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THE NEXT LEVEL: Jersey Shore High School alumni Jacob Butzler in the spotlight this week

Susquehanna University sophomore and Jersey Shore alumni Jacob Butzler (right) goes for the soccer ball. (Photo Provided)

JACOB BUTZLER:

Jacob is a 2017 graduate of Jersey Shore High School and current sophomore on the Susquehanna University Men’s Soccer team where he plays defense. At Susquehanna, he is majoring in Accounting.

On Saturday against Elizabeth, Butzler played a total of 70 minutes. SU would tie, 0-0, in double overtime. Last Wednesday, he would also get playing time against Wilkes — this time for a total of 67 minutes. SU would lose that game, 1-0.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

From an early age, Jacob was already outside and active.

His parents, Tom and Kelly Butzler of Jersey Shore, would exercise with Jacob everyday — and still do.

Butzler’s first experience and interest in soccer came at an early age as well, falling in love with the sport as soon as he saw it.

“I got into soccer when they took me for walks and we would pass AYSO soccer practices, and I told them that I wanted to do that,” said Butzler. “My parents didn’t play soccer, so they had to find out how to get me to play.”

And they did. Jacob would go on to play for Rob Eaton at STN from3rd-7th grade.

“This helped me a lot with my foot skills and understanding of the game,” said Butzler.

In 7th grade, Jacob actually had made a brief transition to the game of basketball for four years until 10th grade. There, he would switch back his focus to soccer.

During his time at Jersey Shore High School, Jacob would be a mutli-sport athlete, and also would be active in academic events as well — including FBLA and graphic design.

“High school was fun. I played three sports and made a lot of friends,” said Butzler. “Classes were good. I think the best experience besides sports was FBLA. Lance Welsh and I placed second at Pennsylvania State in Graphic Design, and we got to go to Anaheim, California for Nationals.”

That would eventually lead Jacob to Susquehanna University where he would start out as a finance major before switching over to accounting, and would also live the student-athlete lifestyle in college playing soccer — this time on defense.

“It was an adjustment both athletically and academically. Soccer was faster and I play defense now, and I like defense a lot. Soccer gave me instant friends,” said Butzler. “Classes were hard and I had to figure out how to study. I started as a finance major and took accounting last spring. I found out that I really liked it because it’s like a math puzzle. I like working with numbers, so it made sense to me to switch majors.”

Now as a sophomore, Jacob is an accountant major and now starting on the soccer team.

“So far, it’s going good. I had a quad pull early on, so I had to sit the first few games,” said Butzler. “Now I’m starting and playing a lot. I live with six other soccer players and it is so much fun. Classes are harder and I have to put in a lot of time.”

And despite the level of difficulty, Jacob’s goals and expectations remain high — both on the field and in the books.

“My team is pretty young. Most of the starters are sophomores, so we are struggling a bit, but we all work hard, so I think we will do ok,” said Butzler. “My goal is to get a 3.3 [GPA] so I can go to London to study abroad during my junior year.”

Big dreams from a small town kid, and what exactly does Jacob plan on doing with such a lengthy resume that he’s building?

“I want to get a job that I like, I would like to travel and live in different places around the country,” said Butzler. “I do see myself being a coach. I like working with kids.”

Jacob continued about his plans of still being involved with sports after he graduates from college.

“My dad always tells me that the most important part about playing a sport is to know what it’s like to be physically fit. I like to work out and be active, so I do see myself always doing something, whether it’s soccer or basketball or tennis,” said Butzler. “I play a lot of pickup basketball when I’m home, so I see myself doing that when I graduate. Maybe I’ll live in an area where there is a lot of pickup soccer.”

“I love the game,” said a passionate Jacob.

OTHER LOCALS:

EMMA BUTZLER: Emma is a 2018 graduate of Jersey Shore High School and current freshman on the Marist College Swimming team (butterfly/freestyle). At Marist, she is majoring in Environmental Science. Butzler’s first swim meet with Marist is on October 12 at home against Canisius College. Emma will also be going to New York City on October 18 to take on Fordham University.

ETHAN DALE: Ethan is a 2016 graduate of Central Mountain High School and current junior on the Alfred State College Swimming and Diving team. At Alfred State, he is majoring in Architecture. Dale is a returning member from last year’s swimming and diving team. Alfred State College kicks off their season on October 6, homecoming weekend, with the Blue & Gold Intra-squad/Alumni meet.

NOLAN DALE: Nolan is a 2015 graduate of Central Mountain High School and current senior on the Alfred State College Swimming and Diving team. At Alfred State, he is majoring in Construction Engineering Technology. Nolan is a new member of the swimming and diving team after transferring to Alfred State for the year. The team kicks off their season on October 6, homecoming weekend, with the Blue & Gold Intra-squad/Alumni meet.

RILEY GREEN: Riley is a 2016 graduate of Central Mountain High School and a current junior on the Earlham College (Indiana) Cross Country team. At Earlham, he is currently majoring in Outdoor Education. Green also serves as the captain of both the men’s and women’s cross country teams. In his last appearance, Riley and the cross country team topped HCAC teams at the Blue River Park Invite — finishing third out of six teams.

RACHEL MARK: Rachel is a 2018 graduate of Central Mountain High School and current freshman on the Cabrini University Swimming team. At Cabrini, she is currently majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Psychology. Mark’s first swim meet with Cabrini will be on October 16 against Immaculata University.

ERIN REESE: Erin is a 2016 graduate of Central Mountain High School and is a current junior on the Susquehanna University Women’s Cross Country team. At Susquehanna, she is currently majoring in Neuroscience. Over the weekend back home in Lock Haven for the LHU Invitational, Reese shaved nearly 30 seconds off her personal best 6K time as she led the Susquehanna University Women’s Cross Country team to a 16th place team finish. Erin clocked a 22:39.5 which topped her previous best of 23:07.6 set last year at Gettysburg.

SPENCER WOCKENFUSS: Spencer is a 2017 graduate of Central Mountain High School and is a current sophomore on the Alfred University (NY) Football team where he plays defensive end. At Alfred, he is currently majoring in Mechanical Engineering. This past Saturday, September 22, the Saxons bounced back from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter to beat the Cortland Red Dragons in a 38-33 win during their homecoming weekend.

The Next Level is a weekly piece to report on and highlight the progress and accomplishments of student-athletes from local high schools who are currently participating in a sport(s) at the collegiate level.

If there’s a student-athlete that you would like to be featured, the following information needs to be sent to apowell@lockhaven.com: student-athlete name, high school attended, graduation year, college, college class (freshman, sophomore, etc.), sport, position if applicable, and academic major.

Each week, the feature will run on Tuesday. Therefore, updated stats and information for the week completed must be emailed to The Express by Sunday at midnight each week. The reporting period will be Monday-Sunday each week. Only those reporting updated information will be included.

An example of information is below:

JOHN SMITH: John is a 2018 graduate of Bellefonte High School and current freshman on the Lock Haven University Football team where he plays quarterback. At LHU, he is majoring in Sports Management. Over the weekend, Smith piled up 210 yards and three touchdowns in passing in the game against East Stroudsburg.

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