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Ten PWHS athletes sign on spring National Signing Day

Ten PWHS athletes sign on spring National Signing Day
Ten PWHS student athletes in college gear

Congratulations to the ten Plymouth Whitemarsh High School student-athletes recognized on Wednesday, April 17—the 2024 spring National Signing Day for college athletics. 

Ben Backenstose, Lacrosse, Elizabethtown College

Backenstose signing

Ben Backenstose will be playing Lacrosse for the Division III Elizabethtown College Blue Jays next year. In his four years of varsity as a Colonial, Ben played Midfield and enjoyed challenging himself to grow. His favorite thing about lacrosse is that “it’s a game of runs, comebacks happen, and there’s never a reason to give up.”  Ben started with the Conshy Bulldogs and played club lacrosse for the Black Bear Lacrosse Club. He also played varsity soccer and participated in National Business Honor Society and Student Coalition. An honor roll student throughout his high school career, Ben plans to major in Business Administration at Elizabethtown. 

Nazye Boggs, Football, West Chester

Boggs signing

Nazye Boggs will be playing football for the Division II Rams at West Chester University. Nazye wore many hats for the Colonials, including Running Back, Strong Safety, Punter, Punt Returner, and Kick Returner, earning him first team all Suburban One League honors as a Running Back/Linebacker and Second Team All Area honors as a Linebacker/Defensive Back. He has 1,000 rushing yards, 1,500 all-purpose yards, 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He says that his PW career made him who he is today and taught him many valuable lessons not only about football but also about life. Outside of football, Nazye is also involved in Unified Bocce and was named to the Scholastic Honor Roll. He plans to study Business Management at West Chester. 

Jaden Colzie, Basketball, Thomas Jefferson University

Colzie Signing

Jaden Colzie will be playing basketball for the Division II Rams at Thomas Jefferson University next year. The 2023 District 1 Player of the Year, Jaden was the four-year varsity starting Point Guard for the Colonials. He averaged more than 17 points per game and ranks sixth in school history with 1,368 total career points. His highlights include his 1000-point game, where he scored 31 points against West Chester Henderson, the 2023 District Semifinal vs. Lower Merion, the 2023 District Final vs. Spring-Ford, the 2022 District first round vs. Central Bucks South, and the 2022 District second round vs. Downingtown West. He believes his PW career has helped him become a better leader on and off the court. Jaden has been playing basketball since he could walk and has been on different AAU teams, including Team Thrill, Philly Triple Threat, and BW Elite. At Thomas Jefferson, Jaden plans to major in Business. 

Olivia Eaton, Lacrosse, Swarthmore College

Eaton Signing

Olivia Eaton will be playing lacrosse next year with the Division III Swarthmore College Garnet. An attack for the Colonials, Olivia had about 30 goals, 42 assists, 78 ground balls, and 15 cause turnovers heading into the season this year. Her main highlights from PW were when the girls lacrosse team made it into the second round of playoffs her ninth grade year and first round of playoffs the year after. Her favorite thing about lacrosse is its history as a medicine game that—through collaboration and teamwork—connects her to her community, helps build strong bonds with teammates, and honors the Haudenosaunee peoples in its practice. She started playing lacrosse in third grade with the Conshy Bulldogs and has played club lacrosse with Dynasty Elite Lacrosse since eighth grade. 

Outside of sports, Olivia performed with the Colonial Players, is a writer for the Town Crier, serves as president of PW’s Book Club, and is a member of the Crochet Club and History Club. Academically, she was named a Pennsylvania Area Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association All Academic, earned a National African American recognition award in 2022, National Hispanic Recognition Award in 2023, and was twice named to the PWHS Honor Roll. Olivia will be majoring in Cognitive Science and Anthropology at Swarthmore. 

Tye Hines, Football, Eastern University

Hines Signing

Tye Hines will be playing football for the Division III Eastern University Eagles in the fall. A strong force on the Offensive Line for the Colonials, Tye has received Suburban One American All League Second Team and Honorable Mention honors. His favorite win was against Upper Dublin his sophomore year. He enjoys the brotherhood and competition of the sport and is looking forward to helping build the football program at Eastern University from the ground up. Outside of school, Tye runs a sports photography business and plans to major in Business Administration at Eastern.

Jaeshaun Johnson, Football, Eastern University

Jaeshaun Johnson signing

Jaeshaun Johnson will also be playing football for the Division III Eastern University Eagles in the fall. Jaeshaun played Defensive End and Defensive Tackle for the Colonials and holds the win against Upper Moreland and this year’s Senior Night as highlights of his career at PW. He’s looking forward to improving as an athlete in college and simply continuing to have fun playing the sport he loves. 

Taeshaun Johnson, Track and Field, Arcadia University

Taeshaun Johnson signing

Taeshaun Johnson will be competing as part of the Track and Field Team for the Arcadia University Knights. Taeshaun participates in the triple jump and long jump for the Colonials, With personal bests so far as 19.6 feet in the long jump and 42.3 feet in the triple jump. The highlight of his PW career was the first time he passed the 40-foot mark in the triple jump. A relative newcomer to the sport, Taeshaun joined the team in his junior year and earned the Most Improved Player award. His favorite thing about the sport is how hard it is, and he is looking forward to the competitiveness of college sports. Taeshaun also played football for the Colonials. He plans to study Business at Arcadia.

Bryant McKay, Track and Field, Mount St. Mary's University

McKay signing

Bryant McKay will be running track for the Division I Mountaineers at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland next year. School record holder as well as state and national qualifier in the indoor 200-meter dash and 4x200 relay, Bryant runs the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relays for the Colonials. His highlights include breaking the indoor 200-meter record in New York City twice, breaking the 23-second barrier in outdoor his junior year, and running his personal best after a two-month injury recovery in the summer with the Conshohocken Electric Force. He also ran the 100, 200, and 400-meter dash events at the AAU Outdoor Nationals. His favorite thing about the sport is that it’s very dependent on how you carry yourself and perform as an individual. Bryant is also involved with the Black Cultural Awareness Club and has made the Honor Roll the last two years. At Mount St. Mary’s University, Bryant will be majoring in Health Studies.

Natalie Small, Volleyball, East Stroudsburg University

Small signing

Natalie Small will be playing volleyball for the Division II East Stroudsburg University Warriors next year. The 2023 Varsity Captain and Most Valuable Player, Natalie was a Middle Blocker for the Colonials and was first team all league and third team all district the past two years. The three-year varsity player had 96 aces, 415 kills, 73 blocks, and an 88% serve percentage. Her career highlights include being two-time Suburban One League champs and going to district finals and the first round of states in 2022. Natalie started playing volleyball in seventh grade when her father told her “there are not six-foot tall cheerleaders.” She has played school volleyball each year since then and competes in club volleyball year round. At PW, Natalie is also a member of the Intersectional Feminism Club and Environmental Concerns Club. She plans to double major in Chemistry and Criminal Justice at East Stroudsburg.  

Aaron Taylor, Swimming, West Virginia Wesleyan

Taylor signing

Aaron Taylor will be swimming for the Division II West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats next year. Aaron is a distance freestyle swimmer. He made the Mid-Atlantic Senior Championships cut twice in the 1650-yard race. His favorite thing about swimming is that he finds that it is a great time to think. Aaron is also a member of the Sarah Smiles and UNICEF clubs and will be studying Computer Science at West Virginia Wesleyan.