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COVID season: Honoring this year's small-college seniors

03/30/2021, 11:00am EDT
By CoBL Staff

Antoine Lewis (above) was a star for West Chester before he passed away this winter. (Photo: West Chester Athletics)

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

There are nearly 50 schools in the CoBL small-college coverage area, a box which stretches from Philadelphia to the Lehigh Valley and out to the center of PA and down to Harrisburg: 16 Division II programs spread across three conferences, and 32 D-III programs who compete in eight different leagues. 

The vast majority did not have a 2020-21 season. The handful that did, with only a couple exceptions, played no more than a half-dozen games; some played only one or two contests in the last few weeks, a last-ditch attempt to get their student-athletes the smallest semblance of normalcy in these COVID times.

For many of the seniors on those rosters, this lost season was also a lost opportunity to play a final year of college basketball, which for quite a few would have been their last season of organized basketball at any level. Some colleges and universities have been able to find work-arounds to let their student-athletes return, but others are finishing up their degrees and moving on.

CoBL reached out to the head coaches at all of these schools to give them a chance to highlight the players who didn’t get a chance to have a senior season, and who will be moving on into their professional careers next year. Some programs have some seniors leaving and some staying; others aren’t yet sure whether their seniors will return or not. We gave them the ability to say what they wanted about who they wanted, with only minor copy edits between their submission and publication.

We will continue to update this page as we receive more tributes (last update: 3/31/2021 at 9:30 AM) 

West Chester University
I would like to honor Antoine Lewis, senior sniper combo guard from New Rochelle, N.Y. Antoine, affectionately known as ‘Twizz,’ was the hardest working player we’ve had in recent years. His accomplishments were many and impact profound but his dedication and commitment to WCU and the game of basketball was unparalleled. 

Antoine was known for his gym rat mentality and extraordinary smile that lit up the room. Unfortunately, he passed away this winter, leaving us all with a heavy heart. However, his work ethic, leadership and legacy will live on through all of us. Rest easy number #5!!

— Damien Blair, head coach

Swarthmore College
Our program will be dealt a heavy blow with the graduation of our lone senior, Peter Foggo. Peter grew up in Swarthmore and attended nearby Strath Haven High School. When he tried out for the team back in 2017, he quickly won over our players and coaches with his focus, effort, and attitude. He was Our Kind of Guy from the very beginning, and his growth in his four years made that label even more glaring. At 6-foot-2, some years he was a big while in other seasons he played shooting guard. He filled in wherever we needed him, and his energy and positive attitude enhanced our team every day. Off the court, he was the funny guy, the one who was always chirping at his teammates. And, like most chirpers, he took as much as he gave out. Underneath Peter’s humorous exterior is an inner drive, a determined mentality that is as evident with his on-court hustle as it is when he’s hustling to get an internship or a job. Luckily, Peter’s new position will keep him in the Philadelphia area, so he will likely be good-naturedly trash-talking our opponents from his front row seat next season.

— Landry Kosmalski, head coach

Jesse Turkson (above, last season) helped Haverford improve over his four seasons at the school. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Haverford College
When Josh Radin and Jesse Turkson think back on their time with our basketball program at Haverford College, I hope that these two things are front of mind for both of them:

1.  7 - 10 - 16.  Those were the win totals for our program in their freshmen, sophomore, and junior years.  They both brought winning attitudes, competitive spirits, and all of their talent and energy to our group every day, and they were both integral to our program's improvement and success over the past four years.

2.  They will see their legacy play out over the next few years, as the returning members of our program take the reins with the 21-22 season approaching.  Josh and Jesse had every reason to be dejected, disappointed, and to withdraw from college basketball over the past few months, and they've done exactly the opposite.  They've been in the weightroom at 8am to lead the younger guys, they've been in the gym for practice to lead the younger guys, and they've been the mentors and teachers any college basketball program desperately needs to sustain success.  I couldn't be more proud to coach them both, and I couldn't be more grateful for Josh Radin and Jesse Turkson, our graduating class of 2021.

— Pat Doherty, head coach

Gettysburg College
I have worked closely with Chris Jack for the past two years and have the utmost respect for him. I have spent the past fourteen years in college athletics. I have been fortunate to have played, worked with and coached some high-character people. None of them has the drive, work ethic and competitive spirit of Chris Jack. Simply put, Chris is one of the greatest people, teammates and competitors I have ever seen. Chris possesses a tireless work ethic. He is always working on bettering himself and he understands on a higher level that in order to make our team better, he needs to go above and beyond the expectations set before him. His passion, energy and enthusiasm for success are contagious and every day he reminds me of why I coach…to coach people like him. Chris epitomizes what it means to be a Gettysburg College men’s basketball player and he will be missed.

— B.J. Dunne, head coach

Bryn Athyn College
For Bryn Athyn men’s sasketball seniors Tariq Moore and Marcell Curry, the journey started together and the journey ended together. And they would not have it any other way. Moore and Curry are childhood friends that grew up one block from each other in South Philadelphia. They played rec ball, AAU, and even high school together at Prep Charter. Upon graduating from Prep Charter the best friends went their separate ways for the first time. Moore chose Bryn Athyn College out of high school. Curry elected to do a year at Valley Forge Military College before transferring to Bryn Athyn for his final three years. 

Both Prep Charter alums paved their path at Bryn Athyn. Moore will leave the young program as one of the more decorated players in program history, including holding single season scoring and rebounding records. Moore was a typical Philly guard that would apply pressure on the offensive and defensive end and played bigger than his 5-11 size. Curry blazed his path as a glue guy in the rotation contributing wherever he could to help the team win. 

I am grateful for the year I got to spend with Riq and Cell. I was not the coach they chose and this season was not the one they envisioned for their senior year, but they showed up every day invested into our process. They made the most and the best out of a tough situation. I believe they both grew as people and improved as players. I am excited to see how they impact the people around them.

Moore graduates from Bryn Athyn with a degree in business and plans to pursue a career in business and entrepreneurship. Curry graduates with a degree in business and plans to explore graduate transfer options and obtain his MBA. 

-- Sean Westerlund, head coach

Lycoming College
Darius Dangerfield will be graduating this spring with a major in Corporate Communications and aspires to start a career in college athletics. He will be leaving Lycoming College as one of the more storied guards in its history. Darius has finished his career with over 900 points scored (would’ve surpassed 1000 this season with a full schedule) and 300 assists (5th All-time at Lycoming). He is a 2x MAC First Team Selection, 2020 MAC Commonwealth Championship MVP, and 2x MAC Champion in 2020 and 2021. His leadership and commitment has provided our team with a great example of what it takes to be a winner on and off the court. I know I can speak for the entire Lycoming community when I say we are proud of Darius, and we wish him more success in the future!

— Mike McGarvey, head coach

Gwynedd Mercy University
Jay Pebbles and Shane Ford, who are returning for one more season, plus Justin Collins, Jordan Perkins, and Don Spencer will be forever be engrained into our programs history for their major contributions to our school community and to our basketball program for their enthusiasm, culture development, competitiveness, creative and motivational personalities, and willingness to do whatever is asked of them on off the court. These young men have been so special to me and have created some of of my favorite memories in my 19 years. They came in as eager young college freshman and are leaving more accomplished, more mature, and more experienced productive members of our society. And as a coach, this makes me the most proud and all that I could ever ask for for every freshman entering into our program.  

On-court accomplishments include:

Inaugural Atlantic East Championship 2019
2 straight Championship Game Appearances
NCAA Tournament Appearance
NCAA Round of 32
ECAC Championship 2020
63- 22 overall (3 years)
34-8 League Record (3 Years)

-- John Baron, head coach

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