Zephs continue their careers at the next level
For nineteen student-athletes at Whitehall High School, the question as to where to spend the next few years of their lives was revealed at a signing ceremony in May.
That list includes: Ashlee Brosky, Misercordia, softball; Alex Bruneio, King’s, baseball; Tavion George, Moravian, football; Mackenzie Guzy, Moravian, softball; Kasai Harrison, Alvernia, football; Jackson Buskirk, Moravian, football; Matt Dobeck, Cabrini, baseball; Andrew Hawk, Lynchburg, track and field; Paul Helman, King’s, baseball; Autumn Kidulic, Cedar Crest, swimming; Ryan Klaugh, Alvernia, football; Jaida Marks, Marywood, field hockey; Gavin Wood, Dickinson, track and field; Logan McGinley, Alvernia, volleyball; Devin Martinez, Valley Forge Military Academy, football; Roy Reeves, Ventura College, football, Kayla Nailor, Kings, field hockey; Jacob Snyder, Alvernia, football, and Kyle Sayre, Wilkes, volleyball.
Devin Martinez will be attending Valley Forge Military Academy and College in the fall. As a two-way standout last season, Martinez will be primarily playing linebacker at VFMA.
The Trojans were 4-6 last year playing in the Seaboard Conference. They are led by head coach Lou Orth. It was Martinez’s father, , who got the ball rolling, reaching out to coach Orth. Orth had been the offensive coordinator at Northampton High School from 2014-2016. He still had strong ties to the Lehigh Valley and had seen Martinez play.
“Once he found out who I was, he wanted me there,” said Martinez.
Martinez said that he was considering a prep school or junior college since he wasn’t getting heavily recruited by other schools.
“I still wanted to play football in college,” said Martinez.
Martinez, who was an EPC South first-team selection at tight end, said that he went down for a visit and got a tour of the place from some upperclassmen. He said hen learned that all the football players live in the same dorm, and being part of a tight-knit group really appealed to him.
“It was just a really good environment,” said Martinez.
Having the opportunity to continue his education while playing football is something he wants to take advantage of, and VFMA offers the best of both worlds.
“I just have a really great opportunity so I chose to go there,” said Martinez.
He’s currently undecided on a major, but he’s leaning heavily toward mechanical engineering. He said that math and science classes will dominate his schedule.
Martinez was an active student-athlete at Whitehall. He played football and basketball for four years and was a member of the volleya tough inside player on the basketball team, helping the Zephyrs earn berths in both the league and district playoffs.
“I’ll always remember the fun I had with my teammates,” said Martinez.
Roy Reeves will play football at Ventura College in Ventura, Californina, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. They have a storied football tradition, claiming 15 conference championships since they began playing in 1925. Four of those championships came in the last five years. They’re coming off their third consecutive Southern California Football Association Northern Conference title heading into the 2017 campaign.
Reeves will join the Pirates who finished 8-3 last season. They are led by head coach Steve Mooshagian who’s’ in his seventh year.
Reeves said that he liked the challenge of going someplace new and immersing himself in a different atmosphere.
“I chose Ventura because I felt like it was a new culture, a new experience across the country,” said Reeves.
He also warmed to the campus and the reception from the players and coaches.
“They made me feel welcome,” he said.
Reeves will be studying Communication at Ventura. He will put a strong emphasis on his studies while attending Ventura.
“The goal at Ventura is to be on top academically and athletically so I can transfer after a year or two to a main school,” said Reeves.
Reeves, a linebacker, finished the season with 16 tackles, two of which resulted in losses. He was an integral part of their district championship team last season.
That victory remains as his fondest memory as a member of the maroon and gold.
Alex Bruneio will head to Kings College.
Bruneio’s baseball career spanned four years at Whitehall, culminating in a trip to the PIAA 5A baseball championship last month.
Bruneio was a threat at the plate and on the mound. He led the Zephyrs in power numbers the last two years, and was one of their top pitchers throughout his career. Both he and Zach Gilbert were the mainstays of the rotation down the stretch, piloting the Zephyrs through their amazing postseason run.
The southpaw will be joining a team that finished 20-17 last season and made an appearance in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom Conference tournament before being ousted by bad weather which limited their participation to one game in the otherwise double elimination tournament.
The Monarchs are led by Jerry Greeley who will be entering his fifteenth season next year. The Wilkes-Barre school features several local players, including Whitehall graduate Matt Hassick. The roster also includes ACC’s Noah Adams, Stroudsburg’s Bruce Breithaupt, Parkland’s Kyle Friebolin and Easton’s Sean McKee.
Bruneio chose Kings because it’s not too far from home, yet still far enough away to allow him to experience life beyond the Lehigh Valley.
He’ll also be surrounded by a lot of familiar faces, and the coaching staff made him feel at home as well.
“The coaches are really nice,” said Bruneio.
Bruneio was mainly recruited as a pitcher, but he foresees playing in the field as well.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Bruneio.
He’s currently undecided as to his major, but he’s leaning toward psychology or math.
Winning the district championship in baseball and making it to the finals of the PIAA 5A tournament will remain the biggest highlight from his four years playing ball.
“The whole senior year was pretty fun,” said Bruneio.
It may have not been fun at first with things not going their way, but once they hit the postseason, it all clicked.
“After the twentieth game, everything just went our way,” said Bruneio.