Bombers’ Hager to golf at Saint Peter’s
Tyler Hager authored a stellar athletic career at Palmerton.
Hager will begin the next chapter of his journey at Division I Saint Peter’s University, where he will continue his academics and join the Peacocks’ golf team.
When it came time to make a decision on where he was headed to college, Hager pointed out that there wasn’t just one reason why he chose Saint Peter’s.
“I have wanted to play D-I since I was little, and Coach (Jonathan) Kulas was one of the coaches that wanted to make that possible,” Hager said recently. “He had faith in me, and I liked what he was doing with the program. He’s a young coach, as this was only his second year.
“And, I think he had great hopes for the program, and I shared the same dreams that he had in winning hardware there. So, that was one of the factors.”
The school also checked another box for the three time Times News/Lehigh Valley Health Network Golfer of the Year.
“Another one was the size as it’s a smaller school, and I like that,” added Hager, who was a four-time Colonial League All-Star.
Hager also wanted to make sure he could prioritize his academics, something the Jersey City school will offer a number of opportunities to do.
“Lastly, was the fact of being so close to New York City,” said Hager, who will also minor in marketing or analytics and receive a 65% scholarship at Saint Peter’s. “I’m going to major in sports management. So, just being that close to like 13 major sports teams and different headquarters like ESPN, which is about an hour and a half away in Connecticut.
“And just a bunch of other different sports headquarters or branches in New York City like that.”
Although Saint Peter’s was the place to be for Hager, the four-year varsity letter winner in golf also looked at the possibilities of heading to Binghamton University (New York), Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) or Siena University (New York).
The honors and accolades piled up for Hager during his four-year golfing career at Palmerton - as both an individual and as a member of the program.
He was a key component of the Blue Bombers’ three Colonial League team titles and four District 11 Class 2A team championships.
As an individual, Hager finished as a runner-up his freshman and senior year in the Colonial League and wore gold his sophomore season. During his junior year, he placed ninth.
At districts, Hager placed fourth in both his freshman and sophomore years. In his last two seasons, he earned silver as a District 11 Class 2A runner-up.
Hager has utilized the guidance and support he’s received from Blue Bombers’ head coach Alex Knoll - and the talented teammates that surrounded him over the last four years.
“Just the drive to win and connecting with teammates,” Hager said. “For the past four years, I have had a great group of guys who I played with. In fact, two of my best friends - Connor Reinhard and Nate Steinemtz - have been right by my side on the team. So, getting closer with them will help me in college, as well as bonding and getting to know my teammates.
“From Alex, it’s just his drive to win that will help me. I know he wanted to win as badly as all of us did ... I’m hoping to take that to the next level.”
While his playing days as a Blue Bomber are officially over, Hager - who was also a key member of the Palmerton tennis team - admitted he will never forget those days.
“I’m really looking forward to Saint Peter’s,” Hager said. “I’m going to miss playing for Palmerton. I have lived here my whole life and all I wanted to do was be a Bomber. So, it’s going to sting a little not being a Bomber next year.
“But we’re moving on to the next chapter of my life. Hopefully, I can be as successful as when I was at Palmerton. So, I’m looking forward to it.”
Knoll – and the Palmerton golf program – will undoubtedly miss Hager’s presence on his roster next season. But the Bombers’ head coach was quick to point out how happy he is for his first varsity golfer to sign a D-1 commitment.
“Tyler has worked very hard on his game and deserves this chance at the next level,” Knoll said. “He has traveled to play in regional and national events, contended at the district and state level, and has led the golf team to unprecedented heights.
“I am excited to see his continued success at Saint Peter’s and his path to college is a great path for younger golfers to follow.”