Exciting times for Penn College athletics

Published 08.18.2019

Wildcat Weekly

A new-look athletic complex. Four new hall of fame members. A new coach coming in. Some new faces in the North Eastern Athletic Conference.

Those are among the changes in the wind for the 2019-20 athletic seasons at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Our kids reported on Wednesday and it totally changed how things are – the excitement and energy they come with is awesome,” said John Vandevere, director of athletics.

Practices already are underway for eight fall sports teams, but when the women’s soccer squad opens its regular season Aug. 30 and the men’s soccer team hosts Keystone College on Sept. 3, it will usher in a new era for both with use of the newly constructed UPMC Field, a 123-by-85-yard synthetic turf field with bleacher seating for 650 spectators, a new scoreboard and a new press box adjacent to the field house. A formal dedication of the field is set for Oct. 5, during Homecoming Weekend.

And when the women’s volleyball team hosts Alfred State University and Cairn University on Sept. 14, it will do so in Bardo Gymnasium, where a new HVAC system will better control the indoor climate year-round.

Over the summer, M&T Bank pledged support for the construction of a new entrance gate – bearing the name of the financial institution – at the Wildcat Athletics Complex, which includes UPMC Field, the Field House and tennis courts.

Constructed of brick, stone and metal, the gate is at the southwest corner of the complex, which is adjacent to the Field House.

Also, over the summer, the college’s transportation partner for Wildcat Athletics, Susquehanna Trailways, increased its support, which will be commemorated on the new scoreboard at the complex.

As part of the company’s commitment, two Susquehanna Trailways tour buses will continue to sport Penn College promotional wraps for five years.

In addition to logo placement on the scoreboard at the complex, the Avis-based, family-owned company’s support will be recognized in the Visionary Society section of the college’s Donor Wall in the Student and Administrative Services Center, celebrating cumulative commitments to the college totaling between $100,000 and $499,000.

Susquehanna Trailways also was among the inaugural group of corporate partners in the Penn College Wildcat Club, supporting the athletics program on an annual basis. The company’s executive president, Cameron Kephart, is a 1997 graduate of Penn College’s business management program.

Fall season openers set
Scheduled to open in non-North Eastern Athletic Conference action on Friday, Aug. 30:

  • Men’s soccer at Hood College, 7 p.m.

  • Women’s soccer host King’s College, 7 p.m.

  • Men’s and women’s cross-country at Misericordia University Invitational, 6 p.m.

Scheduled to open in non-NEAC action on Saturday, Aug. 31:

  • Women’s volleyball at Clarks Summit vs. Clarks Summit University at 10 a.m., vs. Lycoming College at noon and vs. Wilkes University at 2 p.m.

Scheduled to open in non-NEAC action on Wednesday, Sept. 11:

  • Men’s golf at Keuka College Invitational, 10 a.m.

Scheduled to open in non-NEAC action on Saturday, Sept. 7:

  • Men’s tennis host Susquehanna University at Elm Park, 4 p.m.

Scheduled to open in non-NEAC action on Saturday, Sept. 14:

  • Women’s tennis host Elizabethtown College at Elm Park, 3 p.m.

Looking ahead, Vandevere said of the 2019-20 athletic outlook, “I see us maintaining our standards or possibly raising them.

“I think our student-athletes and our coaches did a phenomenal job this past year. We set records academically, athletically, in community service and sportsmanship … We had a great, great year in every aspect of our student-athletes being true student-athletes. … My goal is to see if there are ways we can make more improvements.”

The strides Penn College has made during its first five years since joining the NCAA have been huge, especially considering that it is competing against some colleges and universities that have been Division III members for decades.

“Our coaches work diligently with (the players), trying to find every angle they can to make their student-athletes better,” Vandevere said. “Our kids are making the right decisions in terms of their social lives, they’re not putting themselves in bad situations. And the college, overall, is really doing a great job of always enhancing facilities. … Everyone is supportive from the top down.”

And expectations are high.

“We have some really good teams returning. Our coaches have done a great job recruiting, so I’m really excited to see how the teams look with the new freshmen who are coming in, and the returners and how they’ve dove into the weight training and gotten bigger, faster and stronger — whatever they need to do. They’re going to be better athletically. They’re going to be better physically. They’ll be better in their skill sets,” Vandevere said.

