The transition has begun in collegiate sports from the fall to winter seasons. But for some, the fight still continues in the postseason.
Oil City native Logan Stahl and the Carnegie Mellon football team have earned a postseason berth as the Spartans have been selected to host the 2019 Eastern College Athletic Conference Scotty Whitelaw Bowl against Brevard College on Saturday, at 1 p.m. It will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.
Stahl has started all 10 games at center for the 8-2 Spartans, who finished with a 7-2 record in PAC action and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. Carnegie Mellon has averaged 322 yards per game (149 rush, 173 pass), while posting 27.7 point per game.
On Thursday, the junior was selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Football Team for the first time in his career for maintaining at least a 3.3 GPA (3.75) while being a starter or significant reserve on the field.
Also hosting a bowl game this weekend are Oil City graduate Jackson McFall, Guys Mills native Logan Shreve and the Grove City Wolverines football team. The Wolverines finished the regular season with an 8-2 (7-2 PAC) record and are currently enjoying a six-game win streak. Grove City will entertain Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the 2019 Eastern College Athletic Conference James Lynah Bowl on Saturday at noon.
McFall has started all 10 games this season for Grove City. The senior began the season at cornerback before moving over to strong safety for the last six affairs. McFall has totaled 37 tackles and three interceptions in 2019. Shreve has played in four games, and has made one tackle.
Lastly, Oil City alum Caden Highfield and the Westminster Titans football team will travel to Morrisville State on Saturday at noon to play in the 2019 Eastern College Athletic Conference Clayton Chapman Bowl. The Titans are 7-3 (6-3 PAC) and will face Morrisville State for the first time in program history. Highfield, a sophomore, has yet to play for the Titans this season.
While the season still is alive for the Tartans, Titans and Wolverines, many other alumni have capped off their respective campaigns.
Former Titusville Rocket Brady Corklin made an instant impact in his first season playing defense for the Geneva Golden Tornadoes. Corklin transferred from Point Park University prior to last season, and this offseason, he moved from the offense to the secondary of the defense. The sophomore started in all 10 games for the Golden Tornadoes (3-7 overall, 3-6 PAC) this season. Corklin began the season at free safety, but then moved over to cornerback for the final two games.
During the season, Corklin racked up four interceptions, which led the team and was tied for second in the conference. He also added 34 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. For his efforts, Corklin was named as an All-PAC Honorable Mention at defensive back by the conference on Tuesday.
Also suiting up for the Golden Tornadoes this season was Maplewood High School graduate Jacob Roser, who ended his sophomore campaign on a high note in the season finale against Westminster on Saturday. In the fourth quarter, Roser recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for his first collegiate touchdown. He played in eight games and finished the season with four tackles and the touchdown.
Elsewhere in football, Kaleb Dunlap and the Thiel Tomcats finished the campaign with an 0-10 ledger. Dunlap, a Titusville graduate, started the first four games at right guard, and then served in a backup capacity in two additional games.
In men’s soccer, Braden Sprong and the Penn State Behrend Lions had their season come to a close in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a 5-0 loss to Kenyon on Saturday. Sprong made one appearance for the Lions (19-2 overall, 9-1 AMCC), making one save in just under 29 minutes of action in the team’s regular season finale.
Isabelle Snyder and the Westminster women’s volleyball team advanced the farthest out of collegiate teams that have local ties. The Titans won the 2019 PAC Championship on Nov. 9 with a four-set win over Geneva. However, the team was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA DIII Tournament by Susquehanna in a three-set sweep. Snyder, a freshman that graduated from Maplewood, started in 14 of the 23 games she played in this season. She compiled 86 kills, 72 assists, 70 digs and 16 blocks.
Angie King and the Lycoming Warriors also reached the postseason, falling to Stevenson in four sets in the MACC Semifinals. King, a sophomore from Maplewood, started in four games, while playing in 20 more for the Warriors (18-13 overall, 5-3 MACC), totaling 83 digs and 11 aces.
The final women’s volleyball team with local ties in postseason contention was the Clarion Eagles, who had Oil City native Abby Yeager on the roster. Clarion was swept by Shippensburg in the first round of the PSAC Tournament on Tuesday, and finished the season at 19-12 (11-7 PSAC). Yeager saw action in three games during the campaign.
Maplewood alums Sophie Varndell (Slippery Rock) and Alyssa Proper (Waynesburg) recently completed their seasons. Varndell started in 14 games and played in 24 total for Slippery Rock (7-23 overall, 2-16 PSAC) in her freshman season, tallying 151 kills, 28 blocks and 15 digs. Proper, a senior, started in all 27 contests for Waynesburg (4-23 overall, 1-15 PAC), posting 432 assists, 161 digs and 33 aces.
Additionally, Guys Mills native Lilly Nearhoof did not see action in her freshman season for the Grove City Wolverines.
Nine local alumni competed at the collegiate level in cross country. Austin Shaw (Allegheny), Grace Canchola (Mansfield) and Jade Rhoads (Thiel) represented Maplewood in their respective programs, while Oil City was represented by Alex Chelton (Gannon), Allie Domer (Gannon), Amanda Espy (Carlow), Caroline Stevens (Carlow) and Jessica Wilson (Geneva). Centerville native Olivia Trauner raced for Washington and Jefferson.