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Saint Ignatius High School Celebrates Spring Signing Day 2024

By Joe Mertens '15, 05/16/24, 2:45PM EDT

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On Wednesday, May 15, the Wildcat community celebrated 19 student-athletes who will continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.

OHIO CITY, OH - On Wednesday, May 15, Saint Ignatius High School hosted National Signing Day inside the Breen Center. 20 Wildcat student-athletes signed their letter of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level. This included Division I, II, and III programs, along with NAIA and club programs. 

In February, Saint Ignatius celebrated National Signing Day, which saw 18 student-athletes sign their NLI for Division I and II programs. 

These young men have been leaders on the field, as well as in the classroom, and their leadership is the main reason they will continue their athletic careers at the next level. The Saint Ignatius athletic department wishes nothing but the best for the future of the senior student-athletes moving on to the next level. 

Get to know our 19 student-athletes representing the Blue and Gold at the next level.

Neal Bartone - Baldwin Wallace University

Neal Bartone will continue his academic and baseball career at Baldwin Wallace University. Bartone is an everyday player for Head Baseball Coach Brad Ganor’s squad and is used as a catcher and outfielder. 

In his junior year, Bartone appeared in 15 games, and would have a batting average of .382 and collecting 8 RBIs. In his senior season, heading into the postseason, Bartone has 10 RBIs and has drawn seven walks. 

On the ice, Bartone was a four-year member of the Ice Cats. He was named a captain in his senior year and would be a part of the 2024 State Championship team.

Carter Beane - University of Mount Union

Carter Beane will continue his academic and lacrosse career at the University of Mount Union. 

Beane has been a member of a varsity team for all four years while at Saint Ignatius. He was a member of the Varsity Blue Cats from freshman year to junior year. For his senior season, Beane made the Prep team.

Beane brings a tremendous defensive presence on the Lacrosse field and will bring a significant amount of experience to Mount Union next fall. 

In the offseason, Beane was a member of the Spiders Lacrosse Club, improving each season and eventually earning a spot on the Prep roster. 

Garrett Butchko - The Ohio State University

Garrett Butcko will continue his academic and football career at the club level for the nationally renowned Buckeyes, who have won club championships in 2019 and 2021.

Butchko was a three-year letter-winner for the Football Cats and earned a starting role in his junior year on the defensive line. Butchko would total 22 tackles and three sacks.

Butchko appeared in all twelve games in his senior year, collecting 54 tackles, four for loss, and three sacks. He was also used on offense as a fullback when the Cats showcased their power-I formation.

Butchko was also a member of the 2022 National Champion Rugby Cats.

Matt Ellis - Case Western Reserve University

Matt Ellis will continue his academic and basketball career at Case Western. Ellis was a four-year member of the varsity squad. In those four years, Ellis was a part of four District Championships and three Regional Championships and played a vital role in the 2024 State Championship. 

Ellis was a sharpshooter for the Cats, which was showcased in his late-game heroics against Reynoldsburg, where he hit an

and-one three to steal an overtime victory. 

Ellis was a sixth man for the State Champion Cats, averaging 8.3 points per game, hitting 38% of his threes. He will continue at the Division III level at Case Western.

Dillon Fall - Fairfield University

Dillon Fall will continue his academic and rowing career at Fairfield University. 

Fall has been a member of the Wildcat Navy for all four years, participating in 2V, 3V, and 4V events during his time at Saint Ignatius.

In his sophomore year, Fall helped the Wildcats finish fourth at the Midwest and win a Silver medal at the Laddie Cup. 

After being injured his junior year, Fall participated in the Gold Medal 4V Boat at Blake Haxton. He also helped the Wildcats protect their crown at Midwest in 2024. Fall was accepted into the Company Scholars Program at Fairfield University. Fall is also the Wildcats Team Chaplain.

Xander Gendics - Arizona Christian University

Xander Gendics will continue his academic and baseball career at Arizona Christian University. Xander would make the varsity squad in his senior season.

