Article By: CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press
Calling it “my favorite part of the job as athletic director,” Dennis Ramella launched into a celebration of 11 student athletes from Emmaus who signed letters of intent recently. The signers represented eight different sports and earned 48 varsity letters during their high school athletic careers.
Among the student athletes who signed their letters of intent at the ceremony were Jess Hurlburt (diving), Olivia Ann Krogermeier (field hockey), Patrick McAllister (swimming), Elizabeth Ninesling (lacrosse) and volleyball players Abigail Perkins and Adelina Rivera-Woolard.
Hurlburt, Krogermeier, Kachelries and Perkins haven’t yet declared their college majors. McAllister will major in biology, Ninesling plans a career in civil engineering and Rivera-Woolard is majoring in criminal justice.
McAllister will be attending Monmouth University and hopes to follow up his biology major with a career in cancer research.
“I got an email from them [Monmouth] and thought ‘I probably should check this out,’ so I took an unofficial visit there and then did my official visit and I really liked it there,” said McAllister, who says he’ll keep fond memories of high school with him. “I’ll remember all of the teamwork and hard work that we put in. I think we created a great atmosphere.”
Most of the students will remain relatively close to home for their college careers. Hurlburt chose Bucknell, which not coincidentally hosts the PIAA Diving Championships every March. Ninesling will attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in New Jersey. Perkins selected Millersville and Rivera-Woolard will study at the University of Delaware with an ambitious career goal.
“Most of my family has been on a police force or in the military, so I really liked that field,” said Rivera-Woolard. “I want to be FBI in the future, so this was perfect. I want to go a step further than the police force, so I can have some bragging rights in the family.”
The University of Delaware provided Rivera-Woolard with the education that she’ll need to pursue a career with the FBI and has other perks that she’s excited about.
“Their support for athletes in the funding that they offer is great and I was able to get a full scholarship,” she said. “Plus, they’re building a new arena that I’ll get to play in. The players and coaches are all very close and it’s a great program. It’s also nice that it’s not too far away from home.”
This year’s group of athletes earned an estimated $750,0000 in scholarships and holds an average GPA of 3.6, with five members representing the National Honor Society and three representing the Spanish Honor Society. There were also four Academic All-Americans among the group. The 11 students represented 15 school clubs including everything from the Marine Fitness Club to the school newspaper. They also volunteer for organizations as diverse as working at food banks to serving with Kidspeace.
Ramella pointed out that this senior class caps off an especially successful group of student athletes that have gone through Emmaus and into colleges and universities with athletic scholarships or financial aid because of their work in the classroom and on the fields and courts in their particular sport.
The past four years have seen 105 students sign letters of intent with an estimated $12-million in scholarships. The group had a collective GPA of 3.25 with 37 members of the National Honor Society and 20 Academic All-Americans. The group included 98 members of school clubs as diverse as poetry and hiking and had students that volunteered in medical facilities, served as youth coaches and worked for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.