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Saint Ignatius High School Celebrates National Signing Day

By Joe Mertens '15, 02/02/23, 4:30PM EST


20 student-athletes signed their National Letter of Intent on National Signing Day to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

OHIO CITY, Oh - On February 1, Saint Ignatius High School celebrated 20 student-athletes taking the next step in their athletic careers. This day celebrates students and their families for their hard work and dedication to their craft. Although National Signing Day honors the achievements of these student-athletes, it is also a celebration of the guidance of parents and guardians who have sacrificed for their son.

Let's meet the Wildcats who signed their letter of intent to become student-athletes at the next level. 20 student-athletes are heading to 18 universities/colleges and seven sports are represented for National Signing Day in 2023 for the Blue and Gold.

Peter Darling - Saint Joseph's University (Rowing)

The Wildcat Navy has seen its fair share of rowers move on to row at the Division I level. Peter Darling will continue his academic and rowing career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The senior is consistently one of the squad's top performers in the Varsity 8+ boat. In the fall season of 2022, it was evident that Darling would be a vital member of the Wildcat Navy. In his junior year, Darling was a member of the 2nd Varsity 8+ boat that secured a bronze medal in the Scholastic Rowing National Championship. 

The coaching staff for the program noted his leadership as soon as he stepped foot on campus in 2019 with a strong freshman class. Unfortunately, that season was cut short due to the pandemic. 

When the Wildcat Navy returned, Darling continued to build his enthusiasm for rowing and his leadership became contagious. 

Darling will join former Wildcat Navy rowers Eamon Coyne '20 and Patrick Miklus '22 at Saint Joseph's University. A program that is consistently competing for a National Championship.

After a successful 2022 season, Saint Ignatius rowing will look to have an even better 2023 campaign and Darling will be an essential part of that season for the Wildcats.  

Steven Favazzo - Miami of Ohio University (Football)

A true downhill runner will continue his academic and football career in Oxford as Steven Favazzo will play for the Miami of Ohio Redhawks.

In a plethora of talent in the backfield, Favazzo was the primary back for Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69. Favazzo came into his senior year with a chip on his shoulder and dominated when he got the chance.

The senior back missed most of the 2021 campaign due to an injury. During the offseason, Favazzo worked to become a starter on the offense and did just that in 2022. 

In seven games, Favazzo toted the football 80 times, rushing for 381 yards and three touchdowns.

A standout game from his senior season came against Baltimore Mount St. Joseph (MD), where Favazzo was unstoppable. He rushed 13 times, gaining 87 yards and finding paydirt twice. Trailing 14-7, Favazzo broke away for a 50-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats to pull even. 

Favazzo was one of the team's hardest downhill runners and it would take multiple defenders to get him to the ground. He is a back that fought extra for the tough yardage.

Favazzo will continue playing football at the Division I level out of the MAC at Miami University.

Jake Fix - Shepherd University (Baseball)

Senior outfielder Jake Fix will continue his academic and baseball career at Shepherd University in West Virginia. 

Fix earned significant time during his junior season for Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor. Fix appeared in 19 games and had 27 plate appearances. 

In 2022, Fix had a batting average of .318 and an on-base percentage of .444. Fix is brilliant on the baseball diamond, waiting for his pitch at the dish. Fix drew five walks and had nine runs and knocked in two RBIs. Fix also swiped three bags in his junior campaign. 

Fix has a strong arm in the outfield; his outfield velocity comes in at 88 mph. Fix also brings significant speed on the baseball diamond, making him a versatile outfielder for coach Ganor. 

The senior will go on to play at the Division II level for the Shepherd University Rams. They are a Division II program that competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. 

Fix will look to be an immediate impact on the Rams when he steps on campus next fall. Before he moves to the collegiate level, Fix will be essential for coach Ganor and the Baseball Cats in 2023. 

Fix gained valuable experience on a team that advanced to the Regional Final in 2022 and hopes to bring home a State Championship for the Wildcats.

Eugene Gibbons - Hillsdale College (Football)

The sack leader for the 2022 Wildcats is taking his talents to Hillsdale College to continue his academic and football career.

Eugene Gibbons was an anchor on the defensive line for coach Dave Cicceti and the Wildcats, collecting eight sacks and 38 tackles this season.

A game that felt the presence of Gibbons was when the Cats visited River Rouge (MI) on September 23, 2022. The senior defensive end would total six sacks in a defensive battle throughout—an unofficial record of sacks in a single game. 

He earned his first opportunities on the field as a junior and made an impact with an already-loaded defensive line. Gibbons finished his junior year with 6.5 tackles, two for a loss and a sack. 

