L-Way East students sign letters of intent
May 9, 2013 2:56PM
Thirteen student athletes from Lincoln-Way East High School have committed to compete at the collegiate level. | Supplied photo
Updated: June 13, 2013 5:34PM
13 student athletes from Lincoln-Way East High School have committed to compete at the collegiate level, including one who has signed with a Big Ten university.
The students, who have all signed National Letters of Intent with colleges and universities from across the country, participated in a recognition ceremony at the school.
“This is an exciting day for all of us,” East Athletic Director Mark Vander Kooi said. “They’ve worked hard for this opportunity.”
The student athletes who recently signed National Letters of Intent are: Meaghan McMahon; St. Xavier University (basketball), Tommy Fuessel; Northwestern University (football), Justin Corbett; Northern Illinois University (football), Anna Palermini; North Central College (golf), Samantha Stewart; Valparaiso University (softball), Christina Mizera; College of St. Scholastica (softball), Juell Hodges; Illinois Central College (softball), Brittany Felice; Illinois State University (swimming), Taylor Jach; Xavier University (swimming), Stephanie Bitz; University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (swimming), Scott Hammond; Dartmouth University (track), Aaliyah Brown; Texas A&M University (track) and Kaley McLawhorn; Drake University (track/cross country).
Fuessel is East’s first football player to sign with Northwestern and the school’s second to enter a Big Ten university. The other East grad to sign with a Big Ten university was Adam Gettis, who now plays for the Washington Redskins.
Tommy is a “tremendous young man” who is dedicated to his teammates and the East football program, said East’s assistant football coach Joel Pallissard.
“We’re very, very proud of these two,” said head coach Rob Zvonar, referring to Tommy and his Northern-bound teammate Justin Corbett.
Girls basketball coach Jim Martin congratulated St. Xavier-bound Meaghan McMahon, describing her as a “versatile player capable of playing multiple positions.”
Girls golf coach Mary McGivern told representatives from North Central College that they are receiving one of East’s finest student athletes.
“(Anna Palermini) is a leader in all aspects of the word,” she said.
Softball coach Elizabeth Pawlicki congratulated her three student athletes; Samantha Stewart, Christina Mizera and Juell Hodges; and wished them “nothing but the best” as they head to college.
Girls swimming coach Kate Gabey expressed pride in college-bound seniors Brittany Felice, Taylor Jach and Stephanie Bitz.
“It’s going to be hard to see them go,” she said.
Boys track coach Ross Widinski described Scott Hammond as “the definition of a student athlete.”
“He’s not only a top athlete but a top student,” he said. “We’re going to lose a leader here.”
Girls track coach Caroline Gerritsen reflected on Aaliyah Brown’s many accomplishments at East and indicated the runner is on her way to becoming one of the school’s most accomplished athletes.
She holds 11 out of 12 sprint records; she’s been All-State 11 times; and she’s been the state champ five times, said Gerritsen.
Coach Wendy Hegarty congratulated fellow runner Kaley McLawhorn for her decision to attend Drake University and said the student athlete has left her mark on East’s cross-country program.
“On behalf of the administration here at East, I want to say congratulations to you student athletes,” Vander Kooi said. “You’ve earned it.”
Provided to SouthtownStar