A big crowd of athletes, their teammates, parents, and fans turned out Wednesday to Saint Viator High School’s Cahill Gymnasium to watch a total of nine student-athletes sign letters of intent to pursue their sport at the next level.
They included Casey Kmet, the power-hitting third baseman for the Lions who will play baseball—with his older brother, Cole—at the University of Notre Dame. The last time they played on the same team, in 2017, Saint Viator won the Class 3A state championship.
“Notre Dame is a great, overall school,” Casey said, “and I’m excited to play with my brother again. Hopefully, we can win another championship.”
Head Coach Mike Manno, who coached both Kmet brothers in baseball, said Casey brings versatility to the Irish.
“He has power hitting as well as defensive skills,” Manno said. “Whether he’s behind the plate or at third base, it’s his versatility that has provided this opportunity to play at the next level.”
Another student who committed early was Elijah Black, who on Wednesday signed his letter of intent to play lacrosse at Ohio State University. He committed to the Buckeyes’ program at the end of his freshman season. This three-sport athlete lined up as running back for the Lions in football, before wrestling in the winter, and all before suiting up for lacrosse.
“Elijah’s been playing at an elite level for years,” said Head Coach Pat Gaeger. “He’s a special talent, whose combination of skill and athleticism separates him on the field.”
His teammate, Max Rudolph, also committed to playing lacrosse at the next level. This fall, he will join the Bombers at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY, who play in the Liberty League.
“Max does all the little things right,” Coach Gaeger added. “He is a phenomenal leader and he’s going to a great school with a very competitive program.”
Saint Viator’s talented backcourt in boys’ basketball, Treyvon Calvin and Jeremiah Hernandez, haven’t started their senior season yet, but already they know they are playing in college. Treyvon is headed to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, while Jeremiah heads to Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio.
Last season, Trey and Jerry, as they are known to their teammates, led Saint Viator to 24 wins and a perfect record in the East Suburban Catholic Conference while averaging a combined 32 points between them.
“I liked the environment and the coaches,” Trey said of Wright State, whose Raiders made it to NCAA tournament last year. “I hope to make an impact right away.”
Another talented duo to sign letters on Wednesday were senior golfers Timmy Crawford and Nolan Doherty, who both committed to playing golf at Loyola University. Head Coach Jack Halpin drove to Loyola’s campus earlier on Wednesday and picked up hats and scarves for his players when whom did he meet? Sr. Jean Schmidt, BVM, chaplain for the men’s basketball program.
“She knew all about them and that they were signing today,” Halpin said.
These senior golfers propelled the team back to state this year—their second straight trip and third in four years—and now will play together as Ramblers.
“Playing at Saint Viator and being at the state tournament, helped prepare me for playing at the next level,” Nolan said. “I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity and a great school.”
A pair of volleyball players also will be taking their game to the next level. Kate Nottoli committed to playing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, while Taylor Psaller will play at Harper College. Together, these Lady Lions helped return the team back to a second straight sectional final.
“Both Kate and Taylor came every day, ready to work,” said Coach Charlie Curtin. “They did what it took to help the team. Literally, they were willing to go above and beyond.”
Athletic Director Jason Kuffel commended the student-athletes for all of their hard work and bringing their passion to the game.
“We will watch for you and root for you as you take your game to the college level,” Kuffel said. “It truly is a great day to be a Lion.”