“We have a lot of teams that will be competing for a NEAC championship this year, as they did last year, and I think they’re going to take another step closer. Whether that means they’re going to be in the championship game or win a conference championship — I hope is the case — but I know they’re going to be in the dogfight of it all, which is great. We’re going to compete in every game and at every opportunity we can, which is going to be fun to see. It’s going to be an exciting time for us this year,” Vandevere added.

Four named to Hall of Fame
Cody and Zach Buterbaugh (baseball), Chris Brennan (men’s soccer) and Teresa Burrill (coed team tennis) have been chosen for induction into the Pennsylvania College of Technology Athletics Hall of Fame for 2019.

The inductees will enter the Hall of Fame at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 4 during a ceremony in the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Britni MohneyWomen’s basketball coach named
One of the first orders of business after the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year was finding a new women’s basketball coach for the coming season, and Penn College took care of that in late May with the hiring of Britni Mohney.

Mohney spent the previous five years as the head coach at Salem College, an all-women’s college in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mohney mentored the conference player of the year in 2014-15 and guided her team to regular-season championships in 2015 and 2016. Her teams reached the postseason in four of her five seasons in Winston-Salem.

Prior to Salem, Mohney was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Keuka College and the head cross-country coach. Her stint at Keuka followed two years as a graduate assistant at Utica, where she began her coaching career after graduating from Allegheny College.

Esports coach gets national post
Joshua Young, head coach of Penn College’s esports team, a competitive, multiplayer videogaming program, will have a voice in shaping policy for the national association that champions varsity-level competition.

Members of the National Association of College Esports elected Young, a learning systems administrator at the college and founding coach of the school’s esports program, to its board of directors during the organization’s national conference over the summer.

NACE bills itself as the only governing body for collegiate esports. The nonprofit association began in 2016 with six members. Now, nearly 150 colleges and universities belong to the organization.

Penn State Harrisburg returns
In come the Lions, out go the Eagles. That is to say that Penn State Harrisburg returns after several years away from the conference and replaces the College of St. Elizabeth.

Penn State Harrisburg was a member of the NEAC from 2007 through 2012-13 when it left for the Colonial Athletic Conference, which includes NCAA Division III perennial nationally-ranked University of Mary Washington, Salisbury University and Christopher Newport University. During their previous six-year tenure with the NEAC, the Lions won a combined seven conference championships in baseball (one), men’s golf (two), men’s tennis (two), women’s soccer (one) and women’s tennis (one). St. Elizabeth, meanwhile, heads to the Colonial States Athletic Conference.

The changes will result in two six-team divisions in the NEAC, and the conference also will begin sponsoring outdoor track and field this season with four teams in each category. Penn College will not be among them.

Conference names interim commissioner
On Aug. 1, Stephanie Dutton assumed the role of interim commissioner of the NEAC for 2019-20 after Candice Murray stepped down after 14 years, effective July 31. Dutton had been the assistant commissioner.

Murray, NEAC’s only Commissioner since it was founded in 2004, brought 10 years of NCAA Division III athletic director experience to the role. Under her leadership, the conference solidified its policies and procedures; developed and worked through two five-year strategic plans with successful completion of many important items; established strong guidelines for sportsmanship; navigated shifts in membership with creative solutions and commitment to the NEAC’s values; and developed the NCAA’s only Presidents’ Cup Award to honor institutional commitment to athletic and academic success of student-athletes, sportsmanship and community service.

Murray has served on numerous NCAA committees and working groups, including the Olympic Sports Liaison Committee, the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee, the Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Working Group, the Convention Planning Subcommittee, and the Athletic Direct Reports’ Institute Working Group. She also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Division III Commissioner Association (DIIICA), as well as the DIIICA’s Conference Grant and Sportsmanship committees. Murray received the Women Leaders in College Sports Award for Outstanding Conference Administrator in 2007 and the DIIICA 10-Year Service Appreciation Award in 2015.

