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Penn College looks to continue its momentum

A new head coach. Four new hall of fame members. Special honors for three coaches and a former men’s basketball player. A new face in a “new” conference. A record number of scholar-athletes.

It has been a busy offseason for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletics. And, with the start of the fall sports seasons just around the corner Sept. 1, there is more good news as spectators are being welcomed back to athletic events after a year away due to COVID-19 precautions.

Fans returning
“After nearly a year and a half of canceled seasons and shortened seasons due to the pandemic, we are excited that we will have a full season with fans this fall. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes continued to work hard during the past year and a half and can’t wait to represent Penn College in front of our family, friends and supporters,” said Matt Blymier, interim athletic director.

“Following a record spring season, in which all of our teams made the postseason and two teams won conference titles, we hope to continue that momentum into this season. We’ll be doing that under a new banner of sorts, as our conference has changed its name to the United East. We hope to be one the first institutions to hoist an United East trophy,” he continued.

“Penn College is following NCAA resocialization guidelines to keep our campus community safe. We have implemented a COVID-19 testing program for athletics staff and student-athletes. Masking will be required in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, as well as the college’s own metrics and protocols,” Blymier added.

Volleyball coach named
In May, Carolyn McKeon joined the Wildcats athletics staff as the women’s volleyball coach.

McKeon, also an adjunct professor at Purdue University Global and Rasmussen College, holds a doctorate in education; master’s degrees in reading and language arts along with instructional design and technology; bachelor’s degrees as a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, and business administration; and an associate degree in criminology.

Professionally, she has more than 25 years of teaching and administrative experience.

McKeon’s experience in volleyball began in middle school where she played seventh- and eighth-grade ball. She then played four years as a starting setter at Cooperstown Central Jr.-Sr. High School in Cooperstown, New York, where her team won a state championship her senior year. McKeon continued playing volleyball at SUNY Cortland, and 10 years ago in conjunction with the Williamsport YMCA, she started the Maranatha Tippers, a multiaged, mixed group of homeschoolers ranging from ages 5 to 18. Currently, she coaches six teams with five assistant coaches.

McKeon is the mother of four sons, three of whom have attended Penn College and two who are PCT graduates. She considers herself to be an educational catalyst and strives to leave a lasting impression with her students.

Athletic conference rebrandedConference rebranded
What had been the North Eastern Athletic Conference since 2004 was rebranded over the summer as the United East Conference with a new member, website and logo.

The conference’s core members are Penn College, Gallaudet University, Lancaster Bible College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Morrisville, Wells College and, new this fall, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks.

The UEC also includes three associate members in Rutgers University-Camden, Wilson College and Rosemont College in men’s golf (the latter two are new this year) and partners with the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference in men’s and women’s lacrosse and the North Atlantic Conference in men’s and women’s tennis.

Fall openers set
Thanks to a spring sports season, fall sports athletes who participated in golf and tennis already have worked out kinks after a year away from competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for those in soccer, women’s volleyball and cross-country who last competed in 2019, an extremely long offseason is just about to end.

Opening in nonconference play on Wednesday, Sept. 1:
Men’s/women’s cross-country at Misericordia Invitational, 6 p.m.
Men’s soccer at Keystone College, 7 p.m.
Women’s soccer at King’s College, 7 p.m.

Opening in nonconference play on Saturday, Sept. 4:
Women’s volleyball at Albright College with Gwynedd Mercy University, 2 p.m.

Opening in nonconference play on Thursday, Sept. 9:
Men’s and women’s tennis vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, 3 p.m.

Opening in nonconference action on Tuesday, Sept. 14:
Golf at Elizabethtown College Invitational at Hershey Country Club, 1 p.m.

Esports tryouts this week
According to coach Joshua Young, esports tryouts are being held this week in the Wildcat Den (Madigan Library, room 203A).

The schedule: League of Legends, 6 p.m. Monday; Overwatch, 6 p.m. Tuesday; Rocket League, 6 p.m. Wednesday; Fortnite, 6 p.m. Thursday; Valorant, 8 p.m. Thursday; Apex Legends, 7 p.m. Friday. Those interested in iRacing should email Young for information.

Hall of Fame class announced2021 Hall of Fame
The 2021 Athletics Hall of Fame Class has been announced: James Woodring, Kendel Baier, Jamie Steer and Scott E. Kennell.

James C. WoodringJames Woodring (baseball, 2005-08)
From Fall 2005 to Spring 2008, Woodring, of Waynesboro, provided solid defense at second base and was a key cog on Wildcat teams that went 101-55, reaching postseason play all four years while winning Penn State University Athletic Conference championships in 2006 and 2008. As a freshman, he earned All-Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Assn. and All-Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference honors, and in each of the next three seasons he was awarded All-PSUAC honors. As a junior, Woodring hit .417 with 12 RBIs, and as a senior, he hit .402 with 23 RBIs and 32 runs scored. Woodring also earned numerous all-academic honors.

