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HORSEHEADS HOLDS SIGNING FOR 11 ATHLETES HEADED TO PLAY AT D1/D2 LEVELS (24 PHOTOS) (2022-05-18)

By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
HORSEHEADS — The goal for many high school athletes is to one day get a chance to compete at the collegiate level.

On Tuesday there were 11 different Horseheads seniors who made it official as they had a signing day to play either Division I, or Division II sports next year.

In front of an auditorium filled with family, friends and teammates the athletes all got a chance to celebrate their achievements on Tuesday.

CASEY KLOSSNER
BOYS’ LACROSSE, MANHATTAN COLLEGE

Klossner made the varsity team as a freshman in 2019. He was first-team All-League face-off specialist in 2021. He currently has 301 career ground balls; 324 face-off wins; and a winning percentage of 65% for his career while taking 500 career face-offs.

He also has 68 career points on varsity. He has accomplished all this while missing out on his 10th grade year like the rest of the athletes in the Spring of 2020.

“This will be my fourth straight season as Casey’s head coach,” Horseheads coach Jason Neubauer said. “I have watched Casey grow up in our program from the Horseheads Youth Lacrosse Club to the varsity and I can say he is one of the most talented face-off specialists that our program has ever had.

“He is critical to our success with his contributions facing-off, ground balls, on offense and in transition. We will miss him greatly next year as it will take multiple players to replace his production on the field. I wish him good luck at Manhattan College next year as I know he will make Horseheads proud at the next level.”

Tuesday was a special day for Klossner.

“It feels great signing with a bunch of people I have grown up with my whole life, and I”m just excited for the next step,” Klossner said.

The Horseheads senior knew that Manahatten felt like the right fit for him.

“I know they have a great business program and I was really looking for that and when I went on my visit I could just tell,” Klossner said. “It felt like home and I really liked the team.”

And, it’s special for Klossner to join a team that made the NCAA Tournament this year, and a roster that is loaded with area athletes on it.

“I know I am going into a great team next year and I’m really excited for the guys I know on it and the guys I’ going to meet,” Klossner said. “I know it’s a great team and I’m excited.”


PATRICK CARPENTER
BOYS’ LACROSSE, ST. BONAVENTURE UNIVERSITY

Carpenter made the varsity team as a freshman in 2018.

He was named second team all-league attack as a freshman and first team all-league attack as a junior.

Carpenter currently has 101 goals and 70 assists for his varsity career.

“This will be my fourth straight season as Patrick’s head coach,” Neubauer said. “I have watched Patrick grow as a player from the Horseheads Youth Lacrosse Club to the varsity. He is a two-year captain for our team and one of the most reliable players I have ever coached.

“He is one of the most talented offensive players in the entire section this year and I know he will continue to put the work in to improve in the future. We will miss his leadership on and off the field next year. I wish him good luck at St. Bonaventure University next year as I know he will make Horseheads proud at the next level.”

It was special to sign on Tuesday for Carpenter.

“It’s amazing to finally be able to sign,” Carpenter said. “I’m extremely blessed for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the future.”

Carpenter looks forward to joining a team on the rise. In just their fourth season in existence the Bonnies won the MAAC regular season title and reached the conference championship game.

“They are an up-and-coming program,” Carpenter said. “They are only a few years old and they are trying to build something that I really want to be a part of, so I’m excited.”


MATTHEW BAKER
BOYS’ LACROSSE, LEMOYNE COLLEGE

Baker made his varsity debut as a 10th grader in 2020 before the season was canceled. He is a señor captain and has 31 career caused turnovers as a defender.

“This will be my third straight season as Matt’s coach,” Neubauer said. “I have watched Matt grow as a player from the Horseheads Youth Lacrosse Club to the varsity. He has been one of our leaders on defense since his junior year and consistently covers one of the opposing team’s top offensive players. We will greatly miss the passion and determination Matt plays with next year. I wish him good luck at Le Moyne College next year as I know he will make Horseheads proud at the next level.”

It’s special for Baker to sign with two of his other teammates and all his classmates.

“It feels amazing,” Baker said. “The two guys I have grown up with, everybody, and to finally have three guys from my team all signing together is awesome.”

LeMoyne was the right fit both athletically and academically for Baker.

“It’s an excellent program both athletically and academically and I’m proud to be a part of it.”


TAYLOR MALONE
VOLLEYBALL, KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY

“Taylor has accepted a scholarship to continue her volleyball playing days at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania,” Horseheads coach Tim Crout said. “I have had the privilege to get to know Taylor as a very good volleyball player to an all-around nice young lady. I have been Taylor’s coach for the last five years. During that time she has been chosen as an all-state selection during two of her varsity seasons.

