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Historic Day At Pompano Beach Highlights Early Signings

Pompano Beach’s Trevor Kniskern, Chase Costello, Michael Schuler, Chris Ajello and Dillon Abell, as well as girl’s soccer player Petra Snelson, all signed with their colleges of choice during Wednesday’s ceremony on the school campus.

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College Signees In Florida

Lifelong dreams have been finally realized this week as student-athletes across the nation signed their commitment to their colleges of choice, as part of the National Early Signing Period. Here in Florida, dozens of baseball players across the state seized their moment to sign their commitment in special ceremonies with families, friends and supporters. The signing process can be challenging and arduous, but this week marks that moment when signees finally cross the finish line and finalize their dream of attending college and competing in college athletics.

Wednesday was an historic day at Pompano Beach High, as five members of the team all signed with Division I colleges. The school is best known for its strong academics, as evident by the player’s combined cumulative GPA of 3.75. It is not common for one guy to sign in November, and having five players all sign together is a milestone moment for the program.

“These are the most we’ve had up on this stage at one time on this day,” Pompano Beach Athletic Director Jason Frey said, while speaking during the ceremony held for family, friends, classmates, coaches, administrators and dignitaries that included the Lighthouse Point and Pompano Beach mayors and a Broward County Commissioner.

2017 HSBN Player of the Year Trevor Kniskern signed with Pepperdine University.

Coming off the program’s first-ever trip to the state Final Four, the team has set another new standard for future teams to come. Signing on Wednesday were Dillon Abell (University of New Orleans), Chris Ajello (Asbury College), Chase Costello (Louisiana State University), Trevor Kniskern (Pepperdine University) and Michael Schuler (Florida Atlantic University), as well as girl’s soccer player Petra Snelson (South Georgia State).

“It was definitely a long journey, and I have been looking forward to this moment my whole life. When I put the pen to paper it was definitely a weight off my shoulders,” said Kniskern, the HSBN Broward County Player of the Year last season. “I am really grateful that I got to have all of my friends, family and teammates here to enjoy this with me. It’s a really big step in my life and I am just grateful for all of them. Today just shows how good this group of guys are, and we’re just really dedicated and we work a lot. It is well-deserved for me and my teammates.”

With two more seniors that may still sign later on this year, it highlights what a unique group has come together to set a new standard for the Tornadoes baseball program. When manager Joe Giummule first came aboard a few years ago, these were the guys that came in with him to help reach these milestones.

“Today is about these five seniors and their families. What I am proud of is that these kids have been here for all four years,” Giummule said. “We’ve gone through the growing pains and now we’re reaping the benefits of our success the last few years. These guys put us on the map, and having five kids sign is outstanding, especially at an academic school.”

North Broward Prep’s Zach Goberville (Tulane University) and Xavier Edwards (Vanderbilt University) signed during a ceremony at the school.

Broward County Early Signees:

Cory Acton, American Heritage — University of Florida
Tristan Casas, American Heritage — University of Miami
Julio Cortez, American Heritage — University of South Florida
Bailey Mantilla, American Heritage — University of Miami
Daniel Paret, Archbishop McCarthy — Stetson University
Raynel Delgado, Calvary Christian — Florida International University
Roberto Pena, Calvary Christian — University of Florida
Christian Scott, Calvary Christian — University of Florida
Timothy Watkins, Calvary Christian — Florida International University
Ty Crittenberger, Cardinal Gibbons — University of Central Florida
Jarrett Hall, Cardinal Gibbons — Nova Southeastern University
Kyle Petri, Cardinal Gibbons — University of Chicago
Eric Bonkowski, Chaminade-Madonna — Hartford University
Wyatt Villella, Chaminade-Madonna — Merrimack College
Chris Schoeller, Chaminade-Madonna — Florida Tech
Brandon Auerbach, Douglas — South Alabama University
Connor Brian, Douglas — Middle Tennessee State University
John Rodriguez, Douglas — Florida International University
Tyler Evans, Flanagan — Florida Southern College
Luis Moriyon, Flanagan — Florida Institute of Technology
Zach Goberville, North Broward Prep — Tulane University
Xavier Edwards, North Broward Prep — Vanderbilt University
Dillon Abell, Pompano Beach — University of New Orleans
Chris Ajello, Pompano Beach — Asbury College
Chase Costello, Pompano Beach — Louisiana State University
Trevor Kniskern, Pompano Beach — Pepperdine University
Mike Schuler, Pompano Beach — Florida Atlantic University
Juan J Teixeira, Somerset Academy — Florida International University
Andres Antonini, St. Thomas Aquinas — University of Pittsburgh
Cade Fergus, St. Thomas Aquinas — George Washington University
Richard Grund, St. Thomas Aquinas — Fordham University
Ryan Moore, St. Thomas Aquinas — Rollins College
Caleb Roberts, St. Thomas Aquinas — University of North Carolina
Chris Ruckdeschel, St. Thomas Aquinas — Clemson University
Nathan Housen, Taravella — Florida International University
Danny Garcia, West Broward — Stetson University
Tyler Zayas, West Broward — Sante Fe College
Logan O’Neil, Westminster Academy — High Point University
Devin Roche, Westminster Academy — Farleigh Dickinson University
Alec Villanueva, Westminster Academy — St. Leo University

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