BTHS athletes take first step toward college career

Five athletes signed letters of intent for the college of their choice at the high school’s National Signing Day event

Following the signing of their letters of intent for their respective schools, Burlington Township High School athletes, from left, Troy Scott Jr., Terron Ware, Gianna Abbruzzese, Justin Johnson and Karlton Byrd pose for a picture sporting attire from their school of choice.

Stephen Finn

The Sun

National Signing Day is one of the of the most exciting moments of a high school athlete’s career. It represents the next step in their journey not just as athletes but as young adults.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, five of Burlington Township High School’s finest athletes committed to the schools of their choice and took that crucial step.

First up to the table was track and field athlete Gianna Abbruzzese, signing with Rider University, which competes at the Division I level for her sport. She plans to double major in elementary education and psychology with a minor in special education. Her ultimate goal is a career in elementary education.

Abbruzzese is the captain of the track team, has a shot put personal record of 34 feet, eight and one quarter inches and a discus record of 105 feet. She is also a member of the National Honor Society.

“Rider has an amazing education program, and the campus life just feels right. When I went for my overnight there with the team, I realized I could not be happier going to any other school,” said Abbruzzese.

Next up was soccer player Troy Scott Jr., signing with Cabrini University, which competes in the Division III level in soccer. He plans to major in communications.

Scott is a two-year varsity starter, captain of the Falcons soccer team and a member of the National Honor Society.

As a defensive player, Scott doesn’t have a long list of statistics, but coach Alec Golini asserted his effectiveness on the field.

“I just need to keep TJ on the field all the time,” said Golini.

The remaining athletes were all members of the school’s football team.

First up was wide receiver, punter and kicker Karlton Byrd signing with Shaw University, which competes at the Division II level in football. He plans to study communications.

Byrd holds a school record for his 77-yard punt, has earned second team all-conference honors and was recognized as the overall player of the game for his team’s victory against Winslow.

“Once I went to the university, I enjoyed the school atmosphere, coaches and players. I also dedicated many moments to prayer to make my final decision to choose Shaw University,” said Byrd.

Next up for the football players was wide receiver and cornerback Justin Johnson. He signed with New Mexico Highlands University, which competes at the Division II level in football. He plans to major in sports management.

Johnson is a three-year varsity starter for the Falcons and was captain of the team this season. He earned first team all-conference honors his junior year and second team all-conference honors this season.

His impressive statistics include 21 career touchdowns, 1,100-plus career receiving yards and 2,000-plus career all-purpose yards.

Johnson described some of the most memorable moments from his high school sports career.

“During my sophomore year, I had a touchdown reception against Delsea, during my junior year I returned a punt to the house against Paul VI,” said Johnson. “I will always remember about my senior year playing with everyone I grew up with.”

Finally it was defensive back Terron Ware’s turn at the table. Ware signed with Assumption College, which competes at the Division II level in football. He plans to major in kinesiology with the ultimate goal of becoming an athletic trainer.

Ware earned first team all-conference honors in 2017 with Camden Catholic High School, and again in 2018 for Burlington Township High School. This year, Ware recorded 121 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions.

Ware’s best memories of this year with the Falcons were simple and to the point.

“Beating Delsea, beating Highlands, helping coach Maderia get his hundredth win and all the hard work and practices during the summer,” said Ware.