In Gendics’ sophomore season, he pitched 31.2 innings at the JV level, had a

team-leading 42 strikeouts, and had an ERA of .884. 

After playing goalie for the State Championship Ice Cats, Gendics made the varsity baseball squad and was a key part of the rotation. 

As the Cats prepare for the postseason, Gendics has pitched 17 innings, striking out 20, and has an ERA of 2.06. He earned a Win in his first varsity start against Cathedral Prep (PA), striking out six.

Alijah Haddox - John Carroll University

Alijah Haddox will continue his academic and track and field career at John Carroll University. 

Haddox is a multisport athlete, earning varsity letters in football, basketball and track and field. 

In field events, Haddox competes in the High Jump and Long Jump. In such a short time in that field, Haddox has achieved jumps of 5’9” in the High Jump and in the Long Jump has achieved a 19+ feet jump. 

In his first-ever High Jump event, Haddox earned a 5’9”.

In the fall, Haddox was a incredibly versatile on the Football field for the Wildcat receiving core.

Greg Hanson Jr. - Case Western Reserve University

Greg Hanson Jr. will continue his academic and football career at Case Western. 

Hanson was a three-year letter winner for the Football Cats and progressed each season to earn a starting job at nose tackle in his senior year.

Hanson would collect eight tackles in his junior season, including an interception coined “The Parma Pick.” 

Hanson collected 55 tackles in his senior year, 9.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks. 

Hanson would become a varsity member of the Rugby Cats in the spring of 2024. 

Hanson will continue on the gridiron at the Division III level at Case Western. 

Devin Holder - John Carroll University

Devin Holder will continue his academic and lacrosse career at John Carroll University. 

Holder was a member of the lacrosse program for four years and was on varsity for three seasons as a goalie for the Cats. 

One of Holder’s first games as a Wildcat came on the JV squad against Dublin Jerome. After trailing 5-1 at the half, the Cats adjusted and won the game 6-5, shutting out the Celtics in the second half.

On Senior Day, Holder started against St. Edward and held the Eagles to just three goals in the 13-3 win. He will continue his lacrosse career for the OAC Champion Blue Streaks. 

Josh Jenkins - University of Mount Union

Josh Jenkins will continue his academic and baseball career at the University of Mount Union. 

Jenkins has been a varsity member for three seasons and, in 2024, earned the honors of the #34 jersey and was named a team captain. 

Jenkins would earn an elevated role in his junior year, pitching 10.2 innings, striking out eight, and having an ERA of 1.97. 

Jenkins would miss some time due to injury to start 2024, but so far has pitched 14 innings, has struck out 19, has an ERA of 1.50, and is 3-1 in four starts. 

Jenkins will play ball for legendary Purple Raider coach Paul Hesse.

David Kotnik - The Ohio State University

David Kotnik will be continuing his academic and rugby career at The Ohio State University. 

Kotnik played rugby all four years at Saint Ignatius and was one of five rugby members to do three consectuive international tours in France, Japan and Argentina. 

In 2023, Kotnik was named the Most Improved Player and was a key part of the Wildcats State and Midwest Championships. 

Coming into the 2024 season, Kotnik was named a Team Captain and will look to help bring another State and National Championship to the program. 

Michael Lamirand - John Carroll University

Michael Lamriand will continue his academic and basketball career at John Carroll University. 

Lamirand was a Team Captain for the 2023-24 State Champion Basketball Cats. Lamirand was a sixth man throughout the season but stepped up when needed after the injury to Sam Springer. Lamirand would be a crucial part of the Wildcats’ success.

On the defensive end, Lamirand would finish tied in the team lead in blocks with Reece Robinson with 32. 

Lamirand was dominant in the State Final against Centerville. He scored 11 points, collected seven boards, and blocked three shots. Lamirand went 3-of-3 from three in the 66-56 State Championship win. 

