It is hard to believe that yet another summer has come and gone. As quickly as students emptied out in May, they returned bit by bit this past week to prepare for the fall semester. The pleasant lull of summertime is turning into a tempest of Penn State pride that will erupt as soon as fall sports begin.
Penn State Football was recently ranked No. 6 by USA Today, its highest ranking by far in the past five years. This bodes well for the Lions who are still riding much of the success and motivation that swirled around the 2016 season.
Standouts like Saquon Barkley (Coplay, Pa.), Mark Allen (Hyattsville, Md.), and Andre Robinson (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) will be present in the runningbacks role this fall. Barkley has continued to impress over the summer, time and time again displaying his unrivaled work ethic. Barkley was even featured on ESPN’s Sport Science segment where he proved that no matter the condition, he can deliver a spectacular performance.
Trace McSorley (Ashburn, Va.), the scrappy yet poised quarterback who won our hearts last year, looks to continue his trend of fearlessness heading into the 2017 season. McSorley was recently named to the Manning Watch List, which takes into account quarterbacks’ bowl game performances. This is the sixth time McSorley has appeared on a watch list this summer.
Said Head Coach James Franklin of the team’s progress this summer: “We’re in a good place. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We took a nice step last year, but we’ve still got a lot of steps [to take] in every area that you could possibly imagine to continue in the direction that we want to go.”
The team will kick things off in true Penn State fashion with its first game at noon on Saturday, September 2 against Akron at Beaver Stadium.
Although much of the fall sports hype surrounds football, Women’s Volleyball always garners a large fan base, too.
After a slightly rougher season than usual in 2016, the women are looking to make a strong return to the court in 2017. The ladies are heading into the season ranked sixth.
The team will open its season next Friday and Saturday in Morgantown, W.V. in the West Virginia Tournament against Tennessee-Martin, University of Delaware, and West Virginia University.
Fans can look for leaders Ali Frantti (Spring Grove, Ill.), Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) to anchor the team in a trend of success. All three women proved themselves on the court last year as forces to be reckoned with. Frantti, Washington and Lee all recorded record numbers of kills in 2016.
The ladies’ first home tournament will begin on September 15 and will feature Wake Forest, Ohio, and Yale.
Wishing all students a safe and happy start to classes – get ready for Penn State sports to return in full swing in a couple short weeks!