Former York-Adams League athletes enjoy award-winning week on college level

STEVE HEISER
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Bren Taylor

It’s been an award-winning week for several former York-Adams League standouts who have found some serious success on the college level.

The athletes honored come from nearly every corner of York County, including graduates from Eastern York, Dallastown, Kennard-Dale, Central York, York Suburban and Northeastern high schools.

One of those athletes has found college success in Lancaster County, just a few miles from his home in eastern York County.

Eastern York High School graduate Bren Taylor is enjoying a stellar sophomore season for a strong Millersville University baseball team.

Tuesday, Taylor was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division Baseball Athlete of the Year.

Taylor is only the third Marauder to win the division's athlete of the year award and is the first sophomore to win the award since Kutztown's Shayne Houck in 2010.

In the regular, season Taylor led all PSAC Eastern Division hitters with a .438 batting average. Through 41 games, Taylor totaled 19 extra-base hits, including a team-high four triples. He also led Millersville with 43 runs scored and a .503 on-base percentage.

Taylor helped Millersville sweep the PSAC Eastern Division's four major postseason baseball awards for the first time in program history. Jeff Taylor was named PSAC East Pitcher of the Year, Conor Cook was named PSAC East Freshman of the Year and Jon Shehan named PSAC East Coach of the Year.

Millersville's sweep of the PSAC East postseason awards is a rare feat. It was last accomplished in 2006 by Kutztown. In total, seven Marauders landed All-PSAC East accolades. Bren Taylor also earned All-PSAC East First Team honors.

Millersville reliever Wyatt Tyson, a Red Lion High School graduate, picked up second-team All-PSAC East recognition. Tyson joined Millersville as a graduate transfer after a career at Campbell. As a Marauder, Tyson went 2-2 in the regular season, making 13 appearances. He did not allow an earned run in eight of those outings. He struck out 30 in his 18 1/3 innings pitched. 

Millersville is 28-13 this season, including a 23-8 conference mark.  The Marauders won the PSAC East regular-season crown but fell in the PSAC Tournament semifinals. They will now wait to see if they get an NCAA Division II Tournament at-large bid during Sunday’s selection show.

All-conference teams and major award winners are determined by a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Holden Koons

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COLLEGE NOTES

Dallastown grad Koons is Colonial Co-Rookie of the Year: James Madison redshirt freshman Holden Koons was voted the Colonial Athletic Association Men's Tennis Co-Rookie of the Year.

The Dallastown High School graduate also earned first-team All-CAA accolades in singles. He also teamed with Paul Mendoza to earn first-team All-CAA honors in doubles.

JMU, which competes on the NCAA Division I level, has now won six CAA Rookie of the Year honors since the award began back in 1994, and Koons became the third JMU player since 2017 to receive the honor.

Koons finished the 2021 season with a 10-5 singles record at the No. 1 spot, which included a string of nine wins in 10 matches from March 12 to April 18. He was twice named CAA Player of the Week, earning the weekly accolade on March 17 and April 21.

The tandem of Koons and Mendoza went 8-5 at JMU's top doubles position this year. Named the CAA Doubles Team of the Week on March 10, the duo had a pair of win streaks of at least three matches, including a season-best four in the month of April.

JMU finished the season with an 8-8 overall record and reached the CAA Championship semifinals.

Megan Halczuk

Kennard-Dale’s Halczuk earns multiple honors: Kennard-Dale High School graduate Megan Halczuk, a sophomore midfielder for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has been named to the Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team in women’s lacrosse.

The team was sponsored by by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches' Association. She is just the seventh Retriever to earn the honor and the first since 2018.

Halczuk was recently named to the All-America East First Team, as well as earning America East All-Rookie and All-Tournament honors. She had a breakout season for the NCAA Division I Retrievers, recording 27 points off 18 goals and nine assists, while also causing 11 turnovers and picking up 24 ground balls.

Halczuk was most prominent on the draw, becoming the first Retriever in program history to record 100 draws in a single season with 104. She also broke the single-game record with 14 draw controls in UMBC's record-setting 27-16 victory over Binghamton on April 24, to go along with four caused turnovers, five assists, one goal and three ground balls en route to being named America East and IWLCA Defensive Player of the Week.

Though UMBC's season is over, the sophomore currently ranks eighth in the nation and first in the America East in draw controls per game with 8.67.

The UMBC women’s lacrosse team finished 6-6 overall and 5-4 in America East competition.

Courtney Coppersmith

Coppersmith helps UMBC to conference title and NCAA Division I playoffs: Central York High School graduate Courtney Coppersmith has helped UMBC win a second consecutive America East softball title and earn a second straight berth to the NCAA Division I playoffs.

The junior left-hander was named to the conference’s All-Championship Tournament Team after going 3-0 with one run allowed and 25 strikeouts in three complete games during the tournament.

Coppersmith pitched a two-hit shutout on Saturday in the title-winning victory over Stony Brook.

For the season, Coppersmith is 19-2 with a 0.65 ERA. She’s struck out 233 in 140 innings, while allowing 48 hits.

Coppersmith also recently became the first student-athlete since 2001 to repeat as America East Pitcher of the Year. Coppersmith is only the third repeat winner in league history. She was also selected to the all-conference first team and All-Academic Team.

The Retrievers are 25-11 overall. They begin NCAA D-I playoff action at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Arizona (36-13), which is ranked No. 9 nationally in NCAA D-I.

Peyton Eckenrode

Northeastern grad named first-team all-conference in softball: Northeastern High School graduate Peyton Eckenrode has been named to the All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference First Team.

Eckenrode is a sophomore shortstop at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington in western Pennsylvania. The award was voted on by the coaches in the NCAA Division III conference.

Eckenrode was one of the top hitters in the PAC in 2021. She ranked among the top 10 in the league in on-base percentage (.528), slugging percentage (.638), batting average (.429), runs scored (33), doubles (12) and total bases (67). Eckenrode also walked 17 times and was hit by pitch on five occasions. She ranked second in the PAC in on-base percentage and walks. She reached base at a 64.6% clip when leading off an inning. Additionally, she recorded a team-best five stolen bases and also collected 12 runs batted in. She had 14 multi-hit games, which included a pair of four-hit games. Eckenrode was twice named PAC Hitter of the Week in 2021.

W&J finished with a 17-15-1 overall record and a 9-7 mark in conference play.

Collin Mailman

Local trio competes in NCAA Division I May Madness: Three York County products recently were on the rosters for teams that competed in the first round of the NCAA Division I men’s lacrosse playoffs, known as May Madness.

Only 16 teams in the nation made the tournament.

York Suburban grad Collin Mailman played for Drexel, Colin Allen is on Monmouth’s roster and Trey Smith played for High Point.

Drexel dropped a 10-8 decision to Notre Dame in the NCAA playoffs to finish 10-3 overall. The Dragons won the Colonial Athletic Association title. Mailman, a senior midfielder, started all 13 games for Drexel, finishing with seven goals and four assists.

Trey Smith

Allen, from New Freedom, played scholastically for Calvert Hall in Towson, Maryland, as did Smith, who is from York.

Allen, a senior midfielder, saw limited action for Monmouth this season, playing in two games. The Hawks finished 8-3 overall and won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Monmouth lost its first-round NCAA contest to North Carolina, 16-4.

Smith, a junior midfielder, played in all 14 games for High Point, which finished at 8-6 overall and won the Southern Conference crown. High Point lost its first-round NCAA game to Duke, 16-10. Smith had 26 ground balls and one assist on the season.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

Colin Allen