With Penn’s new Class of 2021, the group of incoming freshmen will undoubtedly make a major impact the athletic fields — but where will its superstars come from? In the spirit of admissions season, DP Sports set out to find out.
With a bit of research, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten high schools to produce the best current varsity athletes at Penn. Ultimately, the list isn’t perfect: Due to potential issues like judging team success vs. individual success, which sports are more difficult to succeed in than others, how much the quality or quantity of a certain school’s athletes matters and so on, it was simply impossible to come up with a pure numerical formula that would’ve been fair to all parties.
But with all that said, the demographics of Penn’s 852 current student-athletes are broken down below. Here’s the final countdown of whose alma maters are the best:
10. State College Area (State College, Pa.)
Though State College only sent three varsity athletes to University City, it’s their quality over quantity that allowed them to barely sneak into the top 10. The public high school sent Penn junior gymnast Kyra Levi, a captain and 2017 ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year who recently qualified for her third straight USA Gymnastics Collegiate Nationals, and whose career-high score of 9.900 on bars ranks third in Penn history. State College also produced sophomore field hockey defender Paige Meily, who had a major breakout season in 2016 after moving positions en route to tying for the team lead in assists and earning both Academic All-Ivy and second team All-Ivy honors. Speaking of breakouts, freshman baseball second baseman Chris Adams has come out of nowhere to dominate early in his career, holding a .299 batting average that ranks third on the team.
Full list: Paige Meily (field hockey), Kyra Levi (gymnastics), Chris Adams (baseball)
9. Brunswick (Greenwich, Conn.)
Penn men’s squash coach Gilly Lane is awfully thankful for the existence of this private K-12 school. While Brunswick produced a solid total of eight current Penn varsity student-athletes, it’s clear that the Ringe Squash Courts are where the school has made its greatest impact. Junior Hayes Murphy has already asserted himself as one of the top players in school history, earning CSA second team All-American honors in 2016 before leading Penn with a 12-5 record this year. And right behind him was freshman teammate David Yacobucci, who cracked Penn’s starting nine as a rookie, even making it all the way to the CSA Individual tournament before falling in the quarterfinals of the Molloy division.
Full list: Eric Ganshaw (men’s golf), Will Bass (heavyweight rowing), Thomas Kern (heavyweight rowing), Matt Marvin (heavyweight rowing), Andreas Kern (lightweight rowing), Hayes Murphy (men’s squash), David Yacobucci (men’s squash), Jon Errico (wrestling)
8. Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles, CA)
The only school outside of Pennsylvania or the tri-state area to produce at least five current Penn athletes, Harvard-Westlake snags the No. 8 spot. The private 7-12 school is led by a pair of dominant fencers, most notably including sophomore epee standout Justin Yoo, who is coming off a phenomenal second-place finish in his primary event at the NCAA National Championships to earn All-American honors for his second straight year. And while teammate and junior Jake Raynis didn’t qualify for NCAAs this year, he does have his own All-America berth to claim from his freshman season in 2015.
Full list: Cole Jacobson (sprint football), Jake Raynis (men’s fencing), Justin Yoo (men’s fencing), Hassan Smith (football), Daniel Furman (men’s golf), Isabelle Wolff (women’s rowing), Alec Hsing (men’s swimming)
7. Greenwich (Greenwich, Conn.)
The highest New England school on the list, Greenwich slides into the seventh spot with a strong group of six Penn athletes. Leading the way for the Cardinal is unquestionably sophomore men’s tennis superstar Kyle Mautner, the Quakers’ consistent No. 1 player who earned first team All-Ivy honors as a rookie and seems to be on the way to repeating that with a stellar 11-5 record so far this season. The public high school also produced sophomore swimmer Thomas Dillinger, who holds a school record as part of the 400 freestyle relay, and senior women’s rower Natalie Reynolds, a two-year captain who was named first team Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-Region in 2016.
