EAST ROCKHILL >> Oliver Jervis has enjoyed his football journey.
“It feels really nice,” the senior said while looking back at his Pennridge High School career. “Going from quarterback to D-line. I really enjoyed every step of it.
“Punting was definitely a highlight, no doubt about it,” he says with a smile. “The team aspect — as a younger kid, it wasn’t that important to me, but now that I’m older, Nick (Tarburton) and I got really close because of football and I made really close friends. That’s a big part of it. I wanna make friends in college and my teammates are gonna be the people in my wedding someday.”
Jervis will head to Division 1 Monmouth University (N.J.) next year, Tarburton fulfilled his dreams by committing to Penn State, and soccer standout Courtney Supp will also continue her athletic career on the D-1 level, headed to Lehigh University in the fall. All three signed college letters of intent Wednesday afternoon, in a ceremony held at Pennridge High.
“The biggest thing to me is the family aspect up there. As soon as I stepped on campus, it felt more like a family,” said Tarburton, who, along with Jervis, helped fuel Pennridge to an 11-3 finish this past season. “It’s unbelievable. The tradition there is just unreal. Everything about it, I just fell in love with.”
Tarburton, a 6-foot-4, 243-pound linebacker and tackle machine for the Rams, began to show promise way back when he was a 10th grader.
“My definition of a Division 1 football player is ‘can you dominate as a sophomore?’ Especially in our league,” said longtime coach Jeff Hollenbach, who retired after this past season, a season included a trip to the district semifinals. “If you really stand out as a sophomore in our league (Suburban One), then you have a chance, in my opinion.
“(Nick) dominated as a sophomore. He was First-Team All-League, he’s been All-State a couple years. And he really thinks the game. He is, of the many players I’ve coached now, maybe the most intense player on the field.”
Jervis has developed into a stabilizing force along the line. He’ll be playing on the offensive line for the Hawks and could play D-line as well. His punting skills also add a little something to his repertoire.
“Oliver just had a terrific year. We asked him to do all kinds of things,” Hollenbach said. “He will give everything he’s got to do well. With his frame (6-6, 250), his long arms — especially for an offensive tackle — are really important.”
Versatility is also a valuable commmodity, and it’s part of what makes Supp such a one-of-a-kind on the soccer field. She was recruited as a forward, the position she played for her club team, and was the defensive backbone of the Rams’ district-playoff squad.
“She is that kid that I could put anywhere,” Rams coach Audrey Anderson said. “She’s a good center mid, just a smart player. And she’s calm and composed all the time. In the back there, to have her so composed and such a good leader, I felt without her, we would have struggled.”
Supp, a player who Anderson said was very easy to rally around because of her desire and determination, will join a squad that is a clear contender in the Patriot League. And they also play just 45 minutes from Helman Field.
Said Supp of getting to play close to home: “There’s pros and cons to it, but overall I think once you’re on campus, you’re on campus. And my parents won’t have to drive forever to come to my games.”