For several Calvert Hall athletes, the crowning moment of their high school careers came Wednesday afternoon.
Football players Morgan Scroggins (Towson University), Ben Hoffner (Air Force Academy), Jeremiah Turner (Lincoln University) and Nigel Hill (University of Delaware) and soccer player Sam Loeffler (Elon University) signed National Letters of Intent in an afternoon ceremony at the school.
“It really is like a tribute to their hard work and effort,” Calvert Hall athletic director Lou Eckerl said. “And it’s also like a sigh of relief. When you are going through the season, you are worried about how you are going to fit in and how things are going to work out. To finally get that offer and settle in, you know what your future is about.”
Each of Calvert Hall’s football players had stellar careers and excellent senior seniors.
Scroggins, a wide receiver, caught 61 passes last fall, competed for the U.S. National Under-19 team that played on national television while Hoffner, didn’t allow a sack as a senior offensive tackle.
Hill, a cornerback and safety, led Calvert Hall in tackles in 2015 and Turner played at a high level at both linebacker and safety.
Loeffler started for three years in goal and earned Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association honors as a senior for allowing a 1.3 goals-against average for the Cardinals.
Across Towson at Loyola Blakefield, four more athletes signed letters of intent, including soccer players Sean Clarke, Evan Novian and Carson Hunt and field goal kicker Gavin Rowley.
Rowley signed with Bryant University in Rhode Island after earning first-team Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference honors and All-State honorable mention honors.
In his career, he converted 52 of 57 extra points, seven of 10 field goals attempts and had 15 touchbacks (including 14 as a senior) in his three years as a starter.
Clarke will attend the University of Cincinnati and Hunt will play at Villanova University.
Clarke, a midfielder, led the Dons with 13 goals and 10 assists last year.
“Sean was one of the most creative offensive players we had in the league this year,” Loyola soccer coach Lee Tschantret of the four-year varsity player.
Hunt started for two seasons and posted five shutouts as a senior.
“He is one of the strongest keepers that has come through Loyola and the league,” Tschantret said.
Novian will play at Bloomsburg University In Pennsylvania in the fall.
It was a long road in high school for twins and Towson High linebackers Troy and Travon Hollis, who signed with Fairmont State University in West Virginia.
They attended Calvert Hall as sophomores and started a few games. The brothers then moved on to St. Frances, but had to sit out the 2014 season because of transfer rules.
They blossomed after transferring to Towson High.
“I think they are up there with the best players Towson has produced, and I think Fairmont is getting two of the best linebackers in the area,” Towson football coach Chad Knippenberg said. “I think they will make an immediate impact at Fairmont. “
Loch Raven’s Matt Gillis never played soccer for his high school team. Instead, he competed for high-level Academy teams such as the PA Classics, the Baltimore Bays and Potomac. And that worked out well for him.
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound midfielder signed with American University in Washington D.C.
“In Maryland, a lot of kids chose high school soccer over Academy,” Gillis explained. “But in others states, players don’t really go for the glory of high school soccer and go for Academy instead. I thought if I had played high school soccer, I wouldn’t get any recognition.
“I just like playing at a higher level than high school,” he added. “Academies have showcases and thousands of college scouts come out and watch you play.”
List of local athletes signing, committing to colleges
Matt Gillis, soccer, American University (Doesn’t play for school; plays Academy soccer)
Brothers Troy and Travon Hollis, football, Fairmont State University
Sean Clarke, soccer, University of Cincinnati.
Carson Hunt, soccer, Villanova University
Gavin Rowley, football, Bryant University
Evan Novian, soccer, Bloomsburg University
Nigel Hill, football, University of Delaware
Morgan Scroggins, football, Towson University
Ben Hoffner, football, Air Force Academy
Sam Loeffler, soccer, Elon University
Tim Prenger, baseball, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Dariel Torre, baseball, Miami Dade College
Brad Weber, baseball, Frostburg State University
Dan Janyska, cross country/track, Slippery Rock University
Ayo Adenegan, soccer, Arcadia University
Sam Loeffler, soccer, Elon University
Jeff Schaefer, soccer, Gettysburg University
Matt Wilson, swimming, Virginia Military Institute
Nate Bosse, volleyball, Stevenson University
Alex Cappuccio, water polo, Mercyhurst University