Eighteen Student Athletes Commit to Play College Athletics

Eighteen+Student+Athletes+Commit+to+Play+College+Athletics

Charlie Celtic, staff writer

NEW LENOX – Mr. Doug Ternik, Athletic Director at Providence Catholic High School, announced that eighteen student athletes will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. “We are extremely proud of these athletes. They are academically accomplished students in the classroom and leaders in their respective sports. We wish all of them the very best in college and in the future and are excited to see them continue playing at the next level,” said Ternik.

Gianna Russo of Mokena, Illinois, daughter of Michael and Christina Russo, has been recognized for committing to Abilene Christian University to play softball on athletic and academic scholarship. She plans to major in Business Administration and minor in Human Resources. Russo is a member of Hickory Creek Community Church and a graduate of Heritage Christian School. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, she is also involved in SAVI (Student Augustinian Values Institute), Scholastic Bowl, and has played softball all four years. She has earned several accolades for her skills on the field as a junior, including All-State Infield; Chicago Catholic League All-Conference; and Chicago Tribune’s All-Area Honorable Mention. In addition, Russo has three grand slams; three walk-off home runs; more than 34 home runs total since freshman year; 2021 Ranked Legacy & Legends Top 150 Players, Class of 2022; and an Extra Innings Softball Ranked Top 300 Softball Prospect, Class of 2022. “Providence Catholic has definitely prepared me for college academically. Because of their rigorous academic challenges, I was able to receive the highest academic scholarship offered at Abilene Christian University,” says Russo. “I am blessed and beyond excited to play Division 1 Softball at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas!”

Mitch Bartecki of Lockport, Illinois, son of Jeff and Karen Bartecki, has been recognized for committing to University of Rio Grande to play volleyball on an athletic and academic scholarship. Bartecki is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Lockport and is a graduate of St. Joseph Lockport School. A member of the honor roll, he has also been on the volleyball team since freshmen year. “Providence has deepened my faith. It also helped me with my study habits,” says Bartecki.

Liam McDermott of Mokena, Illinois, son of Will and Beth McDermott, has been recognized for committing to Indiana University to wrestle on academic scholarship. He plans to major in Business. McDermott is a member of St. Mary Mokena, from which he is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, he is also involved in Student Council, Mock Trial, and the wrestling and football teams while at Providence. As an athlete, he has earned the Ken Gerdes Award, and served as captain of both the wrestling and football teams. “Providence was a tool for me to discover all of my strengths and weaknesses and use them to better myself in college selection and my decision of what to go into,” says McDermott. “I have learned how to become a better person in many ways including spiritually.”

Wyatt Goorsky of New Lenox, Illinois, grandson of Debbie Goorsky, has been recognized for committing to Carthage College to wrestle on academic scholarship. Goorsky is a member of St. Jude New Lenox, from which he is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll, he is also involved in band, theatre, and wrestling at Providence. He was named JV Conference Champion as a sophomore and was a member of Providence Catholic’s State Championship Marching Celtics. “Providence has shown me that I can handle the difficulty of the college courses and I can handle the responsibilities of college,” says Goorsky.

Ethan Todner of Plainfield, Illinois, son of Todd and Lisbeth Todner, has been recognized for committing to North Greenville University in Tigerville, S. C., to play lacrosse on academic and athletic scholarship. He plans to major in Business and minor in Psychology. Todner is a member of St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick Parish, from which he is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll, including high honors as a junior and senior, he is also involved in Augustinian Youth Ministry and Habitat for Humanity. As an athlete, he has been a member of the football, wrestling, and lacrosse teams. “Providence has prepared me for college by offering college prep courses which encouraged me to work harder, nurturing and growing my talents academically and athletically and by giving me the opportunity to make lasting friendships in a safe and supportive environment,” says Todner.

Alexandra Cimino of Elwood, Illinois, daughter of Dave and Eleni Cimino, has been recognized for committing to Purdue University Northwest to play soccer on athletic and academic scholarship. She plans to major in Criminal Justice and minor in Sociology, Psychology and Forensic Science. Cimino is a member of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church and a graduate of Elwood School. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, she is also involved in soccer and was named All-Conference for girls soccer as a junior. “Providence has helped me better myself at writing. The teachers have built a great way for students to get college ready by writing papers and helping us along the way. Also, during my four years, teachers have helped me create better study habits which have helped me achieve the grades I want,” says Cimino.

Gillian Jones of Mokena, Illinois, daughter of AJ and Michelle Jones, has been recognized for committing to Loras College to play softball on an academic scholarship. She plans to major in Pre-Physical Therapy. Jones is a member of St. Mary Mokena, from which she is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, she is also involved in Habitat for Humanity. As an athlete, she has played volleyball and softball at Providence. “Providence prepared me for college by providing me with a quality education and leadership opportunities to be successful at the next level. My teachers and coaches gave me the confidence required to handle the challenges of being a student-athlete,” says Jones.

Sophie Morey of Tinley Park, Illinois, daughter of Tom and Mimma Morey, has been recognized for committing to Lawrence University to play basketball on academic scholarship. She plans to major in Psychology. Morey is a member of St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish and was a graduate of Noonan Academy. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, she is also involved in Augustinian Youth Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, and has served as a Student Ambassador. She has played basketball all four years at Providence; she served as freshmen team captain; and was named to the Providence Catholic Thanksgiving All-Tournament Team as a sophomore. “The teachers and coaches at Providence are the reason I am prepared for what’s ahead. All of them have helped me perform to the best of my ability both in and out of the classroom. The classes I have taken have challenged me over the last four years and because of this, I feel even more ready for the future,” says Morey.

