Huntington High School senior Bryce Criscuola is headed to Wilkes University, where he has been recruited to play on the college’s football team.
Huntington High School senior Bryce Criscuola.
Mr. Criscuola played defensive end and offensive guard for the Blue Devils, but is expected to play fullback at Wilkes. He was a hard-hitting presence on both sides of the ball for Huntington and his on-field leadership was prized by his teammates and head coach Steve Muller.
“Wilkes was the best fit for me,” Mr. Criscuola said. “Playing college football has always been something I wanted to do and I know the coaching staff is going to push me on and off the field every day.”
The teenager wasn’t completely sure he was going to play college football. So he was initially strongly considering attending Penn State or Arizona State as a regular student.
Mr. Criscuola played through having a broken hand last fall. “Bryce is a warrior,” Muller said. “He played out of position because we needed an offensive guard when he really should have been a fullback. But he’s one of those old school type players who will do anything for his team.”
Located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the university enrolls about 2,250 undergraduates and another 2,200 studying on the graduate level. It competes in NCAA Division III. Established in 1933, the private school was earlier known as Bucknell Junior College.
“I’m going to study mechanical engineering while I’m at Wilkes,” Mr. Criscuola said. “I’m extremely thankful that I have the opportunity to play football while I study because other schools that looked at me didn’t have an engineering program.”
At this year’s Blue Devil football awards dinner, Mr. Criscuola garnered several honors, including the Bob Brush Courage Award and the Asher Ezra King Memorial Football Scholarship, named for two fallen members of the Huntington gridiron family.
“I want to graduate from Wilkes and look into grad schools that offer great engineering programs as well,” Mr. Criscuola said.
Named to the Suffolk All-Division II team this past fall, Mr. Criscuola also captured All-Academic recognition for his efforts in the classroom.
The senior will graduate from Huntington High School a long list of great memories. “I’ll always remember the relationships I made with friends and coaches and the support they gave me throughout my years in high school,” Mr. Criscuola said.