Alumnus Andrew Zeller rises to the challenge of pro football.
Red Lion graduate Andrew Zeller has recently excelled to the next level of his athletic career.
In early May, Zeller posted on his Facebook page that he would become a Detroit Lion, signing a free agent deal the weekend of the NFL draft. An offensive lineman for the University of Maryland, Zeller is 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds.
Zeller went undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft but was happy to receive the call that he was waiting for: the call from his agent telling him he has been picked up by an NFL team.
“I anticipate a once in a lifetime opportunity that will require a strenuous challenge both mentally and physically,” said Zeller “but it is a challenge that I have dreamed of and one that I am willing to embrace.”
Coming this far was not just a walk in the park as any athlete or fan would know.
By Ali Kochik
Penn State fans’ hope for the 2015 football season came to a roaring stop at the beginning of September when the Nittany Lions suffered a devastating 10-27 loss to Temple University.
The loss came as a big shock to most of the fans as they watched the team lose big in their season opening game.
“I was very disappointed in the team’s performance,” said sophomore, Josh Taylor. “In 74 years, they have never played like that against Temple.”
Since that game, Penn State has done much better with wins against Buffalo, San Diego, Rutgers and Army. However, they will have to face some much harder teams like Michigan and Ohio State in the near future.
Some of the players have a lot of proving to do such as third year starting quarterback, Christian Hackenberg. Though he was projected first in the 2016 draft, he has yet to display that talent on the field.
“I think he needs to make better decisions with his passing, but it is not all his fault.” said freshman, Ben Hornberger. “The play calling is bad and the line can’t block.”
Many fans haven’t been all too thrilled with the calls from Head Coach James Franklin either. “To be honest, every single game, I question Franklin’s offensive play calls.” said sophomore, Micah Davis. “But he’s got a fire in his heart for the game and he’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen.”
Though PSU got off to a bit of a rocky start, their fans continue to support them and hope that they can finish out their season better than the way it started.
“Go Blue!” said Davis.
By Adrianna Clinton
As seniors begin to prepare to wear a graduation gown for the first time, many are now recalling when they wore their black and gold uniforms for the last time.
For some, they did their activity for almost their entire lives. It became a part of how they defined themselves. They knew for certain they would be doing it all over again the same time next year.
Until this year, that is. When some seniors had their last game or performance, that was the end of their career forever.
They may have dreaded practice, had thoughts of quitting, and the urge to vent their frustrations to their coaches, but they showed up anyway and still put in long, hard hours. Some may be finding now they wished they had worked just a little bit harder and they had words of wisdom for next year’s seniors.
Boys tennis standout Sam Innerst, who will play Division III tennis at York College this fall, wishes he would have practiced more during the summer.
Wrestler Luke Joines would go back and “wrestle more in the offseason and get more experience” if he could change anything about the time he spent in wrestling.
Girls tennis player Elizabeth Anderson said, “If I could go back, I would have started playing tennis sooner, it’s a great sport that allows for competition as an individual and as a team.”
“The Red Lion football program has a bright future...next year’s seniors, enjoy every moment this season and take nothing for granted because it all goes too fast. Give everything you have because you don’t want to have any regrets,” defensive end Sam Lowe said. He will continue his career at the collegiate level, playing next year for the United States Coast Guard Academy.
During the seniors’ high school careers, they all tasted how sweet it is to win.
A highlight of Lowe’s career is when the football team defeated Central this year. Swimmer Courtney Schaefer reached States her freshman year. Elizabeth Anderson won a close doubles match to secure a team win with junior Alison Miller.
Some were even deemed “champions.”
The Marching Lions were victorious at the Cavalcade of Bands championships, which was the highlight of drum major Anna Lorenzen’s career.
“I will never forget that feeling...I want this band to be remembered as a hard working group of smart and amazing kids. They are nothing less than that,” Lorenzen said.
They also experienced the stomach-wrenching feeling of defeat.
