During the month of May, seven Chaminade Julienne seniors signed National Letters of Intent to continue their careers as student-athletes at the collegiate level.
According to Scott Pierce, athletic director, a total of 18 students – or about 10 percent of the senior class – have signed or committed to play eight different sports with NCAA-affiliated schools.
“For at least one of every 10 students in the class to use athletics as a springboard for the next chapter in their lives speaks to the vitality of the department and the impact athletics has on the students’ lives,” Pierce said.
Eight student-athletes have agreed to play football, including dual-sport athlete Sam Spees who will also play baseball; John Staley, Raytea Long and Emily Michael have all agreed to play basketball on the NCAA Division I level; Camille Dickens will run track in the Big Ten against longtime teammate Cierra Brown; Sean Miller and Schaudon Herd will play men’s and women’s soccer at Tiffin University and Findlay University respectively; Maggie Switzer will row at Mercyhurst University; Andy Bole will play tennis at Grand Valley State University, and Diann Bonner will golf at Thomas More College.
Pierce believes the breadth of sports represented is a testament to the school’s vastly talented students and a positive reflection on those CJ coaches who have helped Eagles pursue their athletic careers at the next level.
“Our kids are unbelievable, and our coaches fuel the passion that our players have through much dedication and encouragement,” Pierce said.
On May 4, defensive tackle and National Achievement Scholarship recipient Mitchell Jones signed with Yale University, where he’ll study chemical engineering; two-year varsity starter Zachary Zavakos signed to play wide receiver at Bluffton University, where he’ll double major in biology and chemistry; and three-year varsity player Jacob Porter signed with Muskingum University to play linebacker. The spring signees (pictured above) join teammates Darian Reynolds, Marco Gresham and Nick Flannery who each signed in February.
“I am very proud of these young men for their success at CJ and their continued efforts at playing the game of football,” said first year CJ head football coach Marcus Colvin. “All three of the universities getting these student-athletes will find that they are young men that have high character and dedication to their sport.”
On May 9, future Ohio State Buckeye Camille Dickens became the second CJ track athlete to sign with an NCAA Division I Big Ten school. In her four years with the varsity program, the senior has been part of four consecutive GGCL championship teams, competed on two indoor state track championship teams, and placed in three events in the outdoor state championships as a junior.
Finally on Monday, May 14, seniors Darnell Dunson, Sam Spees and Andy Bole each signed with respective colleges during an after-school ceremony in the library.
Dunson will play defensive back with the Lions of the College of Mount St. Joseph, where he’ll receive a partial academic scholarship and study Environmental Science. Darnell, who is also an Eagles four-year varsity track athlete, was named to the first team All-GCL last spring as a member of the Eagles 800 meter relay foursome.
Spees will play baseball and football at Centre College in Danville, Ky. The two-sport standout was a four-year varsity starter at shortstop and the 2012 GCL baseball co-Athlete of the Year. He also led the Eagles football program to the 2011 Division IV regional finals at quarterback and punter, for which he received All-GCL, All-Area and third team All-State honors.
Bole will play tennis at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. In 2010, Bole became the first Eagles men’s tennis player to represent CJ at the state tournament in 20 years. He earned first team All-GCL honors in each of his four seasons on varsity and was named GCL Ahtlete of the Year as a senior.
Diann Bonner, a member of the Eagles 2011 state championship golf team, has verbally committed to play golf at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky. near Cincinnati. She earned first team All-GGCL honors for her play as a senior during the fall season.