7 Thomas Jefferson athletes make college choices

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Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 11:48 AM


Seven Thomas Jefferson athletes representing five sports officially made college commitments Nov. 13 on national signing day.

Senior softball players Bella Bucy and Mackenzie Zang committed to Indiana (Pa.) and Seton Hill, respectively.

“So much drew me to Seton Hill,” Zang said. “I will for sure be pursuing a health science degree, and their programs in all areas of that field are awesome. Additionally, I’m a homebody and Seton Hill is a short, hour-long drive from my house. It’s also a small school, and I knew I preferred small class sizes, especially with a tough major.

“On my visit, the softball team was so welcoming, and seeing what type of program coach (Jessica) Strong ran made the school that much more attractive.”

Zang will major in biology, and plans to attend medical school after her undergraduate studies. She eventually wants to become a pediatrician.

Zang was a utility player as a sophomore, played outfield and third base last season and will be moving behind the plate at the catcher position this spring.

“The anticipation for us to begin practice is huge,” she said. “We all can’t wait to get back together and work hard in the offseason.”

It proved to be a long search for a college for Bucy, the Jaguars’ starting pitcher since her freshman season.

That is, until she stepped on the IUP campus.

“I honestly had no idea where I wanted to go in the summer of my junior year,” Bucy said. “I was looking all over and still did not really have any idea where I wanted to play college softball.

“One day, my pitching coach Anna Lauterbach said she thought I would like IUP. She used to play softball with one of the IUP assistants and told me she emailed her friend about me. Next thing I knew, I was getting an email inviting me to come on a visit.”

Bucy, a left-handed hurler, is undecided on a major but is leaning toward early childhood development.

“I absolutely fell in love with the campus,” Bucy said. “It’s not too small, and it’s not too big either, which I loved. It’s more on the larger end of DII schools, which I liked because I was looking for a somewhat bigger school.

“I also fell in love with the coaches and how they run the program at IUP. I think they do a great job with different ways to condition and coach their girls. On my visit, I also got to meet some players and I instantly clicked with them. It just felt like home to me, and that’s when I knew IUP was the right choice for me.”

Dalaney Ranallo (soccer) signed with Old Dominion, Brendan Finnerty (wrestling) chose Seton Hill and Camden Dimidjian (baseball) chose Cal (Pa.).

Senior gymnast Natalie Moore and senior hoopster Alyssa DeAngelo pledged to Fairmont State

Richter, Dalaney honored

Two TJ soccer players were honored as All-WPIAL selections in Class AAA this season. They were Marshall Richter, a sophomore midfielder on the boys team, and Ranallo, a senior midfielder on the girls team.

Richter registered eight goals and nine assists this season. He also competes for the Riverhounds in the offseason, as well as an academy team in Cincinnati.

“Marshall is a great playmaker with excellent foot skills and ball control,” coach Michael “Doc” Kulish said. “He has a high soccer IQ. He is a very good distributor to put his teammates in good goal-scoring situations. He has a great attitude and works hard. He will be a team captain for the 2020 season.

“Marshall will play a big role in helping this team go to the next level in 2020.”

Richter and several of his teammates were voted all-section.

They consisted of senior midfielders Justin Finnegan (17 goals, seven assists) and Owen Richter (two goals, nine assists), and sophomore goalkeeper A.J. Getsy (five shutouts), who also will be a team captain next season.

Owen Richter received national recognition by earning the United Soccer Coaches Association Senior Excellence Award.

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