FRANCONIA — After graduation, nine Souderton Area High School student athletes will go on to play their sports at Division I or Division II schools thanks to athletic scholarships. Those nine students were recognized at a press conference Wednesday morning, during which they also participated in a mock signing.
Two SAHS football players are receiving athletic scholarships to continue playing in college: Rick Young, who will study business at Villanova University, and Josh Lister, who will be studying applied mathematics at Shippensburg University.
Young, an interior lineman who served as team captain during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, verbally committed to Villanova last summer. He started playing football in middle school, he said Wednesday, and he decided during his freshman year that he wanted to go on to play in college.
"Villanova fit me the best," he said.
Although Lister wasn't sure at first that he wanted to play football in college, the wide receiver changed his mind after having a lot of fun playing with the team during his senior year, he said.
Triston Loux is the lone student receiving a scholarship for swimming. He will attend Bucknell University in the fall to study computer science.
"I went to Bucknell for states during my sophomore year and saw how nice the campus was," he said.
During his time swimming for Souderton, Loux broke the team record for 100 yard butterfly.
Jennifer Bergey, Victoria Bulgier and Chessie Rahmer have received scholarships for lacrosse. Bergey will study industrial-organizational psychology at Kutztown University. She's planned on playing lacrosse in college since her freshman year, she said, and committed to Kutztown last summer.
Bulgier committed during the fall of her junior year to Marquette University in Wisconsin, where she will study either communications or political science.
"Out of all the schools I visited, none compare to Marquette," she said.
Rahmer will attend East Stroudsburg University with the hopes of becoming a physician assistant. Previously, she's been chosen as the lacrosse team's most valuable player.
Two softball players will receive athletic scholarships in the fall: Amanda Brush and Haley DeLany. Brush is going to Merrimack College, located just north of Boston, to study sports medicine. She has wanted to play softball in college since she was young, she said, and chose Merrimack from a long list of schools due to its outstanding sports medicine program. In addition to playing softball, Brush also played tennis for Souderton.
DeLany will study psychology with a minor in biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. When she was young, she just assumed she would go on to play softball in college, she said. When she was older, though, she realized it would take a lot of hard work to get there.
Bianca Picard is going to play basketball for the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she will study communications. She listed her older brother — A.J. Picard, currently a senior on the Cabrini College men's basketball team — as her main inspiration for playing basketball.
"He motivated me to work a lot harder," she said.
Follow Victoria Wolk on Twitter @VictoriaWolk.