Despite the varsity softball team’s struggles this season, Riley Warner said, “I want our team to be remembered for never giving up and always giving it our all.”
For next year’s seniors who hope to have a more successful year, Warner tells them to “never give up and always remember why you started..senior year goes by like a blink of an eye.”
Few will continue their careers at the collegiate level. Senior Joe Dashler of the boys lacrosse team is going to try to walk on at Penn State and Elizabeth Anderson plans to join the club tennis team at Villanova University, while Paige Taylor will play Division III field hockey at York College alongside her older sister Alexa.
Quincy Palmer will be running at East Stroudsburg University.
“I’d like to finish my career with times faster than the women’s world records. Those times are pretty fast,” Palmer said of moving on to the next tier of competition.
Swimmer Courtney Schaefer and sprinter Angelica Gonzalez will both be going Division I at Georgia Southern and East Carolina, respectively.
Regardless of if their career will continue beyond Red Lion, they all experienced great highlights in their time.
Sam Innerst got his “main man Dylan Reichard to play” and they had a good time.
Elizabeth Anderson played in the number one position.
Sam Lowe formed camaraderie between teammates.
Joe Dashler was selected as First Team All-County and was selected to play in the Blue Chip 225 Showcase.
Paige Taylor and Riley Warner made great friendships on their respective teams.
A few seniors are on the cusp of having the best moments of their career.
“I feel like the highlight is yet to come. I’ve been a part of back-to-back championship teams, and won back-to-back relay titles,” Quincy Palmer said.
By Taylor Bosley
This fall Red Lion saw four of their female student athletes sign letters of commitment including senior swimmer Courtney Schaefer. Schaefer committed to Division One school Georgia Southern to continue her swim career at the collegiate level.
Schaefer looked at various schools including University of North Florida, Campbell University, James Madison, Florida Southern and East Carolina. Different aspects of the school drew Schaefer to Georgia Southern, including head swim coach Nate Kellogg.
“He’s laid back and fun but he also expects his swimmers to step up and swim fast when it’s time to perform when it’s time to perform,” Schaefer said.
Also Coach Nate Kelloggs notoriety for IM coaching, which stands for individual medley where the swimmer covers all four swimming styles, and sprint coaching is also what Schaefer sees as a positive.
“He’s a good IM coach and sprint coach which are what my best events are so I looked for a college that will also help me improve my times,” Schaefer said.
Schaefer also likes the team as they are “bubbly and tons of fun” which she enjoys since her two current teams, club and school, have that same atmosphere.
Schaefer thinks that despite the training in the pool being possibly easier than what she does now, the intensity will be at the same level as she currently faces. The weightlifting part of training is what she expects to be the most difficult.
“I definitely know the weight lifting will kick my butt since I’ve never lifted before,” Schaefer said laughing. Schaefer hopes that a power based team like Georgia Southern will impact her swimming in a positive way and she will “be dropping time left and right.”
Schaefer is looking forward to a great senior year in swimming and hopes to continue to improve.
By Adrianna Clinton
After humbly beginning his soccer career with the Windsor Recreation team 13 years ago, Scott Rissler will now play Division I soccer for Duquesne University next fall.
Rissler recently committed to the school located in the Pittsburgh-area, and will be majoring in Forensic Science & Law. After touring the campus, he really liked Pittsburgh and that the campus was “really unique.”
According to Rissler, the soccer program is “on the rise...they got a new coach two years ago. They’re moving in the right direction, and I like what the team’s about,” Rissler said.
He was pursued by other D-I schools, such as the University of Delaware, Lehigh University, Bucknell and Cornell.
Ever since the age of five, Rissler has been playing soccer: “every little kid plays soccer,” the goalkeeper said. However, not every little kid goes on to have the stellar career that Rissler has had.
After his sophomore season, he was named a York-Adams League Division I First Team All-Star.
