There are many different reasons that a high school athlete commits to a college —location, size, tradition and playing time being among the most common.
For Eastern York High School senior Hannah Myers, it mostly came down to one thing that isn’t always easy to put into words — a feeling.
“What coaches and parents would tell me during recruiting is that if you get that feeling, just go with it,” Myers said. “And speaking with (Shepherd University) coach (Jenna Eckleberry) and going around campus with her. I knew exactly then that is where I want to be.”
Myers will be following in the footsteps of her older sister, Liz, who graduated from Shepherd this past spring. Her experiences watching her older sister play, while also seeing parts of the Shepherdstown, West Virginia, campus on those trips, helped make the decision easier.
“I always did like Shepherd a lot,” she said. “And getting the opportunity to watch my sister play there was pretty cool too. I always had the feeling of it being like home there. It’s just a very warm, welcoming environment.”
The 5-foot, 9-inch Myers, who finished second in the York-Adams League in scoring at 18.9 points per game as a junior, will have the chance to be on a squad that includes former West York standout Kari Lankford, who is a junior at Shepherd. Spring Grove’s Morgan Arden is another local player at Shepherd this year, but Arden will graduate before Myers arrives next fall.
Arden and Lankford are excelling at Shepherd this season. Arden, who has nearly 1,500 career points, is averaging 21.3 points, 5.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Lankford is averaging 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 4.0 steals per game.
Shepherd, which is 4-3 this season, competes on the NCAA Division II level.
Looking for big high school year: While Myers is clearly excited about her future at the next level, she’s equally excited about her final season with the Golden Knights.
With her college choice made, she can now put a laser focus on the Knights' 2017-2018 campaign.
Nearly everyone from last year’s squad, which finished 14-11 overall and 10-4 in D-II, returns with an extra year of experience under their collective belts.
Myers and her teammates, however, are going to need to use that experience to their benefit because the D-II landscape should be a gauntlet. The Knights were the only team to knock off defending champion Susquehannock in division play a season ago, but the Warriors return just about everyone as well. Dover is in that same boat, with senior Rayah Fink figuring to be the spark plug for the Eagles, who finished in a tie for second with Eastern. Rivals West York and York Suburban also expect to contend in what very well could become a five-team race for the title.
While the ending to the season, which included losses in the league and district playoffs, was a disappointment, Myers is hoping her team can repeat its early success from a season ago. The Knights started off with a seven-game winning streak last year before struggling later in the season.
“We had a really young team last year,” Myers said. “In the beginning we were doing well, but toward the end I think we lost it a bit. I think we started getting tired and there was a lack of communication. And we keep saying at practice that last year was last year because we’re all a year older now. And I can see that the girls last year who were sophomores, and are juniors this year, have come so far.”
That list includes juniors Casidy Arnold, Amanda Galentine, Katie Lehman and Morgan Winter, who all played pivotal roles a year ago. All four figure to show improvement when the season kicks off Friday, Dec. 8, against Carlisle at the Spring Grove Tip-Off Tournament.
“We’re really looking forward to playing this year,” Myers said. “But we know that anyone can beat anyone on any given night. So we have to just work hard and see how everything unfolds.”
Myers expected to be one of two seniors on the Eastern squad this year along with forward Brooke LeCesa. LeCesa, however, opted against playing basketball this year to concentrate of volleyball, a sport she will play in college.
Even without LeCesa at her side, Myers will still not be the lone Eastern York senior this winter. Forward Shadow Isaacs, who averaged four points a game at Hempfield last year, moved into the district this summer and will team up with Myers for her senior campaign.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.