Gibbons was a three-year letter award winner with the Football program and was awarded the most improved player by the coaching staff.

Gibbons, a dual-sport athlete, was a member of the wrestling program in the winter season. Gibbons credits his time with the Mat Cats for improving his hand-fighting and tackling techniques in the trenches. 

Hillsdale College competes out of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference at the Division II level. It will receive a relenting force in Eugene Gibbons in the fall, who will continue to improve his skills.

Connor Malicki - Kent State University (Golf)

Head Golf Coach PJ Myers '99 saw something extraordinary in Connor Malicki after his jump from Freshman to Sophomore year. Malicki joined the Varsity Blue squad in his second year at Saint Ignatius and has collected impressive accolades since. 

The back-to-back State Champion got his first taste of the State Tournament in his sophomore year as the Wildcats were Runner-Ups in 2020 with a team score of 609. 

In 2021, Malicki and company won the program's third-ever State Championship, the first in nearly 20 years. What was arguably one of the best Golf teams in program history would break an OHSAA record with a State tournament score of 591. 

The year-to-year improvement of Malicki is what makes him such a remarkable golfer on the course. At the State Championship in 2020, Malicki finished 44th in the individual field. In 2021, he came in 11th and played a significant role in raising a championship banner in 2021 and 2022.

In addition to his Saint Ignatius accolades, Malicki was a USGA Junior Amateur participant at Bandon Dunes in Oregon and participated in the 2022 US Open Local Qualifier.

Malicki joins a decorated program at Kent State University, where he will fit right in on day one. 

Pauly Mancino - Ohio University (Baseball)

The strong arm of Pauly Mancino is heading to Ohio University to continue his academic and baseball career. Mancino earned a starting role in the outfield in his junior season and was used as a relief pitcher for Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor's squad. 

Mancino posted a .271 batting average in the 2022 season. Mancino would draw nine walks and five RBIs, accounting for 13 runs. 

The arm strength of Mancino was on full display in the OHSAA District Final when he ended a Medina rally in the top of the sixth inning with a throw from right field to home end the inning. 

Mancino is also a talented pitcher and in the 2022 season, he appeared in 13 games, totaling 16.1 innings of work. Mancino led the team in saves with three. He posted an ERA of 0.86, striking out 22 batters and became the solidified closer to the Baseball Cats. 

Mancino will be essential for the success of the Wildcats in the upcoming season as coach Ganor hopes to use Mancino in the top part of the lineup. 

He will also be used to eat multiple innings as a relief pitcher. Mancino can get his pitches into the 90s and will look to be as effective as he was in 2022. 

Ohio University gains an exceptional athlete on the diamond in the fall of 2023.

Patrick McLaughlin - The Ohio State University (Soccer)

Heading to The Ohio State University is one of the top goalkeepers in the state, Patrick McLaughlin. McLaughlin was a three-year letter award winner for the Wildcats.

McLaughlin was a 2020 State and National Championship team member and took the reins as a goalkeeper for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Both seasons saw the program raise a State Championship.

In his senior season, McLaughlin would concede just 11 goals. He would keep a clean sheet in 14 games, earning a shutout. In 22 appearances, McLaughlin had over 37 saves in the goal. 

Patrick is the second McLaughlin continuing his academic and soccer career at the next level, as his older brother, Matthew, is a member of the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame. 

McLaughlin collected 60 appearances in his time on the varsity level, accumulating 3,680 minutes on the pitch. He finishes his time as a Wildcat goalie with 32 shutouts, 68 saves and just 17 goals conceded. 

McLaughlin will join former teammate Luciano Pechota '22 with the Buckeyes in Columbus. 

The decorated keeper was a member of the first-ever OHSAA Soccer program to win four straight State Championships.

Sam Meyer - Saint Joseph's University (Baseball)

A versatile infielder and pitcher will continue his academic and baseball career at Saint Joseph's University. Sam Meyer broke onto the scene in his junior year for Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor's squad, earning him a spot at the collegiate level.

The 2022 Wildcats featured deep depth in the infield and Meyer filled the utility role in his junior season. Meyer made the most of his time on the field when he got the opportunity. 

Meyer has excellent speed on the base paths and when called upon by coach Ganor, he swiped three bags and was never caught stealing. 

On the mound, Meyer was dominant. Meyer appeared in seven games, accumulating 10 2/3 innings pitched. Meyer struck out ten batters in his junior season. 

