Cherry Hill East Student Athlete’s College Commitments Part 3

May 30, 2023

Welcome to the third and final part of this years’ college commitments package. This package will feature six more East students who have decided to take their athletic talents to the next level. Be sure to also check out part one and part two to read about more East students who have committed.

Jake Janicki (’23) commits to Catholic University for football

Janicki+commits+to+Catholic+University+for+football

Courtesy of Jake Janicki

Janicki commits to Catholic University for football

Jake Janicki (‘23) has officially committed to Catholic University to continue his athletic and academic pursuits. Janicki’s football journey began during his freshman year, and since then, he has overcome challenges and found success. 

Outside of high school football, Janicki explained that there were limited opportunities to participate in organized football programs, apart from the occasional 7v7 competitions. Recalling the recruiting process, Janicki described it as both enjoyable and challenging. Ultimately, Janicki made the decision to commit to Catholic University due to their exceptional football program and the warm reception he received from the team. 

“It was difficult to choose one school,” he admitted. “Catholic University had as nice of a campus as any school I’ve seen, along with a great football program.”

When asked about the figures who inspired him during his early football career, Janicki immediately acknowledged the impact of Coach Ascola, his linebacker coach at East. In addition to skill development, Coach Ascola provided Janicki with valuable in-game experience by involving him in special teams opportunities. In addition to Ascola, Head Coach  Tyler Drob left an indelible mark on Janicki’s football journey. His mentorship extended beyond the field, as he played a vital role in facilitating Janicki’s recruitment and connecting him with college football programs.

“Coach Drob made the biggest impact,” Janicki shared. “He always pushed me to become a better player and leader, which eventually led to me becoming a team captain.” 

Throughout his high school football experience, Janicki characterized it as “fun and highly competitive.” The brotherhood among teammates and the thrill of facing rival teams fueled his passion for the game. Whether it was the intense practice sessions or the exhilarating game days, Janicki embraced every opportunity to showcase his skills and make a lasting impact.

Janicki’s most memorable moment playing for East was beating Haddon Township to win the conference. Janicki vividly recounted the week leading up to the game, following a tough loss against West. With relentless preparation, he studied Haddon Township’s offense and delivered a standout performance. Janicki’s exceptional game statistics included nine tackles, a tackle for loss, and an interception, solidifying his position as a key player in the victory. 

As Janicki embarks on his college football journey at Catholic University, he carries with him the invaluable experiences and lessons learned from his time at East. His commitment, dedication, and unwavering passion for the sport have undoubtedly set the stage for an exciting future. 

 

Meghan Finnegan (’23) commits to Delaware for swimming

Finnegan+commits+to+Delaware+for+swimming

Courtesy of Meghan Finnegan

Finnegan commits to Delaware for swimming

Meghan Finnegan (´23) has committed to the University of Delaware for swimming. Finnegan has been swimming for the past 14 years. She has been swimming for Cherry Hill East since her freshman year and for her club, Jersey Wahoos. Finnegan was at a swim meet when Delaware first found out about her. The meet was in July, and soon after, they reached out to Finnegan’s coaches. They then started to take a closer look at Finnegan and even went to her swim championship.

After speaking to the coaches, Finnegan set up an official tour of the school. Soon after the tour, she committed to the school. 

Finnegan doesn’t do just one stroke, ¨I do everything. I am an IMer¨ Finnegan stated. 

Finnegan is currently undecided with her major but always knew she wanted to swim in college. Finnegan works extremely hard and balances her athletic and academic career by taking advantage of her free time, especially in study halls. ¨I try to get most of my work done in school.¨

Finnegan’s biggest piece of advice to aspiring college athletes is to, ¨work hard and don’t let anything get away from you.¨

Finnegan states that her biggest inspiration was her mother, who supported her. 

Time management has been Finnegans biggest struggle throughout her time as a student-athlete. We hope Finnegan succeeds at the University of Delaware.

Peter Longo (’23) commits to Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham for baseball

Longo+commits+to+FDU-Florham+for+baseball

Longo commits to FDU-Florham for baseball

Peter Longo (‘23) has committed to Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham for baseball.

The Cougars catcher has been an integral part to the East baseball team over the past two seasons. In his junior season, Longo hit .333 with a home run and 16 RBIs. Additionally, Longo has hit three home runs so far this season while also driving in 17 runs. He is also known for his ability to throw out runners behind the plate and his ability to work very well with his pitchers.

Longo first started playing baseball at Cherry Hill Atlantic Little League when he was eight years old. His dad was often the manager of his teams and that helped him improve over the years. He would advance through the little league levels and play travel ball until he started to play for Beck Middle School. At Beck, Longo helped the team win the championship in his 8th grade season and was one of the top and most consistent hitters in the lineup.

Longo’s East career got off to a bad start with his freshman season being canceled because of Covid. That didn’t stop him from developing into one of the best players on the team. Longo notes that he had built great friendships with his teammates and that helps him on the field.

“East baseball has been one of the more fun programs I’ve ever played with,” Longo said. “The team is really like a band of brothers and it’s just one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of.”

Longo received 12 total offers during his recruitment process including from Penn State-Abbington, TCNJ, St Mary’s, and Chestnut Hill College. However, Longo chose FDU-Florham because he felt like it was the best fit for him in the end.

