Six Oxford standout athletes sign letters of intent to play collegiate sports
● By Steven Hoffman
Cameron Baughman, Sam Blevins, Nate Ferro, Xavier Myers, Alex Schoessler, and Alijah Thomas all signed letters of intent to play their respective sports at the collegiate level during a signing ceremony at Oxford Area High School on June 5.
All six athletes had individual successes, but also helped their teams to strong performances during their careers at Oxford. Many of their family and friends, as well as coaches and Oxford athletic director Michael Price, turned out to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the school at the signing ceremony.
Schoessler and Baughman were teammates on the Oxford baseball team that compiled an 11-8 record and captured the Ches-Mont League’s American Division title in 2019.
Baughman was a first baseman, outfielder, and pitcher for Oxford. He is heading to Penn State Brandywine in the fall.
He also played soccer for four years in high school.
“Soccer was fun,” Baughman said, “but I really like the mental aspect of baseball.”
Baughman said that his personal highlights while playing for the Oxford’s baseball team included the team’s American Division title and a game against Great Valley during his senior season when the Hornets rallied from a 9-0 deficit to win the game, 14-9.
He’s looking forward to continuing to play baseball in college.
“I’d like to continue to improve and keep playing for as long as I can,” Baughman said.
Schoessler will be studying and playing baseball at Swarthmore College. He was a pitcher, a third baseman and a catcher for Oxford, earning Second Team All-League honors during his senior year. During his junior year, he caught every inning of every game.
“I’ve always enjoyed the sport,” Schoessler said, adding that his father was a catcher. He took to the extraordinarily demanding position naturally.
Thomas is an extremely talented athlete who will be playing football and studying at Lincoln University in the fall. In addition to playing football, he was a standout in track & field, where he ran the 4 X 100 relay and competed in the triple jump and long jump.
He was an outside linebacker and a wide receiver for Oxford’s football team that enjoyed a lot of success in recent years.
Thomas said that he prefers playing at the linebacker position because of his ability to read what the offense is doing.
He is looking forward to the opportunity to play football and study at Lincoln University.
“It’s the number-one HBCU (historically black college and university) for criminal justice,” Thomas said, explaining that he would like to be either a parole officer or a drug analyst after he graduates.
Myers will be playing football at Wesley College. What is particularly amazing about that is he only started playing football two years ago, after Oxford head coach Mike Means asked him if he would join the team because of his athletic ability.
Up to that point, Myers was a talented soccer player. His family lived in France, where soccer is very popular.
His athletic skills translated from the soccer field to the football field, but the sports are so different, Myers said, that he had a lot to learn.
He credited his coaches and teammates with helping him develop as a football player so quickly.
By his senior season, he was an All-League selection as a linebacker.
He’s very thankful for the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
“It’s amazing,” Myers said. “It’s awesome. I’m blessed. I really have to thank the coaches and my teammates for how they helped me.”
He’s looking forward to the challenge of playing at the next level.
“I’d like to play college football and have a good college career,” Myers explained. “I have a lot to learn and a lot to improve on. I just want to play football. I love the game.”
Blevins had the good fortune of being able to choose which sport he wanted to compete in at college—football or wrestling. In high school, he was a standout in both, earning First Team All-Ches-Mont League honors as a center on the football field, while also qualifying for states as a heavyweight wrestler.
“Choosing between football and wrestling was the hardest part for me,” Blevins explained.
He decided that wrestling at Messiah College was the best fit for him. He really liked meeting with the wrestling coaches at Messiah College.
“They made me feel most at home,” Blevins said, explaining that the opportunity to wrestle and to take part in the academic program at Messiah College was the best path forward for him.
“It will be a challenge mentally, physically, and spiritually,” Blevins said. “And that is important to me.”
Blevins said that one reason that he decided to wrestle at the collegiate level is because it’s an individual sport where hard work is rewarded.
“It’s one versus one,” he explained, “and you really get what you put into it.”
Ferro, a team leader on the Oxford football squad, is going to be playing football at Lebanon Valley College. He started playing football at the age of four and has always loved the sport.
He earned a spot on the varsity squad as a sophomore, and quickly developed into a team leader. He played safety for the Hornets.
His favorite moment as a Hornet came when he was a starter as a sophomore.
He said that his greatest strength as a football player is playing the game without fear.
“I am going as hard as I can all the time,” he explained.
Price thanked all the student-athletes for the time and commitment that they put in to playing sports while at Oxford.