Athens' Shaw signs to swim with Wilkes University.

By: The Review | Towanda Daily Review | February 28, 2018


Shawn Shaw has seen a lot of success in the waters at Athens in his three years. Last season, as a junior, Shaw was selected as captain for the first-team All-Region squad and has played a key roll in the Wildcats' three consecutive Conference Championships.

In the fall, Shaw will take his talents to Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

"I really like the atmosphere," said the Athens senior. "It felt like a family, just like here at Athens. The campus felt like home. I like the city and the swim team is just a close-knit group.

"Coach Mark Barnes sent me a letter in June last summer and I got to meet with him later in July. Since then, he's always kept in contact with me, checking up to see how I was doing, how training felt, and how my times were. He always kept in touch. I super focused right now, just have to keep my eyes on my goals. Every year I set new goals, just trying to stay focused."

For Shaw, Wilkes is just the start of the journey as he is looking to major in sports management and minor in marketing.

"I looked up to my cousin and he really seemed to enjoy what he was doing. He's seen the business side of the sports world, so I figured I would really like that, since I've been involved in athletics since first grade."

"I think Wilkes is one of the better fits out of all of the colleges we looked into," commented Shaw's mother Toni. "It has the major that he wants and has an excellent program with the major and minor combination that he wants to do."

Mrs. Shaw had nothing but high praises for the swimming program and its potential.

"The swimming coach, Barnes, has kept in constant contact with him. Shawn got to spend an overnight in January and had an awesome time with all of the teammates. He seemed to click really well with both the coach and the team itself. I'm very happy, because it's close to home, so I'm really looking forward to going to as many swim meets as I can," said Mrs. Shaw.

The Wilkes University Colonels compete in NCAA Division III athletics. The swim team finished 11th at the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Championships held last week.

The Colonels closed out their season campaign with a 7-7 record, setting a new program record and tied the amount of wins the program had in its first three years of rebirth combined.

Mark Barnes completed his fourth season at the helm of the Wilkes men's and women's swimming programs after the 2017-18 season.

Barnes began at Wilkes after a successful coaching career in the high school ranks at both Bloomsburg and Danville Area.

Both the men's and women's teams have excelled in the classroom at Wilkes under Coach Barnes, with the men named to the Scholar All-American honor roll for the 2015 fall and 2016 spring semester by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The women were named to the Scholar All-American honor roll for the spring of 2016.