S P O R T S N E W S
7 Named to USCAA National All-Academic Team Spring Semester
Fall semester saw eight Williamson student-athletes named to the USCAA National All-Academic squad in football , soccer , and cross country , and an additional seven student-athletes named in the sports of wrestling , lacrosse , baseball , and tennis in the second semester .
In order to be considered for the honor , a student-athlete must be in their second year of school , be a starter or a major contributor to his team ’ s success , and maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.50 or higher .
Leading the way for the wrestling team were juniors Andrew Beach and Daniel Tommarelli . While COVID shortened their seasons on the mat , it did not diminish their impact on the mat prior to that , as well as their impact in the classroom .
The baseball team was represented
Lacrosse , Baseball , and Tennis are Back in Action
by starting pitcher Anthony Umeroglu and first baseman / third baseman Vincent Garyantes . While the team struggled a bit early on , both players played key starting roles for the team as they played their first games in almost two years .
The lacrosse team was well-represented as well . Senior Ryan Fallon and junior Connor Smith made the squad . Both had important roles for the team and their play was instrumental in gaining Williamson a Top 25 ranking for the first time in four years .
Not to be outdone , the tennis team was also represented by senior Nathan Yoder . The team ’ s number 2 singles player as well as a member their number 2 doubles team , Yoder helped Williamson get back in action after the team missed all of the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID .
Several Athletes Earn All-ESAC Honors
With Williamson helping to form a new conference called the Eastern States Athletic Conference this past fall , several Williamson athletes were named to all ESAC honors this year .
“ Not all the schools offer every sport so they only offer all-conference honors to those sports in which at least three teams compete ,” explained Williamson Director of Athletics Dale Plummer . “ Soccer , basketball , and baseball were
After almost two years of the lacrosse and baseball teams not playing a game and almost three years for the tennis team not playing a match , all three sports were back in action this spring at Williamson .
The lacrosse team started slowly , as they at one point were 1-7 on the year , before they caught fire . As of this writing , they are in a position to earn an NCLL play-off position !
The team turned things around in dramatic fashion and , according to head coach Jim DeRose , the early slump was not unexpected .
“ Not only have these guys not played a game in two years , they also haven ’ t practiced regularly in that long as well . With each game and each practice , though , you could see their improvement in all phases of the game . It was very rewarding for the players and the coaching staff as well .”
The baseball team also struggled early on . Their issue , as is often the case , was pitching depth . Throw in a lack of practice time for them over the past few years and several key injuries , and it is easy to see why they would struggle .
Despite those factors working against them , they too have shown improvement and with a young team , should only continue to improve .
The tennis team did not get to play a match in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID shutdown , so head coach Jason Kutzura was really handicapped in not knowing what he had in this year ’ s squad . Despite a line-up that included only four players who have any playing experience at the high school level , Kutzura said the team ’ s attitude has been great and he has really enjoyed working with the group .
“ Some of the guys are really just learning the game , but they are picking things up quickly and enjoying themselves and to me , that is what it is all about .”
the big three this year .”
Earning All-ESAC honors in soccer were seniors Willey Tilley and Andrew Peticca , as well as freshman Brandon Cairy . In basketball , Kyle Morgan was named to the squad .
As of this writing , the baseball squad has not been announced , however , Plummer feels it is a good bet that several Williamson players will be named to the squad when it is announced .
COVID has Major Negative Impact on Winter Sports
While the severity of COVID concerns has lessoned over the past few months , they still had a major impact on winter sports at Williamson this year .
While COVID did not eliminate the entire season for the basketball and wrestling teams as it did in 2020-21 , it still caused major disruptions for both sports .
The wrestling team was able to get back in action during the first semester and things looked very promising . Then an outbreak of COVID and concerns over the spread of the virus once the students returned to campus caused the school to make the difficult decision of shutting the program down for the second semester .
It was incredibly difficult for the team members , and according to the coaching staff , they could have had at least five national qualifiers , with perhaps two or more earning All-American status .
While the basketball team didn ’ t have their season suspended in the second semester , an extended Christmas break caused them to cancel a number of games over the break .
Additional games were not played because other schools had low roster numbers or had to entirely shutter their programs . Of the 27 scheduled games , the team was only able to play 12 .
“ Our hearts were heavy for our winter student-athletes . They handled things extremely well and were grateful for that . Needless to say , we hope to never have to go through anything like that again ,” lamented Williamson Director of Athletics Dale Plummer , in his 33rd years in that position .
Plummer Named Inaugural NJCAA Humanitarian Award Recipient
Dale Plummer , Williamson ’ s director of athletics since 1988 , has been named the inaugural recipient of the National Junior College Athletic Association ( NJCAA )’ s Region 19 Humanitarian Award for his outstanding character and service to others .
Troy Tucker , NJCAA ’ s Region 19 executive director , said “ I was shocked when I read all that Dale has done . Dale is so humble and unassuming . He never mentions all that he is involved in . He is truly passionate about giving back and leaving a positive mark on all those he touches . I couldn ’ t be happier to honor him with this inaugural award .”
Plummer has been providing drinkable water to the poor in Kenya , Africa , for eight years ; has been on the board of trustees of CityTeam in Chester for five years ; has served on the board of directors of the Rocky Run YMCA in Middletown Township for four years ; and has served four years on the board of directors of the U . S . Collegiate Athletic Association .
At Bethlehem Church , he facilitates a weekly Life Group for adults and is on the Missions Committee .
Earlier , he served on the board of trustees of the Christian Academy in Brookhaven for ten years .
During his 25 years volunteering at CityTeam , he has helped feed the homeless , provided Christmas presents for the poor , and provided food for people ’ s Christmas , Easter , and Thanksgiving dinners . He also has helped alcoholics and drug addicts in the organization ’ s rehab programs earn a GED and prepare for employment by teaching them mathematics .
At the YMCA , he raised money to provide summer camp for underprivileged children .
“ My goal is to do whatever I can to help the underprivileged . As a Christian I ask myself , ‘ Where would Jesus be if he was on earth today ? Who would he be helping ? If he knew there were people in Kenya without clean water , that is where he would be . If he knew there were hungry , homeless people in Chester , he would be there feeding them .’
“ I ’ m called to be a servant leader . God put me in a place of leadership and I want to use my place to help those in need . Jesus is the greatest leader there ever was and I want to model my life after his .”
Dale Plummer , director of athletics