“When she was a sophomore she was named to the fifth team all-state and as a senior to the third-team all-state. Due to the Covid pandemic there was no state all-star selections in her junior year. Taylor was also named as player of the year this year and to the first team all STAC for the last three years. Congratulations on all your accomplishments, and I wish you nothing but the very best in your future.”

For Malone the plan originally was to do her signing in the fall, but it was special to do it with so many classmates this spring.

“It feels nice to finally make it happen,” Malone said. “The fall, the timing didn’t work out. It’s nice to see all my friends and fellow student athletes be able to make this commitment.”

Malone knows that Kutztown was the right fit for her.

“They had my major, which is marine biology,” Malone said. “And, I got to know the coach really well and I went to visit the campus and I just fell in love with it there.”


EVA KORATSIS
SOFTBALL, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

“I have had the privilege of coaching Eva for two years at the varsity level and one year at the JV level,” Horseheads coach Rick Gryska said. “I also helped coach her in 12u rec ball several years ago. Each season I have spent with her has been an absolute pleasure. Eva’s intensity and positive energy are so much fun to be around.

“She is a great leader and role model for all of our younger players. She was an Allstate selection as a junior last year and is certainly on par to be one this year as well. Eva, you are joining a list of very talented Horseheads softball players to play at the D1 level. We know you will represent our softball program and the entire Horseheads community in an exemplary fashion. We all cannot wait to follow your next season. Congratulations.”

Tuesday was a day that Koratsis has been excited for.

“It felt great,” Koratsis said. “It’s awesome, I have been waiting for this for years now and I’m excited that I know where I’m going for my future. It’s exciting to do it with so many classmates and all do it together, which is fun.”

For Koratsis it just seemed like the right fit at Fordham.

“Just felt like home, the team was like family, I knew it was right for me when I was there,” Koratsis said.


JORDYN ROBINSON
WOMEN’S LACROSSE, WINTHROP UNIVERSITY

“Jordyn is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society and has been a member of the Horseheads girls’ varsity lacrosse team for three years. Jordyn is a hard-working athlete who strives to make herself and her team better.

“Jordyn is always willing to go out of her way to support her team (whether it is serving as our backup goalie or our draw stick exchange girl) she always puts her team first and never complains,” Horseheads coach Jennifer Guzylak said. “Jordyn has been committed to giving back to our program and has helped with reffing and coaching in the youth leagues.”

Playing in college has been a goal for Robinson for a long time.

“It’s super exciting, it’s been a dream of mine since I first started playing lacrosse to be able to play at the next level,” Robinson said. “So, to finally be able to make it official today and sign that paper is really exciting for me.”

The atmosphere at Winthrop felt a lot like it does at Horseheads for Robinson.

“I really like the family atmosphere at Winthrop,” Robinson said. “It’s kind of reminded me a lot of my lacrosse team here at Horseheads, so that’s really what made me decide on them.”


ABBEY KAMAS
WOMEN’S LACROSSE, DAEMEN UNIVERSITY

“Abbey is a hard-working student and athlete,” Guzylak said. “She is member of the New Visions Honor Academy, National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. Abbey has played lacrosse since youth league where she started as a goalie and now plays attack.

“She plays varsity soccer and travel lacrosse. Abbey was a member of our varsity lacrosse sectional team last year. Abbey is always asking questions and strives to make herself a better lacrosse player.”

Tuesday was a special day for Kamas.

“It felt good,” Kamas said. “I have been looking forward to it for a long time and it’s a great opportunity to play at the next level.”

Daemen felt like the right fit for Kamas.

“I loved the coach and the campus and it just felt right going there,” Kamas said. “I really liked it, it was just a great experience.”


ERIN CHRISTMAS
WOMEN’S LACROSSE, ST. ANSELM COLLEGE

“Erin has a passion for lacrosse and is very dedicated to making herself a better lacrosse player,” Guzylak said. “Over the course of her lacrosse career here at Horseheads, Erin has had many accomplishments, including playing varsity lacrosse for four years and winning two sectional championships.

“Erin has been a leader on our team this spring, serving as one of our captains. She is very supportive of her teammates and goes out of her way to make sure everyone feels part of the team. Erin has been committed to giving back to our program. She volunteers to referee in our youth league, is a camp counselor at our Varsity H camp and this winter helped run modified open gyms.”

Everything about this year, and about Tuesday has been great for Christmas.

