High school notebook: Trinity’s Cullings attracting Ivy interest
Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
Trinity quarterback Forrest Culling is shown at practice last season.
Trinity senior Forrest Cullings has never been one to back away from a challenge. Starting at quarterback for a young Class AAA team yielded a junior season that generated interest from college coaches, and his work in the classroom has only helped.
Cullings, a 6-4 dual-threat quarterback, is receiving significant interest from several Ivy League and Patriot League schools, including Penn, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Lehigh and Bucknell.
The strong-armed quarterback fits the mold of any offense as he possesses a strong arm, can escape the pass rush with proper footwork and his height allows him to find open receivers.
It’s Cullings’ work in the classroom that has created an opportunity to join the exclusive fraternity that is the Ivy League. He is ranked first in his class with a 4.7 grade-point average and has an SAT score of more than 2,000.
Trinity head coach Ryan Coyle credits Cullings’ work ethic for the opportunities he has earned, which include camp invites to Penn, Cornell and Columbia.
“Anyone who sees him in the weight room, performing at camps and in the film room; knows that his work ethic is second to none,” Coyle said. “His motor never stops and he has firm goals. He got us out of a lot of sticky situations last year that kept us in games.”
Few athletes are able to balance academics with athletics, while excelling at both, but the challenge is one Cullings embraces. He is a member of the National Honor Society and several other student organizations.
The soon-to-be senior takes pride in approaching football with the same analytical prowess needed for advanced coursework.
“Being a quarterback, you have to know everything for the game,” Cullings said. “You have to be really game smart, and that’s one of the things I try to do for myself. You have to get as prepared as you can so you can focus on the game as you are playing.”
Cullings attended Duquesne’s camp two weeks ago before performing with seven of his teammates at Pitt’s camp. The Hillers’ quarterback was joined by Aaron Britton, Chris Edwards, Robert West, Mac Chambers, Jacob Dobich, Nick Hanes and Toby Cullings, Trinity’s starting center and Forrest’s brother.
While interest from schools is far from a letter of admittance, Cullings’ mixture of mental aptitude and physical ability has him in position to continue Trinity’s tradition of molding future college football players. Few former Hillers have accomplished athletic feats on the Ivy League stage. He plans to pursue a degree in business.
“Ivy League schools obviously give you a great education,” Cullings said. “I want to play football in college. It’s something I really want to do and see where it takes me. Academics are my first priority. They give you an opportunity to get you anywhere you want to go in life. There are a lot of good schools, but the Ivy League is the most elite, and I want to challenge myself.”
Juniors shine at WBCA Showcase
The WPIAL Baseball Coaches Association held a showcase for junior high school baseball players to display their talents in front of college coaches and pro scouts.
Three local players finished the day with top-five times and measurements in their respective categories. Canon-McMillan junior right fielder Jared Beach finished third in the outfield throws with a 88 mph throw.
California junior Aaron Previsky had the best 60-yard dash time of the day with a time of 6.50, while Jonathan Spina of Washington was fifth (6.70).
Peters Township outfielder Frank Jezioro took third in the 60 with a time of 6.57 and his throw from the outfield of 86 mph tied for fourth.
Bethany adds two local players
Bethany College’s softball team, which already has five WPIAL players on its roster, added two of the best local players to its recruiting class.
Trinity outfielder Jasmine Fuqua and McGuffey pitcher Cassie Weiss committed to join the Bisons. Fuqua had a .400 batting average with eight home runs for the Hillers this spring and Weiss struck out 174 batters to lead the WPIAL while finishing the season with a 12-4 record.
WPIAL basketball championships moved
The WPIAL Board of Control voted Monday afternoon to move the boys and girls basketball championship games to Pitt’s Petersen Events Center for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
The move ends an extended agreement with Duquesne University.
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