SIDMAN — Eleven Forest Hills High School student-athletes announced their college intentions on Thursday.
Jared Shope, California (Pa.), football. Shope fulfilled a long-time goal of attending Cal as he persevered through an injury-marred senior season.
“It’s going to be four months since surgery. I just got my brace off. It was rough,” said Shope, who noted he suffered the injury during a summer passing league and then aggravated it during the season opener against Westmont. “When I first did it, I thought I tweaked it a bit, but then I started playing and I was in a lot of pain. Unfortunately it happened, but I still had a pretty good season.”
One of the area’s most versatile players on offense and defense, Shope caught 63 passes for 807 yards, an average of 12.8 yards a catch, and had five receiving touchdowns. He passed for 338 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he made 74 tackles, five interceptions and recovered two fumbles as a senior.
Shope was a Tribune-Democrat first-team all-area player during his junior and senior seasons. He was a PA Football News third-team all-state pick at wide receiver, Southern Alleghenies Coaches Association Offensive Player of the Year and Forest Hills’ Senior Award winner as Most Outstanding Player. Shope was selected to play in the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 all-star event next month, but won’t participate due to his rehabilitation schedule.
“I’ve wanted to go there since I was a sophomore and went to camps,” he said of California. “I love it down there.”
Doltyn Snedden, Westminster College, football. Snedden had 46 receptions for 722 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. He averaged 15.7 yards a catch. On defense, he made 71 tackles and had six interceptions.
“Westminster felt like home to me,” said Snedden, who will head to Westminster with Rangers teammate Austin Danel. “It’s definitely nice when you know somebody going in there. He was one of my closest friends in high school and it will be nice to be together again.”
Snedden was a Tribune-Democrat first-team all-area pick at defensive back and a PA Football News honorable mention all-state selection. He is a Ken Lantzy Finest 40 all-star as well as a LHAC all-conference pick and Forest Hills Boosters’ Most Improved Player and Gatorade Offensive Award winner.
Austin Danel, Westminster College, football. Danel made five catches for 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He gained 15 yards per catch. On defense, he made 54 stops.
A two-year letterman, Danel received the Forest Hills Football Boosters Student-Athlete Award and the Gatorade Will-To-Win Award.
Danel said the transition into college will be a bit easier having Snedden on campus.
“We played a lot together and we worked together real well,” he said.
Briana Kostan, Seton Hill University, women’s soccer. Kostan started four years on a District 6 championship Rangers soccer squad. She netted 104 goals, second-most in school history, and added 71 career assists.
“I felt at home there. It just felt right,” Kostan said of Seton Hill.
Kostan also played on two Forest Hills girls basketball District 6 championship teams and back-to-back 6-AA girls track team titles. She also was on LHAC winning teams in soccer (twice), basketball (once) and track (twice).
A track standout, she placed sixth in the state as a member of Forest Hills’ 1,600-meter relay squad last spring, and was eighth in the state as part of the same relay in 2011.
Kostan will play forward-midfielder at Seton Hill, a program that will join the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference next academic year.
“I think people have noticed our soccer team and the girls as seniors because of the accomplishments we’ve had as a team,” Kostan said. “I think my coach Donna (Gallaher) and my teammates have prepared me and I’m ready to go up to the next level.”
Marlee Zubek, Robert Morris University, track and field. Zubek ranks second all-time as a girls javelin thrower at Forest Hills.
Zubek will join a NCAA Division I program that has expressed interest in her throughout her high school career.
“The coach gave me a card when I was a freshman, and I didn’t think much of it then,” Zubek said. “They wanted me then, and they still want me now.”
She set a new meet record and personal best with a throw of 126-3 last month at the Northern Bedford Invitational.
She won the District 6 championship on Tuesday and placed in 6-AA competition for a third straight year. She went undefeated in dual meet competition throwing the javelin the past two years.
A three-year letterwinner and team captain, Zubek is a high honors student.
Brooke Smay, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, track and field. Smay was a state medalist in the long jump last season and will have another trip to Shippensburg next week after winning her second straight 6-AA long jump.
She holds the school record with a triple jump of 36-4 ½. Smay was part of the state qualifying 400-meter relay team last year.
A four-year letterwinner and team captain, she is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.
Chelsea Chizmar, Juniata College, cross country. Chizmar was a four-year letterwinner in both cross country and track and was a state qualifier in cross country in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
She was a Central Western All-Area Team pick three straight years in cross country.
On the track, Chizmar was a member of the state qualifying 3,200-meter relay team in 2010 and 2012 and part of the school-record 2,300-meter relay squad in 2010. A team captain in cross country, she is a high honors student.
Conor Diamond, Juniata College, cross country. Diamond lettered three times in both cross country and track.
He was a state qualifier in cross country in 2011 and a Central Western All-Area Team pick in cross country in 2011 and 2012. A team captain in cross country, he is a high honors student.
Matt Marra, Alderson Broaddus, volleyball. Marra had 22 kills, 50 serving aces and 47 digs in 10 matches. His serve/receive accuracy was 92 percent.
The versatile Marra lettered three times in wrestling, twice in volleyball and once in football. He is a recipient of three scholarships at Alderson Broaddus – the Presidential Scholarship, academic scholarship and athletic scholarship.
Brenna Wright, Mount Aloysius College, women’s volleyball. A three-year starter, Wright had 173 kills, 29 blocks (16 solo) and 153 digs as a senior. She was an all-district selection and part of the LHAC all-conference squad.
Wright was selected to participate in the Somerset vs. Cambria County All-Star Game.
Justin Hogan, Pitt-Johnstown, hockey. Hogan had 20 goals, 16 assists and 36 points in 20 games as a senior.
A four-year starter and team captain and MVP the past two years, Hogan led the Rangers in scoring the past two seasons. He was a Laurel Mountain Hockey League all-star selection three consecutive years. Hogan is an honor roll student.