T-D HS Soccer

Four McCort grads commit to college

By: Mike Kovak

JOHNSTOWN — One made the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association preseason all-state team. One could make an argument he was overlooked when it came to selections for the state’s all-state football team. Another could say the same about his soccer season. A fourth will attempt the difficult task of participating in two sports at the collegiate level.
Together Luke Williams, Jordan Spangler, Sean Ingram and Taryn Kramer are four members of the 2013 Bishop McCort High School graduating class continuing their athletic careers at the next level.
Williams accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Pitt-Johnstown, where the Crushers slugger will play for his father, Todd Williams.
“It’s a big step, but it’s always been my dream to play for him,” said Luke Williams. “He’s a good role model. He knows how to lead a team and he knows how to run a family. He’s done a great job in both.”
It’s safe to say Luke Williams has done a great job for the Crushers.
A three-year starter and key part of Bishop McCort’s 2012 state championship team, Williams sports a .413 (76-for-184) career batting average with 19 doubles, five home runs, 55 runs and 66 RBI.
Williams is batting .419 (26-for-76) with eight doubles, 19 RBI and 20 runs this season for the top-seeded Crushers, who open play in the District 6 Class A playoffs on Monday.
“I think the biggest thing for us is we go out every day and have fun,” Williams said. “We’re very excited for the playoffs. We’ve been there every year and we know we have to execute and get after it.”
It would tough finding a kicker with better numbers than Spangler, who will continue his football career at Mercyhurst.
Spangler ranked as one of the top receivers in the area during the 2012 season and the top pass catcher in McCort history with 83 receptions. As a senior, he caught 56 passes for 791 yards and eight touchdowns, but insists he won’t use those eye-popping numbers to influence Mercyhurst coach Marty Schaetzle into implementing any special plays should Spangler become his placekicker.
“No, my shoulder is pretty messed up,” Spangler said. “I had surgery on it last year and I re-injured it during basketball.”
Still, Mercyhurst landed itself a reliable kicker as Spangler made 105 career extra points and nine field goals during his senior season.
“My career long is 39 yards, but I’ve made it from 50 in practice,” he said.”There’s a senior there right now and he’s the returning start, so my goal is to go in and fight for a spot on the team and see how it goes.”
Ingram drew rave reviews from opposing soccer coaches for his ability to defend the area’s top playmakers. That ability earned Ingram all-conference honors and an all-state nomination as a senior.
It also gave Ingram the confidence needed to play at a higher level, which he will starting this fall at St. Vincent College.
“I guess it did make me more confident,” Ingram said.  “I thought I was pretty decent, but I guess I was pretty good from what (opposing coaches) said.”
Ingram started at Bishop McCort for four years and served as a captain during his senior season. An all-conference selection, Ingram played a vital role for the first Bishop McCort boys’ soccer team to win consecutive District 6 championships.
“I just wanted to play. I knew I would miss soccer if I didn’t,” Ingram said.
Kramer attended Ligonier Valley through her sophomore season. Enrolling at Bishop McCort for her junior year opened several athletic doors.
“I mainly played soccer at Ligonier Valley, but I always wanted to play tennis. I always loved playing tennis,” Kramer said. “I thought going with a whole new soccer team would be weird, so I decided to do a different sport.”
Kramer became a tennis and diving standout at Bishop McCort. She’ll participate in both sports at Penn State-Altoona.
“I’m a little worried about doing both in college,” Kramer said. “I think it will help me be strict with my schedule and in keeping up with my academics.”
Kramer earned all-conference honors in tennis and advanced to the quarterfinals of the District 6 Class AA doubles tournament. During the winter sports season, she became the first athlete from Bishop McCort to qualify for the PIAA diving championships since 1993 when she placed second at the district meet.