Article By: CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press
Two sets of teammates and two other senior male student-athletes joined one another at a recent college signing ceremony at Parkland High School.
Wrestler Zach Ortman was a team captain and leader the last few seasons.
He signed a letter for Army West Point.
“I think wrestling has definitely prepared me well for this decision,” said Ortman. “There’s definitely a military background in my family. My grandfather served in Vietnam as a Marine. I have great respect for people who sacrifice their lives to serve and protect our country. I look up to them. And I think a lot of people take that for granted.”
Ortman is 24-5 this year after earning a state medal last season.
Senior running back Jahan Worth earned many accolades as a three-year starter on the football team. The two-time captain is a three-time district champion. He was named First-Team All-State twice, once on each side of the ball, and was the 2017 EPC MVP.
The last two seasons, Worth was the starting running back and linebacker. During his senior season, Worth rushed for over 1,500 yards and 34 touchdowns on offense, and tallied a school-record in tackles, while holding the school record in career tackles.
Worth will play linebacker at Duquesne University and major in finance and prelaw.
Kobe Thomas was one of the linemen that cleared the way for Worth this year. Parkland head coach Tim Moncman called Thomas “the best at his position that I have seen in my 25 years of coaching.”
Thomas paved the way for a balanced Trojans offense that had over 2,500 yards rushing and passing last season, on their way to an undefeated regular season and sixth straight district title.
The EPC First-Team member will be attending the University of Albany this fall on a full scholarship, and plans to major in physical therapy or Nursing.
“Albany was one of the first schools to start recruiting me,” said Thomas. “They really wanted me and I could tell that. I felt more love from them than I did from any other school recruiting me. They felt like family, and that’s what I felt here at Parkland.”
When describing senior lacrosse standout Lucas Summers, head coach Brad Schifko called him a human highlight reel with his speed and athleticism, making some of the things he does on the lacrosse field turn heads.
“You just instantly notice him on the field when he has the ball,” Schifko said. “I turn to my assistant coaches a lot and ask ‘did you just see that?’”
Summers scored 38 goals and contributed 24 assists last spring as a junior, helping lead Parkland to its first ever District 11 gold. He was named to the EPC First-Team, and has high expectations once again this year.
“We have a lot of talent and Division I players on our team this year,” said Summers. “So we’re looking to top what we did last year.”
Summers will be attending the University of Michigan this fall and will major in business and entrepreneurship.
“My dad always tells me college is a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision, so I was looking for a great academic school,” Summers said. “I knew I wanted a big school. Michigan’s a giant school with great academics and great athletics so everything about it attracted me to it.”
One of those Division I teammates Summers mentioned, Andrew Albertson has a gift for winning face offs. Last season, out of 413 draws, Albertson won 299 (72 percent). In his career, he has won over 650 faceoffs and is 70 percent for his career.
Schifko called the three-year starter Albertson ‘the best faceoff specialist in Pennsylvania.’ He was an EPC Second-Team member last season after scoring 11 goals for the district champion Trojans.
Albertson will be attending High Point University in the fall and plans to become a Physician Assistant.
A silent assassin. That is a term that could be used to describe Parkland outfielder Cullan Wadsworth. Head coach, Kurt Weber, described Wadsworth as a quiet, low-maintenance player that he never has to tell to hustle or give it his all.
The 2017 EPC First-Team member has started in 80 games over his career and has 82 hits, the most in program history since 2000. He had a .366 batting average last season and during his career at Parkland, has won one district championship, playing in three, and won two EPC titles.
Wadsworth will attend Longwood University and will major in biology.
“I’m very grateful that I’m able to continue playing baseball in college,” said Wadsworth. “After visiting Longwood and meeting the coaches and players I knew it was where I wanted to be. I’m excited to get out there.”