Bucks County Herald

Pennridge seniors discuss college plans


Pennridge hosted a signing for a dozen seniors on May 24. Recognized were: Georgia Allard (Delaware cheerleading), Brooke Bachtle (Widener basketball), Kailyn Bell (Dayton softball), Tristan Banks (Bryn Athyn lacrosse), Cross Edwards (Saint Francis volleyball), Casey Hefner (Bloomsburg lacrosse), Skylar Hengeveld (Kean softball), Ty’Shawn Hopkins (Misericordia football), Grace Loughery (Navy lacrosse), Alijah Schwager-Santangelo (Penn State Behrend water polo), Maura Schwind (West Georgia cheerleading) and Matthew Weisberg (Midland powerlifting).

Matthew Weisberg is, in a word, strong.

The Pennridge standout is a two-time USA Powerlifting (USAPL) high school national champion – he’s the 2018 USAPL high school national champ at 93 kg. – and a three-time Michigan high school state champion.

Weisberg is looking to advance even further in powerlifting. He’ll get that opportunity at Midland University in Fremont, Neb., his choice over Ohio State and Wheaton, he announced at a senior signing on May 24.

“I wanted to continue to train and compete competitively in college for powerlifting but, at the same time, find a school that would allow me to grow spiritually, academically and athletically, which is why I chose Midland,” said Weisberg, calling Midland’s powerlifting program one of the best in the country.

Weisberg intends to major in business management.

Ty’Shawn Hopkins intends to go into physical therapy at his next stop, Misericordia University. He also explored McDaniel and West Chester.

Although Hopkins earned three letters in track and field in high school, his future is in football, earning two letters playing for head coach Jeff Hollenbach.

“I was drawn to the 6.5-year DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program,” said Hopkins, who made the Distinguished Honor Roll 16 times in high school. “Misericordia has a very close and supportive staff.”

Softball teammates Kailyn Bell and Skylar Hengeveld will transition to the University of Dayton and Kean University in Union, N.J., respectively.

“Dayton is a great school academically and its culture, especially around serving the community, fits me well,” said Bell, who will seek a major in business analytics with an emphasis in product innovation and also looked at Bentley and Georgetown. “I love the coaching staff and can’t wait to be a Dayton Flyer.”

Bell has been accepted into the Honors Program at Dayton.

Hengeveld, another stalwart on the Rams’ Distinguished Honor and Honor rolls, will pursue a degree in education (chemistry). She picked Kean over DeSales, Keystone and Millersville and was drawn to its academics and location.

“I love the modernized campus,” Hengeveld said. “And the softball team may be Division III, but [Kean’s] facilities and field are some of the nicest that I’ve ever been to. [The school] is also known for teaching.”

Basketball’s Brooke Bachtle is going to Widener University, where she is considering a major in nursing. Yet another outstanding student, Bachtle selected Widener over St. Joseph’s and Temple for its “excellent nursing program” and for the opportunities it will provide “to work in local hospitals.” She was also fond of the campus and facilities and its proximity to her Perkasie home.

Lacrosse’s Grace Loughery and Casey Hefner will continue at the United States Naval Academy and Bloomsburg University, respectively.

Loughery went with Navy over Harvard, James Madison and Princeton, among others, while Hefner went with Bloomsburg over St. Bonaventure.

An aerospace engineering major-to-be, Loughery is looking forward to serving her country at Navy. She also loved the atmosphere in Annapolis, Md., and called the campus “beautiful.” Navy’s “academic excellence” was another selling point.

“I got along well with (head) coach (Shannon) Hertz and the team,” said Hefner, discussing her selection. “I love the campus and the academic opportunities.”

Hefner anticipates majoring in criminal justice.

Tristan Banks will also play lacrosse at the next level. Manhattan, Stevenson and Widener were among his finalists, but Bryn Athyn College won out.

“I was looking for a small school with a growing lacrosse program and a culture focused on student-athletes with an emphasis on being a student,” said Banks, who will most likely follow a human society major track. “(Head) coach (Tucker) Durkin’s enthusiasm [for] the Bryn Athyn community and bringing in the right students who will thrive in the classroom as well as on the field is a philosophy my family has been instilling for years.”

Volleyball’s Cross Edwards found a home in Loretto, Pa., at Saint Francis University (SFU), where he will dabble in business management with a concentration in aviation. George Mason and Liberty also got looks.

“SFU met all of the requirements that I wanted in a school and more,” Edwards said, “such as a competitive volleyball program and an aviation program.”

Alijah Schwager-Santangelo isn’t leaving water polo behind in high school. He will go out for his passion at Penn State Behrend in Erie.

Schwager-Santangelo liked Penn State Behrend’s “great reputation” and its “good water polo team.” He plans to major in statistics and also considered Colorado State and Washington & Jefferson.

Cheerleading is in Georgia Allard’s blood. The University of Delaware-bound senior picked the Blue Hens over Morehead State, Penn State and Rutgers. She’s undecided on a major, though marketing is a possibility.

“I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to go to Delaware,” Allard said. “It feels like home and the cheer program and academics are equally great. I got scholarships from Delaware and it’s a good distance from home.”

Classmate Maura Schwind will cheer at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, where she intends to pursue a major in psychology. She, too, looked at Morehead State and Penn State, among others.

West Georgia’s “great cheerleading program” and psychology program appealed to Schwind, who was also enamored with the school’s location and campus.



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