Meyer features a four-pitch arsenal on the bump: fastball, changeup, curveball and slider. As he heads into his senior season for the Wildcats, expect his fastball velocity to be in the lower 90s. 

Meyer has a good mix between his fastball and breaking ball. Over the summer, Meyer was dedicated to improving his game coming into his senior season.

With his dedication to the sport, Meyer will compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference at Saint Joseph's University. The senior is college ready and will look to be a key piece for coach Ganor's ball club.

Hunter Moriarity - Fairfield University (Lacrosse)

The significant presence of Hunter Moriarity on the lacrosse field will continue at Division I collegiate level as the senior midfielder committed to Fairfield University.

Moriarity has progressed in each season since joining the varsity team in his sophomore season. After earning playing time as a sophomore and junior, Moriarity looks to be a senior leader in the 2023 campaign.

Moriarity is a dual-sport athlete who was a two-year letter award winner with the football program. Moriarity was a tight end and, in his senior season, hauled in 11 catches for 62 yards. His first varsity touchdown came in the OHSAA Regional Semifinal against the St. Edward Eagles. 

It was in the 2022 season that Moriarity came onto the scene for the Lacrosse team. The midfielder would be a part of a team that would go 14-7 in his junior year. The Wildcats fell short as they lost to Hudson in the Regional Final. 

Like his classmates, Moriarity and company come into the spring season hungry to avenge their Regional Final loss. 

Moriarity will play a significant role in the Lacrosse program as he will be one of the senior leaders and a focal point for the Wildcat offense. 

Moriarity's unique presence on the field is his ability to keep calm under pressure and keep his teammates loose. Fairfield University is gaining a valuable asset to its program. 

Tommy Nolan - Marist College (Lacrosse)

One of the state's top defenders on the lacrosse field will continue his academic and athletic career at the Division I level at Marist College. 

Tommy Nolan is a three-year letter award winner for the Wildcats and earned a starting role in his junior season. In that junior year, Nolan earned First Team All-Region honors as an LSM. 

Commanding the Long Stick Middie position requires a high level of athleticism and that is precisely what Nolan brings on the lacrosse field for the Cats.

Head Lacrosse Coach Kyle Bernlohr has noted that Nolan is one of the hardest-working athletes he has seen on the lacrosse field. He has also indicated Nolan's grit and the strength that makes him unique. 

Throughout his time with the Wildcats, Nolan has developed footwork and physicality. Nolan makes it his mission to shut down the opposition's best offensive player. 

Nolan gained early varsity experience in his sophomore season in 2021, which saw the Wildcats advance to the State Semifinal and received valuable playoff experience in 2022 as the Wildcats made it to the Regional Final.

The Wildcats come into the 2023 season with a top-notch defense, and Nolan will be the quarterback of the defense. He and the Cats will look to dominate when the new campaign begins. 

Max Palinski - The Ohio State University (Baseball)

Max Palinski is the definition of a five-tool player. A manager's dream is to have Palinski on the roster as he will continue his academic and baseball career at The Ohio State University. 

Palinski has been a member of Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor's squad since his sophomore year and consistency has always been a theme for the outfielder. 

Similar to fellow senior teammates, Palinski lost his freshman year of baseball due to the pandemic. When baseball resumed in the 2021 season, Palinski was brought to the varsity team.

In his sophomore year, Palinski became and everyday starter in the outfield and had a batting average of .286 in 21 games. He would also collect nine stolen bags. 

Palinski made a more significant leap in his junior year, hitting for an average of .411 in 26 games and an impressive OBP of .494. Palinski would swipe ten stolen bases as well, striking out just nine times in the 2022 season, improving his discipline at the dish. 

Palinski was a dual-sport athlete as a linebacker with the football team in the fall. He would total 27.5 tackles, four tackles for a loss and three sacks. He also collected two fumble recoveries. In his junior season, he recorded a pick-six against Archbishop Hoban. 

The Buckeyes are receiving a top prospect in Ohio on the diamond.

Rocco Periandri - Wingate University (Lacrosse)

Wildcat Lacrosse midfielder Rocco Periandri will continue his academic and athletic career at Wingate University in North Carolina. 

Periandri began to see playing time at the varsity level in his junior year in 2022. Despite missing time due to an injury, Periandri took the opportunity to improve his knowledge of the game and will look to carry that over into his senior season in 2023. 

He is a dual-sport athlete at Saint Ignatius, and for the first time in his career, Periandri became a wrestling team member. 

Periandri was named a team captain for the Mat Cats in his senior year and has become a proven leader. He joined the wrestling program to improve his cardio which will translate into a standout senior season on the lacrosse field. 

