Sewickley Academy athletes sign on with colleges
Senior Declan Hickton was probably the least likely of the nine Sewickley Academy seniors at a signing ceremony May 17 to commit to a college team for the 2017-18 season.
Hickton, of Thornburg, did not expect to continue his golf career before NCAA Division III Rochester (N.Y.) made an offer.
“It was not on my list of schools at the start, but the coach called me over the summer before senior year, and I went up for a visit and really liked (him) and the campus,” he said.
Yellowjackets coach Dan Wesley believes Hickton, who is 6-foot-5, has a lot of potential.
“(He) didn't play in a ton of junior tournaments,” Wesley said.
Hickton, whose mother was a Yellowjackets swimmer, helped Sewickley Academy to its fourth consecutive WPIAL Class AA title last fall and a PIAA crown in 2015. He also was a member of the Panthers basketball squad that won the PIAA Class AA championship over the winter. He will study engineering.
Teddy McClain of McCandless will take to the field for the NCAA Division III Franklin & Marshall men's lacrosse team.
Diplomats coach Todd Cavallaro said he loves the size and athleticism of McClain, who is 6-foot-5. McClain plans to study pre-med or something medical.
Chris Groetsch, who lives in Sewickley, decided early on the NCAA Division III Johns Hopkins men's basketball team.
Blue Jays coach Bill Nelson, who is retiring, said Groetsch is the total package, adding he shoots well, drives well and is unselfish. Groetsch plans to study neuroscience and economics.
Justin Pryor, of Sewickley, picked the NCAA Division III Catholic men's basketball team, and said it is “cool” it is in Washington, D.C.
Cardinals coach Steve Howes said the team is thrilled to get Pryor. Pryor plans to study business management and economics.
Mia Tsudis, of Sewickley, settled on the Georgetown lightweight rowing program because of its location in our nation's capital. Tsudis, a member of Three Rivers Junior Rowing on Washington's Landing, will study economics or finance.
Derrick Littlefield, who lives in Sewickley, said playing baseball at the Marion Military Institute, a junior college in Alabama, will be a stepping-stone. Littlefield hopes to get an appointment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and study nautical engineering.
Jason Li, of Sewickley, will hit the links for the NCAA Division III Carnegie Mellon men's golf team.
Tartans coach Dan Rodgers expects Li, a WPIAL and PIAA individual champion, to fill holes on the team. Li plans to study business.
Sam Sauter of Collier chose the St. Joseph's men's tennis squad thinking veteran coach Ian Crookenden can help him elevate his game. Sauter helped the Panthers to their 14th consecutive WPIAL title and a repeat of the PIAA championship this spring. He will study business and computer science.
Chandler White of Pittsburgh's Brighton Heights decided on NCAA Division III Pitt Bradford for softball. She is considering majoring in a medical field.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.