After a school year disrupted by the pandemic, with sports seasons interrupted or postponed, Saint Viator student-athletes just want to keep playing. That may explain why a record number of student-athletes – 22 – signed letters of intent to play their sport in college.
The Spring National Signing Day took place April 25, outdoors on the south athletic lawn. The ceremony drew a crowd of parents, teachers, friends, teammates, and coaches to cheer on these athletes as they prepare to play at the collegiate level.
Athletic Director Jason Kuffel thanked the parents for all the sacrifices they had made to bring their son or daughter to this point, as well as the coaches and teammates for inspiring them to build a passion for their sport.
“The decision to pursue collegiate athletics is not one everyone makes,” Mr. Kuffel said. “Your commitment to your passion has provided you this opportunity. We are proud of you and all of the work you put in as student-athletes.”
The list of sports was nearly as long as the number of athletes, with Lions heading on to play collegiate baseball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys and girls basketball, football, girls hockey, boys lacrosse, boys soccer, and wrestling.
Leading the group was Jeremiah Pittman, a defensive tackle for the Lions football team. He was recruited by 14 major college programs, including six of the Big Ten teams, before committing to play at Iowa.
Head Coach Dave Archibald credited Jeremiah for his leadership in the weight room and mentoring younger players in developing their work ethic.
“Jeremiah is a humble leader, who is unwavering in his energy and effort,” Coach Archibald said.
Here is a complete list of these college-bound student-athletes:
Madison Wrzos – Girls Hockey at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
Madison graduated from St. Anne’s School in Barrington. Madison is a two-sport athlete playing softball for the Lions in addition to her club hockey commitments. Madison is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and the Viator Voice.
Gaetano Console – Wrestling at Johns Hopkins University
Gaetano graduated from Holy Family Academy in Inverness and is a member of the Querbes Scholar program and National Honor Society.
Lilly Collins – Girls Soccer at St. Norbert College
Lilly graduated from Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights and was quite an athlete, competing in soccer, basketball, swimming, and water polo.
Aubrey Horbach – Girls Basketball at Loras College
Aubrey joined graduated from Immanuel Lutheran School in Palatine. She is an active member of the National Honor Society and has had a stellar career for Lady Lions basketball team.
Danielle Panzeca – Girls Volleyball at Benedictine University
Danielle graduated from St. Philip the Apostle in Addison and was a defensive specialist for the Lions, who consistently led the team in digs.
Connor Benson – Boys Basketball at Loras University
Connor graduated from Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines and is credited as being a team leader both on and off the court.
Aidan Harrington – Boys Basketball at St. Norbert College
Aidan graduated from Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights. He has been a two-sport athlete, also playing volleyball.
John Mepham – Boys Soccer at North Central College in Elmhurst
John graduated from St. Thomas of Villanova School in Palatine and was one of the senior leaders on the boys soccer team.
Matthew Marchiori – Boys Soccer at the University of Dubuque
Matthew graduated from Our Lady of the Wayside School in Arlington Heights. He anchored the boys soccer team as its leader and goalie.
Wayne Karlstedt – Baseball at Carthage College
Wayne graduated from Holy Family Academy in Inverness. He plays third base and is a power hitter for the Lions’ baseball program.
Nate Carlson – Baseball at Illinois Wesleyan
Nate graduated from St. Thomas of Villanova School in Palatine. He is a right-handed pitcher for the Lions and also played basketball for the Lions.
Nicholas Conenna – Baseball at Northwood University
Nicholas graduated from Saint Philip the Apostle in Addison. He also has been a dual-sport athlete for the Lions participating in both hockey and baseball.
John Montesinos – Football at St. Ambrose College
John graduated from St. Raymond School in Mt. Prospect. He competes in track and field as well as football and also was a member of the tech crew each winter for the school musical.
P.J. Scales – Football at Johns Hopkins University
P.J. graduated from St. Walter’s School in Roselle. He has been a stand-out athlete in both lacrosse and football for the Lions.
Lucas Barisas – Football at Tulane University
Lucas graduated from Northridge Prep in Niles. He is a member of the National Honor Society and also competes in track and field.
Joe Laterza – Football at Texas Christian University
Joe graduated from St. Anne’s School in Barrington. He was a standout wide receiver for the Lions and also played baseball while serving on the Student Council.
Jeremiah Pittman – Football at the University of Iowa
Jeremiah graduated from Christan Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights. He had had one of the most decorated football careers in Saint Viator history. In addition to his leadership on the field, Jeremiah also was an active member Student Council and National Honor Society.
Manuel Joseph Lara – Boys Lacrosse at Edgewood College
Joseph graduated from St. Colette School in Rolling Meadows. He was a defensive specialist for the boys lacrosse program and is the second member of his family to play college lacrosse.
Chris Coleman – Boys Lacrosse at Berry College
Chris graduated from St. James School in Arlington Heights. He played both football and lacrosse at Saint Viator but ultimately chose to continue playing lacrosse for the Vikings.
Anthony Luczak – Boys Lacrosse at the Milwaukee School of Engineering
Anthony graduated from St. James School in Arlington Heights. He played nose guard on the football team in addition to being a three-year varsity starter for the lacrosse team.
Mikey Pastore – Boys Lacrosse at Denison University
Mikey graduated from St. Theresa School in Palatine. He also played cornerback for the Lions’ football team while playing offense as a midfielder in lacrosse.
Dom DeJulio – Boys Lacrosse at Detroit Mercy College
Dom graduated from Walter Sundling Junior High in Palatine. He also is a two-sport athlete for the Lions, playing both soccer and lacrosse.