Holden Koons said he used to dream of being an NCAA Division I tennis player.
The Dallastown tennis player will no longer have to dream. Wednesday, he signed his National Letter of Intent to play tennis at James Madison University.
“That was definitely my dream,” he said. “That was the main goal for a long time. Now obviously that I’ve achieved that I’ll set some new goals. It is relieving to finalize it and have my spot secured at a Division I program.”
Koons, a three-time York-Adams League champion and District 3 Class 3-A singles champion, signed the paper Wednesday during National Letter of Intent Day. He said he orally committed to JMU a few weeks ago.
JMU was one of his final three schools, along with Penn State and Butler. He said being a Duke felt like “the best fit.”
“I guess I just had a better connection with the coaches and the teammates,” Koons said. “That was a big factor. All the coaches were really good. All the teammates were nice. I feel like I connected well there. It just felt right.”
Koons, who finished second in last year’s state tournament, said he also chose JMU because he believes it can be a “high-tier program.” The Dukes went 16-7 last season and finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association. JMU is led by head coach Steve Secord, who has led the program for 27 years.
“I didn’t just want to go D-I,” Koons said. “I wanted to be in a good conference and on a team that can compete to win that conference.”
Dallastown head coach and Koons’ father, Mark Koons, agreed that JMU is “a very good fit” for the senior tennis player.
“He kind of just fell in love with the JMU campus and felt very comfortable with the coaches at JMU and the players on their team,” Mark Koons said.
Throughout his high school career, Mark Koons said Holden Koons’ game has gotten more aggressive.
“Holden’s biggest asset is his work ethic and he’s always been willing to put hours on the court,” Mark Koons said. “His game has become progressively more aggressive as he’s gotten older.”
A large number of other York-Adams League athletes committed to play sports in college Wednesday. Here is a list of some of the athletes who made commitments. This list may not be complete:
CJ Czerwinski, Red Lion – College of Charleston (D-I)
Sean Glatfelter, Red Lion – Lock Haven University (D-II)
Julian Bailey, Dallastown – Queens University of Charlotte (D-II)
Nate Hodgkinson, Red Lion – Shepherd University (D-II)
Sean Glatfelter, Red Lion – Lock Haven (D-II)
Garrett Lowe, Kennard-Dale – Millersville University (D-II)
Alex Weakland, Dallastown – Indiana University of Pennsylvania (D-II)
Cole Sinnott, Kennard-Dale – Alvernia (D-III)
Jay Shifflet, Dallastown – Alderson Broaddus (D-II)
Drew Snelbaker, York Catholic – University of Tampa (D-II)
Jordan Billet, West York – Aurora University (D-III)
Devon Lonergan, York Suburban – Clarion University (D-II)
Meghan French, West York – East Carolina (D-I)
Megan Halczuk, Kennard-Dale – University of Maryland Baltimore County (D-I)
Mackenzie Young, Kennard-Dale – University of Maryland Baltimore County (D-I)
Jordan Gertz, South Western – Coastal Carolina (D-I)
Autumn Kramer, Kennard-Dale – Brevard College (D-III)
Hannah Miller, Spring Grove – Stevenson University (D-III)
Cassidy Patchel, Spring Grove – Lycoming College (D-III)
Sam Miller, Dallastown – St. Francis University (D-I)
Taylor Geiman, South Western – Virginia Tech (D-I)
Brooklyn Naylor, Spring Grove – Millersville (D-II)
Girls’ cross country/track & field
Olivia McLain, Eastern York – Lee University (D-II)
Hailey Kessinger, Spring Grove – University of Mount Olive (D-II)
Breanna Harvey, West York – Bowie State (D-II)
Krysten Moore, Spring Groove – Penn State Harrisburg (D-III)
McKenna Walker, York Catholic – Juniata College (D-III)
Alyssa Narber, West York – Shippensburg (D-II)
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.