Four Wilbraham & Monson Academy student-athletes extended their careers beyond high school, committing to play football at the collegiate level.
Joey Weidl ’23, Desmond Perezcastaneda ’23, Val Enghave ’23 and Tyler Piorier ’23 signed to compete at the next level during a ceremony in the WMA Athletic Center on April 14.
With more than 50 people in attendance, Joey (Wesleyan University), Desmond (Springfield College), Val (Dickinson College) and Tyler (University of Rhode Island) committed to their respective schools.
Quotes from Coach Jeff Vartabedian
On Desmond: “Desmond capped off a great career at WMA as one of the best leaders and captains in my time at the school. He was a positive leader who was all about the team and played with passion week in and week out. Desmond's versatility, toughness and work ethic will serve him very well at the next level. I am very excited that Springfield College, my alma mater, is getting such a great young man who can play offense or defense.”
On Tyler: “It was a pleasure having Tyler with us for his post-graduate year this year. He was a high impact player on offense, defense and special teams, while providing strong leadership on and off the field as a captain. As our go-to receiver, Tyler came down with many clutch receptions in big situations, was a superb shutdown corner on defense, and was essential to our special teams as our punter, kicker and return guy. Tyler's sure hands, athleticism, competitiveness, and knowledge of the game lead me to believe he will have much success at the University of Rhode Island.”
On Joey: “Watching Joey's development as a quality young man and football player over the last four years has been a real pleasure. As a senior captain, Joey was a real force at both tight end and defensive end this year. He was an excellent run blocker and one of our top receivers on offense, while his pass rush, defensive pursuit and tackling on defense was fantastic. Joey's hard work in the classroom and on the football field has given him a great opportunity to continue his academic and athletic career at Wesleyan University, where we expect he will continue to do great things.”
On Val: “Val has come a long way in his football career after leaving his home in Denmark to come play football in the US. His toughness, strong work ethic and versatility led to him becoming an excellent player for us as a linebacker on defense and guard on offense this year, while also being voted as a senior captain by his teammates. Val is a no-nonsense kind of guy who will do whatever is asked of him, does not seek the limelight, and simply wants to push himself to be better every day. I am so excited for Val and the opportunity he has to both study and play at the next level at Dickinson University.”
Quotes from the players
Val: “Friday night was an amazing night, a night I will never forget. I am extremely grateful for all the support from people showing up, both students and parents. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will keep with me throughout my life.”
Tyler: “It has always been a dream of mine growing up to play a sport at a high level after high school with whatever sport I chose. I had already been looking at playing at URI because they had been close to home and have grown in success over the years. When they gave me the opportunity to play for their team, I knew I couldn’t refuse.”
Joey: “This past Friday was an important step for my destiny as it confirmed the path I will be taking for the next four years. I chose to take my talents to Wesleyan University as they are one of the most prestigious schools in New England, also offering a strong brand of football as well. Being Division III, Wesleyan gives me the perfect balance between academics and football, with the goal of maximizing my potential in both fields. I’m looking forward to pursuing this next chapter in my life and I couldn’t thank WMA enough for helping me get there!”