Kiski Area wrestlers, other A-K Valley athletes sign letters of intent

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 6:58 PM


Last year at this time, Nick Delp saw Kiski Area graduates Cam Connor and Darren Miller sign Division I National Letters of Intent to wrestle at Penn and Bucknell, respectively.

On Wednesday, it was Delp’s turn to celebrate the finality of his college decision.

The Bucknell wrestling commit joined a group of Cavaliers seniors, including teammate Jack Blumer (West Virginia), as well as other athletes from throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley in making their college commitments official on the opening day of the national signing period for most Division I and II athletes.

“It’s pretty exciting to see all of my friends and classmates have success and now be able to take that next step,” said Delp, who helped Kiski Area wrestling capture its third consecutive WPIAL team championship and place third at states earlier this year.

“This opens up so many more opportunities to expand and broaden our horizons.”

Wednesday was the first day Division I or II recruits could sign in every sport but football, and the period to sign remains open for most sports until Aug. 1.

Division I basketball players have an early signing period that began Wednesday but ends Nov. 20 and a regular period that runs from April 15 to May 20.

For Division I football recruits, an early signing period runs for three days, from Dec. 18-20.

The regular football signing period begins Feb. 5 for both Division I and II and ends on April 1 for Division I and Aug. 1 for Division II.

Delp, Blumer, sisters Sidney and Christina Palla (soccer, Morehead State) and Ethan Newell (track and field, Mount Saint Mary’s) are Kiski Area seniors who signed with Division I programs.

Cavaliers athletics celebrated with a ceremony Wednesday morning, and Courtney Moyer (Fairmont State, softball), Isabella Mercurio (Gannon, golf), Billy Perroz (IUP, baseball), Alyssa Poleski (Mercyhurst, soccer) and Chloe Galo (Edinboro, soccer) also put ink to paper.

Hannah Potter (Fredonia State, basketball), Ryan Rametta (Washington & Jefferson, baseball) and Lilliana Harding (Juniata, volleyball) also verbally committed to Division III schools and were a part of Wednesday’s signing ceremony.

Plum senior Mackenzie Lake originally gave a verbal commitment to the softball program at St. Francis (Pa.) more than two years ago before switching her decision to fellow Division I program Towson.

“I have been waiting for this day ever since I started playing softball,” said Lake, who batted .453 with 25 RBIs for a Mustangs team that finished as co-champions of Section 2-5A in 2019. “It was my goal to play at the college level, and all the hard work has paid off.”

Freeport’s Jarrett Heilman didn’t have to wait long from last Friday’s verbal commitment to the baseball program at Mercyhurst to sign Wednesday with the Lakers.

“Last week at this time, I didn’t know where I was going,” Heilman said. “I had it narrowed down, but it was still up in the air. When I put pen to paper (Wednesday), it lifted a lot of weight off my shoulders, and I’m pretty excited.”

A trio from the Section 2-AA champion Burrell girls soccer team — Allie Vescio (Edinboro), Megan Malits (Edinboro) and Danica Johnson (IUP) — also signed Wednesday.

Johnson visited IUP on Wednesday morning, and, she said, the combination of a competitive soccer program and her desired physical education major made it the right fit for her.

A-K Valley athletes who plan to sign letters of intent in coming days include Fox Chapel’s Christian Fitch (cross country, Temple), Knoch’s Hannah Rowe (volleyball, Albany), Freeport’s Tori Radvan (softball, Pitt-Johnstown) and Plum’s Joey Decheck (swimming, Gannon) and Carli Chini (lacrosse, Seton Hill).

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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