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Saint Ignatius High School Celebrates 2023 Spring Signing Day

By Joe Mertens '15, 05/15/23, 3:15PM EDT


21 student-athletes were celebrated inside the Breen Center as they signed their letter of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers in college.

OHIO CITY, Oh - On May 11, Saint Ignatius High School celebrated 21 student-athletes taking the next step in their athletic careers. Each of these men has put in tremendous work to get to the next level. 2023 Spring Signing Day celebrates all our signees competing anywhere from Division I to Division III in college. 19 colleges/universities and ten sports were represented on Spring Signing Day. Let's meet the student-athletes representing the Blue and Gold at the next level.

Owen Anderson - Saint Joseph's University (Rowing)

The Wildcat Navy senior class is arguably one of the best classes the program has seen in its history and we begin with Owen Anderson. Anderson will continue his academic and rowing career at Saint Joseph’s University.

He was a four-year varsity letterman and won the Top Novice Award in 2019 as a Freshman. Anderson would win the Bob Valerian Leadership Award his sophomore year.

His leadership would continue into his senior year, where he was named team captain and was a Jim Skerl ‘74 #34 recipient.

Anderson will join former Saint Ignatius Navy members Patrick Miklus ‘22 and Eamon Coyne ‘19 at a reputable Division I rowing program in Saint Joseph’s.

Liam Baker - John Carroll University (Baseball)

The two-year varsity award winner will continue his academic and baseball career at John Carroll University. Liam Baker emerged as an Ace in his senior year on Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor’s squad.

In his junior season, Baker would record 31.1 innings pitched, striking out 31 and allowing just five earned runs. Baker posted an impressive 1.12 ERA and helped the Wildcats reach the Regional Final in 2022.

Baker’s command on the mound makes him almost unhittable and he will be an influential part of the Wildcats playoff run later this month. Baker will join a prominent Division III team in the OAC with the Blue Streaks next season.

Mason Brunecz - Tiffin University (Baseball)

Mason Brunecz is a Southpaw pitcher that is one of the best in the business in high school baseball in Ohio and will be taking his talents to Tiffin University next fall.

The former Cross Country runner would turn to Baseball and earned a spot on the varsity squad in his senior year and has been lights out for the Baseball Cats.

Through 21 games in the 2023 season, Brunecz has recorded 16.1 innings pitched and has struck out 19 batters. Brunecz is always up to answer the call when needed by Coach Ganor. He has used Brunecz as a starter and out of the pen for relief.

Brunecz will play at the Division II level at Tiffin University and will be a fine addition to their program next season.

Angelo Camargo - Baldwin Wallace University (Wrestling)

Wrestling in the 285 lb weight class in the 2022-23 season was Angelo Camargo. Camargo emerged as the most improved wrestler on the Mat Cats in his senior year. The four-year letter award winner will continue his academic and athletic career at Baldwin Wallace University.

Through Camargo’s four years with the Wrestling program, he has achieved an 89-35 career record and was a two-time District qualifier.

Camargo brought his technique from wrestling over to the rugby program in the spring and will look to help the Cats claim a second National Championship in May. He will join one of the best wrestling programs in the Ohio Athletic Conference next fall.

James Casper - Fairfield University (Rowing)

The Saint Ignatius Rowing program would get James Casper in his junior year after transferring from St. Edward High School. Casper will continue his academic and athletic career at Fairfield University.

Casper is a well-decorated rower throughout his high school career, earning multiple gold, silver and bronze medals for the boats he competes in. In Casper’s junior year, the Wildcats would go on to win the Rustbelt Championship, Midwest Championship and compete at the SRAA National Championships.

Casper will join an excellent Division I program at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

James Corrigan - Denison University (Baseball)

The 2023 Diamond Cats have a plethora of pitching talent and it continues with the arm of James Corrigan which is heading to Denison University.

The two-year letter award winner has a four-pitch repertoire with a fastball, changeup, curveball and slider and has been good as can be out of the bullpen for coach Ganor’s Cats. Through 21 games he has appeared in eight games, posting a 1.18 ERA.

Corrigan got varsity experience in his junior year when he pitched 13.1 innings, struck out 11, and posted a 2-1 record. Corrigan will be teaming up with fellow teammate Carson Herman at Denison University, a powerhouse in Division III baseball.

John Corrigan - Fordham University (XC and Track)

A captain for coach Bob Wolf’s ‘08 Cross Country and Track and Field Cats will continue his academic and athletic career at Fordham University.

John Corrigan has been a cross country and track team member since the 2020 season and has had astounding success in both programs.