“A leadership transition is the time to celebrate the success of the past and the opportunities for the future,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president and chairwoman of the NEAC Presidents’ Council. “Thank you to Candice for her service to the NEAC and I look forward to working with Stephanie as well as the conference ADs, presidents and staff to continue to position our conference as an ideal representative of Division III athletics for our student-athletes.”

Prior to joining the NEAC in 2017, Dutton spent over six years at Plattsburgh State and held a number of titles including sports information director, assistant athletic director and a seven-month stint as interim athletic director. Outside of intercollegiate athletics, Dutton’s career in athletics began with front office roles for three seasons in minor league baseball.

An interim assistant commissioner will be named to oversee all aspects of conference communication and the NEAC awards program.

Penn College earns conference honor
Penn College won the Senior Woman Administrators’ Cup for community service and the Wildcats finished second in the Athletic Direct Reports’ Cup for sportsmanship, with a .6103 average score following the ranking of sportsmanship for all 12 sports Penn College sponsors in the conference.

The Senior Woman Administrators’ Cup is the first individual cup for the Wildcats since they joined the NEAC in 2014.

Also, Penn College finished third in the North Eastern Athletic Conference Presidents’ Cup, it was announced July 19. It was the highest finish for the Wildcats since joining the conference in 2014.

Record 60 student-athletes honored
A school-record 60 student-athletes were selected as North Eastern Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes, it was announced June 20. The Wildcats finished fifth among the conference’s 12 full-members, and topped their previous mark of 58 selections in 2017-18.

“I am very proud of the hard work that our student-athletes and staff did with regards to the classroom. We place a high value on success in the classroom and the gains in this area are proof of that,” Vandevere said. “Breaking the record for the number of scholar-athletes for a second-straight year is a great accomplishment, and it’s an honor we all can celebrate.”

In order to be selected, a student-athlete competing in a conference-sponsored sport must achieve a combined grade point average of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and must have been in good standing on his or her team.

This year, the NEAC named 781 Scholar-Athlete selections from its 12 full-member institutions and six associate member schools for the 2018-19 academic year.

For the third-straight year, Keuka College led all NEAC institutions with a total of 116 scholar-athlete selections. The annual list of honorees continues to illustrate the geographic diversity of the league and its member institutions with NEAC Scholar-Athletes representing 36 different states and 16 different countries.

The men’s cross-country team topped all Penn College teams with nine selections (out of 17 student-athletes on its roster), while the women’s soccer team was the top female team with eight scholar-athletes. Penn College also had 11 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Wildcats honored were:

Men’s cross-country (nine)
Hayden Beiter, senior, Williamsport, building construction technology (4.0 GPA)
David Carlson, junior, Elizabethtown, engineering design technology (4.0)
Benjamin Ericksen, sophomore, Norwich, New York, forest technology
Christopher Hogan, junior, Halifax, welding and fabrication engineering technology
Jake Mashack, sophomore, Bloomsburg, civil engineering technology
Reagan McCoy, senior, Lock Haven, plastics and polymer engineering technology
Levi Pomeroy, freshman, Dillsburg, mechatronics engineering technology
Thomas Runner, senior, Elkridge, Maryland, building construction technology
Austin Weinrich, senior, Jenkintown, building construction technology

Men’s soccer (eight)
Gregory Dorsch, junior, Mount Airy, Maryland, welding and fabrication engineering technology
Declan Gatchell, freshman, Manchester, architectural technology
Daniel Hibbs, senior, Loyalsock Township, sport and event management
Collin Klinger, sophomore, Dornsife, diesel technology (4.0)
Tanner Layne, freshman, Chesapeake, Virginia, information assurance and cyber security (4.0)
Cody Schwoyer, sophomore, Williamsport, electrical technology
Colton Wartman, freshman, Ellicott City, Maryland, automotive technology
Matt Yoder, freshman, Nescopeck, building technology

Women’s soccer (eight)
Megan Bugbee, freshman, Geneseo, New York, architectural technology
Taylor Gonzales, sophomore, Lititz, nursing
Kaelan Cronan, freshman, Leesport, nursing
Lauren Herr, senior, Lititz, construction management (4.0)
Charlee Marshall, freshman, Snow Shoe, construction management
Jenna Rejman, sophomore, East Aurora, New York, pre-physician assistant studies
Abigail Williams, sophomore, Mechanicsburg, graphic design
Kelly Williams, sophomore, Marion, New York, architectural technology

