Owen Hickey ’20 fielded offers to play football at Drake and Valparaiso but in the end the versatile receiver – who also plays varsity basketball and baseball -- committed to the University of Illinois as a preferred walk-on.
“It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up,” said Hickey, after giving a shout-out to his offensive line and quarterback, Jack Mahoney for helping get him there. “The academics are great and the fact that the program is on the upswing, that’s just a bonus.”
Head Football Coach Dave Archibald described Hickey as a talented receiver who has a knack for getting to the ball as both a wide receiver and safety for the Lions.
“He is tall and quick, and he doesn't shy away from contact,” Coach Archibald said. “I look forward to seeing him continue to grow and progress in the coming years and am grateful we are part of his journey into the Big Ten Conference.
“It is also great to know,” Coach Archibald added, “that he will be under the leadership of a tremendous mentor and coach in Lovie Smith.”
At the same ceremony, Morgan Bielfeldt '20 signed her letter of intent to play softball for the Augustana College Vikings. Last year she led the team in batting average, hitting .389, with six home runs and 16 runs batted in, for a whopping slugging percentage of .653.
“I feel like I can make an impact at Augustana,” Biefeldt said. “They’re graduating a big class my sophomore year, so that’s when I’m hoping to step up.”
Head Coach John Scotillo points to Biefeldt’s leadership on the field as catcher, keeping her pitcher and position players focused, as her biggest strength.
“She is a natural leader both on the field and on our campus,” Scotillo says. “And her work ethic has begun to rub off on her teammates who go to train with her.”
Ryan McGuire ‘20 is one of three captains on the wrestling team, helping to lead the squad as he wrestles up at 220 pounds. He signed his letter of intent to continue wrestling at the University of Dubuque.
Before signing, McGuire thanked his head coach, Jason Churak, with bringing him to this point. Churak began coaching McGuire back with the Arlington Cardinals, a prep wrestling program, and through his four years at Saint Viator.
He said he looks forward to wrestling under Spartan Head Coach Jon McGovern, who was an NCAA champion and All-American wrestler at Iowa.
“He’s just a great leader,” McGuire said, “who encourages his athletes to excel in the classroom and on the mat.”
Aisling Finnegan ’20 plays both field hockey and lacrosse at Saint Viator, but it is on the lacrosse field where her she will continue to play. Finnegan signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisc.
As goalie, Finnegan anchored the Lady Lions last season to a 15-3 record, making it all the way to the sectional semi-finals.
“I just love lacrosse,” Finnegan said. “Carroll is just the right size. I knew as soon as I walked on campus and met the girls, that it was the right place for me.”