As many Pace students excel in their athletic extracurricular activities many decided to continue their careers at the next level. Ranging from NCAA Division I to Division III, the class of 2022 excelled in sports, as per usual, sending athletes to college for almost every sport. Here’s a complete list of last year’s collegiate athletes.
Xavier Agostino, Harvard University, (football), RJ Austin – Vanderbilt University, (baseball), William Baker – Hendrix College, (golf), Nile Bennett – Birmingham Southern College, (football), Edward & George Blaha – Columbia University, (cross-country and track & field), Justin Bowick – Eastern Illinois University, (football), John Catherman – Princeton University, (track & field), Jayden Gasque – North Carolina A&T State University, (football), Gabby Hudson – Oglethorpe University, (basketball), Victor Ovalle-Mares – Hampden-Sydney College, (soccer), Paul Ramseur – Washington & Lee University, (baseball), Josh Reed – University of Cincinnati, (basketball), Hunter Rocker – Washington University in St. Louis, (football), Jae Williams – University of Alabama-Birmingham, (baseball), Jaxon Willoughby – Grinnell College, (soccer).
Baseball prodigy, RJ Austin, thrived on the diamond, being one of the most highly touted players in the state, and country. All around utility player, throwing 92 mph off the mound in high school, excelling at shortstop, being a great right-handed hitter and being to play anywhere asked of him, he can do it all. Austin amassed more honors and achievements than nearly any other player in school history. He had a Perfect Game rating of 10(out of 10), being projected third in the MLB draft, All-American accolades, received offers from any college baseball program in the country one could want and much, much more. RJ decided to postpone his declaration for the draft and committed to not just one of the best universities in the country, but undeniably, the best college baseball program, at Vanderbilt University. RJ is looking to follow in the footsteps of the long line of accomplished players from Vandy, and not just excel in college but also in the big leagues.
Basketball phenomenon, Josh Reed, who helped the Pace men’s hoops team win two state championships and compete in the prestigious Geico National Tournament, had a plethora of universities to accept full scholarship offers in hopes of being their next best star. After garnering offers from Tulane, BC, UGA, Rice, Penn, Clemson, Butler, Northwestern and many more, eventually commiting to the University of Cinncinati. Jreed exclaimed his love for his new school saying, “I’m really happy I chose Cinncinati. The city is amazing and the people here are even better. I love getting to go to the football games on Saturdays and getting to bond with my teammates.” Reed’s big frame, athleticism, excellent vision and knockdown jumper is more than enough for him to succeed at the next level. Furthermore, Reed is looking to see some playing time as a true freshman being early off the bench, hopefully, winning their conference and then competing in the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Stud baseball player, Paul Ramseur, continued his baseball career at Washington and Lee. Ramseur excelled at Pace, being a clutch, walk-off hitter against Lovett, and a vital part of the Knight’s success last year as a left-handed pitcher and outfielder. So far Ramseur is loving being a general at W and L. “I’m really enjoying myself at W and L. I love that I get to continue my baseball career on a winning team and further my passion for sports medicine, studying in a great biology program and having a lot of fun!” Furthermore, the more accomplished athletes now can accept NIL brand deals and be able to make money for all their hard work and partner with brands they like. Paul is partnered with Lifestyle Bands and even has a code, Paul27, that can give the consumer a discount, with some of the proceeds going to him.
Star runners, George and Edward Blaha, continued their running careers in the Ivy League at Columbia University, running long-distance events on the track team and competing on the cross country team. The brothers helped Pace for all four years, dominating the state of Georgia together in both sports. After numerous accolades and achievements, they decided to commit to Columbia over many other offers due to the incredible prestige of this university. Although a very different atmosphere from Pace the twins are continuing to thrive. “I went to Indiana University for my first varsity race and also raced at Lehigh University in one of the biggest races in the country. I have been adjusting to life as a student-athlete, running more mileage and doing more intense training than I’ve ever done before, so I’m excited to see how my season goes. Nonetheless, it has been a really fun experience so far!” says George Blaha. The twins are also hoping to partner with some NYC-based brands in the future even though NIL deals tend to be hard to come by for track and field athletes.
Swiss army knife on the football field and academic weapon in the classroom, Hunter Rocker, continued his football success at Washington University in St. Louis. For the Knights, Rocker played at numerous positions including, tight end, defensive line, offensive line and wideout. For the WashU Bears, Huntmode is playing defensive tackle. So far, Hunter is loving his decision, “Football has been a great experience at WashU, especially with the great education on top of it. The team is a brotherhood where we’re always there for each other on and off the field.” So far the team is 3-0 with Rocker working his way up the ranks making an impact in any way possible. As per usual he is continuing his academic perseverance, majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in aerospace engineering. He is also hoping to secure a Barstool Sports brand deal in the future.