PISCATAWAY, NJ – Wednesday was National Letter of Intent Signing Day and many senior high school student-athletes from around the country announced the colleges and universities where they will continue their athletic careers.

At Piscataway High School, a record high 12 student-athletes did just that as family and friends watched in support as they made their commitments in the school’s media center.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and this could be the biggest group of kids I’ve ever seen sign to go on to play college athletics,” said Rob Harmer, Piscataway’s athletic director.

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“Only 4-6 percent of high school athletes go on to play college athletics in the United States,” he told the group. “You guys are in the upper echelon.”

Joseph Simunek, a captain for the Chiefs’ swim team, committed to Rowan University and hopes to continue to improve on his breaststroke and freestyle skills. “I think Rowan is a fantastic program and I think I’m going to do really well there,” he said. “I expect much tougher competition and a much bigger challenge ahead of me. I’m pretty excited.

The Chiefs’ head swim coach Scott Foglyano has high expectations for Simunek. “I think we’re just seeing the surface of what he’s capable of,” Foglyano said. “With a collegiate program under his belt, his breaststroke times are going to continue to drop drastically.”

Olivia Lukshides, who shared the captain’s role on the girls’ swim team, will compete for East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. “I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to being part of a great team and a great group of girls,” said Lukshides. “I just want to continue my journey as a swimmer.” She swims mostly freestyle.

Tasha Bethea joins Rowan University’s track program. As a high school athlete, Bethea broke the school record in the high jump.

“Just to be able to watch the team grow from where we started last year when it wasn’t really that good into a top team in the state has been really great,” Bethea said.

As for what she will focus on at Rowan, Bethea is still unsure. “I’m planning on running in bigger meets like NCAA Nationals and Championships, but I’m also looking to grow in the High Jump,” she said. “I do almost every event, and have a lot of goals set in them. I’m ready for just about anything.”

Kaamal Stewart signed to play football and study communications and business management while at Albright University. “Everything’s been great,” Stewart said. “The recruiting process was long, but it was worth the wait. I’m glad that I finally made my decision.”

Stewart expects to play almost every special team position except for field goal. “I want to get bigger, stronger, faster, and study the game mentally more. I want to get a different aspect of the game.”

“These are model citizens from the academic standpoint as well as the athletic standpoint,” said Jason Lester, the high school’s principal. “I’m confident that they will do us proud.”

The twelve athletes who signed college letters of intent:

Nadia Wooten – Girls Basketball

American International College

Aubri McKoy – Girls Basketball

The College of Wooster

Myasia Taylor – Girls Basketball

Penn State – Lehigh Valley Campus

Kendrea Williams – Girls Basketball

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Kaamal Stewart – Football

Albright College

Jared Vann – Football

Norwich University

Tasha Bethea – Track and Field

Rowan University

Demetria Bethel – Bowling

Norfolk State University

Olivia Lukshides – Swimming

East Stroudsburg University

Joseph Simunek – Swimming

Rowan University

Kevin Tamsula – Baseball

Rutgers University – Newark

Daniel Tricarico – Baseball

Rutgers University – Newark