Growing up, you could say where-ever Tanner Merwin was, so was Eli Penny and vice-versa. And for the most part, that togetherness was mostly on the grid iron, the hardwood or just hanging out. They have been teammates at A-C Valley for almost half their young lives. If there was an award for hours spent in the gym and conditioning, each would attain honors on the “First Team”. Each has always been committed to the sport of not just being better, but being the best, pushing one another to compete. Best friends striving for the same goal, to win! Next year, the best friend- athlete duo will head to college but in different directions.
Next fall, Merwin and Penny will for the first time, put on different jerseys. Merwin has committed to Grove City College and Penny to Westminster; fittingly, a Wolverine versus a Titan. Both Merwin and Penny anxiously await their schedules to see if they will be competing against one another. You can bet each will be highlighted on their respective calendars.
“I’ve played with Tanner for ten years and we’ve always competed against each other in practice and it’s going to be weird competing against each other on game days for a change. For the better part of a decade we’ve been on the same team and it’s crazy to think we’ll be lining up against each other,” said Penny
Merwin, a 5’10, Sr. at A-C Valley had offers from numerous local colleges ( Bethany, Allegheny, Hiram, Geneva, Westminster) with Grove City being his top choice. Merwin will enter the 2021 fall campaign at Grove City undecided.
The Merwin File:
3 year letter winner in football, basketball and track and 1 year letterman in baseball at A-C Valley.
2 Time-District Qualifier in Track in the Long Jump; 1 time District Qualifier in High Jump.
Football: 2019 1st Team All-Conference Wide Receiver.
2019: Butler Eagle Sweet 16 Defensive Back - 1st Team selection.
2019: Co-Offensive Player of the Year Award – Voted by Union-A-C Valley Team.
Pre-Season All State Defensive Back.
2020 1st Team All- Conference Quarterback
2020: Butler Eagle Sweet 16 Quarterback – 1st Team selection.
Tanner is the son of Bud and Crystal Merwin of Emlenton.
The Penny File:
Penny, a 5’10" Sr., at A-C Valley looked at both Allegheny and Hiram but liked Westminster as his top pick.
Eli was a two time All-Conference First Team linebacker in football with the Union-A-C Valley Falcon Knights. Eli was also a multi-year letter winner in football, basketball and track. Penny was nominated for the Butler Eagle Sweet Sixteen Linebacker for two consecutive years. Eli is also strong in the classroom carrying an impressive 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Eli plans to major in Finance at Westminster in the fall of 2021.
Until the fall has settled in, Merwin and Penny will enjoy competing together. Both look to be starters on the A-C Valley basketball team which looks to be very competitive this season.
One thing is for sure, friend or foe, they will always be competitors!
Best of luck to both Tanner and Eli.