Back in February, Elizabethtown Area High School saw 11 of its seniors commit to play athletics at the collegiate level. Now, just a couple weeks away from graduation, nine more Bears have joined them to put that number at 20 overall.
The school district held its Spring Collegiate Athletic Recognition Day in the high school auditorium on Wednesday, May 15, to honor the nine seniors who made their final decisions in front of their coaches, teammates, teachers and parents.
Among the signees were two members of the Elizabethtown football team, which puts the Bears’ total at four, the most of any of their programs. Tight end Dylan Sweger committed to Juniata College; he was fourth on the team with 26 catches and 416 yards in addition to 2 receiving touchdowns. He was named to the Section Two All-Star team for the Lancaster-Lebanon League as an honorable mention.
Wide receiver Alex Diahn additionally signed a letter intent to play at Shippensburg, though he wasn’t in attendance for the event. He was second on the team with 609 yards and 6 TDs and third with 32 catches. Sweger and Diahn join offensive lineman Zach Kreider (Lock Haven) and punter Collin Hudak (Lincoln University) as the four Bears football players moving on to the next level.
The Elizabethtown girls volleyball team also had two of its players ink college commitments. Julia Rathsam, a first-team All-Star in Section Two and a third-team All-Star in District 3, will be playing at Penn State-Berks. She ranked in the top five in each of the major statistical categories for the Lady Bears. Elizabeth Vuxta, a key defensive specialist, will also go to Wilson College in Chambersburg.
Both Cat Shontz and Julee Wells plan to compete in cross country and track and field collegiately. Shontz, the lone Elizabethtown graduate who will be a Division I athlete, is headed to Temple University. She finished in the top-three of every regular season cross country meet, later finishing third at leagues, fifth at districts and 25th at states.
Shontz also had 7 victories during the 2019 track and field regular season. She took second in the girls 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600-meter run at leagues, going on to place seventh in the former and 10th in the latter at districts, qualifying for states in both. Finally, Shontz was apart of the winning 4×800-meter relay team in both leagues and districts.
Wells will be going to Hood College in Frederick, Md. She served as one of Elizabethtown’s nominees for the L-L League’s A. Landis Brackbill Award and was a scholar-athlete in both cross country and track and field.
The rest of the Bears’ college signees include Jon Gartley (men’s soccer, Penn State-Harrisburg), Emily Louie (women’s tennis, York College) and Bradley Ruth (men’s bowling, Penn State-Berks). Gartley was a first-team All-Star in Section Two at midfielder. Louie went 6-8 in singles and 4-9 in doubles during her senior year, the latter tops on the team. Ruth was second with an average of 205.42 during the regular season, finishing 48th in singles at leagues. He will be trying out for USA Bowling’s Junior Gold team.
Along with Hudak and Zach Kreider, the previous 11 Elizabethtown student-athletes who have signed to play at the collegiate level include Cyrose Conteh (women’s lacrosse, Kutztown), Ally DeBerry (women’s soccer, Mount Aloysius College), Nick Kreider (baseball, Randolph-Macon College), Connor Krisko (men’s golf, Juniata College), Larry Locker (men’s basketball, York College), Marena Lonardi (women’s basketball, Lock Haven), Sydney Pierson (women’s basketball, Kutztown), Sadie Seaman (softball, Oberlin College) and Sami Shutt (women’s lacrosse, Indiana University of Pennsylvania).