Oswego High School participated in National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Many of the top senior athletes across the school signed to their new four-year homes. From football to softball and every sport in between, these athletes put that pen to paper and made one of the most important decisions in their lives.
John Luke Patterson, a defensive back for the Panthers football team, had a few offers to pick from, but ended up signing to Wayne State University in Detroit. Patterson had multiple kickoff/punt returns for touchdowns, showing his dominance on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. With a long frame like Patterson’s, he makes himself quite the defensive threat.
“Wayne State made me feel the most at home,” Patterson said. “The coaches made me feel like I wasn’t just a stat, like they really cared for me.”
Noah Parker was Oswego’s varsity quarterback this past season. Parker will be attending the University of Dubuque in Quad City, Michigan. The school seemed to have everything he was looking for.
“[They have] a great football team, and the facilities are the best in Division III,” Parker explains.
Although Parker was once just second string on the squad, it was his senior year when he blew up and caught the eyes of many colleges. Parker proved a lot to fans, coaches, friends, and family about how dedicated he is to do what he loves and his skills on the football field.
Dylan Cullick, nose guard on the Oswego varsity football team, has been playing football along with Parker since he was just 6 years old. Cullick decided to take his talents to Monmouth University in Monmouth, Illinois. He received two other offers from Elmhurst College and St. Ambrose University but discovered Monmouth was the right fit for him.
“The campus, the weight room, the football field, the coaching staff [made the campus feel] like home for me,” Cullick said. “I was going off what my mom said a little bit and she said, ‘If the place feels like home the first time, it’s probably a good sign.’”
Many baseball players including Codey Quirin, J.D. Miller, Matt Sorrells, Luke Menard and Hayden Bielawski also all signed to their new homes. Although there is still a whole season in front of them, these spectacular athletes have been recognized in just three years on the varsity team for Oswego and have been given the chance to play at the next level.
Menard is taking his talent to Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois, taking the junior college route instead for specific reasons.
“The coach, [how] they win their conference almost every year,” Menard says. “Most of their kids transfer out to bigger and better universities [after that].”
This is a very common route for baseball players nowadays. Many are heading to junior colleges to show bigger schools what they are capable of. Another bonus is that a player can declare for the draft all four years of school at the junior college, and then return if they don’t get drafted where they want at a bigger school. Playing time is a huge part of deciding where to play, and the decision was made easy for Menard.
“I should start my freshman year [at Elgin],” Menard said.
Although not all were pictured, Oswego had nearly 30 athletes sign to their new homes. Some are Division II, and a few others went to Division III colleges with a spattering of community college attendees. Although all of these athletes have excelled in their sports at this point, they all will face huge conflicts in college and will train harder than ever for their special spot on the team. These class of 2019 athletes at OHS are something special and many anticipate what the future will hold for them.