For Matthew Mikolajczak, a senior at Lincoln-Way Central High School, top honors are nothing unusual. With a GPA of 5.049, this 17-year-old student from New Lenox is destined to be a standout at Ohio University too. A star baseball player for the Knights, he signed a letter of intent Wednesday.
The left handed pitcher who's played on the varsity team since he was a freshman is living out a dream come true. "I've always wanted to play Division 1 baseball," he said.
Look for Lincoln-Way West Signing Day on Friday.
Speaking at a ceremony at LWC's Knights of the Round Table Hall, Baseball Coach Scott Gardner spoke equally about Mikolajczak's athletic and academic prowess. Ranked No. 8 in a class of 464 students, he's been a standout both on and off the field.
"I've had the privilege of being one of Miko's coaches the last three years at the varsity level, and he has made a positive impact on our program." Since his freshman year as a varsity pitcher, he has achieved a mound of notable statistics, including 123 strikeouts, 6 shutouts and 2 no-hitters.
"While he continues to be a great asset to LWC, Ohio University made an incredible choice in recruiting Matt Mikolajczak," said Gardner.
Five other athletes made their college choices official. Football standout Evan Panfil shifted gears from earlier plans to attend the University of Illinois, opting instead for Purdue University. A shift in coaching staff at U of I caused Panfil to step back from the Fighting Illini.
Knights Recruiting Class:
Matthew Mikolajczak, Ohio University, baseball
Son of James and Donna Mikolajczak
- "I've always wanted to play Division 1 baseball."
Madison Stephens, St. Joseph College, girls soccer
Daughter of Matthew and Marianne Stephens
Major: Health Care
- "What made me want to go here is that it has a really good character. It's a really good environment."
Evan Panfil, Purdue University, football
Son of Vonni Panfil
Major: Business, Supply Chain Management
- "I'm just trying to stay composed."
Ronnie Dunlap, St. Ambrose, football
Son of Bryan and Jennifer Dunlap
Major: Special Education
- "I want to double major in special education and social sciences."
Austin Overby, Ball State University, volleyball
Son of Clarence and Janice Overby
- "I started talking to Ball State in the summer. I'll be going in August."
CJ Zuraitis, South Dakota School of Mines, soccer
Son of Charles and Stefanie Zuraitis
Major: Mining Engineering
- "It's a big relief. It feels awesome. I can't wait to start my college career."