During GSB's annual NLI signing ceremony last week, which included a live stream for extended family members and the full GSB community, four senior student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent to compete at the Division I level in college next season.
Sophie Chang, Ella Fajardo, Caileigh Walsh, and Joseph Skapinetz were accompanied in the Athletic Center by a small group of family and GSB faculty as they took the next step in their respective athletic careers.
Sophie Chang (Lehigh, golf)
"Sophie is an exceptional golfer, and the first female golfer in the history of Gill St. Bernard's to advance in the state tournament," stated Athletic Director Will Taylor.
“One of the reasons why I chose Lehigh was because of the people. Meeting Coach Lynch and the team, I knew that was where I wanted to be. Everyone was so welcoming and made me feel like part of a family, even though I had just met them. Another reason was because of the balance between academics and the competitiveness of the athletic program. Gill St. Bernard's has prepared me for Lehigh through the support that I have received from the community. Everyone, from my freshman math teacher, Mr. Corona, to Mr. Taylor, to Coach Cascini, and the boys on the team, have shown me so much support over the years. I am extremely blessed to be a part of the Gill community and to be a Knight.”
Ella Fajardo (Fairleigh Dickinson, basketball)
"She not only plays for Gill, but she plays for her national team in the Philippines in their national 3-on-3 tournament, so she's an international-level player," said Taylor.
“I choose Fairleigh Dickinson University because I knew that it would be the perfect home for me. FDU reminds me a lot of Gill: very family-oriented and equipped with the right people who will push me to be the best person and player, on and off the court. Committing to FDU meant bringing with me the leadership and communication skills I developed at my years at GSB. I also know that FDU will continue to academically challenge me, which Gill has definitely prepared me for. I am so thankful and blessed for the opportunity to play basketball at the Division I level and thank Gill and its teachers and administrators for always believing and supporting me in all things that I do. ONCE A KNIGHT, ALWAYS A KNIGHT!”
Caileigh Walsh (Northwestern, basketball)
"Caileigh scored her 1000th point last year; this year she is going to push for that 1000th rebound, as well. She is one of the elite basketball players in the state of New Jersey," said Taylor.
“I chose Northwestern University and WBB for a multitude of reasons. When I was recruited by them for about a year, it was apparent that their team was close-knit and had an extremely family-oriented atmosphere. They are the BIG 10 champs, so the elite level of basketball that I would be joining was something that I aspired toward. The school is also extremely prestigious and seeing that I pride myself on being someone who pushes themselves academically as well as athletically, Northwestern was the obvious fit. Gill St. Bernard's prepared me well for this transition. From my teachers pushing me in my academically challenging courses, to my wonderful coaches and athletic director holding me accountable on the court, I feel so well prepared to take on Chicago!”
Joseph Skapinetz (Lafayette, baseball)
"The Leopards will be getting a sweet-swinging batter along with a nasty pitcher, that earned him a perfect game when he was only a sophomore," said Taylor.
“When searching for colleges, I wanted to find a campus that closely resembled Gill’s close-knit community, somewhere I would fit academically as well as athletically. My experience on the Gill baseball team has been incredible. Coach Pasquale set the bar high as far as coaches go, and my teammates are like brothers to me. After getting to know Coach Reilly and meeting the team at Lafayette, my choice was easy.”
Congratulations to our Knights!