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Six area players named LV Scholar-Athlete nominees

The Lehigh Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame recently announced this year’s Lehigh Valley Football Scholar-Athlete nominees.

One senior player from each of 34 high schools, along with players from six local colleges, will represent their teams at the event, which is slated for March 5 at 4:30 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center at the intersection of Route 22 and 512.

Area student-athletes who will be honored at the event are Paul Rutledge, Jim Thorpe; Luke Blauch, Lehighton; Ethan Karpowich, Northern Lehigh; Samuel John Mauro, Northwestern; Kendall Robinson, Palmerton; and Oluwafeola Olaniyan, Pleasant Valley.

Other high school scholar-athletes are: Jharon Johnson, Allen; Griffin Patridge, Allentown Central Catholic; Ashton Kluska, Bangor; Mark Mulhern, Bethlehem Catholic; Javier Sobrado, Catasauqua; Daniel Antar, Dieruff; Jordan Thompson, East Stroudsburg North; Jakob Patrick, East Stroudsburg South; Austin Martellucci, Easton; Dylan Darville, Emmaus; Mayson Terrell, Executive Education Academy; Owen Johnson, Freedom; Jordan Bartholomew, Liberty; Devin Tavares, Nazareth; Carson Czarnecki, Northampton; Mason Ludlow, Notre Dame; Kai Stiansen, Palisades; Jack T. Harrison, Parkland; Kristoffer Kessler, Pen Argyl; Dylan York, Phillipsburg; Owen Shaffer, Pocono Mountain East; Joseph Ewing, Pocono Mountain West; Jacob Ashton Gibbons, Salisbury: Tyler Pfizenmayer, Saucon Valley; Nicholas Ventresca, Southern Lehigh; Aiden Herman, Stroudsburg; Joseph Hahn, Whitehall; and Kenneth Steckel, Wilson.

College scholar-athletes are: Anthony Capitini, East Stroudsburg; Jerome Kapp, Kutztown; Dylan Crossen, Lafayette; Jalen Burbage, Lehigh; Javier Espinal-Katz, Moravian; Kevin Olifiers, Muhlenberg.

Following are the bios of the area scholar-athletes:

Paul Rutledge, Jim Thorpe

An offensive and defensive tackle, Rutledge ranks in the top 6% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He is a member of various school sponsored clubs, including serving as the Future Business Leaders of America President. He volunteers as a booster club football junior coach.

Luke Blauch, Lehighton

A tight end and defensive end, Blauch ranks in the top 12% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and served as a team captain. He is a member of various school sponsored clubs, serving as a club officer, as well as being the School Newspaper Editor and Yearbook Editor. He is the Director of School Media, and does all the posts on @lehightontribe on Instagram.

Ethan Karpowich,

Northern Lehigh

A fullback, tight end, and linebacker, Karpowich ranks in the top 6% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and served as a team captain, while being a four-year starter at linebacker. He is a Class Officer and member of various school sponsored clubs or activities. He plans to attend a four-year university to study Engineering.

Samuel JOHN Mauro, Northwestern

A defensive end and tight end, Mauro ranks in the top 3%of his class. He is an Honor Roll student, member of the National Honor Society, and the Science National Honor Society. He was a team captain and earned All-League Honorable Mention defensive honors. He is the Student Council Vice-President, participates in varsity baseball, the Interact Club, and is a member of the Science Olympiad Team. He earned an AP Scholar Award and is involved with the National Rural & Small Town Recognition Program.

Kendall Robinson,


A wide receiver and cornerback, Robinson ranks in the top 24% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student and serves as the Gridiron Club Secretary. He volunteers with Church food drives, the Booster Club Football Camp, youth basketball camp, Holiday Homecoming, and serves as a fair stand volunteer.

Oluwafeola Olaniyan, Pleasant Valley

An outside linebacker and fullback, Olaniyan ranks in the top 3% of his class. He is an Honor Roll student, National Honor Society member, and is a state qualifier in the Supply Chain Management test for FBLA. He earned All-Conference First Team offensive and defensive honors, while serving as a team captain. He is the Future Business Leaders of America Vice-President, Key Club Treasurer, and Red Cross Blood Drive Host. He has performed over 500 hours of volunteer work.

Luke Blauch, Lehighton
Ethan Karpowich, N. Lehigh
Fela Olaniyan, Pleasant Vy.
Paul Rutledge, Jim Thorpe
Sam Mauro, Northwestern
Kendall Robinson, Palmerton