Kendel F. BaierKendel Baier (archery, 2012-15)
As a freshman in 2012, Baier, of Jersey Shore, was a member of Penn College’s national championship women’s bowhunter team and by the time she graduated in 2015, she added four more national team titles to her resume while claiming the individual national women’s bowhunter crown in 2013 and placing second as a senior. Additionally, Baier was a three-time All-American archer, three-time Academic All-American and was named the college’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2014. During her career, Baier helped the college to one second, two thirds and one fourth-place finish in end-of-the-season national competition.

Jamie L. SteerJamie Steer (women’s basketball, 2012-16)
A four-year starter who played at the center and guard positions from the 2012-13 through 2015-16 seasons, Steer, of South Williamsport, led the Wildcats in scoring as a freshman with 452 points and was second in scoring during each of her other three years to finish with 1,422 career points. She earned Penn State University Athletic Conference first-team honors, was the PSUAC Newcomer of the Year and was named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Assn. Division II second team as a freshman, earned USCAA second-team honors as a junior and was awarded a spot on the USCAA honorable mention team during her senior season.

Scott E. KennellScott Kennell (athletic administration, 2011-16)
During his five years as athletic director, Kennell oversaw the transition of Penn College to an NCAA Division III affiliation and membership in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. Also during that time, six coaching positions were elevated from part-time to full-time, an athletics-specific website was launched, an Athletics Hall of Fame was established, the number of recruited student-athletes was increased, the Wildcat Club (an athletic donor club) was created and many of the college’s athletics facilities were upgraded. Twice during Kennell’s tenure, Penn College captured the prestigious Penn State University Athletic Conference Chancellor’s Cup, which is awarded to the member school with the highest number of points based on the finish of each conference team.

(NOTE: Woodring joins his twin brother, Phillip (a 2009 inductee), and Steer joins her sister, Kierstin (a 2018 inductee), as members of the Penn College Athletics Hall of Fame).

Three coaches honored
Tyler MenschMen’s Soccer
Coach Tyler Mensch was named to the Misericordia University Hall of Fame. Mensch was a two-time All-Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom first-team honoree and three-time all-region selection in soccer.

He ranks sixth in career points (82) and points/game (1.09), fourth in career goals (39) and goals/game (.52), and third in single-season goals (15).

Christa MatlackWomen’s Soccer
Coach Christa Matlack was named to the Bucknell University Hall of Fame. Matlack was the 2009 and 2010 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, a three-time first-team All-Patriot League honoree and a member of league’s 25th Anniversary Team. Matlack recorded at least seven goals in all four of her seasons at Bucknell and her 32 career goals were fifth-most in team history at the time of her graduation. She ranked fifth in total points (78) and seventh in assists (14) on Bucknell’s career lists.

Just as prolific in the classroom, Matlack became the first player in team history to garner NSCAA Scholar All-America honors, doing so as a junior and senior. She was one of 35 national recipients and was honored at the NSCAA national convention. She also was a Christy Mathewson Award winner.

Geoff HensleyMen’s Basketball
Coach Geoff Hensley was named to the Norwich University Hall of Fame. Hensley led the Norwich men’s basketball program to back-to-back Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament titles in 2005 and 2006. He scored over 1,000-career points and was named to the GNAC All-Conference first team three years in a row.

He finished 11th in the nation in 3-point percentage and 10th in the country in free-throw percentage during his senior season.

LaQuinn N. Thompson, of York, recipient of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Alumni Achievement Award, displays the honor with President Davie Jane Gilmour.
LaQuinn N. Thompson, of York, recipient of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Alumni Achievement Award, displays the honor with President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Former men’s basketball player honored
LaQuinn Thompson, of York, a 2016 alumnus and four-year member of the men’s basketball team, was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award at the college’s Summer 2021 Commencement ceremony.

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to a graduate of the past 10 years in recognition of noteworthy career accomplishments that demonstrate the importance of a Penn College education.

NEAC Scholar-Athletes honored
A school-record 85 student-athletes earned North Eastern Athletic Conference (now United East Conference) Scholar-Athlete honors — topping the previous mark of 67 last year — as the Wildcats finished third among the conference’s eight full-time members.

