Article By: CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press
Northwestern High School saluted four student athletes last week who signed letters of intent to further both their academic and athletic careers at colleges and universities. The four – Jake Augustus (baseball), Quentin Bernhard (wrestling), Parker Jones (basketball) and Dylan Snyder (football) – all have different career aspirations and various reasons for attending the schools that they chose.
For Augustus, Millersville was in the early lead, but after an opportunity to spend some time at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, he was sold on heading south to what he considers to be a dream school.
“I really liked the family atmosphere,” said Augustus about Winthrop. “When I went down there, the coach made me feel wanted, he made me feel like I would be a big part of that team. Great guys and it all just felt like a family, a great, big family and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Winthrop also has a good program in early childhood development and education, which is what Augustus is going to major in starting in the fall.
Parker Jones is going to start his college career a little closer to home. Jones has had his career path set for a few years after he suffered a concussion and was drawn to learning more about the medical field. Jones will pursue a career in sports medicine at Penn State Berks starting in the Fall.
“I like the atmosphere up there and they have a great basketball program and that was really what I was looking for,” said Jones. “I considered Penn State Lehigh Valley, Penn State Berks and a couple of schools outside of the state. I wanted to stay local.”
Bernhard also wanted to stay pretty close to home for his college career and limited his search to schools within about two hours from home. Gettysburg was a contender, but instead, he chose Centennial Conference foe Muhlenberg to stay even closer to home, which will give him the opportunity to continue spending time with his family and allow them to see him wrestle on a more regular basis.
“I thought about that a lot and it helped in my ultimate decision,” said Bernhard. “I’m the oldest of six and I thought it would be nice if we could see each other a little bit more. I knew I definitely didn’t want to go further than two hours. I love the community environment there. I talked with coach [Shaun] Lally and he’s very enthusiastic about the team and helping everybody out and everybody seems really supportive. Everyone I’ve talked to is very friendly.”
Bernhard made a point of crediting his mom and dad with supporting both his academic and athletic endeavors. While he’s still undecided on a major, Bernhard may pursue something in the social studies field during his college career.
Snyder, who was unable to attend the signing, will attend Muhlenberg’s rival, Moravian in Bethlehem. Snyder was a two-year starting quarterback of the Tigers football team, which went to states two seasons ago and finished this past season in district playoffs.
All three of the players at the signing said they’ll remember the friends that they made during their high school careers and the times that they enjoyed during their athletic careers. Augustus also credited former coach Lenny Smith with helping further his career and Bernhard points to collecting 100 wins as one of the highlights of his time at Northwestern.
“Definitely the atmosphere,” said Jones of his memories of playing basketball at Northwestern. “It’s a small town and you come out on Friday nights to play in front of the community and I got to play alongside my best friends.”