Six Christian Brothers Academy student-athletes inked their commitments to the Division I collegiate level on Wednesday afternoon in the CBA Library.
Seniors Aidan Conaghan (St. Bonaventure soccer), Jonathan Dooling (George Washington XC), Blaise Ferro (Northern Arizona XC), Will Lutkewitte (Cornell T&F), Josh Martinez (Manhattan T&F) and Nick Trigani (Wake Forest T&F) signed their National Letters of Intent during the first day of the spring regular signing period.
These six Colts join the 15 student-athletes who signed in November and the three who signed in February, bringing CBA’s future Division I athlete count to an impressive 24 students.
“This is an incredibly special day for these young men and their families,” said Director of Athletics Vito Chiaravalloti. “Not only will they be continuing their athletic careers, but they will also be doing so at some of the best universities in the country.”
Even more impressively, eight athletes from the CBA XC and track & field programs have signed with Division I colleges after Wednesday. Seniors Brian Dengler (Bucknell), Paul Knepple (Richmond) and Mike Zupko (Princeton) signed their letters in November.
“To head to a well-rounded program [at Northern Arizona], rather then just a team, is really important to me,” said Ferro, the reigning XC Runner of the Year. “I’ve been a part of such a special program here at CBA, so going to Northern Arizona’s program that’s been around for a long time, it’s really an amazing feeling. I’m excited to carry on a little bit of CBA tradition into a great program.”
Ferro’s fellow teammates echoed the same sentiment about carrying on their CBA pride to the next level.
“If you told me four years ago that I’d be going to an Ivy League school, I’d tell you that you were crazy,” said Lutkewitte, the defending NJSIAA non-public indoor shotput state champion. “I feel truly blessed with this opportunity that I have before me. Coming to CBA, I knew that this school would help me achieve my goals and I’m just really lucky.”
“As soon as I visited Wake Forest, I knew that it was the right place for me,” said Trigani, who along with Ferro ran on four straight winning Meet of Champions XC teams. “I walked around at Wake and I could feel a little bit of CBA in the place. There were a lot of people there that I could tell have the same goals as I will.”
Head track & field coach Karl Torchia couldn’t say enough good things about this graduating class of senior athletes.
“The coaching staff is so proud of our seniors and their hard work and dedication,” said Torchia. “They have helped us win so many championships, and now most of them will go on and win championships on the college level. We have been very lucky to have these young men in our program. These colleges that the seniors are moving on to will be better for having CBA boys compete for them.”
Before they depart for their next adventure, the Colts have an exciting outdoor track & field season to finish, which they hope culminates in yet another National Championship berth come June.
“I know how proud this day makes their coaches, teachers, parents and the Christian Brothers Academy community,” continued Chiaravalloti. “I’m confident that as they take the next steps in their educations journey, they will continue to make us proud. Although they are leaving us, they will always be Colts.”