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Central York football standout Kyle Fontes says Bucknell offer "was too good to pass up"

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
  • Kyle Fontes is a tight end and defensive lineman for Central York High.
  • Fontes has given a verbal commitment to play for Bucknell University.
  • The Bison play at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level.
Central York's Kyle Fontes
Kyle Fontes

Once he got an NCAA Division I offer, Kyle Fontes didn't take long to make up his mind.

On Aug. 21, Fontes announced he received his first D-I Football Championship Subdivision offer from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Union County.

Less than two weeks later, the Central York High School senior decided to verbally commit to the Bison. He made the decision public on Wednesday in a Twitter post.

"It started with the coaching staff," Fontes said in explaining his decision. "I really connected with them. They were super cool. It was the best fit for me."

Fontes, who is an honor-roll student at Central, was also considering some Ivy League schools, but once Bucknell made him an offer, he decided pretty quickly to take it. He plans to pursue an economics degree, with an eye toward a possible future on Wall Street.

"With everything going on (with the COVID-19 pandemic), there are so many uncertainties," he said. "It was too good to pass up."

Will play in Patriot League: Fontes said he's receiving a full scholarship from the Bison, who play in the Patriot League. Bucknell is coming off a 3-3 league record and 3-8 conference mark in 2020. The Bison won't play in the fall of 2020 because of the pandemic.

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Bucknell is located less than 90 miles from York. There are also two other eastern Pennsylvania schools in the conference in Lehigh and Lafayette. Another Patriot member, Georgetown, is just more than 90 miles from York. That means the Fontes' family won't have to travel too much to watch Kyle play in college.

Traveling, however, really hasn't been much of an issue for the Fontes family over the years. Kyle grew up in Colorado and moved to Texas in fourth grade, before landing in York County during his seventh-grade year. 

Comparing Texas and Pennsylvania football: While in Texas, he played youth football in the school district that is home to Katy High School, which is one of the powerhouse programs in a football-mad state. Katy High owns eight state titles.

When he moved to York, it marked a significant change for Fontes.

"Football is all you do in Texas," Fontes said. "Football is an actual course in middle school and high school. You just play football and work out for football."

Since coming to York County, Fontes has spread his wings a bit athletically. He's taken up volleyball and uses his 6-foot, 4-inch frame to help the Panthers' standout volleyball program.

Plans to play tight end in college: The 220-pounder plays tight end and defensive line for the Panthers' football team, but he said Bucknell is looking at him as a tight end.

He played quarterback in youth ball and last year he backed up Central star QB Beau Pribula. This year, however, he doesn't think he'll act as Pribula's backup, which suits him just fine. He'll be able to concentrate on his tight-end and defensive-line duties. 

Last year, Fontes had 10 receptions for 113 yards as a tight end and compiled 20 tackles, with a sack, as a defensive lineman.

Central York High quarterback Beau Pribula commits to Penn State

Panthers piling up D-I commitments: Fontes becomes Central's third D-I recruit. Pribula has committed to Penn State and offensive tackle Josh Gaffney is headed to Albany. Another Panther, wideout Taylor Wright-Rawls, has a D-I offer from Saint Francis. A couple of other Central players are getting D-I looks.

HEISER: Central York football standout commits to D-I program, now focuses on Panthers season

The Panthers were 9-2 overall last year, including a dominant 7-0 season en route to the York-Adams Division I title. Add in the team's returning D-I talent and a new head coach (Gerry Yonchiuk) known for his wide-open offenses, and there's a serious buzz around the 2020 Panthers.

Until told otherwise, Central York will prepare for football season of great expectations

When asked what his expectations were for Central, Fontes said: "Big, very big. It's already been one of funnest offseasons I've had. I love the new coaching staff. We're expecting big things. ... It’s been a little different because we have the (COVID-19) restrictions, but we're following the guidelines and we’ve adapted really well. It’s been smooth and really fun."

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.