Connect with us


D9 Athletes make college commitments


Punxsutawney’s (from left) Braxton Giavedoni, John Matthews and Kaleb Young

The following list is most likely incomplete. If you have signed an NLI or have made a verbal committment to a college or university let us know by e-mailing us at 

Ten District 9 athletes recently signed National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the next level.

Six of the athletes committed to NCAA Division I programs including three from Punxsutawney.

Division I recruits are Punxsutawney’s John Matthews (baseball at Kent State), Kaleb Young (wrestling at Iowa) and Braxton Giavedoni (baseball at Penn State) as well as Brookville’s Taylor Ortz (wrestling at Clarion) and DuBois Central Catholic John Miknis (baseball at St. Bonaventure).


Brookville’s Taylor Ortz

Signing NLI’s to NCAA Division II schools are Karns City’s LeeAnn Gibson (women’s basketball at Slippery Rock), DuBois’ Adam Bankovich (baseball at Seton Hill), Keystone’s Lexis Twentier (women’s track and field at Slippery Rock) and Moniteau’s Derek Boben (baseball at Slippery Rock).


Shea Bloom – Curwensville – Wrestling at Clarion University


Shea Bloom

Curwensville’s Shea Bloom

Bloom, who spent two seasons at DuBois before transferring to Curwensville before last season, has won three District 9 title including at 138 pounds last year while putting together a career record of 104-18. He was also the Class AA regional runner-up at 138 pounds while finishing fifth in the state. He is a 3-time state qualifier.

John Matthews – Punxsutawney – Baseball at Kent State 

Matthews, a right-handed pitcher with a fastball in the 85 mph to 88 mph range according to He was 7-1 with a 1.68 ERA last year after going 7-0 with a 2.80 ERA in 2014.



Karns City’s LeeAnn Gibson

“I chose Kent State for the education and for the opportunity to play for one of the top baseball program in the country,” Matthews recently told

Kaleb Young – Punxsutawney – Wrestling at Iowa

Young finished fourth as a junior at the PIAA Class AAA championship after taking fifth as a sophomore. He has a career record of 79-8 including going 19-2 last year according to

Braxton Giavedoni – Punxsutawney – Baseball at Penn State

Giavedoni is an outfielder who hit .382 as a sophomore (junior year stats are not available). According to he runs a 6.63 60 and goes from home to first in 3.94 seconds.

DuBois' Adam Bankvoich

DuBois’ Adam Bankvoich

Taylor Ortz – Brookville – Wrestling at Clarion University 

Ortz has twice finished third at the PIAA Class AA meet and has a three-year career record of 112-16 including going 41-3 last year according to

John Miknis – Baseball at St. Bonaventure 

Miknis is a shortstop/right-handed pitcher for the Cardinals. He runs the 60 in 7.0 seconds and has a fastball in the low 80s according to

Moniteau's Derek Boben

Moniteau’s Derek Boben


LeeAnn Gibson – Karns City – Women’s Basketball at Slippery Rock

Gibson was a first-team All American Awards & Engraving All-District 9 performer last year when she led the Lady Gremlins to the D9 Class AA title by averaging 14 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.0 assists per game. She shot 56.5 percent from the field (122 of 216). Gibson went over the 1,000-career point mark in Karns City’s PIAA first-round loss to Burrell.

Keystone's Lexis Twentier

Keystone’s Lexis Twentier

Adam Banokovich – DuBois – Baseball at Seton Hill

Bannkovich is a career .371 hitter with, two homers, six doubles and a triple in his career. Last season, he hit .444 for the Beavers according to

Lexis Twentier – Keystone – Women’s Track & Field at Slippery Rock 

Twentier took ninth in the javelin (102-03) and 11th in the shot put (29-03.75) at the 2015 District 9 Class AA Track & Field championships while also running a leg on Keystone’s fourth-place 4×800-meter relay team.

Derek Boben – Moniteau – Baseball at Slippery Rock

Boben, a multi-sport star, is a shortstop in baseball who is a .366 career hitter with two home runs, a double and 18 RBIs in 31 career games. Last year, he hit .404 with a homer, seven RBIs and 13 runs scored for the Warriors.