“Honestly, this year has been amazing, just coming back to school all together, having the stadium, wet have had a lot of pride this year,” Christmas said. “Signing today with all these fellow student athletes is truly an honor. I’m proud of every single one of them and I’m excited to see how we go on and what we do in the future.”

St. Anselm felt like the right fit for both sports and academics.

“There is an incredible balance there of challenging athletics and academics,” Christmas said. “I’m excited to challenge myself on the future, but also further my education at a high level.”


ELISE JOHNSON
SWIMMING, WAGNER COLLEGE

“Elise can be described in one word, phenomenal,” Horseheads coach Megan Janeski said. “She is a phenomenal person, student, athlete and friend. Elise has swum for many, many years and has always gone above and beyond for her athletic career. Elise is a true leader in our swimming and diving team. All members could look to her for guidance and reassurance. I can also say without a doubt that she is my number one work horse. Elise has competed at various levels during her swimming career from her club swim league meet, nationally swimming and her club team, and going to the NY State swimming and diving as an alternate for their relays for Horseheads.

“Elise will be attending Wagner College and will be an asset to their D1 swimming and diving team. Not only are they gaining an athlete that will put her all into her sport, but Wagner will also be gaining a student who gives her 100% academically as well. (Elise always carried the highest academic average on the team!). I look forward to seeing all you are going to accomplish in your future. The world is yours Elise, take it! Go Blue!”

For Johnson it was a special day on Tuesday.

“I felt very proud,” Johnson said. “I feel like I have been swimming for about eight or 10 years now. I’ve been working vary hard. It’s definitely a lot of anxiety has been relieved now that I’ve signed and I know where I’m going to college, but I’m definitely just really proud of how far I have coming in swimming and everything I’ve done in my swimming career.

“I’m just grateful for everyone who has been by my side the entire time. My family, especially my parents, my coaches and definitely all my friends who have made practices way more fun. I’m just really proud and I’m just looking back on the past right now and everything I’ve done.”

For Johnson it felt like the right fit at Wagner.

“I visited the campus and it just felt like home,” Johnson said. “I met the team, I met the coaches, I just felt like I finally found the place where I could pursue my academic career and athletic career. It was just the environment and the people, it felt like home and it felt like the place I could continue everything I started here in Horseheads later on in my life.”


SAMANTHA WOODWORTH
CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK, UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

“Samantha has been a member of the varsity cross country team for Horseheads since eighth grade,” coach Terry Malloy said. “Samantha qualified for states her freshman and sophomore years (finished 23rd and 43rd). Last spring, if the pandemic had not stopped us from having states at the end of the season, Samantha would have qualified for states again.

“Samantha also qualified for Federation meet her sophomore year. This past season Samantha was unable to participate as an athlete because of an injury, but she supported the team as a true minor and role model. After graduation from high school, Samantha plans to attend a military academy, continue running and pursue a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.”

For Woodworth it’s special to sign on Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty incredible feeling, I’m just proud to be here,” Woodworth said.

For Woodworth the military was always a draw for her, and it’s exciting to be able to continue her running career.

“I have a lot of military in the family, and I want to continue that and it’s incredible to get to run at the next level,” Woodworth said. “I’m really excited to be on such an incredible team and to continue that (her running career), it’s so exciting.”


NATE TENBUS
MEN’S SOCCER, GANNON UNIVERSITY

“Nate has been a member of the varsity soccer team since hw was a freshman,” coach Mark Mucci said. “During his time with the team he has been one of the main components to the success that the team has enjoyed (32-17-8). Nate has been a Section IV Champion and STAC West champion. Nate has been a NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete his entire soccer career. He earned STAC West all-star honors twice and would have been one for a third time, as well as in contention for all-state honors, if not for missing his senior season due to an injury.

“He has captained the team for the past two seasons and provided the leadership needed to help the team grow throughout the season. He has a tremendous love of the game and always put the team first. Even with his injury preventing him from participating in his senior season, he showed up to every practice and every game. He continued to push the guys and provide leadership even though he was not on the field. Nate has a huge heart and a don’t quit attitude and it would be difficult to match his hustle on the field at any level. He is a player who truly gives you all he has and is committed to being the best he can be.”

Tenbus loved having the chance to sign with so many of his classmates.

“I am just very grateful for the opportunity and it was a pleasure to be up there and signing with them,” he said.

For Tenbus everything about Gannon was just right.

“Perfect distance, far enough away, close enough, I love the area out there in Erie, Pennsylvania,” Tenbus said. “I got along with the coaching staff pretty well and I look forward to it.”
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IN TOP PHOTO: 11 Horseheads athletes signed to play either Division I or Division II sports in college. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES


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