Kondis to play for D-II power Lakers
Plum senior Dylan Kondis made the most of his opportunity to kick and punt for the Mustangs varsity football team the past several seasons.
He became one of the WPIAL's top punters, and he capped his varsity career with one of the longest punts in WPIAL history — 82 yards — in the 2012 season finale against Pine-Richland.
Kondis was Plum's lone Quad Central first-team all-star, and after the season, plans continued toward finding a place to continue his academic and athletic pursuits at the next level.
After looking at several colleges, including Allegheny College, St. Francis (Pa.), West Chester and Geneva, Kondis made Mercyhurst College in Erie his choice.
“It came down to the whole package of academics and the best opportunity for me to play college football,” Kondis said.
“When I made my visit, I knew right then that I would play football for them. It just felt like home.”
Mercyhurst plays at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
The Lakers finished the 2012 season 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the PSAC. Their lone loss in conference was to IUP, 31-13, but they rebounded to edge Erie-area rival Edinboro, 24-21, and pound PSAC power California University of Pennsylvania, 40-7, before closing out their season with a victory over East Stroudsburg, 52-45.
Kondis said he is happy to have the recruiting process behind him.
“It is such a stressful process,” Kondis said.
“I wanted to make the right decision, and I didn't want to make it too early. After I made the decision, it was such a huge relief.”
Kondis said he will be able to challenge for time on the field right away.
“I am a better punter than a kicker, but they recruited me to kick off and be a punter and a place kicker,” he said. “I will have a good opportunity to do all three early.”
Dan Blume, a 2002 Plum graduate and linebackers coach at Mercyhurst, helped Kondis make his way to the Lakers program.
Blume was a two-time all-conference selection with the Mustangs before playing four years at NCAA Division III power Mt. Union.
The Purple Raiders won national titles in 2002 and 2005.
“He was very helpful in the recruiting process,” Kondis said. “He was very honest with me.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.