Downingtown West rising senior defenseman/long stick midfielder Tyler Rankel has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at Robert Morris University.
Rankel was a first-team All-Ches-Mont League and Honorable Mention All-Phillylacrosse.com pick in 2009 when he helped the Whippets reach the second round of the District 1 tournament.
At Robert Morris, Rankel will join West teammate Ryan Higgins, am attackman who committed several weeks later.
Rankel, who plans to pursue sports management, was contacted by Robert Morris through an e-mail and knew of the western Pennsylvania school through Downingtown West grad Courtney Sicinski, who enjoyed a standout freshman year there in 2009.
“I checked out the campus and I really liked it,” he said. “It’s just 15 minutes away from Pittsburgh (in Moon Township). I like playing with Ryan Higgins, and maybe I won’t feel homesick as much.”
This summer Rankel played for HEADstrong Elite, helping the squad place fifth at Champ Camp 20. Rankel also played on the Chester County team that earned a bronze in the Keystone State Games and helped HEADstrong claim third place in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions in January.
Rankel, an Honors student, also is a standout ice hockey player who received the Union League award in May.
Downingtown West now has three seniors that have committed to Division I colleges; attackman Eric Sanders has committed to Albany. Seniors can sign National Letters of Intent during the early signing period Nov. 11-18.
“This is the first year we’ve had (several) guys recruited by Division I schools,” Rankel said. “I think next year is going to be one of our best seasons.”
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