Zephs to continue careers at college
Editor's Note: This is part two of a series of Whitehall student-athletes who will continue their careers at college.
Allison Beltz will be trekking to Concordia College in the fall. Beltz, a two-year starter on the softball team will head north to the picturesque campus in Bronxville, N.Y.
She'll join the Clippers who are managed by Kathy Laoutaris. Laoutaris is entering her 21st year as the skipper. They compete in the Central Athletic Collegiate Conference and last year the Clippers finished 10-21 overall and 9-17 in the CACC.
Beltz, who plays the hot corner for the Zephs, said she decided on Concordia because of its nationally ranked nursing program. She also cited its dedication to both academics and athletics as another factor.
Beltz was an integral part of a softball team that qualified for districts last season. The next chapter in her life was made possible through the support of her family who made sure they attended as many games as possible. Beltz also thanked her teammates at Whitehall during the ceremony.
"I'd like to thank every coach I ever had for pushing me as hard as they did, and for keeping me grounded," she said.
Loyola University will be the next stop on Brandon Levano's journey. The Division I school is located in Baltimore, MD. Levano will join the Greyhounds who were 5-7-4 overall, and 2-4-2 in the Patriot League.
Levano said he chose Loyola because of its reputation regarding its business programs. Levano plans to major in business administration.
Loyola's attractiveness also included a strong soccer program led by head coach Steve Nichols that will allow him to grow as a player.
Levano played club soccer this season, making him ineligible to compete scholastically for Whitehall. He did, however, play for the football team as a kicker. Levano was a valued member of the special teams unit with his kicks often resulting in great field position for the Zephs, finishing the season with 14 touchbacks. He averaged 52.1 yards per attempt this year.
Levano said that Loyola's style of play and their superb coaching staff headed by Nichols was another major selling point.
"I really respect him [Nichols] as a coach," said Levano. "I also liked the way they played as a team."
Levano said one of his goals is to bring a Patriot League Championship to Loyola. He also wants to be a solid attacking threat during his time with the Greyhounds, as well as blend in with his teammates as someone they can rely on during every match.
"I want to try and be as successful as possible," he said.
He played club ball for Philadelphia Union Academy U18 team under head coach Peter Fuller. They went 7-4-3 during the 2014-15 season, with Levano emerging as one of the top goal scorers on the team. Levano, a forward, joins nine other Academy teammates who will be moving on to Division I programs.
The senior thanked his family for all their support and sacrifice throughout his life, laying the foundation for the next phase of his athletic and academic life.
He's anxious to see where the road takes him.
Rebecca Lutterschmidt will be playing volleyball at Philadelphia University in the fall.
The senior will be studying graphic communications at one of the city's leading institutions.
"PhilaU is known for its impressive academics and I'm very excited about the opportunities I will have once I obtain my degree," said Lutterschmidt.
As part of the Rams, she'll join a team that finished 14-14 last season. The Rams compete in the Central Athletic Collegiate Conference and last year earned a playoff berth in that league's postseason tournament.
Lutterschmidt served as the Zephyrs setter as well as an outside hitter during her career. As an opposite side hitter this season, Lutterschmidt averaged double-digit kills this year.
Lutterschmidt, flanked by her parents at the ceremony, thanked them, as well as her coaches and trainer for their constant support throughout her career.
Mustafa Mitchell will be playing football at Lackawanna College in the fall. Mitchell said he chose because it has great coaches and great athletes, along with a great atmosphere, helping it become the perfect fit.
Lackawanna, located in Scranton, PA., competes in the Northeast Football Conference. Mitchell will be part of a team that finished 5-5 last year. The school has been a springboard for a number of area athletes to further the academic and athletic careers, including West Virginia University's Kevin White who was a 2014 All-American as a receiver and a finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award.
Mitchell was an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South first-team selection at cornerback in 2014. He finished with 28 tackles and registered one pick and one fumble recovery last season. He was also a demon on special teams, notching 331 yards as a kick returner, including two touchdowns.
Mitchell also thanked his family, along with Whitehall's coaching staff and his teammates for all their support.
"They helped mold me into a better person, and a better player," he said.
Mitchell was a transfer from Easton Area High School. He said that transition was seamless, with Whitehall welcoming him with open arms.
"When I came here I was immediately accepted by the coaches and players," said Mitchell.
Mitchell also said that his mother has constantly been at his side, rooting him on every step of the way.
"It's been a great ride these past few years at Whitehall," said Mitchell. "They have given me great memories that I'll never forget."