For the second year in a row, Westminster will send a handful of football players to play at the collegiate level.
The Owls sent nine players off to play at the next level last year, and at least six or seven from this year’s class will move on to do the same.
Five Owls players received collegiate scholarships — Ryan Clatterbuck will join former Owls tight end Logan Nave at Alderson Broaddus; Christian Etchison, Tavian Montgomery, and Joe Parry will reunite with 2018 Times Player of the Year Zane Lewis at Shepherd; and Jacob Busic will head to the United States Naval Academy.
“Every single one of them has become an incredible student-athlete and that’s what the program at Westminster instills,” former Owls coach Matt Study said. “They bought into that piece of it, the whole package and I’ve seen those guys reap the benefits and accelerate on the field.
“They understand that it takes academics as well as athletics and that’s what many young folks will miss. They think it’s just the athletic part, which is part of the equation for sure, but definitely not the entire thing.”
Study said the Westminster football program, like most in the area, runs 365 days a year. Some of these athletes play other sports during different seasons, but the Owls’ coaching staff remains in tune with these players to work with them throughout the school year.
Study is still transitioning out of the program, but he continues to devote time to helping the Westminster football junior class prepare for their SATs and teach them how to introduce themselves to potential college football recruiters. He credited character-building programs such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for contributing to molding these athletes into mature, young men.
“I think it says a lot to the parents involved and buying in to the dedication to the football program and academics,” Study said. “Our teachers are constantly raising the bar and pushing our athletes and all of our students. … When you look at and measure the amount of Advanced Placement programs and dual enrollment opportunities at the [Carroll County Career & Technology Center], the opportunities they have here are second to none.”
The five seniors who received scholarships to play football at the next level each contributed to the Owls in positive ways throughout their careers.
Busic, a two-time Times first team all-countian helped anchor the Owls’ defensive line and he compiled 66 tackles this past fall. Parry pitched in on defense with 51 tackles, and he joined Busic on the first team.
Etchison threw for a Carroll-best 1,916 yards and 19 touchdowns, and added 95 carries for 560 yards and seven TDs on the ground as a repeat first-team pick. In the fall, he made his commitment to play lacrosse at Mount St. Mary’s, but de-committed and picked football when Shepherd showed interest.
Montgomery caught 37 passes for 565 yards and seven touchdowns, and also led the Carroll County Athletic League with seven interceptions on defense.
Clatterbuck, a first-team all-countian in 2017, finished his senior year with 27 receptions for 367 yards and four touchdowns. He added 20 tackles on defense for the Owls.
Winters Mill’s Nico Vagnier is set to join Clatterbuck at Alderson Broaddus.
Carroll County Daily Headlines
Manchester Valley senior defensive back Kyle Ringley announced via his Twitter account Feb. 4 that he’s attending Randolph-Macon University and play football. Ringley compiled 24 tackles for the Mavericks this year and earned first-team all-county honors.
Mavericks kicker Dayne Koontz plans to attend Frostburg, and teammate Holden Schmale will head to Misericordia.
Athletes in other sports have recently made commitments around the county.
Man Valley senior Chase Estes, the reigning Times Boys Soccer Player of the Year, is bound for Shippensburg, while South Carroll senior Sarah Langille is off to UNC Asheville for women’s soccer.
Estes collected seven goals and 11 assists in leading the Mavericks to their first CCAL championship last fall.
Meanwhile, Langille earned first-team all-county honors as a standout defender for the Cavaliers.
NOTE: The article has been updated to correct the college sport for South Carroll’s Sarah Langille.