with the other members of the leadership team,” Gilmour said. “This is an exciting time for Penn College athletics. Student-athletes play a significant role on our campus, as I know they do at the other NEAC schools. I hope my contributions as vice chair of President’s Council will help to enhance the athletics experience for students at all of the conference’s member institutions.”

David E. Rogers, president of Morrisville State College in New York, is the council chairman. He succeeded Keith Hillkirk, chancellor at Penn State Berks, in June.

Two others from Penn College serve on the NEAC’s Executive Committee: Strickland and Tom Zimmerman, a member of the psychology faculty and the faculty athletic representative.

The NEAC consists of 14 Division III institutions in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Moving on up
Penn College’s sixth place finish in the Presidents’ Cup standing is the highest finish for the Wildcats since joining the conference three years ago.

Penn College finished 14th in 2014-15 and 10th last year.

Also, Penn College highlighted its finish with a tie for second place in Community Service as Wildcat athletes and staff completed 2,471 hours or community service, raised $2,630 and totaled 688 participants.

It was the third year that the NEAC has determined its Presidents’ Cup winner by utilizing the core values of NCAA Division III. In addition to calculating athletics success, which was the only factor taken into consideration when awarding the conference’s Presidents’ Cup in the past, the NEAC also now takes into account academics, sportsmanship and community service. 

These three additional categories, along with athletics success, each have their own individual cup winners. Each of the NEAC’s 14 full-member institutions were given a ranking based on their results from each category. The total rankings from all four categories are added together with the lowest overall score determining the NEAC Presidents’ Cup honoree. The model is the first of its kind across all 42 NCAA Division III conferences.

Penn College was eighth in athletics success, seventh in sportsmanship and tied for 11th in academic success.

Classroom standouts
With 42 NEAC Scholar-Athletes, Penn College Penn College finished ninth for total number of scholar-athletes in the 14-team conference which, for the third-straight year, set a record with 806 student-athletes receiving the distinction.

This year’s honorees continue to highlight the geographic diversity of the league with NEAC Scholar-Athletes representing 32 different states, Puerto Rico and 14 countries. To be selected, a student-athlete competing in a conference-sponsored sport must achieve a combined grade point average of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and must have been in good standing on his or her team.

The women’s soccer team topped all Penn College teams with 10 selections, while the men’s soccer team was second with eight selections.

Honored were:

Cody Cline, freshman, Waynesboro, automotive technology concentration
Kyle Fox, senior, Fleetwood, manufacturing engineering technology
Evan Woods, sophomore, Clymer, New York, heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology.

Laycee Clark, freshman, Tyrone, general studies
Taylor Krow, sophomore, also women’s tennis, Camp Hill, pre-applied health studies-radiography
Amanda Kustanbauter, junior, Muncy, sport and event management concentration.

Justin Geedey, junior, Turbotville, manufacturing engineering technology
Tyler Marks, junior, Beachwood, New Jersey, building construction technology-masonry concentration
Austin Moscariello, freshman, New Columbia, building construction technology
Ryen Persun, sophomore, Linden, business management.

Men’s basketball
Benjamin Hoffman, freshman, St. Marys, building construction technology
Thomas Ross, senior, Williamsport, accounting
Benjamin Sosa, sophomore, Loyalsock Township, exercise science.

Women’s basketball
Natali Fargus, freshman, Lock Haven, accounting.

Men’s cross-country
David Carlson, freshman, Elizabethtown, engineering CAD technology
Christopher Hogan, freshman, Halifax, welding and fabrication engineering technology
Nathan Mashack, senior, Bloomsburg, electronics and computer engineering technology
Liam McGarvey, sophomore, Cogan Station, building construction technology
Thomas Runner, sophomore, Elkridge, Maryland, building construction technology concentration.

Women’s cross-country
Kaitlyn Anderson, sophomore, Mastic, New York, nursing
Tiffany Griffie, sophomore, Newville, landscape emphasis.

Men’s soccer
Gregory Dorsch, freshman, Mount Airy, Maryland, welding and fabrication engineering technology
Joseph Dreese, senior, Williamsport, information assurance and cyber security
Daniel Hibbs, sophomore, Williamsport, sport and event management concentration
Nicholas Howland, freshman, Woodbridge, Virginia, automotive restoration technology
Jakob Lemay, freshman, Mifflinburg, engineering design technology
Luke McFalls, senior, New Oxford, welding and fabrication engineering technology
John Murray, sophomore, Dallas, renewable energy technologies
Brandon Wolff, sophomore, Effort, graphic design.

