Two Women's Basketball Student-Athletes Sign to Further Careers at YSU

    Youngstown -- Casey Jackson and Kaitlin Rohrs have signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at Youngstown State University, first-year head women's basketball coach Cindy Martin announced on Wednesday.

    Jackson is a 5-foot-7 guard from Hebron, Ky., while Rohrs is a 6-foot-1 forward from Liberty Center, Ohio.

    "We are so pleased that Casey and Kaitlin are joining our basketball family," Martin said. "They both work so hard on the court and in the classroom, and they are smart basketball players that can also help our team with scoring."

    Jackson is a shooting guard who is a member of the 1,000-point club at Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Ky. She has been named to the Division 1 All-Region Team and a Northern Kentucky All-Star the past two seasons.

    As a junior, Jackson averaged a team-high 15.5 points, averaged four rebounds and had 73 steals  to earn team co-MVP honors. She was named the tournament MVP in leading NDA to the District 35 championship. A Kentucky Enquirer first-team all-star, she scored in double figures in 30 of NDA's 31 games.

    Jackson averaged 10.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and had 73 steals as a sophomore in 2006-07. That season the Pandas reached the Elite 8 of the state tournament. Jackson led NDA in 3-point shooting and was named the team's best defensive player.

    Jackson has earned honorable mention Kentucky High School Athletic Association Academic All-State accolades in each of her first three seasons.

    “I chose Youngstown State University because I really liked the coaching staff, the athletic facilities, and the opportunity to be a part of a program that is rebuilding its winning tradition under Coach Martin and her staff,” Jackson said. “I also really liked the campus and how academics were such a big part of the women’s basketball program.”

    "Casey is a shooter that also knows how to put the ball on the floor," Martin said. "She knows her weak-side defense well and makes things happen just because she is in the right spot at the right time on the court. With her ability to knock down the 3-pointer, we will be able to spread out our offense more."

    Rohrs has averaged 14 points and eight rebounds in each of the past two seasons for Liberty Center High to earn First-Team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League and first-team all-district honors each year. As a junior she scored 292 points, grabbed 171 rebounds and shot 61.1 percent from the field. Rohrs led the Tigers in scoring, rebounds, blocks and steals to be named one of the Toledo Blade's top 25 players.

    As a sophomore she scored 334 points and notched 190 rebounds as she led the Tigers to a Division IV district title. Rohrs also led Liberty Center in scoring, rebounds and blocks as a sophomore.

    She has scored 846 points in her first three seasons, which ranks 10th in Liberty Center history. Rohrs has also tied the school record for blocked shots in a game with seven.

    Rohrs was also a two-time honorable-mention all-state volleyball player, becoming only the fifth player in Ohio history to reach 1,000 kills as a junior.

    Rohrs is a member of the National Honor Society and is ranked No. 1 in her graduating class.

    "Kaitlin is a physical post player that can post up with her back to the basket and step out to the wing and face up to the basket," Martin said. "She can shoot the 3-pointer and put the ball on the floor and attack. Kaitlin is going to be a player that the other teams will struggle matching up with since she can play in a variety of positions on offense."

    "The reason I chose YSU is because it is a good fit for me as a student athlete,” Rohrs said. “The personal attention I received from the coaching staff during the recruiting process convinced me that YSU offers everything I need to be successful both on and off the court. Coach Martin's focus on the three C's, Classroom, Community and Court, is consistent with my personal outlook on life. I am very excited to be a part of the New Coach, New Court, New Culture of Women's Basketball at YSU."

    "My coaching staff has done a fantastic job with recruiting, and we hope to have another commitment within the week," Martin said. "The future of YSU women's basketball is exciting as we are hand-picking young ladies that want to be the best they can in the community, classroom and court. This is a great start toward building our future."

    Student-athletes have until Nov. 19 to sign a National Letter of Intent in the early-signing period.

    The Penguins open the 2008-09 season on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Kent State.