A second member of the Coppola family has committed to playing NCAA Division I sports in college: Pierce Coppola, who just finished his sophomore year at Verona High School, announced today on his Instagram page that he will be playing baseball for the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers play in the Coastal division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I am proud to announce that I will continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Virginia,” Coppola wrote. “I would like to thank my family, coaches and friends who have helped me to achieve my dream of playing Division I baseball. Special thanks to my parents, Coach Jim Wladyka and Coach Kuhn.” Wladyka runs Wladyka Baseball in Rutherford, a club program and college recruiting service where Coppola has been training; Karl Kuhn is the pitching coach at UVA. Coppola made his announcement from Georgia, where he is competing with Wladyka Baseball in a showcase against teams from California, Kansas, Florida, Texas and other states.
“Congratulations to Pierce,” said VHS Athletic Director Bob Merkler. “I am so happy for him and his family. I know how hard he has worked for this. It’s a tremendous honor to commit to such a great school and team as UVA. He will continue to work hard and improve.”
(In May, Pierce’s sister Hunter Coppola signed to play volleyball with the University of Texas at San Antonio, a Division I program.)
Coppola, who at 6’6″ towers over the mound and most other high school players, has developed a strong record as a lefty hurler in his two seasons with VHS baseball. He has pitched 78.2 innings of varsity ball, amassing 128 strikeouts and allowing just 49 hits and 34 runs. UVA, which compiled a 31-21 record this season, currently has 12 former players on Major League Baseball teams.
Photos copyright Kathleen Seubert. Used by permission.