To be selected, a student-athlete competing in a conference-sponsored sport must achieve a combined GPA of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and must have been in good standing on their team. Thirteen Penn College students achieved perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Wildcats honored were:

Men’s soccer (14)
Alexander Cassada, junior, Chambersburg
Braeden Eckard, sophomore, Danville
Will Gallagher, freshman, Mechanicsburg
Declan Gatchell, junior, Manchester
Rowan Gibson, sophomore, Abington
Adam Heintzelman, sophomore, Mercersburg
Tyler Hendershot, freshman, New Columbia
Tanner Layne, junior, Chesapeake, Va.
Brandon Ratjavong, freshman, Gordonville (4.0 GPA)
Jared Rice, freshman, Strasburg
Grayson Tanner, freshman, St. Matthews, S.C. (4.0)
Colton Wartman, junior, Ellicott City, Md.
William Watson, freshman, Springfield
Tyler Weimert, freshman, Feasterville-Trevose

Women’s basketball (13)
Lydia Albert, freshman, Trout Run
Juilie Anthony, freshman, South Williamsport
Maci Ilgen, junior, Spring Mills
Olivia Johnson, sophomore, Shavertown
Cassi Kuhns, senior, Williamsport (4.0)
Kassidi Lenhart, sophomore, Muncy
Emily Pardee, freshman, Williamsport
Shelby Pyatt, freshman, Frenchtown, N.J.
Makaya Shadle, sophomore, Galeton
Keyona Shoff, sophomore, Shamokin (4.0)
Aubrey Stetts, sophomore, Jersey Shore
Allie Troup, freshman, Huntingdon
Julie Wangler, freshman, Lancaster

Baseball (11)
Ben Bretzman, sophomore, Bendersville
Connor Burke, junior, St. Clair
Jacob Carles, junior, Bernville
Cole Culver, sophomore, Titusville
Alex Jaworski, freshman, Taylor
Ethan Ketterman, senior, Biglerville
Brian Robison, junior, Quakertown
Andrew Snyder, sophomore, Whitehall
Jake Wagner, sophomore, Palmyra
Chance Webb, sophomore, Hughesville
Samuel Zeigler, junior, Palmyra

Men’s lacrosse (10)
Garrett Corso, senior, Bellefonte
Giovanni Ferrari, freshman, Harveys Lake
Andrew Gobbi, senior, Fairfax, Va.
Benjamin Guaragno, junior, Spring Grove
Daniel Haskins, freshman, North Wales
Isaac Hernandez, sophomore, Monroe Township, N.J.
Nathan Hugo, senior, Ligonier
Stephen Lepore, senior, Palmyra
Dylan Spanier, senior, Lewisberry
Angelo Varcadipane, freshman, Boonton, N.J.

Softball (10)
Shayla Bickel, sophomore, Shinglehouse (4.0)
Maddie Hurst, sophomore, Mechanicsburg
Maggie Mangene, freshman, Boalsburg
Ivvy Morder, sophomore, Mechanicsburg
Alyssa Rusnock, sophomore, Ovid, N.Y. (4.0)
Madison Shaffer, sophomore, Trout Run
Tori Siler, junior, Havre de Grace, Md.
Jordan Specht, junior, Frederick, Md. (4.0)
Skyelar Splain, sophomore, Liverpool
Sarah Woodruff, junior, Port Jervis, N.Y.

Women’s soccer (10)
Sydney Bruno, freshman, Williamsport (4.0)
Megan Bugbee, senior, Geneseo, N.Y.
Erica Gallagher, sophomore, Wyoming
Rose Gatchell, freshman, Manchester
Taylor Gonzales, senior, Lititz
Charlee Marshall, junior, Snow Shoe
Alicia Passmore, freshman, Houtzdale
Kaelynn Sheetz, freshman, Elizabethtown (4.0)
Sloane Tressler, sophomore, Mill Hall
Madison Kistler, sophomore, Kutztown

Men’s basketball (3)
Brody Baker, senior, Lock Haven
Chris Coyne Jr., freshman, Glen Mills
Blake Sherwood, freshman, Hughesville

Men’s cross-country (3)
Will Deem, freshman, Furlong
Matthew Leiby, senior, Danville
Levi Pomeroy, senior, Dillsburg (4.0)

Men’s golf (3)
Kohltin Bartlow, sophomore, Montgomery
Karson Felty, freshman, Pine Grove
Sean McNamara, junior, Lancaster

Women’s tennis (3)
Marcie Harman, senior, Nescopeck (4.0)
Georgia Macensky, freshman, Wellsboro
Alexis Youse, junior, Pottstown (4.0)

Women’s cross-country (2)
Cinnamon Digan, senior, Mifflinburg
Kathryn Plankenhorn, junior, Montoursville (4.0)

Men’s tennis (2)
Zackary Burkhart, junior, Milton
Wade Wolley, freshman, Monson, Mass.

Women’s volleyball (1)
Hannah Burnett, junior, Middlebury Center

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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