Emma Davis of Mokena, Illinois, daughter of Christopher and Paula Davis, has been recognized for committing to Marquette University to play tennis on academic scholarship. She plans to major in accounting. Davis is a member of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, she is also involved in Augustinian Youth Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, Proviscope Newspaper, and served as a Kairos leader. She has played tennis all four years at Providence and has achieved many awards, including MVP all four years; 2nd place at state her senior year; 3rd place at state her sophomore year; 5th place at state her freshmen year; and served as the Varsity Tennis captain. “Providence’s vigorous course selections and amazing coaches taught me to push myself past my limits to achieve greatness both on and off the court,” says Davis.

David DeRubertis of Frankfort, Illinois, son of Albert and Teresa DeRubertis, has been recognized for committing to Drury University for Bass Fishing on academic and athletic scholarship. He plans to major in Environmental Science. David is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish and is a graduate of Noonan Academy. A member of the honor roll and the National Honor Society, he is also involved in Habitat for Humanity. As an athlete, he has been a member of the Cross Country and Bass Fishing Teams. In Bass Fishing, David took 1st place at sectionals as a freshman and 2nd place at sectionals as a junior. “Providence has taught me not only what it takes to be a good student in class, but outside the classroom as well. They showed what it’s like to be a part of a community of people that want the best for you,” says David. “If you ask me who I’d thank for bringing me to this moment? I owe every success I have in my life to everyone but myself. I just happen to be the guy lucky enough to know God, and a few people that taught me some lessons along the way namely my parents and coaches.”

Billy Meiszner of Orland Park, Illinois, son of Bill and Deanne Meiszner, has been recognized for committing to Kent State for wrestling with athletic and academic scholarships. He plans to major in Finance. Meiszner is a graduate of Century Junior High. A member of the honor roll, he is also involved in Habitat for Humanity. As an athlete, he has been a member of the wrestling team all four years, and has earned several accolades including Wrestling Most Improved as a sophomore; MVP as a junior; and served as team captain both his junior and senior year. “Providence has given me knowledge I will need in college,” says Meiszner.

Brayden Garrigan of Lemont, Illinois, son of Steve and Jayne Garrigan, has been recognized for committing to University of Indianapolis on academic scholarship to continue his football career. He plans to major in Business. Garrigan is a member of St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick Parish, from which he is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll and National Honor Society, he also serves as a Sacristan. As an athlete, he has been a member of the football, baseball and basketball teams. For football, he earned several accolades including Football All-Conference (twice), Second Team All-Area, Catholic League Defensive MVP, and Team MVP. He also served as captain of the team. “Providence has not only made me a great student but has molded me into the man I am today. Providence has given me the tools I need not only to succeed in college, but to succeed in life as well,” says Garrigan.

Tyler Young of Homer Glen, Illinois, son of Bob and Kathy Young, has been recognized for committing to St. Ambrose University on academic and athletic scholarship to continue his golf career. Young is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and a graduate of Oak Prairie Junior High. He is a member of the honor roll. As an athlete, he played basketball, baseball, and golf, the latter of which he was named Most Improved Player his senior year. “Providence has prepared me for college by having block scheduling and taught me to have good time management when dealing with assignment deadlines. Athletically, Providence has prepared me for college by hosting competitive athletic teams with great coaches,” says Young.

John Wajda of Mokena, Illinois, son of Frank and Jennifer Wajda, has been recognized for committing to Chipola College to continue his baseball career. Wajda is a member of St. Mary Mokena Parish from which he is also a graduate. He is a member of the honor roll and National Honor Society and has played for the basketball and baseball teams as an athlete. He has earned several accolades for both sports, including All-Conference Basketball Team, Basketball MVP and Basketball All-Area Team as a junior, and has served as captain of both the basketball and baseball teams his senior year. “Providence has prepared me by challenging me in my courses and making me work for things independently. The teachers are always working with you to help you get good grades for college,” says Wajda.

Kelly Knight of Mokena, Illinois, daughter of Matt Knight, has been recognized for committing to Coe College to continue her basketball career on academic scholarship. Knight is a member of St. Mary Mokena Parish, from which she is also a graduate. A member of the honor roll, she has also excelled in basketball during her four years at Providence. She has earned several accolades, including Basketball All-Conference Team her junior and senior years; All-Tournament Team at Marian Catholic Tournament her senior year; and has served as basketball captain her senior year. “Providence has helped me stay on top of my schoolwork while playing a sport,” says Knight.

Devin Devine of Palos Heights, Illinois, son of David and Therese Devine, has been recognized for committing to St. Ambrose on athletic and academic scholarship to continue his football career. He plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. Devine is a member of St. Alexander Parish, from which he is also a graduate. He is a member of the honor roll and National Honor Society and has also been a member of the Providence Bags Club. As an athlete, he has been named 1st Team All-Conference his senior year, as well as having earned the Celtic Award. “Playing in a tradition of greatness in the CCL and the rigorous classwork has made me ready to take the next step,” says Devine.

Shaw Stukel of Orland Park, Illinois, son of Douglas and Dina Stukel, has been recognized for committing to St. Ambrose University on athletic and academic scholarship to continue his baseball career. He plans to major in Business and minor in Marketing. Stukel is a member of St. Francis Parish, and a graduate of Orland Junior High. He is a member of the honor roll and National Honor Society and played baseball all four years. “Providence has prepared me with communication, life skills, and great family atmosphere values,” says Stukel.

Alex Alberico of Lockport, Illinois, son of Gino and Valerie Alberico, has been recognized for committing to Kent State University on athletic scholarship to continue his baseball career. He plans to major in Sports Administration and minor in Marketing. Alberico is a member of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish, from which he also graduated. He is a member of the honor roll and has played both basketball and baseball while at Providence. As a junior, he was selected to the All-Conference Team. “Providence has prepared me for college by providing me with a great education, and it has also provided me with life skills such as time management and leadership,” says Alberico.