Greater Pittston athletes make decisions on college


Local athletes taking careers to college

By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com



Wyoming Area football player Frank Yurek recently signed to play for King’s College this fall. From left, first row, Frank Yurek, Frank Yurek and Lisa Yurek. Second row, Wyoming Area Athletic Director Joe Pizano, Wyoming Area football coach Randy Spencer, Wyoming Area football coach Mike Fanti and Wyoming Area Principal Vito Quaglia.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Abbie Sheerer has selected Widener University to continue her track and field career. From left, first row, Abbie Sheerer and Maryann Sheerer. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Samantha Mayers has selected St. Joseph’s University to continue her track career. From left, first row, Matthew Mayers, David Mayers, Samantha Mayers, Joann Mayers and Nicole Mayers. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Tara Johnson has selected King’s College to continue her cross country and track and field career. From left, first row, Brian Johnson, Tara Johnson, Beth Johnson and Brianna Johnson. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.


Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Wyoming Area softball player Sarah Coolbaugh, right, recently committed to play at Penn State Hazleton. With her is Penn State Hazleton coach Rich Lipinski.


Submitted photo

A handful of Greater Pittston athletes recently made decisions regarding their futures, athleticallyand academically.

Wyoming Area lineman Frank Yurek signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his football career at King’s College on Monday, April 25 at Wyoming Area Secondary Center. Yurek played both sides of the ball for the Warriors, and was part of the 2012 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District 2 Class AAA championship team.

He’s excited to continue his career close to home.

“I’m very excited that this is finally here,” Yurek said. “I’m looking forward to being around and stay close to home. Everything I need is still close to me. I feel a little more comfortable that way.”

Wyoming Area head football coach Randy Spencer said Yurek has come a long way since showing up as a freshman. Spencer said getting that experience on the district title team made Yurek the player he is today.

“It’s been a long four years, but overall it was just a great experience and I’m happy to play for this football team and where it brought me,” Yurek said. “It’s been very good to me.”

Yurek will study business this fall.

PA track stars headed to college

For Pittston Area track and cross country coach Joe Struckus, the group of seniors from last year and this year have been some of the best the school has ever seen. In 2014, Tara Johnson, Samantha Mayers and Abbie Sheerer each helped Pittston Area win its first district track and field championship since 1988.

Johnson, the 2015 PIAA District 2 Class AAA Cross Country champion, has chosen to run track and cross country at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre.

Johnson, a Pittston Area senior, took gold at the championships last fall, and has also been part of the Pittston Area track and field team that copped the 2014 district title. Johnson, along with teammates Samantha Mayers, Liz Waleski and Madison Mimnaugh, took district gold in last year’s 4×800 relay team.

“I didn’t decide until a few weeks ago and it took a big weight off my shoulders,” Johnson said. “I’m really excited to be a part of their team. They are really nice. It was really welcoming and low key.”

Johnson said her decision came down to King’s and St. Joseph’s University. She will be studying elementary and special education.

Abbie Sheerer, a senior jumper on the Pittston Area track and field team, has decided to continue her career at Widener University in Chester.

Sheerer has been a staple in the Pittston Area jumping ranks for the past several years. She’ll be competing in the long, high and triple jumps. Last year, Sheerer took fourth in the high jump at the district championships.

“I decided only a week and a half ago so it was kind of close to the deadline,” she said. “Now I know I can continue to do what I love and combine the two things I love.”

Sheerer will study physical therapy at Widener.

Samantha Mayers, a senior mid-distance runner for the Patriots, will continue her track career at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Mayers, who has won district titles in track and field and girls soccer, took sixth place in the 800 run at last year’s district track and field championships. She was also part of last year’s gold medal 4×800 relay team.

“It’s really excited to finally have decided where I’m going,” Mayers said. “It’s a big weight lifted off my shoulders. I’m excited to start a new chapter in my life.”

Mayers isn’t quite sure what she will be studying at St. Joe’s, but is leaning toward chemistry.

Coolbaugh headed to PSU Hazleton

Wyoming Area senior Sarah Coolbaugh recently committed to play softball for the Penn State Hazleton Lady Lions. This season, Coolbaugh is hitting around .300 as the Warriors’ catcher.

Last season, Coolbaugh appeared in 21 games and hit .475 with 11 RBI. She reached base in more than half of her plate appearances. Coolbaugh was a WVC First Team All-Star her junior season and was named to the Second Team as a sophomore.

Coolbaugh has yet to decide on a major, but is leaning toward accounting as a career choice. Coolbaugh is the daughter of Emmit and Margaret Coolbaugh, Harding.

Wyoming Area football player Frank Yurek recently signed to play for King’s College this fall. From left, first row, Frank Yurek, Frank Yurek and Lisa Yurek. Second row, Wyoming Area Athletic Director Joe Pizano, Wyoming Area football coach Randy Spencer, Wyoming Area football coach Mike Fanti and Wyoming Area Principal Vito Quaglia.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_Yurek_WA.jpgWyoming Area football player Frank Yurek recently signed to play for King’s College this fall. From left, first row, Frank Yurek, Frank Yurek and Lisa Yurek. Second row, Wyoming Area Athletic Director Joe Pizano, Wyoming Area football coach Randy Spencer, Wyoming Area football coach Mike Fanti and Wyoming Area Principal Vito Quaglia. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Abbie Sheerer has selected Widener University to continue her track and field career. From left, first row, Abbie Sheerer and Maryann Sheerer. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_AbbieSheer_PA.jpgPittston Area’s Abbie Sheerer has selected Widener University to continue her track and field career. From left, first row, Abbie Sheerer and Maryann Sheerer. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Samantha Mayers has selected St. Joseph’s University to continue her track career. From left, first row, Matthew Mayers, David Mayers, Samantha Mayers, Joann Mayers and Nicole Mayers. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_SamMayers_PA.jpgPittston Area’s Samantha Mayers has selected St. Joseph’s University to continue her track career. From left, first row, Matthew Mayers, David Mayers, Samantha Mayers, Joann Mayers and Nicole Mayers. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Pittston Area’s Tara Johnson has selected King’s College to continue her cross country and track and field career. From left, first row, Brian Johnson, Tara Johnson, Beth Johnson and Brianna Johnson. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TaraJohnson_PA.jpgPittston Area’s Tara Johnson has selected King’s College to continue her cross country and track and field career. From left, first row, Brian Johnson, Tara Johnson, Beth Johnson and Brianna Johnson. Second row, Pittston Area Principal John Haas, Pittston Area coach Joe Struckus, Pittston Area Assistant Athletic Director Charles LoPresto and Pittston Area Athletic Director Charlie Turco. Nick Wagner | Sunday Dispatch

Wyoming Area softball player Sarah Coolbaugh, right, recently committed to play at Penn State Hazleton. With her is Penn State Hazleton coach Rich Lipinski.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_COOLBAUGH_RBG.jpgWyoming Area softball player Sarah Coolbaugh, right, recently committed to play at Penn State Hazleton. With her is Penn State Hazleton coach Rich Lipinski. Submitted photo
Local athletes taking careers to college

By Nick Wagner

nwagner@timesleader.com

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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