Three top Oxford athletes sign letters of intent to compete at collegiate level12/02/2019 03:22PM ● By Steven Hoffman
A top wrestler and two teammates on the Oxford baseball team have signed letters of intent to compete at the collegiate level.
Kevin Quin, one of the leaders on a perennially strong Oxford wrestling team, is heading to Belmont-Abbey College in the fall of 2020. Brennan Rozich, an infielder on the baseball team, signed with Kutztown University, while Ryan Santangelo, a catcher for the Hornets, is heading to the University of Charleston (West Virginia) in the fall of 2020.
Oxford Area High School held a signing ceremony for the three athletes on Nov. 20.
Quin is about to start his fourth season on the varsity wrestling team. He made the varsity squad as a freshman, competing at 106 pounds even though he was a bit under-sized when compared to others in the weight class.
“It was tough,” Quin said. “I wrestled a lot of kids who were cutting weight to wrestle at 106.”
But wrestling against larger opponents pushed him to work harder. He picked up 23 wins as a freshman.
Then, as a sophomore, wrestling at 113 pounds, Quin picked up 27 wins against just 7 losses.
He was having an even better season as a junior when he suffered a fractured C5 vertebrae that ended his run in districts.
He underwent extensive physical therapy and worked hard to overcome the injury. Quin said that competing in such a rigorous sport has helped him learn how to set and achieve goals. He also credited his family and coaches with helping him deal with the adversity of suffering an injury. He is looking forward to the wrestling season that is about to get underway.
“I feel strong. I feel prepared,” he said.
He will likely compete at 132 pounds or 145 pounds as a senior, and he has a goal of making it to states this year. Signing to wrestle at Belmont-Abbey College is the realization of a longtime goal—Quin said that wrestling at the collegiate level has been something that he has wanted to do since he was in the third grade.
He said that his best memory as a part of the Oxford wrestling team is the camaraderie of being with his teammates and sharing his knowledge with younger wrestlers.
Like Quin, Rozich and Santangelo are looking forward to the upcoming season. In 2019, the Oxford baseball team posted a 10-8 record and qualified for the playoffs. Santangelo and Rozich were key contributors on that squad.
“It was a great year,” Santangelo said of the most recent season.
He hit .420 in 2019, which was the third-best average in the Ches-Mont League. He also primarily played catcher, a demanding position—and one that is important to any baseball team.
“You’re the quarterback on the field,” Santangelo said of the catching position. “I like being a leader on the team.”
Santangelo said that he has enjoyed the camaraderie that he has had with his teammates, and everyone is really excited about the upcoming season under new head baseball coach Tim Rector.
Rozich will once again be one of the leaders on the Oxford baseball team in 2020. He primarily plays second base on the diamond, and is also a player on the school’s basketball team.
Rozich said that one of his favorite aspects of his high school career has been developing a brotherhood with both the baseball and basketball teammates. He said that he decided to attend Kutztown University because the visit there went very well.
“I felt right at home,” he said. “The coach and I hit it off right away.”
He noted that he’s been playing with a core group of players in Oxford since he was nine years old, and everyone is looking forward to the next baseball season, especially the seniors on the team.
“This is our last season,” Rozich said. “We’d like to go further in the playoffs than this year—go out on a high note.”