Fifteen Marist seniors participated in a National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at the school on November 11, 2020 indicating their plans to continue their athletic career at the collegiate level. While these students have excelled in athletics, they have also attained success in the classroom and demonstrated excellent character.
Sydney Affolter will attend and play basketball for the University of Iowa. A standout on the court for the RedHawks, she averaged 12.2 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 1.2 APG. She was named to the East Suburban Catholic all-conference first team and the IHSA all-state fourth team, among other accolades. She was the Marist Offensive Player of the Year and broke through the 1,000-point record during her junior season.
Lacrosse player Elise Hetzel will continue her career with the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Having played the sport for a decade, she has experience at every position. She specializes as a midfielder and impressively scored 32 goals in a span of 14 games. She earned the Marist G.R.I.T. Award (Great Resiliency, Intensity, and Tenacity) as voted by her teammates.
Five baseball players participated in the ceremony.
Jack Carney will continue his career at Loras College. An outfielder who also plays first and pitches, he will be a big part of the RedHawks’ 2021 season. In the 2019 season on the sophomore team, he hit .405 with eight doubles, three triples, 25 RBI, and 35 runs scored while committing just one error on defense.
Teammate Chazz Clark will attend and play for Xavier University of Louisiana. He will be another big contributor for Marist in 2021 as an outfielder who can really hit. In 2019 on the sophomore team, he hit .366 with five doubles, two triples, 12 RBI, and 20 runs scored. He has done a great job working on his defense as he has transitioned from an infielder as a freshman to an outfielder going forward.
Catcher Jonny Crowell has committed to Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Crowell played a big role in the RedHawks’ 2019 sectional championship. He posted a .318 batting average in 51 plate appearances and with two doubles, one triple, six RBI and four runs scored. Behind the plate, he threw out 25% of base-stealers on 16 attempts. During the 2021 Marist season, he will also pitch for the team.
Central Michigan University looks forward to the addition of Luke Sefcik, a second baseman with occasional appearances at third base and in the outfield. Though he missed his first varsity season in 2020 due to the pandemic, he brings strong stats from his junior varsity year, when he hit .371 with 10 doubles, one triple, 18 RBI, and 22 runs scored.
Four-year varsity player Noah Smith will attend and play for the University of Louisville. In 2018, Noah hit .278 with six doubles, 10 RBI, and 15 runs scored while playing second and third base. In 2019, Noah hit .261 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs (both in the playoffs), 15 RBI, and 12 runs while playing shortstop and second base in the sectional champion RedHawks. In 2021, Noah will play shortstop on opening day, but could see time at multiple positions to help to get him ready to compete in college.
Four girls’ volleyball players committed to collegiate programs.
Ewelina Gacek will attend George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. A three-year varsity player, she contributed to the 2018 state championship for the RedHawks and the third-place state finish in 2019. A talented outside hitter, she is a two-time ESCC champion and state finalist.
Nicole Jones, a setter who participated in the ceremony virtually, will take her talent to Purdue University at Fort Wayne. A two-year varsity player, she helped the RedHawks attain state and tournament success. She is a member of the 2018 state championship team and a two-time ESCC champion and state finalist.
Fellow setter Molly Mather will attend and play for Bradley University. With two-years of varsity experience, she was a 2019 state finalist where the RedHawks finished in third place. She is also two-time ESCC champion.
Middle hitter Ellie Kurpeikis is excited to join the program at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. A three-year varsity player, she is a 2018 state champion, a three-time ESCC champ, and a two-time state finalist.
Four talented softball players rounded out the group.
Kali Case will continue her academic and athletic career at Boston College. A four-year varsity player, she has contributed to the team’s success with her speed in the outfield and on the base path. In two seasons as a lefty slapper, she recorded 69 hits, scored 67 runs, and stole 31 bases.
Ace pitcher Abby Dunning will also attend Boston College. Another four-year varsity player, she is a power pitcher throwing in the high 60s with huge strike out numbers. In two seasons with the varsity RedHawks, she pitched 203 innings striking out 302 batters while recording 28 wins.
Short stop Easton Lotus will join the program at University of Louisville. A four-year varsity player, she is known for her tremendous defensive range, quick transfers, and arm strength. Offensively, she has put up huge numbers for the RedHawks in the leadoff spot. In two seasons, she recorded 99 hits, scored 88 runs, and stole 42 bases. She is a two-time all-conference player, and in her sophomore campaign, she was all-area, all-state, and Max Preps and NFCA All-American.
Maggie O’Brien, a middle infielder, will take her talent to the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Well-known for her infield range, she is also a lefty slapper who causes havoc in the infield with her speed home to first. In two seasons, she recorded 40 hits, scored 56 runs, and stole 28 bases. Voted team captain during her junior year, she is a key leader for the program.
More commitments are expected as the school year continues. Marist is a member of the competitive East Suburban Catholic Conference and its athletes and teams regularly garner success at the local and state levels.