BY CARA SHUMAKER
NORTHERN CAMBRIA —
Alex Atkins was a standout defenseman for the Northern Cambria Colts and the Tribune-Democrat Defensive Player of the Year. Now, he will continue to play football and further his education at Division I Brown University. Atkins and six of his classmates have committed to continue their athletic careers in college.
Alex Atkins, Brown University, Football. Atkins received the honor of Defensive Player of the Year from The Tribune-Democrat and was also selected to the all-state team. He said he decided to go to Brown because he liked the combination of the academics and athletics. The linebacker also considered Lafayette and Lehigh before committing to Brown. He is the son of David and Sherry Atkins.
Jeff Hogan, St. Francis, Volleyball. Hogan helped the Colts reach and win two district titles in volleyball as the outside hitter/opposite. Hogan said he was born into a volleyball family, so he grew up playing the sport. “(Playing in college) is a chance for me to improve in all categories,” Hogan said. Hogan plans to study secondary math education and he is the son of Mike and Terry Hogan.
Derek Bearer, Slippery Rock, Track. Bearer ran track for the Colts as a sprinter. Before choosing Slippery Rock for its good sports management program – his major – Bearer considered St. Francis and Robert Morris. Bearer is the son of Andrew and Anessa Bearer.
Tyler Olish, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Track. Olish high jumped for Northern Cambria. In 2013 he took seventh at the state meet. As he decided on where to go to college, Olish looked at St. Francis and Lock Haven before deciding on IUP. Wanting to stay close to home and continue his current job, Olish chose IUP where he will major in accounting. He is the son of Joe and Donna Olish.
Erick Jennings, Mount Aloysius, Soccer. Jennings grew up playing soccer in Honduras, so he didn’t want to stop playing just because he went to college. He decided to continue his soccer career at Mount Aloysius because it has a good soccer program. Jennings also received an academic scholarship. He was named to the all-conference team in high school. “(Playing in college) means a lot becuase I will be continuing my soccer career,” Jennings said. Jennings will major in pre-med at Mount Aloysius. He is the son of Joe and Rumy Sabo.
Adam Polites, Mount Aloysius, Baseball. Polites played shortstop for the Colts’ baseball team. He said he is excited to continue his baseball career because it gives him the opportunity to continue what he loves - baseball. When he’s not playing baseball, Polites enjoys basketball, where he earned 1,000 points, football and volleyball. He plans to major in radiology and is the son of Joel and Andrea Polites.
Josh Bonatesta, Mount Aloysius, Baseball. Bonatesta comes from a family of baseball players. His brothers played growing up and his uncle played in the MLB. “It’s a great feeliing being able to take a sport I love and play it for more years to come,” Bonatesta said. Bonatesta chose Mount Aloysius because he wants to receive a good education and play on a good team. He hopes his hard work can get him into the rotation. He is the son of Missy and Joe Bonatesta.