Northfield, Sports

‘Time and commitment’ of New Trier student-athletes pointed out during signing-day event

Student-athletes who want to continue their sport work hard to build a resume that will attract college scouts.

New Trier High School wrestler Jack Cummings had a good one but the major programs he sought weren’t biting.

Then, in February, he picked up a better opening line.

“After the state tournament, I started reaching out to more coaches, saying, ‘Hey, I just won state,'” Cummings said with a smirk.

Cummings’ story and commitment to the University of Michigan, where he will join former Trevian Matt McKenna, was one of 37 celebrated Wednesday, April 13, by the high school in a spring signing-day ceremony at the Northfield campus.


New Trier Athletic Director Augie Fontanetta presided over the event, which welcomed the students’ families and coaches, and said including the fall ceremony, 70 New Trier seniors will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

“We know how much time and commitment goes in as a family to support all of these endeavors,” Fontanetta told the crowd. “We appreciate everything you do.”

Football player Luc Elias introduces himself and his college decision: the University of Illinois.

Cummings also was a linebacker for the Trevians football team and was joined at the “signing” tables by four of his gridiron mates: Andre Birmingham (linebacker, North Park University); Nevan Cremascoli (quarterback, Northern Illinois University), Luc Elias (offensive lineman, University of Illinois) and Jessie Mendoza (offensive lineman, Hillsdale College)

Many of the honorees are multi-sport athletes for New Trier, but only one will compete in two distinct sports at the next level.

Abby Ryan will run track (mid-distance and discus) and play basketball at Haverford College, just outside Philadelphia. To Ryan, the decision was about indecision as much as anything.

“I honestly couldn’t make a decision all four years of high school on which sport I liked more so I figured I may as well do both,” she said.

Other runners recognized were: George Cahill (Amherst, long distance), Ronan O’Neill (Villanova, mid distance), Margaret McNally (St. Laurence), Leela Desharnais (Carthage, cross-country) and Sam Fellman (Tufts, cross-country).

Boys basketball standout Noah Shannon recently locked in his commitment to Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., and joined teammate Jackson Murno (Dartmouth) at the event.

Soccer player Kendall Sierens (left) and water polo player Eli Sternweiler sign a mock college letter of intent at the ceremony.

The largest contingent celebrated was the Trevians rowing program with nine student-athletes: Ben Barkal (MIT), Stephen Gloyd (Temple), Jordan Maxham (Colgate), Mateo Miller (Wisconsin), Cole Riedinger (Penn), Jameson Weyhrich (Georgetown), Luca Williams (Colgate), Caroline Eadie (Alabama) and Hannah Jiang (Tufts).

Equaling football, baseball also had four players honored, including two going to DePauw (Louis Florida and Alex Mendes). Sam Gossard (Carleton) and Will Hayes (Babson) also participated in the event.

New Trier student-athletes recognized during a spring signing day event on April 13:


Louis Florida (catcher) — DePauw University

Sam Gossard (outfielder) — Carleton College

Will Hayes (pitcher) — Babson College

Alex Mendes (infielder) — DePauw University


Jackson Munro (forward) — Dartmouth University

Noah Shannon (guard) — Macalester College

Abby Ryan (forward) — Haverford College


George Cahill — Amherst College

Leela Desharnais — Carthage College

Sam Fellman — Tufts University


Abby Geiger — Vassar College

Erika Kim — Tufts University


Andre Birmingham (linebacker) — North Park University

Nevan Cremascoli (quarterback) — Northern Illinois University

Luc Elias (offensive lineman) — University of Illinois

Jessie Mendoza (offensive lineman) — Hillsdale College


Chase Bruno (attack/midfield) — Rochester Institute of Technology


Ben Bakal — Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stephen Gloyd — Temple University

Jordan Maxham — Colgate University

Mateo Miller — University of Wisconsin

Cole Riedinger — University of Pennsylvania

Jameson Weyhrich — Georgetown University

Luca Williams — Colgate University

Caroline Eadie — University of Alabama

Hannah Jiang — Tufts University


Kendall Sierens (forward) — Denison University


Red Ricciardi — Denison University


Matt Plunkett — Case Western


Ronan O’Neill (mid distance) — Villanova University

Margaret McNally — St. Laurence

Abby Ryan (mid distance, discus) — Haverford College


Stefan Gjaja (setter) — Princeton University

Scott Hopkins (libero) — Aquinas College


Eli Sternweiler (goalie) — University of the Pacific

Piper Dooley — Carthage College


Jack Cummings (185 pounds) — University of Michigan

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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