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York-Adams standouts make college choices official on signing day: See where they're going

ROB ROSE
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Red Lion's Mike Wilburn handles the ball with pressure from Central York's Nick Ross, right, during lacrosse action at Central Saturday, April 24, 2021. Bill Kalina photo

When Michael Wilburn went down to Florida in January for a lacrosse event, he didn't want to leave.

With the combination of warm weather and talented players at the Under Armour showcase, the Red Lion High School senior knew it would be a place where he would love to play in college — if he got the chance.

So, when he went back to the state in the spring and received an offer from NCAA Division II Florida Southern College, he didn't waste any time and verbally committed to the school a few days later.

“That was the first offer I got face-to-face, so it's definitely felt super relieving almost,” Wilburn said in May. “I've been working so hard for so long, and I knew when I was going back down (to Florida) that’s where I wanted to go, so when he said that, it really, really just relaxed and me."

Wednesday, Wilburn was one of a number of local athletes to sign their national letters of intent and officially join their future colleges.

While Wilburn was the Lions' leading scorer last season with 76 goals, his teammate on the other side of the field will join him in Florida. Red Lion defenseman Jake Bradley also signed with Florida Southern.

Another Red Lion defenseman, Sean Barley, signed with NCAA D-III Cabrini University.

Susquehannock's Megan Stiffler, left, and  Red Lion's Hannah Downs battle to control the ball during field hockey action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Susquehannock would win the game 2-1. Dawn J. Sagert photo

After a third straight Y-A League D-I first-team all-star season, Red Lion field hockey standout Hannah Downs signed with NCAA D-I Lehigh University.

The Lions also had another senior sign to play an NCAA D-I sport on Wednesday. Evan Watt will play soccer at La Salle University.

Irish signees: The list of local players going to play in college didn't end with Red Lion. Three of York Catholic's girls' lacrosse standouts will play at the next level.

York Catholic's Sydney Mentzer, left, controls the ball while Twin Valley defends during PIAA District 3, Class 2-A girls' lacrosse championship action on Landis Field at Speed Ebersole Stadium at Central Dauphin Middle School in Harrisburg, Thursday, May 27, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Senior Sydney Mentzer signed with NCAA D-I Elon University after a special season. Mentzer was named a 2021 Central Pennsylvania All-American after she scored 68 goals and had 22 assists.

In addition to Mentzer, Y-A League Co-Midfielder of the Year, Olivia Staples, signed with NCAA D-I University of Maryland Baltimore County. The YC standout finished the regular season with 38 goals, 23 assists, 36 groundballs, 30 caused turnovers and 90 draw controls.

Susquehannock's Ariana Prediger, left, moves the ball down the fields while York Catholic's Olivia Staples defends during girls' lacrosse action at Susquehannock High School in Shrewsbury Township, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. York Catholic would win the game 16-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The third Irish player headed to play in college, Madison Williams, signed with NCAA D-III Catholic University.

Gymnast goes to Arkansas: West York's Trinity Thomas could be joined by another local gymnast when the Southeastern Conference season begins next year.

New Oxford senior Jaime Pratt signed with NCAA D-I Arkansas on a full scholarship. Thomas is an All-American at Florida. Arkansas and Florida both play in the Southeastern Conference.

Panthers on the prowl: Central York's standout field hockey team, which has advanced to the state 3-A quarterfinals, had several players set to sign with colleges on Wednesday.

Emilee Myers is headed to NCAA Division I to LaSalle, while Victoria Whitehead is set to play at the D-I level for Temple. Both schools are located in Philadelphia.

Central's Grace Harrold, the York-Adams Division I Co-Player of the Year, will play at the D-II level for Kutztown in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. The other Y-A D-I Co-Player of the Year, Dallastown's Lilly Cantabene, was also set to sign with D-II Shippensburgh, which also competes in PSAC.

Also, York Suburban's Eliana Rodgers was expected to sign with D-I Sacred Heart for volleyball. She's helped the Trojans to the state 3-A quarterfinals and a York-Adams League playoff crown.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com. This story may be updated.