When Pequea Valley linebacker Gabe Allgyer committed to play at Wilkes University, it made sense on so many levels.
It’s an honorable trait that must be learned not through success, but via trial and tribulation.
So when Pequea Valley senior Gabe Allgyer committed to Wilkes University this past week, it made all the sense in the world.
Wilkes is part of the Middle Atlantic Conference in the NCAA’s Division III. The Colonels finished the 2015 season with a 2-8 record under second-year coach Trey Brown.
“I loved it there the first time I stepped foot on campus,” Allgyer said. “I really feel that Coach Brown is going to turn it around up there and I want to be a part of that.”
And if anyone knows what it takes to help change a culture, it’s Allgyer.
When Allgyer first entered the Pequea Valley program, the Braves weren’t just an afterthought in the Lancaster-Lebanon League; they weren’t a thought at all.
Founded in 1999, the Braves had never notched a winning season in fifteen years and struggled to spark the kind of enthusiasm that was felt with the school’s perennial powerhouse soccer team.
But when Pequea Valley introduced Mike Choi as the new head coach of the Braves in 2014, Allgyer and his teammates clawed their way to a 5-5 record and quickly began to capture more hearts in the small town of Kinzers, Pa.
The levy would eventually break in 2015 when the Braves upset section foe Annville-Cleona in their season finale to register a 6-4 record and secure the first winning season in Pequea Valley history.
“I’ve learned how to be resilient. From how my career started to how it ended just built up my confidence,” Allgyer said. “Our group from this season was special. We never gave up and we had a different attitude about us. We wanted to be good and we wanted to be great. That hard working mentality is something I can pull from high school and carry with me at the next level.”
Allgyer will either play safety or linebacker for the Colonels; positions he feels very comfortable with.
As a senior, Allgyer racked up 107 total tackles with three sacks and three forced fumbles. He also led the Braves’ offense in rushing with 542 yards and seven touchdowns.
Given Allgyer’s experience at Pequea Valley, the stigma of a losing record is something that lured him, not deterred him from Wilkes.
“I think now I know what it takes to win. At Wilkes, it’s kind of similar. Last year they were 2-8 and they’re trying to build a culture up there. I went through that in high school and I believe I can help that along. That honestly enticed me.”
With his stressful recruiting process now over, the reality of being a college athlete in less than six months is slowly creeping into Allgyer’s mind.
But not totally.
“I don’t think it will actually hit me until the preseason when we start hitting. It’s a whole different game now so when we actually start getting into it is when it will really hit me.”