Kelton Chastulik to play 2 sports for Princeton
It's not often that an athlete can turn heads at the Division I level for multiple sports, plus flashing a stellar academic record.
But Saturday, Chambersburg's Kelton Chastulik proved that he's no average high school athlete by announcing his commitment to play football and compete on the track & field team at Princeton University.
"I'm glad that he found a school, first of all, that is Ivy League, but also a school that would let him play football and throw," Chambersburg boys track & field coach Bob Walker said. "I think he truly loves both, and I do think there would be a void in his life if he did only one."
Chastulik has been on a long recruiting journey, but for quite some time, he knew he wanted to land in the top academic conference. It wasn't until recently that he thought he could pursue both of his passions.
"Frankly, ever since I started playing football freshman year, I always had kids tell me, 'You'll go big,'" Chastulik said. "I wanted to play football, of course, but I never really gave it a big thought until this past January or February when schools started contacting me. I remember when I got my first offer from Columbia, I just thought, 'Wow.' It's been a roller coaster, but it's absolutely amazing."
Turning heads since his rookie season in the circle, Chastulik has countless accolades in both the shot put and the discus. He won the pair of Mid Penn Conference titles as a sophomore, and most recently, he placed second in the discus and eighth in the shot put at the District 3 Class AAA Championships.
His size and speed are what sets him apart on the football field. He boasts a size of 6-foot-2, 270 bounds. At Princeton, he expects to play nose guard.
"To be that size of a human being and to be able to move your feet and get after things, that's huge," Trojan football coach Mark Luther said. "The biggest thing about being a great football player is you have to have the mentality for it, and he does."
But taking on this kind of challenge is not going to be easy, even for Chastulik. He's no stranger to challenges, though.
Chastulik credits his parents, Kelly and Tim, for instilling such a strong work ethic in him.
"I can see myself sitting down one day and screaming at myself, 'You did this to yourself,'" Chastulik said with a laugh. "But I definitely have a lot of support from my parents, my brother (Kyle), my sister (Kenedi) and my grandmothers (Phyllis Eyer and Sherry Chastulik). It's going to be hard, there's no doubt in my mind, but I'm ready for that challenge. I crave that challenge; I want to succeed at a super high level."
Chastulik also attributes much of his success to the coaches he's had in both sports throughout his career.
Luther said, "It'll be interesting to see because it's one thing to (play two sports) at the high school level, but there's a whole different demand on you in college. He's also going to a university that's going to have very high demands, academically, but I think he can do both and be very successful."
Best of all for Chastulik, the recruiting stress is gone. He can now focus on the last half of his senior year of football before concentrating fully on finishing his Chambersburg career with a bang.
"It's been a long road for my family," Chastulik said. "Taking visits and talking about it, these past couple weeks have been so hard. My family has had it hard at times, and it's a good feeling to be able to say I did OK - really, to say I did pretty well for myself. That's the best feeling."