Local athletes make college choices official

There was very little certainty in the recruiting process of Joliet West linebacker Bryan McCoy.

So when the right opportunity presented itself, the 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker didn’t waste any time accepting an offer to continue his academic and football career at Akron University.

McCoy originally made contact with one of Akron’s current assistants Neal Renna when Renna was on the Eastern Illinois coaching staff, but the Eastern Illinois program didn’t have any immediate openings for McCoy to give.

But when Renna joined the staff at Akron he learned that there was a need with the Zips that he felt McCoy might be able to fill.

“When he [Renna] was at Eastern he didn’t really have anything for me,” McCoy said. “But when he got the job change he knew he could get me there.”

Akron, who went 2-10 in 2021, sees McCoy as a potential mike or will linebacker for them with an opportunity to see early playing time. Early playing time wasn’t guaranteed for McCoy, but he certainly won’t turn it down.

“They want me to come in and hit the ground running and try to play fast,” McCoy said. “It wasn’t a must to get early playing time, but the coaches are telling me that there’s an opportunity to do that and I appreciate at.”

McCoy also was strongly considering Idaho and Army before deciding on Akron and is relieved that the process is complete.

“I didn’t sign the first signing day, and I’m just grateful and blessed to be in the spot that I’m in now,” McCoy said. “It was pretty frustrating, but I kept my head down and kept working, and this is where I am now.”

Other area athletes that officially committed on National Signing Day were:


• Matt Francisco (Football, Valparaiso)

• Jaquan Howard (Football, Saginaw Valley State)

• Matt Hughes (Football, St. Xavier)

• Brandon Shipp (Football, McKendree)

Joliet Catholic

• Brynn Higgins (Soccer, Wisconsin-Oshkosh)

• Josh Jones (Football, Eastern Kentucky)

• Robert Purchase (Football, North Central)

• Michael Rouse (Football, Truman State)

• Lucas Sartori (Football, Quincy)

• Aidan Voss (Football, Iowa Western)

Joliet West

• Artie Hrvatin (Football, St. Xavier)

• Bryan McCoy (Football, Akron)

• Robert Satterwhite (Football, St. Xavier)


• Mack Indestad (Football, Eastern Michigan)

• Albert Kunickis (Football, Northwestern as preferred walk-on)

• Michael Stricker (Football, Olivet Nazarene)

Lincoln-Way Central

• Thomas Cismoski (Baseball, St. Ambrose)

• Gavin Dwyer (Baseball, Lakeland)

• Madelyn Flinn (Softball, Olivet Nazarene)

• Grace Gundhofer (Soccer, Fort Hays State)

• Lucas Ramirez (Rugby, Maryville)

• Nicholas Signorelli (Baseball, College of Central Florida)

• Caden Simone (Cross Country/Track, Bradley)

• Jack Vegter (Basketball, Denison)

Lincoln-Way West

• Bella Been (Volleyball, Wisconsin-Whitewater)

• Cooper Burkel (Baseball, Dordt)

• Emerson Collins (Track, St. Francis)

• Grace Denton (Track, St. Francis)

• Carter Fifer (Soccer, St. Francis)

• Elly Hermanson (Soccer, Millikin)

• Jacob Jurka (Baseball, St. Francis)

• Nikolai Nawracaj (Baseball, Concordia-Wisconsin)

• Tyler Pritchard (Baseball, Concordia-Chicago)

• Emma Reidy (Volleyball, Millikin)

• Katie Schultz (Track, St. Norbert)

• Luke Swallow (Soccer, Olivet Nazarene)

• Zoey Trout (Soccer, Lourdes)


• Lizzie Anderson (Golf, Ferris State)

• Andrew Blackburn-Forst (Wrestling, Northern Colorado)

• Colin Krzeczkowski (Football, Lindenwood)


• Jayden Ambrose (Lacrosse, St. Ambrose)

• Malik Armstrong (Football, Northern Illinois)

• Gwendolyn Bottom (Track, Clarke)

• Jocelyn Host (Cross Country/Track, Murray State)

• Brianna Ramsey (Track, St. Louis University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy)

• Daniel Schalk (Cross County, Murray State)


• Alex Alberico (Baseball, Kent State)

• Alexandra Cimino (Soccer, Purdue-Northwest)

• Emma Davis (Tennis, Marquette)

• David DeRubertis (Bass Fishing, Drury)

• Devin Devine (Football, St. Ambrose)

• Brayden Garrigan (Football, Indianapolis)

• Wyatt Goorsky (Wrestling, Carthage)

• Kelly Knight (Basketball, Coe)

• Aidan Mack (Football, Northern State (S.D.))

• Liam McDermott (Wrestling, Indiana)

• Bill Meiszner (Wrestling, Lemont)

• Sophia Morey (Basketball, Lawrence (Wisc.))

• Gianna Russo (Softball, Abilene Christian)

• Shaw Stukel (Baseball, St. Ambrose)

• Ethan Todner (Lacrosse, North Greenville)

• John Wajda (Baseball, Chipola (Fla.)

• Tyler Young (Golf, St. Ambrose)