Full list: Faran Savitz (men’s fencing), Andrew Bologna (men’s swimming and diving), Thomas Dillinger (men’s swimming), Kyle Mautner (men’s tennis), Alexa Murray (field hockey), Natalie Reynolds (women’s rowing)
6. West Windsor Plainsboro South (Princeton Junction, N.J.)
Despite its proximity to a certain major rival of Penn’s, West Windsor managed to give the Red and Blue a very nice group of six current athletes. A pair of gridiron stars led the way for the public high school, although the two were on different teams in college, as football senior running back Brian Schoenauer (fifth in the Ivy League in rushing yards in 2015) and sprint football senior defensive end Pat Boyle (led the CSFL in sacks in 2016) both thrived on their respective squads after playing together as high schoolers. The West Windsor Class of 2013 also gave Penn senior women’s fencer Dana Kong, who recently qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career and boosted the Red and Blue to a solid eighth-place national finish.
Full list: Brian Schoenauer (football), Christina Rancan (women’s cross country and track and field), Kathryn Schoenauer (women’s track and field), Kathryn Khaw (women’s fencing), Dana Kong (women’s fencing), Patrick Boyle (sprint football)
5. Malvern (Malvern, Pa.)
The Philadelphia Main Line begins to dominate here, as Malvern comes in at fifth with a solid list of nine Penn athletes. The 6-12 prep school produced a group of five current Penn men’s lacrosse players, led by junior Kevin McGeary, whose 19 points this season rank second on the team. Of course, the Friars’ alumni’s prowess on the lacrosse field should be no surprise given their high school’s history — the team won the Pennsylvania state championship with a perfect 24-0 mark in McGeary’s senior year, including a 10-9 playoff victory over Haverford, a school heard from later in this list. Outside the lacrosse field, another major Malvern alum is junior men’s swimmer CJ Schaffer, who holds the school record in the 100-yard backstroke and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 breast last summer.
Full list: Billy Murphy (sprint football); Adam Goldner, Chris Hilburn, Kevin McGeary, Mike Mulqueen and Ryan Murray (men’s lacrosse); Brett Allan (lightweight rowing); CJ Schaffer and Will Schaffer (men’s swimming)
4. Germantown Academy (Fort Washington, Pa.)
Another local school saw some major athletes stay close to home, as Germantown takes fourth place with a strong group of seven current Penn athletes. The private Pre-K-12 school got a massive boost from a pair of 2016 graduates who wasted no time breaking out at the collegiate level — freshman sprint football center Matt Hermann earned second team All-CSFL honors, and freshman basketball guard Devon Goodman was one of the team’s most electric offensive threats once conference play rolled around.
Still, it wasn’t only rookies who made major impacts. Women’s rowing senior Alex Takei has been a mainstay in the boat for the Quakers, competing in the team’s Varsity 8 at last year’s Ivy Championships and earning CRCA National Scholar-Athlete honors in the process. Elsewhere in the water, sophomore swimmer Madison Visco earned second team All-Ivy honors in two events as a freshman and contributed to a school record in the 800 freestyle relay.
Full list: Matt Hermann (sprint football); Devon Goodman (men’s basketball); Kendall Grasela (women’s basketball); Alex Takei (women’s rowing); Meagan Dollard, Madison Visco and Carolyn Yang (women’s swimming)
3. Episcopal (Newtown Square, Pa.)
Unlike the schools ranked ahead of it, Episcopal is noteworthy for its extreme balance — its seven current Penn student-athletes are scattered across seven different varsity teams. Among the standouts? The lacrosse field isn’t a bad place to start, as senior defender Kevin Gayhardt has been one of Penn’s most reliable figures this season with 18 ground balls.
But beyond him, the private K-12 school also boasts field hockey senior Claire Kneizys, a team captain who was named Academic All-Ivy as a result of her strong 2016 campaign. And then there’s women’s squash senior Grace Van Arkel, who secured a stellar 36-10 record over her Penn career and was crucial in boosting the Quakers to two straight national championship appearances.