Corrigan is a three-time State qualifier and was a 2022 District Champion in the 800m with a time of 1:57.37. In his senior season, Corrigan is touted as one of the top competitors in Ohio in the 800m and will look to continue his dominance with the District Meet approaching. Before switching gears to Fordham University in the fall, Corrigan will look to be a State placer for the Wildcats.

Henry Demers - Iona University (Rowing)

Henry Demers is one of four rowers in the family and will continue his academic and athletic career at Iona University.

Despite losing his spring freshman season to the pandemic, Demers returned strong for the Wildcat Navy by helping to win the Midwest bronze medal in the 4V Boat his Sophomore year.

2022 was a big year for Demers as he was a member of the SRAA National Championship team that placed seventh and joined the J8 Boat in May of 2022. Demers also helped achieve a gold medal at Midwest in his junior year.

The future Gael will compete at the Division I level at Iona University in New York next fall.

Carson Herman - Denison University (Baseball)

Carson Herman has been located down the hot corner for the past two seasons for the Diamond Cats. Herman will continue his academic and baseball career at Denison University.

In his junior year, the Wildcat third baseman had a batting average of .254 and an on-base percentage of .375. A patient hitter, Herman would draw 11 walks in the 2022 campaign.

Herman was named a team captain for the Wildcats in his senior year and has emerged as a leader and will look to be a key piece in the playoff run in May. Herman will rejoin fellow teammate James Corrigan at Denison at the Division III level.

Mitchell Hyland - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Football)

Mitchell Hyland was one of the anchors of the offensive line for the football Cats in 2022. Hyland earned a starting role at the left guard position of the offensive front in his senior year and will continue his academic and football career at MIT.

Hyland could play anywhere on the offensive line and answered the call when needed for Chuck Kyle’s ’69 Wildcats. Hyland would help keep the jersey clean of quarterback Joshua Papesh and would be a part of an offense that averaged 255 yards per game in 2022.

Hyland is currently a member of the rugby program this spring and will look to be a key piece in their National Championship run before going to MIT in the fall.

Charles Knittel - University of Washington (Rowing)

Charles Knittel will join a consistent top-25 rowing program in the fall as the senior coxswain will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Washington.

Knittel is a four-year letter award winner and member of the Wildcat Navy and is highly decorated in his early rowing career.

In 2022, Knittel was a member of the Midwest J8 Champion boat and the HOCR that came in 22nd place.At the coxswain position, Knittel is the vital leader of a boat, responsible for steering and coordinating the rhythm of the rowers.

Knittel brings his decorated resume to the Huskies at the Division I level and will compete with one of the best programs in the nation.

Patrick Lavelle - University of Mount Union (Football)

The starting center for the past two seasons for the Wildcats will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Mount Union.

Patrick Lavelle was a two-year letter award winner and was as consistent as they come as a center for the Wildcat offense in 2021 and 2022. In his senior season, Lavelle was named to the All-Ohio Second Team and was one of the four captains for the Wildcats.

Lavelle is also a National Champion as a member of the Rugby Cats. Lavelle was a starter for coach Dan Arbeznik’s ’00 Wildcats in 2021 and 2022.

He will join a Division III powerhouse in Mount Union in the fall, which has won 13 National Titles.

Brendan Lynn - University of Kentucky (Rugby)

Brendan Lynn would join the rugby program in his sophomore year. Every season, Lynn has improved on the rugby pitch and will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Kentucky.

Lynn plays the center back position which fits his playstyle perfectly. Lynn is fast and shifty and is a playmaker for the Wildcats on the Varsity A and B levels.

He is a dual sport athlete. In the winter, he was a member of the Mat Cats and wrestled in the 165-pound weight class. Lynn’s technique in wrestling translated to a successful high school career with rugby.

Lynn will join a powerful rugby program at the University of Kentucky in the fall.

Tristan Marshall - Hiram College (Basketball)

The 6’6” forward will continue his academic and basketball career at Hiram College next fall. Marshall was a high flyer for coach Cam Joyce’s basketball Cats.

Tristan Marshall was an integral sixth man on the 2022-23 Basketball Cats and shot a team-high 64% from the field. Marshall was a dominant force in the paint, grabbing boards and getting second-chance opportunities for the Wildcats.

Marshall was brought up to varsity in his sophomore season and was a three-year letter award winner and a member of two State Semifinal teams. Marshall heads to Hiram and will be a part of the honors program next fall.

