Five Shawano athletes sign letters of intent

Green, Krueger, Tadych, Vomastic, Zook sign letters

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Five Shawano student-athletes signed their letters of intent with their families looking on in the Shawano gymnasium on Wednesday. Sitting are the five athletes, left, Brianna Zook, Averi Vomastic, Joey Tadych, James Krueger and Jeffrey Green, who signed.

Five Shawano Community High School student-athletes saw all their hard work and dedication pay off on Wednesday afternoon.

Seniors Jeffrey Green, James Krueger, Joey Tadych, Averi Vomastic and Brianna Zook all signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers at Shawano High School’s Signing Day.

Green and Krueger will both swim for Division III St. Norbert College while Tadych will join Division III Hamline University to play baseball. Vomastic will continue her volleyball career at Division II Rockhurst University while Zook will join Division II Bryant & Stratton College to play softball.

Green and Krueger will look to help build the foundation of the St. Norbert men’s swimming team, which will be in its first year of existence when the duo joins the team. The swimmers, who will be roommates, are thrilled to continue their athletic careers alongside each other.

“It’s amazing, I’m so glad I get to go with Jeffrey,” Krueger said. “He is an amazing teammate and friend. We’ve been swimming together for so long and it’s so nice that I get to go with someone who I have already swam in relays with.”

“I am looking forward to swimming in college so much, especially since I’ll be with my friend, James,” Green said. “It will be really cool to have a familiar face there right away.”

While there is not a record of success to look to or anyone the duo could speak with that have been through the St. Norbert program, both athletes remain confident and are excited to get their collegiate careers underway. Both swimmers also offered kind words for Franco Pacheco, who will serve as the Green Knights’ inaugural coach.

“He gave me a tour of the area and is very open in communicating with us,” Green said. “I am really excited to see what coach Franco can do with me to help me improve and get my times down even further.”

“When I made my college visit, I made sure to talk to the coach,” Krueger said. “After talking with him, I knew for sure that I wanted pursue swimming with the program. He even came down to watch us a couple times during the season.”

For Tadych, the college recruiting process was a bit of a rough road.

Small division III colleges throughout the state started to take notice of Tadych during his junior year, but the baseball standout was not satisfied. Near the end his junior year, Tadych received a letter from Hamline University. The fact that the letter was typed immediately drew Tadych’s attention.

“I went down there, set up a visit and toured the campus,” Tadych said. “Right away when I stepped on campus, I fell in love with it. Then I talked with the head coach (Jim Weyandt) and he was super nice. I just knew it was the right place for me.”

With a portion of the spring baseball season remaining, the senior is now out to show the Pipers what he will bring to the team next year. Tadych is also hoping to help the Hawks achieve their season goal.

“I’ve really wanted to step up my game all year because it’s my last year and I’m playing with all my friends,” Tadych said. “We said we wanted to make it to state this year.”

Zook, who has a portion of the softball season remaining, believes signing the letter of intent could help her step up her game down the stretch.

“This definitely motivates me,” Zook said. “I’m ready to keep going strong and help my team to another regional championship and beyond.”

Zook, who leads the Bay Conference in home runs this season, thanked her high school coach, Brian Johnson, for helping her get noticed by the Bobcats.

“Coach Johnson mentioned me to someone with the team and then I got to talking to their coach (Troy Engibous),” Zook said. “Then I went down there for a visit and really liked the school.”

Like Tadych, the recruitment process for Vomastic did not run as smoothly as she would have hoped. The volleyball standout, who had dreams of playing collegiately since she was young, started her senior year with no clue as to where she would be playing in college.

Vomastic can thank her play of the court for opening the eyes of Rockhurst University.

“Rockhurst reached out to me after seeing my highlight video on the internet,” Vomastic said. “They emailed me and asked me to come down for a tryout, to meet the team and try and get a feel of what the campus was like. After that, we had a mutual agreement that this was the right fit for both us.”

Like the other four athletes who signed their letters of intent, Vomastic was extremely gratified to be done with the recruiting process and thankful to all the people who helped her reach this point.

“It’s really a feeling that cannot be described,” Vomastic said. “For everything that I’ve gone through and all the people that have helped me, my coaches, my parents and my teammates, especially, it all means the world and I’m really thankful I get to do this for them.”