Casey Meltzer - Wittenberg University

Casey Meltzer will continue his academic and soccer career at Wittenberg University.

Meltzer was a member of the 2023 and 2024 State Championship Soccer teams. 

In Meltzer’s senior season, he would score six goals and two assists from his forward position. 

To start his varsity career at Saint Ignatius in 2022, he would notch a game-winning goal in the Alumni game. 

Meltzer would receive the Fr. Styles Coaches Award in his senior season. 

Meltzer will be playing at the next level in the North Coast Athletic Conference at the Division III level at Wittenberg University for coach Dwight Burgess.

Nick Mikulec - John Carroll University

Nick Mikulec will continue his academic and soccer career at John Carroll University.

Coming into his senior season, Mikulec was named a team captain.

Trailing Moeller with under six minutes to go, Mikulec would set up Bryce Ince-Lovelace for the game-tying goal. The Wildcats went on to win the State Championship.

Mikulec would be named an All-American at the end of the season.

Mikulec was a member of the varsity squad for two seasons and won back-to-back State Champions with the Wildcats. He will continue his career for the Blue Streaks.

Colin Monroe - University of Detroit Mercy

Colin Monroe will continue his academic and soccer career at the University of Detroit Mercy. 

Monroe was the hero of the 2023 Soccer State Championship as he would make the game-winning save against Archbishop Moeller in PKs to secure an unprecedented fifth consecutive title, the 13th in program history.

Monroe would be named to the Academic All-Ohio team and All-Greater Cleveland second team. He was a Team Captain as well.

Monroe finished his Wildcat career with three letter awards, three State Championships, and one National Championship. 

Joshua Papesh - Wartburg College

Joshua Papesh will continue his academic and football career at Wartburg College in Iowa. 

Papesh was a three-year member of the varsity squad. Papesh saw time as a backup to Joey Pfaff ’22 for his sophomore year. He was named the starting quarterback for his junior and senior seasons. 

In 2022, Papesh would total 1,541 yards and 13 touchdowns. Papesh would lead the offense in a 28-point comeback vs. Cleveland Heights in the Regional Quarterfinal, the largest in program history.

In 2023, Papesh threw for 1,492 yards and nine touchdowns, including a career-high 310 yards against Canton McKinley.

Nolan Roche - Colby College

Nolan Roche will continue his academic and rowing career at Colby College in Maine. 

Roche has been a part of the V8 event for the Wildcat Navy for the past two seasons. In the seventh seat, Roche helped the Wildcats get to the Grand Final in 2023 and earned a silver medal at the 2024 Midwest Championships. 

In the offseason, Roche is always working on his craft, becoming one of the fastest on the ergs for the Wildcat Navy. 

From his freshman year to senior year, Roche has become a rowing savant as he’ll continue rowing at Colby College, a program that regularly competes for a National Title.

Jordon Rodman - John Carroll University

Jordon Rodman will continue his academic, football, and track and field career at John Carroll University.

Rodman was a two-year letter winner with the Football Cats. As a rotational receiver in 2022, Rodman would catch three passes for 21 yards.

Rodman would earn a starting role in his senior year and was one of Papesh’s top targets. Rodman would haul in 14 receptions for 248 yards in 2023. He would score his first career touchdown against St. Xavier on a 24-yard reception.

Rodman will also continue his track and field career as a dual-sport athlete for the Blue Streaks and competes in the Long Jump.

Tyler Williams - Saint Louis University

Tyler Williams will continue his academic and swimming career at Saint Louis University.

Williams finished his Wildcat Swim career as a nine-time All-Ohio swimmer, four-time NISCA All-American, and was a two-year captain for the Aqua Cats. Williams is also a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American. 

Williams would help the Wildcats win the District three of his four seasons on varsity. 

In his senior season, the Cats would take second at the Catholic Championships, the best finish in program history. Williams was a part of the 400-yard Free Relay team that placed first with a 3:06.02 time. Williams would be a podium-placer at States in ’24.