Women’s soccer
Breica Beck, freshman, Mountville, physician assistant
Colleen Bowes, senior, Wayne, web and interactive media
Jordan Courter, senior, Mill Hall, occupational therapy assistant concentration
Lauren Herr, junior, Lititz, construction management
Breelyn Johnson-Fite, sophomore, also women’s basketball and softball, Bogota, New Jersey, landscape emphasis
Valerie Kubalak, sophomore, also women’s tennis, Spring Mills, physician assistant
Hunter Madison, freshman, Tremont, pre-nursing
Caitlin McCarthy, junior, State College, pre-physician assistant
Tania Parra, sophomore, Biglerville, nursing
Hanna Williams, senior, also women’s tennis, Marion, New York, industrial and human factors design.

Men’s tennis
Ethan Rosler, sophomore, Bloomsburg, welding and fabrication engineering technology.

Women’s volleyball
Karli Coleman, freshman, Lock Haven, pre-nursing
Keri Fargus, sophomore, Lock Haven, human services.

On the sidelines

During 13 seasons from 2000 to 2012, Hawkins coached Wildcat teams to a 184-113 record, including two conference championships (in the Commonwealth Campus Athletic Conference in 2004 and Penn State University Athletic Conference co-champ in 2012) and four runner-up finishes in the PSUAC. She was the Penn College men’s club team coach for two years from 2013-2015.

“We are very excited to welcome back Bambi,” Vandevere said. “Her knowledge of both volleyball and Penn College is almost impossible to find in a ‘new’ head coach. We’re very excited to see where she will take the volleyball program.”

Hawkins is employed at the college as the coordinator of paramedic technology learning laboratory.

On the air

In late July, Penn College renewed its partnership with Fox Sports Williamsport to broadcast home Wildcat athletic events for the 2017-18 season, Penn College Assistant Director of Athletics/Sports Information Director Matt Blymier announced.

The coverage provided by Fox Sports will increase this season with weekly coach’s shows for soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Additionally, all home conference games for soccer, baseball and softball will be broadcast, as well as all home basketball games and select away basketball contests.

“We are thrilled to not only continue our partnership with Fox Sports, but to increase the coverage for our athletic programs,” Blymier said. “As we begin our first year as full NCAA Division III members, it’s crucial to increase the awareness of our institution and our department on a local, regional and national level.”

All games will be simulcast on WEJS 104.1 FM/1600 AM Stream 2. The play-by-play provided by Fox Sports also will be simulcast on Penn College’s High Definition web broadcast of each game. Last year, nearly 5,000 viewers tuned in to Wildcat games online.

“We are pleased to be able to provide Penn College athletics with their own radio flagship station. Their transition to full Division III-member status has been a process we have followed and been fortunate to broadcast since it began,” Fox Sports Williamsport owner Todd Bartley said. “Broadcasting the culmination of those efforts and the quality of the teams is very rewarding for our staff and our company.”

Hall of Famers

Zach Plannick, of Coraopolis; Steve Bull, of Hampstead, Maryland; William DeAngelo, of Dallas; and LeRoy Joiner, of Williamsport, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Professional Development Center at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 6.

Plannick was a four-time Archery All-American from 2008-11 and a member of the outdoor men’s compound national championship team in 2008, mixed compound national championship team in 2009, and finished second individually nationally in the male compound in both 2010 and 2011. During his four years, the Wildcats placed second in the nation twice, third once and fourth once. Following the 2009 season Plannick was chosen as a member of the United States team that competed at the World University Games in Serbia.
Bull was a member of the men’s soccer team from 2006-2008 and helped the team to combined 43-4-2 mark that included 29 straight wins and three Penn State University Athletic Conference championships. Bull was a United States Athletic Association All-America honorable mention selection and was named to the USCAA All-Academic team.

DeAngelo helped the men’s soccer team go 57-18-3 from 2008-2011, that included three PSUAC championships and one runner-up finish. DeAngelo earned USCAA All-America honorable mention honors in 2011 and was a four-time USCAA All-Academic selection.

Joiner led the Wildcats men’s basketball team in scoring during his three seasons — 492 points in 2008-09, 527 points in 2009-10 and 601 points in 2010-11 — and finished with 1,620 points, which ranks No. 2 on the all-time Penn College scoring list. During his freshman season, the Wildcats went 18-12, setting a program single-season win record, and reached the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) quarterfinals. Penn College teams went 14-14 and 15-13 the following two seasons, respectively, and finished second in the PSUAC both times. Joiner capped his career by being named to the USCAA Division II All-America First Team for the third time – which is the most in program history.

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