The next year, he was a captain for Red Lion and received Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association All-State Team honors. He was the only junior in the goalkeeper category to be given the accolade.
Prior to this season, the goalkeeper was named to the TopDrawerSoccer All-America Preseason Watch List, being one of 19 players from the state to be chosen.
During his senior soccer season, Rissler elected to “take a bigger step in [his] soccer career” and play for the D.C. United Youth Development Academy Team, which he joined in spring of 2014.
According to its website, the focus of the D.C. United youth program is to “develop players to their full potential and consistently place players on youth national teams, top collegiate programs, and ultimately with D.C. United’s First Team.”
Three or four nights a week, Rissler travels to Washington, D.C. for practice. Rissler just played in a showcase in Florida, which wraps up the fall season.
“We have a small break now. The spring season will begin in January, and June is playoffs,” Rissler said, adding that, “It is the highest level of youth soccer and is part of the best league in the country.”
Currently, the team is ranked eighth in the country and second in its conference.
Rissler has high hopes for his college career, and perhaps even beyond that.
“I hope to start my freshman year [for Duquesne], definitely my sophomore year. I hope to get accolades within the region in A10, and be named All-A10 once or twice,” Rissler said. “I have aspirations to play pro, but if it happens, it happens. I have a good opportunity with D.C. United.”
By Adrianna Clinton
After her highly anticipated return to the track last season, Angelica Gonzalez has determined her home for the next four years, committing to East Carolina University to run Division I Track.
Angelica Gonzalez never expected to receive any scholarship offers from colleges after she was plagued with numerous injuries in her sophomore and junior years.
During her freshman year, Gonzalez lit up the track. She was a county champion and district runner-up in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, as well as a state medalist in those same events, and qualified for nationals. Along the way, she was dubbed “Freshman Phenom” and “Speedy Gonzalez” as she broke three school records, four invitational records, and a county and district record.
But after experiencing two severe, unexpected hamstring injuries her sophomore year and slightly injuring the same muscle during the peak of her season at counties her junior year, Gonzalez thought she “lost everything.”
Regardless, she still gained the interest of many Division I schools, including UPenn, Bucknell, Virginia Tech, Cornell, Brown University, Michigan State and East Michigan.
Among those schools was also East Carolina University, where the track star recently committed.
“[East Carolina] is beautiful, in the South, D-I, and has state of the art facilities...as far as the track program, they’re knowledgeable and like a really big family. The town around it has a lot of school pride, too,” Gonzalez said.
After spending a weekend at the campus in North Carolina, meeting with the coach, and receiving an “overwhelming” scholarship offer, “Tears welled up in my eyes and I got emotional. I didn’t think I would get anything,” Gonzalez said.
East Carolina is part of the American Athletic Conference, and is known for having not only good academics, but also a good track program. Last season, women’s track and field took home first place at the Conference USA Championship, and the Pirates also sent 10 athletes to the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, a school record.
“I’m proud to represent Red Lion there and to be one of the few students here to go D-I...we [Red Lion] should be noticed. We’re not just ‘old Red Lion.’ This school got me where I am,” Gonzalez said.
Some noteworthy alumni of East Carolina include actress Sandra Bullock and New York Jets running-back Chris Johnson, as well as Red Lion’s very own Mr. Matt Dennish, who competed as a distance runner at East Carolina and is now a physical education teacher at the high school.
In his time with Red Lion, the 2004 graduate set the 800-meter school record (1:54.7) at the YAIAA championships and finished second at districts in the 1,600. At the collegiate level, Dennish was regularly a top finisher in both cross country and track contests.
“She is a great talent and has a lot of potential...ECU is an excellent fit for her. I’m proud that Red Lion has an athlete joining the Pirate family,” Dennish said of Gonzalez’s commitment.
Other notable college commitments so far this school year include Paige Taylor to York College for Division III field hockey and Jenna Hevner to Shippensburg University for Division II volleyball.
All the latest right here!