Toughness is what Periandri brings to the lacrosse field and will look to be an essential part of the program. Head Lacrosse Coach Kyle Bernlohr notes Periandri's grit on the field is contagious to his teammates. 

Periandri will become a Bulldog at the Division II level and will reunite with his brother Carmine '24 as he has committed to Wingate University.

Nicholas Piesen - Indiana University (Golf)

One of the most decorated golfers in program history at Saint Ignatius High School is continuing his academic and golf career at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Piesen was a four-year letter award winner on Head Golf Coach PJ Myers '99 squad. Piesen was a member of back-to-back State Championship golf teams. 

In his junior season in 2021, Piesen helped the Wildcats break an OHSAA state record with a team score of 591. Individually, Piesen placed sixth with a two-day score of 147. 

In his senior year, Piesen was a senior leader for the program and was an individual State Champion at the OHSAA State Tournament in 2022 with a two-day score of 148 on the Scarlett Course. Piesen became just the fourth individual State Champion in program history.

Piesen made All-Ohio First Team in 2020 and 2022 and was on the Second Team in 2021. He also was named to three All-Northeast Ohio District First Team. 

The senior golfer holds the program record for the lowest season average, scoring 70.94. In 2020, Piesen achieved a Hole in One. 

Outside of the high school accolades, Piesen won the 2021 AJGA at Knollwood and was a qualifier for the 2022 US Junior Amateur. 

Mitch Rini - Lynn University (Lacrosse)

Mitch Rini is vital to the Wildcat offense in the 2023 season. Rini, a senior captain, will continue his academic and lacrosse career at Lynn University, a Division II program in Florida. 

Rini gained varsity experience in his junior year in 2022. In one of the most dominant offenses in program history, the midfielder earned significant time and gained experience. 

His understanding of the game makes Rini unique on the lacrosse field. Head Lacrosse Coach Kyle Bernlohr says that Rini showcases his IQ every time he steps on the field. With his high intelligence in the game, Rini is the offensive playmaker. 

Rini will fill a significant role for the 2023 season by controlling the offense and owning the game's pace. What arguably might be Rini's best quality is his leadership. He was named team captain for the upcoming campaign and has stepped up during the offseason.

During his junior year, Rini missed a chunk of games due to injury but received significant experience with an explosive offense. 

Rini will continue his lacrosse career at Lynn University in Florida and has shown he is ready for the collegiate level.  

William Robinson - College of the Holy Cross (Football)

A dominant force on the football field will continue his academic and athletic career at the College of the Holy Cross, a Division I FCS program in Massachusetts. 

Will Robinson was one of four captains on the football team in the 2022 season, celebrating the final year of Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle '69. 

A Jim Skerl '74 award recipient, #34 seemed to be in on every play on the defense coming off the edge. Robinson was the leading tackler on the defense this season with 69.5, 9.5 of those for a loss.

Robinson also added six sacks and was a true leader for Ryan Franzinger's '02 defense. Robinson was a three-year letter award winner on the varsity level and earned a starting role in his junior season, where he would total 36 tackles, four for a loss, three sacks and pass break-up and a fumble recovery. 

The coaching staff awarded Robinson the Most Valuable Defensive Lineman Award for his contributions in the 2022 season.

The leadership of Robinson was palpable as the team always rallied around the senior defensive end. 

Robinson has even more potential and will look to make a significant impact at Holy Cross when he steps foot on campus. 

Edmund Soeder - Naval Academy (Rugby)

Representing the Rugby program at National Signing Day is Edmund Soeder. Soeder will continue his academic and athletic career at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. 

Soeder was a member of the State and National Championship team for the rugby program in 2022. His play earned Soeder a roster spot on the U18 National Team for the United States.

Soeder would compete on the international stage in the summer of 2022, representing the United States in the Netherlands and facing the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium. 

He was a dual-sport athlete; in the fall, he was a member of the football program. Soeder was the starting middle linebacker for the Wildcats and the defense's quarterback. 

Soeder was the third-leading tackler on the defense, collecting 48 total tackles and collecting three sacks. He also recorded an interception and a fumble recovery.

Soeder sustained an injury during his sophomore year of the rugby season and missed his junior year on the football team.

After the injury, Soeder came back stronger, not only physically but mentally. With his passion for the game, Soeder will continue to play for the Navy on the rugby pitch. 

Nolan Spicer - University of Notre Dame (Soccer)

Nolan Spicer will forever live in Wildcat lore for his heroics in the 2021 OHSAA State Championship, where he hit the game-winning goal in overtime against Centerville. 

