Feb. 1 is recognized as National Signing Day, around the country — and at Saint Viator High School. On Wednesday afternoon, three seniors took their seats at the table to sign letters of intent to play their sports in college.
They included a pair of football players, Patrick Bauer, who is headed to Illinois State University and Michael Nix, who committed to Butler University in Indianapolis, as well as Marcelina Gorny, who signed her letter of intent to play at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
“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.”
Teammates of the athletes, and their coaches and families, filled the Academic Commons to cheer them on.
“This is such a great showing from your teammates, who have pushed you on and off the field, done extra reps with you and helped you get to where you’re at,” Kuffel added, “and they deserve to be a part of this signing day as well.”
Head Football Coach Dave Archibald took great pride in his two players heading to the collegiate level.
“Michael (Nix) is arguably among the best wide receivers in Saint Viator history,” Coach Archibald said. “He has set a phenomenally high standard for playing the position in our program.”
At Butler, he will join the Bulldogs, who finished with a record of 7-4 last season in the D1 (FCS) Pioneer League.
“Butler is a well respected academic and athletic school,” Michael said. “I loved the program and the coaches really communicated with me on another level. Most of all I was looking for a school where I could get play, and at Butler I think I can get playing time right away.”
While Coach Archibald described Michael as a legitimate star right from freshman year, he said Patrick Bauer worked hard to improve every year at the linebacker position, leading the team in tackles his senior year and voted all-conference, as well as Class 5A academic all-state honors.
“He has made huge strides over four years to become a legitimate D1 prospect,” Coach Archibald said. "He just kept building and building.”
Patrick committed to the Illinois State Redbirds, who finished with a 6-5 record last season, playing in the D1 (FCS) Missouri Valley Conference.
“I want to especially thank Coach Archibald,” Patrick said, “for bringing me in as a skinny little freshman and building me up.”
Marcelina Gorny broke the school record for blocks in a season and career blocks with the Saint Viator’s girls’ volleyball team. As a middle blocker, she helped lead the team to a 30-10 season, all the way up to its second consecutive appearance in the Class 3A Supersectionals.
She now takes her defensive skills to the Division 11 Hillsdale Chargers, who finished last season with a record of 28-7.
“I initially was drawn to the school because of its academics,” Marcelina says, “but the coaching staff is highly skilled and they are wise and talk with purpose. And the girls were very welcoming.”