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 4x800 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 4x800 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.