LIVINGSTON, NJ — Four Livingston High School (LHS) football players and one LHS baseball player recently gathered for a ceremony to sign their respective letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college.
Football players Joe Cullen, Jack Ernst, Alan Chen and Chris Durish, and baseball player MJ DePaola, each will continue to play their sports in college.
Cullen, who played halfback and linebacker for the Lancers, will attend Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, Pa. He rushed for 1,032 yards, caught 18 passes for 230 yards, scored seven touchdowns and led the team in tackles with 112 as a senior.
"Joe Cullen is a special player, maybe a once in a life time type of kid. He has it all," said Livingston head football coach Robert Breschard. "He defines the term student-athlete. He has great grades, is a leader in our program, is a leader in our school community, played three sports and backed it all up on the field with 1,000 yards rushing his senior year and 302 tackles in his career. Franklin & Marshall is getting a tremendous young man."
Ernst, a quarterback, will be attending Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. He passed for 2,002 yards and 23 touchdowns in leading Livingston to a 7-3 record in 2018.
"Jack Ernst is the type of QB that can make any throw," Breschard said. "There is no route that he can't complete. He added a component to our offense this year that made us successful. His technique when running play action passes impressed the Muhlenberg coaches during their evaluation of Jack."
Chen, an offensive lineman, is headed to Washington University in St. Louis.
"Alan Chen is a kid who was in a competition for playing time before the season started," Breschard said. "He worked extremely hard in the off-season to get better and perfect his technique. Washington U. loves his size and pass-blocking ability."
Another offensive lineman, Durish, will become part of the burgeoning football program at nearby Caldwell University.
"Chris Durish is a tough kid who had to fight through injury," Breschard said. "Playing center in our offense requires a great understanding of the offense. He made all our line calls so that the offensive line could be on the same page. Found the perfect home for him at Caldwell University."
DePaola, although he also played football for Livingston, will become a part of the baseball program at Montclair State University.
The right-handed pitcher threw a no-hitter as a sophomore for Livingston, and most recently pitched a two-hitter in the Lancers' 4-0 victory over Paterson Kennedy in the first round of the state tournament on Monday.
DePaola now has an 11-6 career won-loss record in his career, and so far this season has a 1.68 earned-run average with a staff-leading 53 strikeouts in 41 and 2/3 innings pitched.