Full list: James Konopka (lightweight rowing), Katie Harlow (women’s rowing), Adam Strouss (football), Kevin Gayhardt (men’s lacrosse), Aaron Kim (men’s squash), Grace Van Arkel (women’s squash), Claire Kneizys (field hockey)
2. Manhasset (Manhasset, N.Y.)
The highest-placing school outside the Philly area, there’s only one field the Manhasset alumni fare especially well in — but their dominance there is enough to crack the top two. Of the seven Penn athletes to hail from the 7-12 public school, six are lacrosse players, with two on Penn men’s team and four on the women’s. For the men, Manhasset’s alumni group is led by sophomore attackman Tyler Dunn, who’s played a major role since arriving on campus and whose 13 goals this season are second on the team.
As for the women, depth is the name of the game, with the Indians featuring a trio of regular Penn players in senior Sarah Barcia, junior Natalie Stefan and freshman sensation Erin Barry, recently named to the Inside Lacrosse National Rookie of the Year Watch List. For good measure, the lone Manhasset alum to play a different sport, women’s rowing junior Sarah Henry, earned CRCA National Scholar-Athlete honors last season to wrap things up nicely.
Full list: Tyler Dunn and James Farrell (men’s lacrosse); Sarah Barcia, Erin Barry, Katherine Markham and Natalie Stefan (women’s lacrosse); Sarah Henry (women’s rowing)
1. Haverford (Haverford, Pa.)
With a staggering 12 varsity athletes to have come from the local high school, Haverford takes the cake as the top factory for future Penn stars. While the all-boys K-12 prep school’s depth is certainly impressive, it’s on the lacrosse field where the , accounting for five players currently on Penn’s men’s team.
And it’s not like the players are too shabby either, as the group includes reigning USILA All-American Connor Keating and junior Reilly Hupfeldt, whose 11 goals rank fourth on the team. Unsurprisingly, Haverford’s been a major powerhouse in recent years on the lacrosse field, with the 2015 squad finishing atop the LaxPower national poll and being referred to by USA Today as arguably the top team in high school history.
But lax crew is far from all the school has to offer — seven other active Penn athletes hail from the institution, including sophomore football starting kicker Jack Soslow and senior men’s squash sensation BG Lemmon, whose fifteen wins in 2015-16 set an all-time single season school record. The bottom line is that the Haverford alumni get it done across all fields like no other school does, and for that, they seize the top spot.
Full list of athletes: Aron Morgan and Jack Soslow (football); Reilly Hupfeldt, Connor Keating, Noah Lejman, Keyveat Postell and Alex deMarco (men’s lacrosse); Brendan Burns and Gerard Hoeltzel (lightweight rowing), BG Lemmon (men’s squash); Jimmy Jameson and Matt Haigh (men’s swimming)
Blair Academy (N.J.)
Frank Mattiace (wrestling), Caleb Richardson (wrestling), Haley Gelberg (field hockey)
Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.)
AJ Brodeur (men’s basketball), Jackson Donahue (men’s basketball), Collin McManus (men’s basketball), Louise Tanski (women’s rowing)
Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.)
Clark Mangini (men’s cross country and track and field), John Vaiani (men’s fencing), Matt Nardella (men’s tennis), Anna Schug (women’s track and field)
La Salle (Pa.)
Casey Kent (wrestling), Kevin Lajeunesse (sprint football), Jake Ford (lightweight rowing), Vincent Armetta (lightweight rowing), Andrew Barnish (heavyweight rowing)
Robbie Arancio (football), Michael Bicknese (men’s lacrosse), JJ McBride (men’s lacrosse), Mike Benz (men’s track and field), Peter Chan (men’s track), Scott Forbes (men’s soccer)
St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
Tommy Dennis (football), Joe Licciardi (men’s lacrosse), James Leddy (men’s track and field), Freddie Dunau (wrestling), Emily O’Neill (women’s lacrosse)
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