All-State quarterback Bear Shank to attend Millersville to play football; Metz brothers to join

Snow conjures images of historic games on the gridiron, but the blizzard of 2016 will be remembered by avid Pioneer sports fans for a different reason: it marks the day when Collin "Bear" Shank, the four-year starter at quarterback who came back from a bout with a brain tumor to be a first team all-state selection and lead the Pioneers into the District III playoffs, declared his intentions to attend Millersville University to play football as a quarterback.

Shank, who chose Millersville over "a few other offers", cited proximity and comfort as primary reasons for his decision.
Shank (#10) takes a snap in a game against Lebanon last fall
Photo by Maya Pieters, LSNews.org Staff Photographer
"I chose to go to Millersville because I can compete for a starting spot, I'm close to home, I feel comfortable around the players and coaches, they have a good business program, the coaches are committed to changing the program around, and I would love to be a part of changing a football program," he says. "It would be very special."

Late in the day, PennLive reported that twin brothers Darren and Kyle Metz would also attend Millersville. LSNews.org was able to independently verify that report.

Says Darren: "(Millersville) gave me a great opportunity to play four more years of football with my brother and great academics. Also, can't wait to have Bear with me ..."

Kyle offered similar reasoning: "The chance to play four more years with my brother (and) also the chance to play with Bear again," were the primary reasons he chose Millersville. "The school is great with great academics. Plus the coaching staff is amazing. The football team is also very family oriented."

The Millersville football program is one in transition, having finished its 2015 season on a two-game winning streak to go 2-9, an improvement from its 1-10 record in 2014. The Marauders were quarterbacked by redshirt junior J.J. Paige in 2015, a transfer from St. Francis University who posted respectable, but not exceptional numbers in 10 starts. Other quarterbacks on the roster include freshman Tony Staffieri, a Manheim Central graduate, and redshirt junior Curtis Frye, who has missed some time due to injuries over the course of his career. Shank expects to compete for playing time early in his career.

Millersville, a division two school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), is coached by Greg Breitbach, who tweeted "Jack up! We landed a big one. LL-League POY. Tough as they come & a born leader. #Ville-LL-League-All-Stars" last night, which seemed to refer to Shank, although NCAA recruiting rules may prohibit official naming of recruits until signing day, which is in early February.

Meanwhile, on the gridiron for the Pioneers next year, Shank leaves huge shoes to fill. Junior Justin Edwards, who served as the backup quarterback in 2015, figures to have the first shot at replacing Shank ... one way or another, next August will mark the first time in eight years L-S has a starting quarterback whose last name is not "Shank".

Editor's Note: Because comments from Shank and the Metz brothers were submitted digitally, minor corrections were made to ease readability. No substantive changes occurred. (BP)

--Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

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