Baseball (six)
Connor Burke, freshman, St. Clair, nursing
Jacob Carles, freshman, Bernville, engineering design technology
Cole Hofmann, senior, Newtown, applied management
Clark Jackson, freshman, Columbia Cross Roads, building construction technology
Samuel Zeigler, freshman, Palmyra, building construction technology
Alex Zelger, senior, Red Lion, welding and fabrication engineering technology (4.0)

Women’s softball (five)
Kayla Christopher, freshman, Northampton, pre-dental hygiene
Laycee Clark, sophomore, Tyrone, physical therapist assistant
Alexis Heritage, sophomore, New Castle, Delaware, network specialist
Emily Wikane, senior, Bel Air, Maryland, applied management
Sarah Woodruff, freshman, Port Jervis, New York, pre-radiography

Men’s golf (four)
Ned Baumbach, senior, Elizabethtown, building automation technology (4.0)
William Dyer, sophomore, Wallingford, Connecticut, Caterpillar equipment emphasis
Tyler Marks, senior, Beachwood, New Jersey, building construction technology: masonry concentration
Sean McNamara, sophomore, Lancaster, mechatronics engineering technology

Women’s cross-country (four)
Kathryn Plankenhorn, freshman, Montoursville, physician assistant studies
Rosie Thomas, sophomore, Port Allegany, pre-nursing BS in nursing
Sidney Trunzo, junior, Williamsport, plastics and polymer engineering technology (4.0)
Brittany Weiskopff, junior, Roaring Branch, accounting (4.0)

Women’s volleyball (four)
Hannah Burnett, freshman, Middlebury Center, physician assistant
Kylee Butz, freshman, Lawrenceville, nursing
Christine Limbert, freshman, Curwensville, architectural technology
Eamilie Marnati, sophomore, Canton, building construction technology

Men’s basketball (three)
Brandon Fedoriw, junior, Williamsport, exercise science
Ryan Lockman, senior, White Salmon, Washington, electronics and computer engineering technology
Frank Tuason, junior, Stamford, Connecticut, sport and event management

Men’s tennis (three)
William DeMarco, sophomore, Glen Mills, landscape emphasis
Stephen Helminiak, senior, Williamsport, civil engineering technology
Luke Whitenight, junior, Berwick, civil engineering technology

Women’s basketball (three)
Ariana Burke, freshman, Chambersburg, sport and event management
Maci Ilgen, sophomore, Millheim, pre-nursing BS in nursing
Cassi Kuhns, sophomore, Loyalsock Township, applied human services

Women’s tennis (three)
Marcie Harman, freshman, Nescopeck, architectural technology (4.0)
Autumn McCrum, freshman, Kennesaw, Georgia, baking and pastry arts
Alexis Youse, freshman, Pottstown, baking and pastry arts (4.0)

Three named to honors court
Penn College men’s basketball student-athletes Ryan Lockman, of White Salmon, Washington; Ben Sosa, of Loyalsock Township; and Frank Tuason, of Tuckahoe, New York, were named to the 2018-19 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court, it was announced July 17.

The NABC recognizes men’s collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season and recognizes the talents and gifts they possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.

In order to be named to the court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are:

  • Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player.

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year.

  • Must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution.

  • Must be a member of an NCAA Division I, II, III, or an NAIA institution with an NABC member coach.

Lockman carried a 3.48 GPA while majoring in electronics and computer engineering technology. He started 15 of the 20 games as a junior, averaging 13.4 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes per game while shooting 58.3% from the field, good for fifth in the NEAC.

Sosa earned a 3.5 GPA while majoring in business administration with a sport and event management concentration. He started 14 of 19 games his junior season, averaging 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 30 minutes per game.

Tuason received a 3.23 GPA majoring in business administration with a sport and event management concentration. He played in 20 games last season totaling 186 minutes and averaging over nine minutes per game.

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 1