Spicer has collected 66 goals in 66 starts through his three years on the varsity level. The senior spent 4,121 minutes on the pitch for the Wildcats and totaled 163 total points. 

Spicer broke a program record in game-winning goals with 19 in his career wearing the Blue and Goal, which is fitting for the goal that was responsible for the Cats claiming their 11th State Championship. 

In his senior season in 2022, Spicer was a team captain and started all 23 games. Spicer would collect 23 goals, seven of those being game-winning, nine assists and 55 total points. 

As he finished his time with the Blue and Gold, Spicer helped raise three OHSAA State Championships and two National Championships banners. In 2022, the soccer program became the first soccer program in Ohio to win four straight State Championships. 

Spicer was named Mr. Soccer as the Ohip Player of the Year and earned All-American honors by the United Soccer Coaches. Spicer competed with Zsombor Onodi and Patrick McLaughlin at the All-American Game in Panama City. 

Owen Sullivan - University of Pennsylvania (Soccer)

One of the soundest players on a soccer pitch is heading to the University of Pennsylvania to continue his academic and soccer career. 

Owen Sullivan was a three-year letter award winner for Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin's '85 Cats. In 2022, Sullivan was a team captain, leading the Wildcats to a 12th State Championship. 

In his three-year varsity career, Sullivan started in 62 games, appearing in 64 and accumulating 3,889 minutes on the pitch. 

Sullivan brought a mix of scoring and assisting his teammates and by the time he reached his senior season, Sullivan had perfected the header. Responsible for 82 points, Sullivan scored 28 goals, four being a game-winner and 26 assists. 

In 2022, Sullivan achieved 20 goals on the season, along with 12 assists. Sullivan would be named to the All-Midwest team by the United Soccer Coaches, First-Team All-Ohio and First-Team All-Greater Cleveland.

The coaching staff named Sullivan the Most Valuable Midfielder in the 2022 season. Sullivan ends his career at Saint Ignatius with three State Championships and two National Championships. 

The senior will be a perfect addition to Penn Soccer in the fall and be a key piece on the pitch. 

Nathan Trickett - Xavier University (Soccer)

An anchor for the Saint Ignatius Soccer Cats will continue his academic and athletic career at Xavier University. Nathan Trickett was a three-year letter award winner for Head Soccer Coach Mike McLaughlin '85 and will play at the Division I level with the Musketeers. 

In his three-year career at the varsity level, Trickett started in 49 games and appeared in 52. Trickett accumulated 2,793 minutes on the pitch for the Wildcats.

Trickett collected 20 goals in his career, six going for game-winners and 26 assists.

Trickett dealt with an injury midseason but returned for the playoff run in his senior campaign. He would start in eight games, appearing in nine. Trickett would still score five goals in a limited time, one being a game-winner. 

Number 8 came back at the perfect time for the 2022 playoff run, which saw the Wildcats raise its 12th State Championship banner. 

Xavier University has a new coaching staff and Trickett was at the top of their list during the recruiting process. Trickett will look to receive time immediately on the pitch as he competes in the Big East Conference. 

The senior was a member of a decorated class that won three State Championships and two National Titles. 

Brandon Webster - Yale University (Football)

The Most Valuable Defensive Back in 2022 is heading to Yale University to continue his academic and football career. Brandon Webster was a two-way threat on the football field for the Wildcats. 

Webster was a standout cornerback on the defensive side of the ball. Webster started in all 12 games, where he would total 19.5 tackles, two interceptions, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery. 

Webster was just as good on the offensive side as a wide receiver. Webster hauled in 15 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns.

In the OHSAA Regional Quarterfinal against Cleveland Heights, the Wildcats fell behind by 28. They would orchestrate the biggest comeback in program history. 

After Max Ritt's kick-off return for a touchdown, the Wildcats decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion. Webster's heroics won the game as he hauled in the pass from Joshua Papesh in the flat and fought his way in for the successful try to save the season. 

Webster was a senior football team captain; his strength was his understanding of the game, communication with his secondary teammates, and the ability to rally the team together.

Webster will look to continue those contributions at the Ivy League at Yale University. 

These young men wearing the Blue and Gold have left their stamp on the campus of Saint Ignatius High School. More importantly, this is a celebration of the parents and family members who have sacrificed so much for their son to succeed at this famed alma mater for the past four years. 

The Saint Ignatius faculty and staff wish nothing but the best for the future of these senior student-athletes moving on to the next level. They will always have a home at Saint Ignatius High School.