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Athletic Letter of Intent February Signing Day Ceremony

On Wednesday, February 1, fourteen Loyola Academy student athletes signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play their respective sports in college. Congratulations to the following students and their parents!

Gus Berne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“If I could describe Gus in one word it would be determined. Whether in the classroom or on the water, he sets goals and achieves them. Through his strength, grit, and determination, Gus has led the Ramblers to a 12th place finish at SRAA Nationals as a junior in the varsity 8 event and both he and I expect an even better finish in 2023. I have no doubts he will continue his success at MIT.” Coach Brian Martin

Sophia D’Ascenzo, University of Kansas
“Sophia has worked hard to get where she is today in the sport of crew. She started to really dedicate herself to crew in her sophomore year, and by her junior year she was one of the best erg scores on the team and was regularly competing for the top boat. As a reward for her efforts, she was recruited to several Division I schools to continue her rowing career. She has earned her place as a Division I rower, and she will be a great addition to the team at the University of Kansas.” Coach Mike Kelley ’94

Emmy Panagakis, Duke University
“When her parents dropped her off at the boathouse the summer going into her frosh year, Emmy was not expecting that crew would change the path she was on both in high school and college. At the time, and for the following couple years, Emmy played for an elite travel soccer team. A great leader on the team, over the years Emmy developed into a strong rower and a consistent member of the varsity top boat. Her efforts resulted in her being recruited by several universities, and she will continue her rowing career at the Division I level at Duke University.” Coach Mike Kelley ’94


Declan Forde, Colorado School of Mines
“Decaln’s dedication to his tradecraft of being top tier wide receiver was put on display week in and week out during the 2022 season. Decaln’s preparation was evident as he was an unstoppable red zone threat and made numerous game changing plays in our state title run. His receiving skills, work ethic, intelligence, and superb athleticism will make him a big play threat at Colorado School of Mines.” Coach Pat Naughton ’96

Michael Kostantonov, University of Missouri
“Michael Kostantonov matured as a player and a young man this season. He worked hard after practices in the weight room when no one was watching to make himself and the team better. He played a huge part of the goal line team and field goal teams. His dedication was a huge part of our success this season.” Coach Mike Kotowski ’87

Claude Strnad, Illinois State University
“A member of the Loyola offensive line unit, Claude approached Coach Feldheim after his junior year and asked if he could become a long snapper for his senior year. He dedicated himself in the off-season, attending multiple snapping camps and developed into a solid backup at long snapper his senior year.” Coach John Holecek

John McGuire, Northwestern University
“John is one of the best all-around players to have come through Loyola Academy. John is a two-year starter at free safety and was also a punishing short yardage running back. When a big play needed to be made, we could count on John to answer the bell. He was a team captain and the true leader of our defense. John’s qualities of being unselfish, extremely intelligent, and explosively athletic made him a great teammate.” Coach Pete Devine ’90

Will Emerson, Trinity College (Connecticut)
“Will was a two-year starting right tackle. Will is a competitive player who loves playing football. He is a grinder who watches a ton of film to prepare for opponents. Will often refused to take any plays off during practice so he could get more reps and work on improving his skills or maybe to best the scout team player he was competing against. A leader by example.” Coach Mike Kotowski ’87

Brady Moffit, Denison University
“Brady started at right guard and is ‘old school tough.’ He missed a year due to a stress fracture  and came back his senior season to solidify our unit. Brady kept the O-Line room focused and attentive as he held himself and other players accountable with ‘insightful’ comments. Brady showed great toughness battling through a meniscus injury the last five games of the year.” Coach Mike Kotowski ’87


Maddie Quinn, St. Michael’s College Vermont
“Maddie is a great athlete with a good heart and strong work ethic. Maddie is a natural leader. Maddie’s commitment and hard work will drive her to success in college.” Coach DJ Lavarre


Dottie Ghislandi, Middlebury College
“Dottie Ghislandi is a three-year starter and integral part of Loyola Academy’s defense, which allowed only 5.7 goals-per-game in 2021 and 6.23 goals-per-game in 2022. As the only returning senior starter on defense, her leadership skills, communication skills, and work ethic will be a key component for success in 2023. Dottie is athletic, tall, fast, and strong. Her coverage skills are exceptional and she spearheads the defense with her smarts and ability to communicate. She also excels at clearing the ball as her stick handling and speed complement that skill. In addition, Dottie is an exceptional student and was named USA Lacrosse Academic All America. Dottie is co-captain for Loyola Academy for 2023.” Coach John Dwyer


Emmy Christopher, Middlebury College
“It is no surprise to be celebrating Emmy’s commitment to continue her career as a student athlete in both soccer and track at Middlebury College. She is both driven and dedicated to all that she does which has led her to excel in the classroom, on the field, and when sprinting around the track. She is a tireless worker and constantly seeks ways to improve her game, while quietly leading and pushing her teammates to as well. Her growth as a player since her freshman year has been tremendous and we know that her speed, skill, and tenacity have her poised for success on the field this spring for LAVS and as she transitions to Middlebury.” Coach Shannon Hartinger (soccer)

“Emmy is an athlete who embraces the challenge of the competition with focus and determination. As a two-sport athlete, she can balance expectations of both sports. Once she steps on the track, she is the leader of the team. She takes pride in competing in multiple events, from short to long sprint events. Emmy is a team captain, and her leadership has had an important impact on the success of the team. Emmy is a four-time state qualifier and GCAC champion.” Coach ChrisJon Simon ’86 (track and field)


Maria Stevens, DePauw University
“Maria played a very important role on the Loyola Academy varsity volleyball team over the past two seasons at the libero position. Maria was constantly looking for ways to improve and take her game to the next level. Due to her determination, she earned the starting libero position and the team relied on her a lot for both her skill and the energy she brought to the court. During this past season, she led the team in digs with 274 and was one of our GCAC All Conference winners. Maria will be missed greatly next season, and we wish her the best as she takes her game to the next level of play at DePauw University!” Coach Mallory Thelander


Massey Odiotti, Northwestern University
“Massey Odiotti is a very talented individual that is an absolute hammer on the wrestling mat.
His classroom work, his very high wrestling IQ, and his quality work ethic will help him transition well into the Big Ten and Division I wrestling. He is currently the most successful wrestler in Loyola history, setting many records along the way including most wins, pins, and tournament victories. He is ranked #1 in the state, is a returning state finalist, and a national finalist. We are looking forward to seeing him continue on his path to greatness at Northwestern University, and he will definitely be missed at Loyola.” Coach Matt Collum

Also honored were five football players who committed on December 12, 2022 during the early signing period. Those athletes are:
Jake Stearney, Colgate University
Jack Parker, Western Michigan University
Brooks Bahr, Michigan University
Jack Fitzgerald, Northwestern University
Panayiotis Mihalopoulos, Eastern Illinois


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