SOCCER: Jake Boehme signs with St. Francis
When Westminster College, a Division III school in western Pa., came calling for McConnellsburg's Jake Boehme, he was happy but not satisfied.
When Boehme was offered a letter of intent to play soccer at Lock Haven, a Division II school in the PSAC, he was pretty excited - but still not really satisfied.
"For my whole process, I just wanted to see how good I could get," Boehme said. "Getting that from Lock Haven gave me the confidence to try for Division I. I just said, 'Why not? I might as well try it out.'"
Boehme then attended an ID Camp at St. Francis University, a Division I school in Loretto, and just a few days later, he received an email from the Red Flash coaching staff saying he had the potential to play Division I men's soccer. On Wednesday, Boehme signed his National Letter of Intent to play at St. Francis.
"My dreams kept coming true one step at a time," Boehme said. "That was one of the places I wanted to go for a physician's assistant major, and when they said I could play on the soccer team, I thought it was pretty much the best of both worlds."
The Public Opinion Player of the Year, Boehme scored 61 goals and had 33 assists as a Spartan. In the 2015 season, he was the area's leading scorer with 36 goals and 22 assists. But even though Boehme had a lot of success at the high school level, there's still a lot of work to be done.
"The biggest thing I noticed about Division I soccer is it's very, very physical," Boehme said. "First thing, I want to increase my speed a little bit, especially my first three steps. I also want to work on my touch of the ball with both feet because their traps are amazing. If you would shoot a cannon at their foot, I think they would trap it.
"Third, I need to hold hold onto the ball when a guy is literally on my back. I need to be able to distribute the ball, because they have some really good strikers up there. Those are the three big things I'm focusing on."
St. Francis graduated their center midfielder, so Boehme said that while he isn't expecting a starting spot, his goal is to vie for playing time as a freshman.
He knows it's going to take hard work to achieve that goal, but he's used to that.
"Everyone was saying as long as I work hard, I could (play Division I), but realistically, I don't think anyone thought I would be able to do it," Boehme said. "I just worked my butt off, and it feels very good to get here. I want to make an impression on the younger kids (at McConnellsburg), to show them how hard work does pay off."
Mercersburg sends off 3: A pair of Mercersburg Academy student-athletes will be attending Muhlenberg College, while a third is headed to the University of Pennsylvania.
Sarah O'Leary will join the women's swimming team at UPenn, and Matt Athanas-Linden and Kane Doyle have both signed with Muhlenberg's men's soccer team.