Millersville stays local on signing day

Sam Valentin
Sports Writer

When most people think of national signing day they think of those huge football players signing their letters of intent on ESPN. Even at small colleges, football gets all the hype on national Signing Day but others also commit on this day when high school athletes choose their futures and programs hang in the balance.

National Signing day this year was on Feb. 4, 2015. It saw Millersville bring in 12 student athletes from the Lancaster-Lebanon league; Millersville stayed local
this Signing Day.

Most athletes from the district were just looking to continue their playing career.

Lacrosse recruit Natalie Sukanik signs her letter of intent.
Lacrosse recruit Natalie Sukanik signs her letter of intent.

“The biggest factor that played in deciding to continue my soccer career would definitely
be my love for the game. I had multiple knee surgeries and ankle injuries throughout my high school career, and I didn’t want it to end there so I knew I wanted to play in college,” soccer recruit, Taylor Diamond said.

“Continuing my field hockey career was always in the back of my mind since I was a freshman, but it wasn’t really until the end of my junior season when I realized I didn’t want to only have one more year left,” field hockey recruit, Dana DeBalko added.

The recruits also mentioned how Millersville is a “perfect fit” and how they just fell in love with the campus during their visits. They are called student athletes for a reason. They do not come just to play sports and many of the signees have realized that during the recruiting process.

“I went on a small visit with my parents and was offered a scholarship right then. I waited 4 or 5 days while I was able to really look at the academic side of my future career at Millersville and see if they had what I was looking for. I verbally committed after seeing it was the perfect fit for me,” Natalie Sukanick, lacrosse signee, said.

“The second I stepped on campus to visit, I knew Millersville was the school for me,” Diamond added. Millersville’s field hockey team is just coming off a National Championship which helped them be able to recruit players from around the county. If the girls needed more reasons to play for coach Shelly Behrens, the championship did just that.

Dana DeBalko will be playing under DII champion coach Shelly Behrens at Millersville.
Dana DeBalko will be playing under DII champion coach Shelly Behrens at Millersville.

“The team also just has a different kind of dynamic to them. When it’s time to play it’s time to play, and they don’t mess around. Also, coach Shelly is by far the best coach I’ve ever encountered. She pushes you to make you better, and I like that,” Noelle Lorson said.

“It made me even more excited about the fall for sure! I think despite the fact that the
team won the national championship, I would have still really wanted to go to MU,” Vanessa Schneider said.

These girls even have goals to bring home some more hardware during their playing careers at Millersville.

“With some big shoes to fill, I have a lot of goals that I hope to achieve at my time here
at MU. The biggest one, of course, being to win yet another national championship,” DeBalko mentioned when talking about her goals on the field. “I hope that while I’m at Millersville we will be able to win more titles and play great hockey,” Lorson added when speaking on her playing goals while at MU.

Millersville is hoping to build their programs with local talent by bring in Taylor Diamond (Soccer), Natalie Sukanick (Lacrosse), Taylor Spangler (Football), Gabriella Anders (Volleyball), Katelyn Witwer (Volleyball), Sunny Greene (Track and Field),Dana DeBalko (Field Hockey), Noelle Lorson (Field Hockey), Aubrey Hartman (Field Hockey), Haley Weaver (Field Hockey), Vanessa Schneider (Field Hockey) and Jess Lapp (Field Hockey).