It was standing room only as teammates, coaches and family members crowded into the Academic Commons to cheer on their student athletes. Wednesday was the National Signing Day for the fall period when athletes sign letters of intent to continue their sport at the college level.
In all, seven athletes took their seats at the signing table. Their sports ranged from track and field, volleyball and lacrosse, to softball and baseball.
“We want to celebrate these athletes,” said Jason Kuffel, Athletic Director. “All their hard work and dedication to their sport has led them to play at the collegiate level.”
Emmi Scales started off the introductions. She committed to running Division I track and field at the University of Kentucky. She won three state track titles last year in the IHSA state championships, and in July, she won a national title in the 100-meter hurdles at the USATF National Junior Olympics track and field championships in Sacramento.
“I chose Kentucky for its Olympic hurdling program and for the outstanding athletes it produces,” Emmi said. “I can’t wait to play at the collegiate level. Go, Cats!”
Zan Von Schlegell committed to playing Division I baseball for the Tommies at St. Thomas University in Minnesota. As an infielder, he provided timely hitting to help the Lions’ 35-3 season last year, making it to the Class 3A section finals. He also earned all-conference honors in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and was named top defensive playe. But Zan’s season didn’t end there. He played on the Pakistan National baseball team over the summer and represented Pakistan at the World Baseball Classic in Panama.
“They really treated us like big leaguers,” Zan said of playing in Panama. “Some of the players on other teams were professionals. Being able to play at the level was like a dream come true.”
Another ballplayer from the Lions’ record setting season last year to commit to a college program was Dylan Harer. He signed a letter of intent to play at Winona State University in Minnesota. The switch-hitting outfielder proved to be a valuable utility player for the team and now he takes his versatility to the Warriors.
“I thought it was the best fit athletically and academically,” Dylan said of Winona State.
Brooke Cwick was an all-conference selection for the Lady Lions’ softball team last year and she now heads to Blue Demons at DePaul University. Coach John Scotillo and some of her teammates were there to cheer her on.
“DePaul felt like home when I visited the campus,” Brooke said, “and I like the opportunity to represent the city of Chicago.”
Cade Faulkner was one of two lacrosse players to sign letters of intent. He announced he would be playing at the University of Utah. Cade is a prolific scorer and attack player for the Lions, averaging nearly 2.5 goals per game. He now takes his athletic skills to the Utes, who play at the Division I level in the ASUN Conference, formerly the Atlantic Sun Conference.
“(Utah) has a high academic business school,” Cade said, “and there are a lot of athletic opportunities there.”
C.C. Banas also will play Division II lacrosse in college for the Falcons at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. The women’s team plays in the Gulf Sun Conference. C.C. has started every game for the Lady Lions, playing midfield and on defense. She said the Falcons’ program fit her style of play.
“I also wanted a smaller school,” C.C. said. “I think I will do better there academically.”
Ella Trieloff announced she would be playing volleyball at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. She was an outside hitter on the Lady Lions and also an effective server. In trying to advance to the Class 3A Super sectional, and knock off the top seed, Vernon Hills High School, she served up a pair of aces to win the match.
“(Stevens Point) is ranked high academically,” Ella said, “with a highly ranked education program.”