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For the second straight year, National Signing Day at Saint Viator High School drew such a big crowd —of athletes, their teammates, parents, and fans—that the ceremony took place in the Cahill Gymnasium.

A total of 10 student-athletes, representing six different sports, signed letters of intent to play sports at their respective colleges.

“It is a select few who can navigate the rigors of being a student-athlete—and have the will to continue at next level,” said Martin Jennings, athletic director at the beginning of the signing ceremony on Wednesday. “You’ve gone above and beyond, and we’re proud of you. You are all champions.”

IMG_9560Student-athletes included the reigning state champion in the 100-yard freestyle and ranked as one of the fastest sprinters in the state, Michael Balcerak, who committed to swimming at the University of Cincinnati’s Division I program.

“It’s a great fit,” Balcerak said Wednesday. “They needed a sprinter and distance flyer, but I also loved the team atmosphere. I just felt welcomed there.”

IMG_9554Likewise, Myia Clark, who already has set a record for the most points scored in the Lions’ girls’ basketball program and is gunning to be the school’s all-time leading scorer—boys or girls—officially committed to playing basketball with the Division I Billikens at St. Louis University.

“I know Jackie Kemph (starting point guard and a 2014 Rolling Meadows High School graduate) is graduating, so they need a point guard,” Clark said, “but I’m not sure if I’ll be playing point guard or shooting guard. Either way, I can’t wait.”

IMG_9550Jack Scislowski played in only six games this year with the Lions, but he carried 63 times for 399 yards and six touchdowns. The speedy runner averaged 6.3 yards per attempt and ultimately played last month in the 2018 Blue-Gray All-American Bowl in Dallas. Now, he will take his skills to the Division I level, playing with the Raiders at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.

“He’s got great speed and agility, and the ability to change direction at full speed,” said Fr. Dan Hall, an assistant football coach and vice president of mission and identity at Saint Viator.

IMG_9547Anna Johnston, last year’s goalie of the year in girls’ soccer in the East Suburban Catholic Conference, committed to playing with the Wildcats at the University of New Hampshire, a Division I program.

“She’s the best I’ve ever seen at Saint Viator,” said Head Coach Mike Taylor. “Her footspeed and ability to control the defense, as well as her technique protecting in between the sticks is first rate.”

IMG_9563Catherine Hickey, who set the single-season school-record in girls’ volleyball, with 564 kills to go with 298 digs and 21 blocks and led the Lady Lions to their first state appearance last fall, will play with the Division II Saints at Limestone College in Gaffney, SC.

 

IMG_9557Olivia Solimene, who leads the Lions’ girls’ basketball team as its starting point guard and anchors the backcourt with Clark, will continue playing at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN.

IMG_9553IMG_9551Two more of the Lions football players will be competing at the next level. Anthony Maraviglia, who played on both the offensive and defensive lines for the Lions will play at Johns Hopkins University, while wide receiver, Joe Hare, will play at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

IMG_9558Haley Robinson, starting first baseman for the Lions’ softball team and a leader on the field, will continue playing at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Robinson also plays basketball and competes in cheerleading at Saint Viator, but she chose to continue to play softball in college.

“She’s the most talented athlete I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” said John Scotillo, head softball coach. “She’s a three-sport athlete, but Saint Viator fosters that multi-sport atmosphere.”

IMG_9545Shelby Mepham also signed a letter of intent, to continue playing soccer with the Eagles at Benedictine University in Lisle, who compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.

Watch the live stream of the signing ceremony.