LANGHORNE — Nate Hall was Neshaminy’s featured back in 2012. But graduation took him down the road to Albright College and up stepped junior tailback D’Andre Pollard.
And oh what a year Pollard posted in 2013, rushing for nearly 3,000 yards. The 2,928 yards he toted the pigskin that year was the sixth highest single season varsity rushing total in Pennsylvania history.
D’Andre reached the end zone 39 times that year, one in which the Skins got past their old nemesis North Penn and captured the District 1-AAAA championship.
Pollard highlighted a group of a dozen student-athletes who committed to college athletic programs today (Feb. 4) at Neshaminy High School.
D’Andre is heading to Division I-FCS Villanova.
“He has a lot of God-given ability,’ said former Neshaminy football coach Mark Schmidt. “But he made himself into a super football player.’
The work put in by Pollard in the weight room and on the practice field set him apart from others, said Schmidt.
“He set the tone with his work ethic,’ the coach commented. “The older guys had a lot of respect for him and the offensive line took a lot of pride in him.’
When summer workouts began that year, there was competition between Pollard and senior Trokon Buesmaill. When the 12th-grader was injured, the ball was handed off to D’Andre, in this case, literally.
“He had an opportunity to step out in front and take the team a step in the right direction,’ said Schmidt. “Ever since then, it’s been game on.’
In the season opener that year, Pollard ran for two touchdowns in a 33-0 victory over Northeast. The following week, he reached paydirt three times in a 39-0 victory over Downingtown West.
“When he puts his foot on the ground, he sees openings a lot of other guys don’t see,’ said Schmidt. “There’s something very special taking place when that happens.’
In a 42-7 District 1 title win over North Penn, Pollard set a new school rushing record on his first carry when he eclipsed the previous mark held by Jamar Brittingham (2,585 yards). He finished the game with 220 yards and four touchdowns in the Skins’ first district championship since 2004.
D’Andre has had a host of postseason accolades heaped upon him the last two years including 2013 Pennsylvania Football Writers AAAA Player of the Year honors. He was also named First Team All-State by EasternPAFootball.com and the PA Football News after last season. For his career, he has rushed for 4,356 yards and 54 touchdowns.
When he arrives on the Main Line, Pollard will have to compete with another Bucks County senior who is headed to the Wildcats — Archbishop Wood running back Jarett McClenton, who carried the football last fall for a school-record 2,188 yards and 37 touchdowns while helping the Vikings to their third PIAA Class AAA title in the last four seasons.
Pollard was joined today (Feb. 4) — National Signing Day — by softball standouts Samantha Offenback and Nikki Wild. The catcher Offenback is headed to Long Island University while Wild, a third baseman for Neshaminy, is going to Rhode Island where the Rams plan to play her at backstop. Both are Division I programs.
Soccer players Kenny Herrmann and Katie McCoy are headed to Division II Bloomsburg and D-I Temple, respectively. In addition to leading the Skins with 14 goals this season, Herrmann leads a group of 13 soccer players to graduation including James McCourt, Jamen Rowan, Devlin Metee, Kevin Goetz, Zach Albarran, Jesse Huberfeld, Avery Herder, Ben Matzke, Rich Laguerre, Larry Geisler, Dan Lentz and Nick Rose. The group claimed the last three Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference titles.
Joining Pollard in a group of three football recruits was linebacker Matt Magdelinskas, who is taking his game to West Chester along with defensive back J.R. Stevens, who will play at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Both schools are Division II programs.
If he is going to play for the Golden Rams, Magdelinskas will have to learn how to get along with former Pennsbury standouts Dante Devine and Brandon Pepper. While Devine made just 15 tackles last season after returning to WCU after a one-year hiatus, Pepper led the Rams with five interceptions and ranked second with seven pass breakups.
Meanwhile, multi-sport athlete Fran Donato has decided to play lacrosse in college, taking her game to Division I St. Joseph’s. Teammate JoAnne Mamie is headed to Division II Holy Family University.
Track star Cheyenne Oswald will do her running next year at Division I Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Teammate David Marrington is going to D-I Penn State. Oswald runs an 8.34 in the 60-meter dash and she also has fast times in the 100 (12.85), 200 (25.88), and 400 (57.37). Dave is a hurdler and he has fast times in the 110 hurdles (14.70), the 300 hurdles (38.04) and the 400 hurdles (53.37). He’s also done the 400-meter dash in 51.88.
Baseball player Kyle Skeels, the starting catcher for the Skins the past two seasons, is heading to D-I Coastal Carolina University.
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