Brightin Miller - Salisbury University (Lacrosse)

The Wildcats’ senior defenseman Brightin Miller will continue his academic and lacrosse career at Salisbury University in Maryland, a Division III powerhouse with 12 National Championships.

A three-year letter award winner, Miller has been a member of successful lacrosse teams at Saint Ignatius and, in his first season on varsity, was a member of the Final Four team in 2021.

Miller is a prominent force on the lacrosse field, standing at 6’6” and is an Under Armour All-American, a Nike National All-Star, and named to All-Ohio and All-Region teams for his efforts on the lacrosse field.

The senior will fit seamlessly for the Sea Gulls of Salisbury next season.

Lamar Robert Shepherd - Rutgers University (Rowing)

Lamar Robert Shepherd was a dual sports athlete at Saint Ignatius High School for all four years. He competed with the bowling team in the winter and was a member of the Wildcat Navy in the fall and spring.

Shepherd will continue his academic and rowing career at Rutgers University. Shepherd was a Midwest and Rustbelt Championship team member in his junior year in 2022.

Shepherd would place first in his senior year and medal at Midwest in the 2v4. At the Laddie Cup in Michigan, Shepherd would place second place in the 2V4.

Shepherd will join a storied program at Rutgers University in the fall.

Diego Armando Rodriguez - Notre Dame College (Rugby)

Diego Armando Rodriguez, the Wildcat hooker and flanker, will continue his academic and rugby career at Notre Dame College next year.

Rodriguez is a four-year member of coach Dan Arbeznik’s ‘00 Rugby Cats. In the 2022 season, Rodriguez was a member of the Midwest Champion Wildcats that defeated Penn (IN) 55-0 in Elkhart, Indiana.

As a senior for the Wildcats, Rodriguez brought experience and a vast knowledge of the sport to help the younger guys as they make their way up the ranks.

Rodriguez will be joining one of the top Rugby programs in the country at the college level at Notre Dame College next fall.

Ben Showman - University of Chicago (XC and Track)

Ben Showman is a three-year varsity award winner for track and field and cross country. In his senior season, Showman was named a team captain for both programs. In his junior track season, Showman was a State qualifier, winning the District Championship in the 4x400m Relay and a Regional Championship in the 4x800m Relay.

Showman has been a stout runner for the cross country and track and field program and will excel at the University of Chicago at the next level. 

Jacob Thomas - Hiram College (Volleyball)

The Wildcat Middle Blocker and Opposite Hitter will continue his academic and volleyball career at Hiram College. Jacob Thomas has been a three-year member of the Volleyball Cats with seven years of experience in the game.

When volleyball returned to Saint Ignatius after the pandemic, Thomas would be a sophomore member of the 2021 State Semifinalist team. Thomas would also compete in the 2022 State Tournament.

In his senior season, Thomas totaled 81 kills and 17 assists. Using his 6’4” frame, Thomas has come in handy in the hitter position, blocking 20 potential kills from opposing teams.

Philip Vlastaris - Ohio Northern University (Soccer)

Philip Vlastaris is as tough as they come on the soccer pitch and will continue his academic and athletic career at Ohio Northern University.

In his senior season, Vlastaris would suffer a skull fracture mid-game. He would make a remarkable recovery and return for the Wildcats’ playoff run at his defense position to help the Cats claim their 12th State Championship.

In 2022, Vlastaris was named one of the Most Valuable Defenders for coach Mike McLaughlin’s ‘85 Wildcats. Vlastaris ends his soccer career at Saint Ignatius with two State Championships and a National Championship.

He will now join an excellent soccer program at ONU that is dominant in the Ohio Athletic Conference in Division III.

Ian Zaletel - Capital University (Lacrosse)

Ian Zaletel is a four-year member of the lacrosse program and a two-year varsity letter award winner.

The Wildcat middie earned a spot on the Varsity Blue squad in his junior and senior years. In Zaletel’s sophomore season with the Lacrosse Cats, he would score a game-winner against an admirable opponent in Dublin Jerome.

Zaletel was a dual sport athlete at Saint Ignatius. In the fall, he was a member of the football team as a running back. He would total 16 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown in his senior year.

The senior will continue his academic and lacrosse career at the Division III level at Capital University in Columbus. He will join a young program that has grown significantly since its founding in 2013.

The hard work and dedication of these young men will not be forgotten. More importantly, this is a celebration for the parents and family members who have sacrificed so much for their son to succeed at Saint Ignatius High School for the past four years. These young men are Ignatius Men Forever and have left their mark on the field and in the classroom. The Saint Ignatius athletic department wishes nothing but the best for the future of the senior student-athletes moving on to the next level.