By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 25, 2014) – Broad Run High School senior Corey Hilberath has signed his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 5 to join the University of Virginia’s College at Wise starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
“To be committed to college has really been a big relief off my shoulders, although you still have to maintain your good grades and studies for the remainder of the school year,” said the 5-foot-10, 172-pound Hilberath. “It is great to know what my plans are for college after working hard my four years at Broad Run. To get a scholarship for football is a blessing and something I’ve been dreaming of ever since I started playing in AYFL.”
Hilberath noted he got his start in football when his dad signed him up for the Ashburn Youth Football League, and he has grown to love the gridiron.
“My dad is really the reason I have become what I am in the sport today. He always pushed me to do better and was always there for me at all my games. Every time I suit up to play, I play for him,” Hilerath said. “I play football because I just absolutely love the sport, and I want to make a name for myself. I don’t find myself getting any better feeling than suiting up and playing the game I love.”
Playing the game he loves at the next level will not come easy for Hilberath as the Division II Highland Cavaliers underwent a conference change – moving from the NAIA Mid-South Conference to the NCAA DII Mountain East Conference – last season and was quickly initiated going 2-9 including a 2-7 record in their inaugural season in the MEC.
“I think I can add a spark of energy to the Wise team because of my skillset and my hard work ethic,” said Hilberath who will play slot receiver for the Cavaliers. “Hopefully I can really contribute to the team early and give them some positive energy.”
Head coach Dewey Lusk will continue to develop his team at the next level and had the opportunity to work with Stone Bridge graduate Garrett Voltz and Dominion graduate EJ Holland last season. Hilberath will join the Loudoun pair in southwestern Virginia this fall and noted he decided on the small, liberal arts college because he and his mentors felt it was the right fit.
“After my visit I felt it was the best fit for me academically to do my studies,” Hilberarth said. “I loved coach Lusk and the coaching staff, and I wanted to go somewhere where I had the best opportunity to get on the field and produce early. After talking to the coaching staff, I believed Wise was the best place for me.”
The right fit for Hilberath in 2013 was definitely Broad Run High School who went 9-4 after upsetting Stone Bridge High School in the 5A North region quarterfinals. The Spartans also took perennial powerhouse Briar Woods High School to double-overtime in the 5A North region semifinals where they lost, 37-34.
Hilberath said his senior season with Broad Run is something he will always remember.
“Playing for coach Matt Griffis was a great experience, and I’m glad I got to be a part of his program. I think this was the best team I have been a part of,” Hilberath said. “Although we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of states, I’m glad we went out the way we did. In beating Stone Bridge and coming close to knocking off the three time state champs in Briar Woods [we put] Broad Run back on the map.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!