Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/6/10
Easton midfielder Chris Varela has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division II lacrosse at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, N.Y.
Varela had 32 goals and 14 assists for the Red Rovers, who went 6-4 in the Lehigh Valley Conference and 14-7 overall last year while advancing to the league and District 11 finals. Varela – a four-year starter – also was a member of the Lehigh Valley team, which won gold medal winning at the Keystone State games.
“The campus there was really nice,” said Varela, who also considered Stony Brook and Seton Hill. “On my visit last summer, I stayed overnight with the team. They bonded like a family, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.”
A starting defensive end on Easton’s PIAA-AAAA quarterfinalist football team, Varela said he is undecided on a major but considering something in the engineering field.
NYIT, the 2008 NCAA Division II champion, went 4-2 in the East Coast Conference and 10-2 overall last year. Former assistant Bill Dunn will take over as head coach of the Bears, who are ranked fourth in the nation in Inside Lacrosse’s 2010 preseason poll.
“In the past five years, they’ve consistently been in the Division II Final Four,” Varela said. “To me, that was one of the main things that went into my decision. I wanted nothing more than to be part of that.”
Varela, whose Red Rovers teammate Ryan Scott is going to Rutgers, hopes to help Easton turn the tables in the Lehigh Valley Conference this spring. Last year the Rovers were defeated three times by nine goals or more by league and district champion Emmaus, which went on to reach the state quarterfinals.
“We hope things are different this year,” he said. “Getting to the championship again and beating (defending champ) Emmaus would be awesome.”