By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/6/10
Conestoga senior midfielder Jason Klunder has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I lacrosse at Drexel University.
Klunder was a key member of a Pioneers team that went 24-2 and won the first District 1 boys’ championship last year before reaching the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) finals. Conestoga also went undefeated in winning the Central League crown.
Klunder was a second-team All-Central League and Honorable Mention All-Phillylacrosse.com selection. Klunder plays club lacrosse for Mesa Fresh 2010 and helped the squad finish fourth in last weekend’s Dick’s Tournament of Champions in Florida.
Klunder, also a standout soccer player, plans on majoring in Biological Sciences.
“I liked the city campus of Drexel and the co-op program that Drexel offers,” Klunder said, noting he considered several Ivy League schools as well as Lafayette and Holy Cross. Drexel is coached by first-year mentor Brian Voelker, a former Philadelphia Wing who left Penn to take the job when Chris Bates replaced Bill Tierney at Princeton.
Klunder said playing for Mesa Fresh was a special experience. Many of the players, most of which attend Conestoga, have been together for as many as 10 years and the strong team chemistry was always a plus.
“The Dick’s Sporting Goods tournament was very fun to play in and we had some great competition,” he said. “We would have liked to win our last tournament, but we all enjoyed playing in Florida.
“It is sad to know our group of kids will not be able to play together again as a whole, but we will remain friends and hopefully play in some men’s leagues together in the summer. Our team had so much success because we played a very unselfish game. Most all-star teams we see play individually, but because the core of our team has played together for almost 10 years we all played together very easily.”
Klunder will be joined at Drexel by Salesianum goalie Dan Rodgers, a West Chester native.
Klunder is one of seven Pioneer seniors to sign with a Division I college. The others are attackman Matt Smith and face-off specialist Ryan Buttenbaum (Lehigh), defenseman Casey Ikeda and midfielder Ryan Lord (Maryland), goalie Peter Zonino (Hobart), and attackman/midfielder Austin Rogusky (Loyola). Also, three juniors have committed to Division I schools, five seniors have committed to Division III schools and yet another senior will play at Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association national champion Michigan.
Klunder was very clear in his expectations for the 2010 season. “For the upcoming season, we expect nothing short of a state championship,” he said.