National Signing Day was a busy one at Saint Viator, with seven student athletes signing letters of intent to play college sports.
“It is a select few, who can navigate the rigors of being a student-athlete—and have the will to continue to the next level,” said Athletic Director Martin Jennings in congratulating the students, their families and coaches.
At the Division I level, Kevin Napoleon committed to playing baseball at Butler University in Indianapolis. He follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Bobby, who is left handed pitcher for the Bulldogs, headed into his senior season this spring.
Head Coach Mike Manno points to Napoleon’s nine wins last year, which was a school record. He had 2.176 ERA, with 66 strikeouts and 16 walks, and was the Lions’ most dependable pitcher.
Jackie Rose signed a letter of intent to swim at Southern Illinois University. The freestyler was named all-conference in the rugged Metro Aquatic Conference this year in the 200 and 100 freestyle events and freestyle relays.
She has been voted the team’s MVP all four years that she swam with the Lady Lions and has been named all-sectional the last three years, including her senior sectional, when she broke school records in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events.
“Jackie has been the heart and soul of the team for four years from a leadership perspective—as well as a standout athlete,” says Head Coach Jamie Klotz.
Another Saint Viator student headed to a Division I program is Maggie Leazer, a senior defender with the Lions soccer team, who signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Evansville in Indiana. Leazer was all-conference last year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and an honorable mention in the Daily Herald all-area team. She is a standout athlete in volleyball, basketball and soccer, but chose to pursue soccer in college.
“She’s been a starter since freshmen year,” said head coach, Mike Taylor. “She’s been an integral part of the success of our team both as a defender and midfielder.”
Three more soccer players signed letters of intent to play at the Division III level, including Grace Ross, who will play at Loras College in Dubuque, IA, Ashley Steadman who will play at Benedictine in Lisle, and Anthony Pineda at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisc.
“I’m so excited, this has been a dream of mine to play at the college level,” Pineda said. “St. Norbert’s was the first school that was interested in me and I’m so grateful.”
Finally, Connor Phelan of Elk Grove Village signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Chicago. The Maroons play at the Division III level and Saint Viator Assistant Coach Kyle Jenkins says Phelan will be able to contribute on both sides of the line.
Last season, he played offensive tackle and defensive end and had four solo tackles, eight assisted tackles, for 12 total tackles.
With the latest Lions to sign letters of intent, that brings the number of college bound student athletes to 13. Last November, six Saint Viator students signed letters of intent during the early signing period for the NCAA.
They included Jack Coney, who will play baseball at Purdue University; Mike Ragauskis who will play baseball at the University of Oklahoma; Andrea Renner will play hockey at Northeastern University in Boston, Ellie Meyer will play volleyball at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, while brothers Kevin and Patrick Murphy will both play lacrosse, with Kevin headed to Salisbury University in Maryland and Patrick headed to Denison University in Granville, Ohio.