Pennridge Trio Commits to Play Collegiate Football

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, Pennridge seniors Joel Hartzell, Brian Latky and Zack Tarburton were recognized for signing letters of intent to play football at the collegiate level. To view photos of the event, please visit the Photo Gallery at the following link:

“You have three great guys who are going on to the next level with the three schools that they chose – you can’t say enough about the guys,” coach Cody Muller said. “This is probably one of the prouder moments as a coach, seeing these guys being able to accomplish some of their goals and what their dream is, making it to the next level. I have three not only great ballplayers but very smart individuals that are going on to the next level. Three great academic institutions as well, so the future is bright for all three of them.”

Joel Hartzell – Duquesne University (Football)
Final list of colleges:  Duquesne, Gannon
Reasons for choosing Duquesne:  “I went on a visit to Duquesne. I loved the college campus – it really felt like a college even though it’s in the middle of Pittsburgh, and there’s so much to do. I loved the football program they have there. It was an obvious choice.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “I lost 30 pounds between my junior and senior year, and just throughout the season, I saw myself improve so much since last year. Once colleges started coming in, it was a surreal thing. It was cool.”
Coach Cody Muller says:  “Joel Hartzell is the guy that nobody knew about. Nobody knew about him, and he stepped in this year as the right tackle, and he became one of the best offensive linemen we had, one of the best players we had and the most consistent game in and game out. He really flipped a switch and matured as the season went on, and coaches noticed that and they saw his film at the end of the year, and that’s when a lot of those schools started jumping on him. Duquesne came in, they brought him out for a visit. He fell in love with it, and again, another great academic institution.”
About Joel:
Favorite food:
A burger or steak
Favorite TV show:  The Office
Favorite music:  Country or Rap/Hip Hop 

Brian Lafty – Franklin & Marshall College (Football)
Final list of colleges:
Franklin & Marshall, Ursinus, Widener
Reasons for choosing Franklin & Marshall:  “What really set them apart – their academic standards are really high, and the financial aid worked out really well for me. I loved everything about the football program. The coach recruiting me, coach Fett (Mark Fetterman), is the defensive coach, and he’s looking at me for defense. He has a plan for me. It was really nice going out there, seeing the turf, seeing how their team is together.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “My dad played college football at Lycoming, and it was always in my head that it would be something fun to do. It didn’t become a big thing until senior year when it was like, ‘What’s the next step for me?’ Football helped guide me to F&M.”
Coach Cody Muller says: “Brian Lafty was a captain for us. He was a social media sensation – every coach knew who he was based off of what he did in the weight room. What you don’t know about Brian is the kid that he is and the tremendous heart that he has. He gave everything he had and then some. Brian’s going to Franklin & Marshall. Their football program is tremendous, but also academically – he’s going to be in a great spot. It’s a great institution, and I’m really proud of the kid for what he did.”
About Brian:
Favorite food: 
Philly Cheesesteak
Favorite movie:  Saving Private Ryan
Favorite music:  Country

Zack Tarburton – Bucknell University (Football)
Final list of colleges: Bucknell, Boston College, Syracuse.
Reasons for choosing Bucknell: “I was considering Bucknell, Syracuse and all those other schools, but I really wanted to play football, and they never gave me an offer. Bucknell gave me a really good chance, and I’m excited to see what I can do there.
“I chose Bucknell because the coaching staff there was really good to me. They put together a really good recruiting class. They call them OKGs – our kind of guys, and they’re all just a great group of guys that love to play football and really want to work hard. They say they only sign OKGs, and I really liked that. It got to me. That made me choose Bucknell. I visited, and I fell in love with the campus. They’re really doing some good things out there. They have a new athletic director who’s really into football, so that’s really good. The signees that are with me – I know we’re a great group of guys that are going to work really hard.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in football at the collegiate level?  “It was always a goal of mine. My junior year I had a really great year. I came out and I started, and I didn’t really expect to, and that summer I wasn’t sure where I was going to go, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I followed my brother, and we worked really, really hard, and I got to the point where I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m going to play Division 1 football.’”
Coach Cody Muller says:  “Zack Tarburton – we knew that he was going to be a ballplayer. Just because of what he did the year before, I knew I had a special kid there. He was a great leader as a captain and really a solid piece of that offensive line. The fact that he’s going to be able to go on and play at the Division 1 level is a credit to him. He worked his butt from when I took over as a coach. He just gave every thing he had every snap.”
About Zack:
Favorite food:
Favorite movie:  Remember the Titans
Favorite music: “I like pretty much all kinds of music. I’ll sit in the car, and I’ll listen to a really good country song and then a really hard rap song right after that.”