Saint Viator Athletes Commit on Fall National Signing Day

They have led their teammates on and off the field, inspiring them through their leadership, work ethic, and collaboration. On Wednesday, they took the next step. In front of their families, friends, and classmates, eight student-athletes signed national letters of intent, committing to take their sport to the collegiate level.

“The decision is not one everyone makes,” said Athletic Director Jason Kuffel. “Your commitment to your passion has provided you this opportunity. We are so proud of all the work you have put in as a student-athlete.”

Their sports and future colleges ran the gamut, from playing in everything from baseball, basketball, and soccer to volleyball and participating in track and field.

Among them was Mary Grace Hegberg of Arlington Heights, who finished second in Class 2A on Saturday at the IHSA state cross country championships, setting a personal best and tying a record for the best individual finish in school history.

“She’s one of the best in the history of the school,” said Head Coach Wayne Edelman. “Her times just blew us away.”

Earlier this season, Mary Grace was crowned ESCC conference champion, as well as finishing first place in regionals and third place at sectionals on her way to returning to the state.

Mary Grace committed to running track and cross country at Georgetown University, whose Lady Hoyas won their second straight Big East championship last month.

Another highly recruited Saint Viator student to announce her decision was Joy Bergstrom of Mount Prospect, who now will take her basketball skills – and sharpshooting – to the University of South Dakota.

Joy was an impact player right from the start at Saint Viator, starting as a freshman and scoring 1,259 points during her first three years. Last season, Joy was named to the ESCC all-conference team as well as the Class 3A all-state team and as an honorable mention to the AP Class 3A all-state team.

In joining the Coyotes at South Dakota, she joins a program that was picked as the favorite in the Summit League preseason poll for the third-straight year.

“Joy has carved out an incredible basketball career as a player at Saint Viator High School and has excelled in the classroom,” said Head Coach Jason Raymond. “The University of South Dakota is getting an amazing student-athlete, but more importantly an even more impressive person.” 

Carson Eggebraten of Cary is a dual athlete at Saint Viator, having played football and lacrosse, but it is lacrosse that he will play in college. Carson signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play Division 1 lacrosse at the University of Vermont. 

The Catamounts won the America East Conference title last season and advanced to the men’s lacrosse NCAA tournament. 

Casey Hintz of Lakewood has started every baseball game for the Lions since he was a freshman, so he cannot conceive of starting college without bringing his cleats. He is a two-year captain and was all-conference in the ESCC last season, and now he has committed to playing at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a top Division II contender in the Iowa Community College Athletic Association.

“He has been a mainstay at shortstop and has been one of our top pitchers,” says Head Coach Mike Manno. “I have a ton of confidence and trust in this young man, and I know he will succeed in whatever he does in his future endeavors.”

Three members of Saint Viator’s girls’ soccer team are continuing on to play in college. Gabriella Letto of Schaumburg will play for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, who compete in Division 1 in the American Athletic Conference. 

Her teammate, Emilie Doersching of Barrington, signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Northern Kentucky. Its Norse compete in Division 1 and made it to the semi-finals of the Horizon League’s conference championships this season.

Sydney Grant of Schaumburg is another soccer player committing to play in college. She heads to Tusculum University in Greeneville, TN, whose Pioneers play in Division II in the South Atlantic Conference.

Lily LaFleur of Des Plaines is coming off a thrilling girls’ volleyball season in which she helped lead the team to the best record in school history, 33-6, and the sectional championship. She now heads to Davenport University to play with the Panthers, who compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“As you move on, always remember we are proud of you and we will always root for you,” Patrick Gaeger, athletic department assistant, said as he wrapped up the event, “and we are honored that you will be representing Saint Viator at the next level.”

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.