“I chose FDU-Florham because it was one of the nicer campuses I’ve been to and it really fit into my major,” Longo said. The coaches have a lot of confidence for me to come in there and be a starter and help with the team.

With the transition from being a high school to a college baseball player being difficult, Longo plans to work extra hard to prepare for the upcoming season. He plans to hit the weight room right when the East season ends and into the fall. Additionally, he is going to be at all of his team workouts from day one and learn from the more experienced players on his team. With the success and leadership that Longo has had behind the plate for the Cougars, there is no doubt that he will continue his success at the next level.

Josh Fadahunsi (’23) commits to Eastern University for basketball

Fadahunsi+commits+to+Eastern+for+basketball

Courtesy of Josh Fadahunsi

Fadahunsi commits to Eastern for basketball

Cherry Hill East basketball center Josh Fadahunsi (‘23) has committed to Eastern University.

After sporadically playing Junior Varsity last season, Fadahunsi stepped into a huge role as the team’s starting center this year. He averaged 4.6 points a game this season with 5.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Fadahunsi was a great rim protector all year long and got many great contests on layups by the other team. Additionally, he was selected to the Olympic Conference- American Division 2nd team at the end of the season.

Fadahunsi first played basketball when he was in 7th grade. He was a football player before that but decided to make the switch after realizing his skill sets were better for basketball. He played basketball in his freshman year at Monroe High School before transferring to East. He was cut his sophomore year and got covid at the beginning of his junior year which initially  made it tough for him to find his place within the program. However, Fadahunsi put in a lot of work this past offseason to become the varsity player he had always wanted to be. He feels that his hard work has paid off and he feels great about the impact he was able to make this past season. 

Following the season, Fadahunsi only had one offer from a school he did not want to go to. However, within the next month he started receiving offers from schools like Rutgers-Camden, Stockton, and Atlantic Cape Community College. He decided to choose Eastern in the end because he really liked the campus and liked the culture of the team. He felt like it was the only school that really gave him a chance while a lot of others didn’t. 

With the exciting season that Fadahunsi provided, it will be interesting to watch where his career will take him. With his great size and athleticism he can compete anywhere he goes. 

Ilana Chase (’23) commits to Rhode Island college for gymnastics

Chase+commits+to+Rhode+Island+for+gymnastics

Courtesy of Ilana Chase

Chase commits to Rhode Island for gymnastics

Ilana Chase has committed to Rhode Island College for Gymnastics. Chase started doing gymnastics at the age of three and has been playing her sport for the last 15 years. She goes to surgents elite gymnastics in Westfield, NJ. SInce East does not have a gymnastics team, she only does club gymnastics. She decided to do gymnastics in college because of her love for the sport. Ilana knew after her senior year she would not be ready to stop competing. 

“Like many other kid athletes, my childhood dream was to compete in college, so when I got the opportunity I took it. “

The main reason she chose Rhode Island College is because of the team dynamic and the coaching style. This is very different from what she saw from other teams, for example at the end of every practice, everyone goes around the circle and says something they think someone else did well that day. That really showed her that it was a positive team environment. She also picked Rhode Island College because of the amazing nursing program they have. She plans on majoring in Nursing with a dream to be a pediatric ICU nurse

“Even though I did not do gymnastics at East, I played soccer. While playing soccer she was also doing club gymnastics and every single person on the team would still support me and always ask how my competition was, even though it was a completely different sport.”

The biggest inspiration of her gymnastics career was attending International gymnastics camp at a young age. IGC taught her so many different things that did not just have to do with gymnastics. It also allowed her to meet people from all over who shared the same passion as her. 

Ilana is looking forward to meeting all the team members and hopefully helping her team compete at nationals next year. 

‘I am looking forward to living up to my childhood dream.” 

Kaitlyn Fahy (’23) commits to Widener University for swimming

Fahy+commits+to+Widener+for+swimming.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Fahy

Fahy commits to Widener for swimming.

Kaitlyn Fahy (‘23)  has committed to Widener University to continue her academic and swimming career. She started swimming at only 18 months old and competing at 7 years old to continue the family legacy in the field. Fahy has swam for Jersey Wahoos, Old Orchard, and of course, the East Girls Swim Team. 

Fahy’s swim career began watching many of her family members competing and winning awards for their successes. She decided to launch her own career in swimming because it was a way to connect to the school while making new friends. 

“Many of the friends I have made [on this team] I would consider family.” Says Fahy. 

Fahy has been very successful in her swimming career, winning the State Championship for the East team in both her freshman and senior years and winning the Cherry Bowl event in 2018 in the 50 freestyle event. 

Swimming has helped Fahy to grow as a dedicated and hardworking person, not only in the pool. It has taught her how to stay positive and always be hopeful for what the future might bring. Additionally, it has proven the value of having true friends by your side as a support system. 

Choosing Widener was not hard, as it has a fantastic nursing program and supportive swim team, a deal breaker for Fahy. 

Becoming a swimmer was not a hard decision for Fahy. Her love for the sport is evident through her commitment to the team, and now her commitment to Widener University. As Fahy begins this new chapter, we wish you the best of luck.

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