NCAA Sports

All-Stars Academy celebrates class of 17 players signing to college baseball

LATHAM, NY — Monday night All-Stars Academy celebrated 17 players making the commitment to play baseball at the college level.

“If someone told me four years ago when we started this that I would be standing in front of 17 kids committing to play NCAA baseball I would have said no way,” said All-Stars Academy Head Instructor and Director of Teams Matt Frey. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think this would be achievable”

Frey continued to start the ceremony.

“For as much of the work I thought that I had put in, this wouldn’t be anything without these guys. These guys are the stars of All-Stars Academy and anything we accomplish from here on out will be on these guys’ sweat and labor.”

  • 17 players were celebrated for committing to collegiate baseball teams on Wednesday, November 10, at the All Star Academy facilities in Latham, New York (photo by Joe Boyle).

  • 17 players were celebrated for committing to collegiate baseball teams on Wednesday, November 10, at the All Star Academy facilities in Latham, New York (photo by Joe Boyle).

  • 17 players were celebrated for committing to collegiate baseball teams on Wednesday, November 10, at the All Star Academy facilities in Latham, New York (photo by Joe Boyle).

Of the 17, three players officially signed their National Letters of Intent. La Salle’s Eddie Girtler signed to Siena College, Colonie’s Jesus Sarda signed to Dominican College, and Mohonasen’s John Stoliker also signed to Dominican College.

“It’s surreal,” said Girtler. “Just to say I am able play baseball at a higher level now and play college. Right now the biggest focus is on the high school season. We took a brutal loss last year in the semifinals.”

Joining Girtler on the night was his catcher at La Salle, Eddie Yamin, who had already committed to Dayton University but still took part in the festivities.

“I’ve been catching for him since I was six years old and I first put on catcher’s gear,” said Yamin of Girtler, officially signing. “We were playing house baseball together and we grew up together. I went to his house every sunday to watch football together. It’s more than a pitcher and catcher relationship. We are great friends and you want to watch people around you succeed at every aspect of life and being able to see him do that is great.”

Ten different schools were represented with players signing to Siena College, Dominican College, University of Pittsburgh, Xavier University, Manhattan College, West Virginia University, Dayton University, Louisiana State University, Stony Brook, and the University at Albany.

“There’s always been top notch talent in this year,” said Frey. “If you go back 10-15 years there was classes like this coming out on different teams like South Troy. It’s always been here.”

Frey was able to continuously work safely with players during the pandemic and grow their talents while also getting them recruited.

“Our goal right away, we knew baseball was a socially distanced sport,” said Frey. “We wanted to keep these guys working safely. We wouldn’t be here committing 17 kids if I had done nothing.”

Frey’s work certainly contributed to players having breakout seasons in their high school seasons last spring.

“With COVID, last year was the first year I could sit and watch all these guys have a huge impact on their high school year,” said Frey. “They would have had it as a sophomore, some had it, but it wasn’t in totality.”

All-Stars Academy had players receiving honors all over the board. Yamin and Girtler shared Colonial Council MVP honors. Troy’s Michael Kennedy was Suburban Council MVP. The list only grows and grows with Kennedy being the standout of the class.

Kennedy, who will move onto LSU next, will also participate on the 18U US National Team.

“I think overall Mike exemplifies how they all feel where, the signing, for him as a 14 year old, was just the beginning,” said Frey. “You see, some guys might take a step back after that. With Mike, it was on to the next goal. Now I am committed and have a big scholarship, now it is team USA, let’s see if I have a pro path out of high school. He has always done a good job of keeping individual goals, as well as team goals with Troy.”

All-Stars only hopes to grow their class of committed players as players continue to join the organization.

“Our class of 2022…so far, we hope to add more,” said Frey. “17, now not verbally, actually committed on the dotted line, for All-Stars.”

The full list of players committed Sunday can be found below.

Eddie Girtler, La Salle Institute, Siena College

John Stoliker, Mohonasen, Dominican College

Jesus Sarda, Colonie, Dominican College

Sam Falace, Colonie, University of Pittsburgh 

Bobby Facto, Troy High, Dominican College

Joe Karpierz, Shaker, Xavier University

Nick Plue, Guilderland, Manhattan College

Ryan Bates, Shaker, Siena College

Gavin Van Kempen, Maple Hill, West Virginia

Eddie Yamin, La Salle Institute, Dayton University

Mike Kennedy, Troy High, Louisiana State University

Andrew Dongelewic, Shaker, Stony Brook University

Jerek Hobbm Schalmont, Stony Brook University

Ryan Pittz, Shenendehowa, University at Albany

Davin Tuckey, Troy High, Dominican College

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