Ardmore – A pair of senior Aces, Lower Merion trackman Romaine Rhoden and LM shortstop Jacob Stoller, will be continuing their college athletic careers in northern New Jersey.
Rhoden, who finished third in the long jump in the PIAA 3A state championships last spring, will continue his track career at Monmouth University. Stoller, a second team All-Main Line baseball selection last spring, will play the sport for Felician University in Rutherford, N.J.
The duo announced their decisions in front of a crowd of teammates, friends and family at a special ceremony at Lower Merion High School April 18.
Stoller, a third-year starting shortstop for LM (and a team captain) received feelers from several local college baseball programs. But he opted to play ball for the New Jersey school.
“I liked the coaches at Felician, and the team ran good practices,” said Stoller, who is captain of the LM baseball squad. “They’re a great team; plus, the Felician shortstop is graduating this spring, so that position is wide open. And [laughs] I like their school colors, green and yellow.”
The slick-fielding Stoller, a .300 hitter and a productive base-stealer for the Aces this spring, said his most memorable moment as a Lower Merion baseball player was “at baseball practice my sophomore year, when I found that I had made the varsity.”
Stoller, whose favorite baseball players are former Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and the Angels’ Mike Trout (who played for the same travel baseball team, Tri-State Arsenal, as did Stoller), plans to major in exercise sports science at Felician..
Like Stoller, Rhoden said he opted for a school where he could live on campus, but that wasn’t too far from home.
“As soon as I stepped on campus, I liked the school,” said Rhoden. “The campus is beautiful, and the [track] team there is really together, they have a good relationship to the coaches.”
Rhoden is a trackman for all seasons. Last spring, he finished third in the long jump at the PIAA 3A state championships last spring with a leap of 22-08.25, then placed fourth in the 200 meter run at indoor States last winter.
“I’ve had a lot of good mentors at Lower Merion – [teachers] Bill Quinn and Dr. Keenan, [track coaches] David VanHouten and Kevin London,” said Rhoden. “And it was great when our track team came together to win the Central League Meet last year.”
Rhoden plans to major in health studies or physical therapy at Monmouth.