Seven Trojan boys sign with colleges
The Parkland football team capped one of its best runs in program history just a couple months ago. The Trojans advanced all the way to the PIAA Class 4A title game before coming up short to Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Three players on that memorable team will continue their football careers at the Division I college level. Wide receiver Kenny Yeboah (Temple University), lineman Noel Brouse (University of Connecticut) and quarterback DeVante Cross (University of Virginia) carry the rich tradition of Parkland football onto college.
Four other male student-athletes were recognized last week at Parkland High School for signing letters of intent to attend a Division I or II college with a full or partial athletic scholarship: Kyle Stout (basketball, Lafayette College), Tyler Bruno (baseball, Villanova University), Andrew Hillman (volleyball, Ohio State University) and Jake Stengel (soccer, Old Dominion University).
“It definitely means a lot to me,” Yeboah said. “I came form a small town in Providence, Rhode Island. A lot of people there don’t get that opportunity.
“To be honest, it was always a dream of mine to play football in college since I was little. I knew it was going to be hard, and I wasn’t sure if I was moving out of Rhode Island.”
Cross and Yeboah formed arguably the top aerial attack in the area in the past three seasons. Cross, a three-year starter, capped his career with 452 completions for 6,350 passing yards and 64 touchdowns, all school records. He added 2,961 yards on the ground to go with 40 touchdowns and became the prime example of a dual-threat quarterback. Head coach Jim Morgans called him the “best quarterback I ever coached”.
On defense, Cross recorded 43 tackles, forced one fumble, broke up six passes and made two interceptions in his senior season.
For all of Cross’ accolades and statistics, Yeboah was the beneficiary of much of that production. Yeboah finished his career with 119 catches for 1,932 yards (also school records), including a program best 72 receptions this past fall. On defense, the future Temple Owl tallied 61 tackles, five tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups and six interceptions.
“Temple made me feel like it was home,” said Yeboah, who also had offers from Old Dominion, Lafayette, New Hampshire, Albany, Tulsa and Robert Morris. “They never pressured me into committing to their school.”
Brouse, a two-way lineman for Parkland, had multiple Division I offers as well. But it was the coaching background that UConn possessed that closed the deal for one of the top linemen in the Lehigh Valley.
“Their coaching staff has a history of being in the NFL and having first-hand experience,” Brouse said a week after choosing UConn. “They have all of the equipment there to do stuff yourself. Our head coach, coach [Bob] Diaco, is coming from Notre Dame as the defensive coordinator there. I’m going to be playing defensive line up there, and having that defensive mindset I feel like is going to benefit me.”
As a two-year starter on offense and defense, Brouse played in 29 games in the past two seasons. On defense, his numbers include 62 tackles, 14 quarterback pressures, nine sacks, nine tackles for loss, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
All three were All-State first team selections in their final high school season. Cross is a Mr. PA Football nominee.
Bruno, who had interest from a number of other schools including East Stroudsburg, West Chester and Lafayette, chose Villanova to spend the next four years of his baseball career.
“It’s really exciting,” Bruno said. “You work your whole life to get to this point. You still have hard work ahead of you, but it’s nice to have a place to continue what you love. And that’s playing baseball for me.”
As a junior, Bruno batted .414 (second on team) with 36 hits and six doubles at second base.
“Coach [Joe] Godri kept talking about the 40 years after Villanova, whether your involved in baseball or in a career, a normal every day job,” Bruno said. “He talked about how Villanova will set you up for the future.”
The month continues to get better for Stout. Days after that ceremonial signing at Parkland to announce his basketball future at Lafayette, Stout was named the Most Valuable Player of the EPC. He’s closing in on 800 points for his career and was an All-League selection as a junior.
Despite all of the success the Parkland boys’ volleyball team accomplished this decade, including a state championship in 2015, head coach Scott Trumbauer has never had a player reach the Division I level. That will change next year when Andrew Hillman joins Ohio State, one of just 24 Division I men’s volleyball programs in the country.
Stengel, a three-year starter for Patrick Birns on the soccer team, started all but four games in the past three seasons. The only time he missed was due to injury. He capped his career with an First-Team All-League selections as a senior and helped his team to an EPC championship.