Pace, Lehigh, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and Columbia University are just some of the choices that student-athletes from finalized during National Signing Day on Wednesday. Overall 15 members, ranging from football, soccer, lacrosse and golf, committed to further their education while competing within the NCAA.
For each of the young men, the process began at different times during the year. In soccer or football, the heaviest recruitment period is during the fall season while in golf or lacrosse, athletes are scouted in the spring and summer months prior to the start of senior year.
"So few lacrosse players are recruited just on their high school reel," Brendon McGuire said. committed over the fall to Providence College. "It's the summer leagues that get you noticed. Providence was the right choice for me because I wanted something with a small campus."
"Junior year is the big year because you want to commit before the season starts," Harrison Shih said. Shih will attend Columbia University for their golf program. "Bergen golf did not have as much of an impact on my recruitment as my summer tournaments did. Attending an Ivy League school is a hard option to pass up because the opportunities are endless."
Shih is not the only Crusader that chose academics first before athletics and will be joined at Columbia by Mike Gerst (football). Anthony Davanzo (football) will attend Pace University for its Criminal Justice program, while Jared Dublin (soccer) an Ryan Finkel (football) both chose schools for their Pre-Med programs. Dublin will attend Monmouth University with Finkel heading to Johns Hopkins.
For Hunter Kiselick, the option to be in Washington, DC and contribute to a rising football program sold him on Georgetown University.
"Walking on campus felt like home," Kiselick said. "It's one of the best schools and DC is amazing. I can learn a lot from the coaches and players that I talked to. I couldn't pass that up."
But there is one thing that was echoed by each of the student-athletes and that is they will miss walking the halls of Bergen Catholic and the brotherhood they became a part of.
"Our class we are all very close friends," McGuire said. "There is that special connection with the teachers and coaches, being able to goof around in the halls. It's the little things, like stopping traffic to march with the Crazies for the Bergen/Bosco football game."
"It's a brotherhood," Shih added. "It's a small community where it's not to large or to small, but that everyone fits into."
Below is the list of the 15 student athletes and their commitments:
ANTHONY DAVANZO (PACE UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A two-year starter at defensive tackle for the BC football team, where he earned 2nd Team All-Big North honors in 2010 and 2011.
AUSTIN DEVINE (LEHIGH UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A three-year member of the BC varsity football team as a kicker and punter, where he earned MSG Varsity 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Big North, 2nd Team All-North Jersey, and Honorable Mention MSG Varsity All-Metro Team.
JARED DUBLIN (MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY-SOCCER)
A three-year member of the BC varsity soccer team, and served as team captain for the 2011 season.
RYAN FINKEL (JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A two-year starter for the BC varsity football team at wide receiver where he served as team captain in 2011 and earned 2nd Team All-League honors.
MIKE GERST (COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A three-year member of the BC varsity football program where he played running back, earning Honorable Mention All-County honors in 2011.
JAMES HORAN (UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT-FOOTBALL)
A two-year member of the BC varsity football program where he played on both the defensive and offensive lines, earning 2nd Team All-Big North honors.
HUNTER KISELICK (GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A three-year starter on the BC varsity football team as a defensive end where he earned 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-County, 1st Team All-League, and 2nd Team MSG Varsity All-Metro honors.
ZACHARY KOVALOVSKY (BRIDGEWATER STATE UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A four-year member of the BC varsity football team as a kicker.
BRENDON MCGUIRE (PROVIDENCE COLLEGE-LACROSSE)
A three-year member of the BC varsity lacrosse program, and the midfielder earned All-Suburban honors in Bergen County last spring.
JAMES PILUSO (HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY-LACROSSE)
A 2-year member of the BC varsity lacrosse program as a midfielder and face-off specialist.
MIKE RADESPIEL (WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A three-year member of the BC varsity football program on the offensive line and earned 1st Team All-League and 2nd Team All-County honors.
HARRISON SHIH (COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY-GOLF)
One of the best golfers in BC history, having already been named 1st Team All-State, All-County, & All-League in each of his first three seasons on the Crusader team. He won the 2011 NJ High School Tournament of Champions Individual Title, was named an Honorable Mention 2011 Rolex All-American, 2011 HP Scholastic All-American, and has been ranked #34 in the Polo National Golf Rankings.
KEVIN TEJADA (BRYANT UNIVERSITY-SOCCER)
A two-year member of the BC varsity soccer team.
DAREK WAJDA (NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY-SOCCER)
A three-year member of the BC varsity soccer team, where he earned 1st Team-All Conference honors and served as a team captain.
CHARLES WINGATE (BRYANT UNIVERSITY-FOOTBALL)
A three-year member of the BC varsity football team at defensive back where he earned 1st Team MSG Varsity All-Metro, 1st Team All-County, and 2nd Team All-State honors in the 2011 season. He led New Jersey in interceptions this past season with seven, and finished 2nd All-Time in interceptions in BC Football history.