Thomas Jefferson’s Evan Berger, Zoe Krizan, Laekyn Flinn sign with college programs

Saturday, November 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The NCAA early signing day for high school athletes took place Nov. 8.

Three students at Thomas Jefferson — seniors Evan Berger, Zoe Krizan and Laekyn Flinn — took advantage of the opportunity.

Berger, a fourth-year starter in basketball for the Jaguars, signed with NCAA Division II Penn West Edinboro of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Berger is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard/forward who broke his own school record last season with a 43-point performance in leading TJ to a 105-100 section win in three overtimes against Peters Township.

“It felt great to break my previous record of 42,” Berger said. “This was my first game back from injury, and I felt I could’ve done more. A lot of people stepped up in big situations, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

“It was an incredible game,” TJ coach Dom DeCicco said afterward. “It as a playoff type atmosphere. The pace of the game was ridiculously fast. PT has a lot of players that can shoot and get to the rim. They pressure you the entire game. I thought we handled their pressure for the most part.

“I have never been involved in a three-overtime game or a game where both teams scored 100 or more points. I was disappointed in our defense.”

Berger warmed up with16 points in first half then scored 27 after halftime.

“I thought Evan got to the rim exceptionally well,” DeCicco said. “Since he hurt his ankle, he is just getting back in basketball shape.”

Berger scored 42 points Dec. 2 to lead the Jaguars to a season-opening 83-63 victory over Belle Vernon at the MVI Classic.

He surpassed the 1,000-point plateau with a 16-point performance in TJ’s 61-56 win against Woodland Hills at The Challenge at Chatham.

Krizan, who will be a fourth-year starter in the TJ softball program, opted for Drexel, located in Philadelphia and a member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association.

Krizan played center field and batted in the third spot in the Jaguars lineup last season. She led the team in RBIs (34) and home runs (6), tied for first in hits (30) and ranked second with a .417 batting average.

“Zoe is absolutely one of the hardest workers I have coached,” TJ coach Heidi Karcher said. “She 100% deserves (the scholarship) both athletically and academically. She loves the game, is a fierce competitor but also calm and cool in tense situations.

“Zoe will continue to be a starter for me (in 2024) in the outfield.”

Krizan played on the left side of the diamond at shortstop and third base as a freshman and sophomore at TJ.

“I was moved to third base in the very beginning of my sophomore season, and ended up getting injured,” she said. “I broke and dislocated two fingers and needed surgery on one of them.

“I was moved to center field and loved being out there.”

In one of her season highlights, Krizan went 3 for 3 with two homers and four RBIs in a 9-8 Section 4-5A win against Peters Township.

Krizan has twice been named first-team all-section.

Flinn, a 5-9 guard/forward on the TJ girls basketball team, selected Frostburg State, located in Frostburg, Md., and a member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference.

One of Flinn’s 2022-23 season highlights was a game-high 27-point performance in a 65-49 loss to Peters Township in the Baldwin/Peters Township tip-off tournament.


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