Three CJ student athletes, including the first lacrosse player in school history, signed National Letters of Intent during the first week of the 2014 signing period.
A day after snow canceled classes and postponed National Signing Day ceremonies, seniors C.J. Riazzi (football) and Lyle Plummer (wrestling) each signed with the Air Force Academy on February 6. Five days later, Keiley Ayers became the first Eagle to formally commit to play college lacrosse after signing with Berry College on February 11.
The trio joined fellow senior Grace Horner, who in November 2013 signed with the crew team of Canisius College, in making their commitments official.
FOOTBALL - AIR FORCE ACADEMY
After playing only one season of organized high school football, C.J. Riazzi will join the Falcons in the NCAA's Mountain West Conference. He will receive a full athletic grant and plans to study business
The tight end had a break-out year for the Eagles, racking up 834 yards and four touchdowns on 54 catches for the season. Riazzi was named to the First Team All-GCL Coed North, honorable mention Southwest All-District, and selected to play in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association North-South Football Classic game.
"C.J. Riazzi is as talented a football player as anyone I've coached," said Marcus Colvin, head coach. "I am happy for C.J., I just wish he would have played for more than one year. He was a pleasure to coach and I am proud of the man he is becoming -- a man of character and integrity."
Riazzi, a two-year varsity basketball starter at CJ, is averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game on the hardwood for the first place Eagles.
WRESTLING - AIR FORCE ACADEMY
Lyle Plummer is one of the most decorated wrestlers in CJ history. At the time of his signing he was ranked No. 2 in the state, held 147 career wins, had qualified for the state tournament three consecutive years and had been named the GCL North Wrestler of the Year in each of those three years.
The 132-pound grappler received academic scholarships and athletic grants to cover the full cost of tuition at the Air Force Academy, where he plans to study finance or business management. Plummer, who is a member of the senior servant leadership group FLIGHT, said he looks forward to wrestling at the college level and being able to continue to be a “man of service.”
“I set a goal to wrestle for an NCAA Division I school so to have a chance to do that at a great institution like the Air Force Academy and pursue this great opportunity is exciting,” he said. “Serving your country is one of the biggest things you can do.”
LACROSSE - BERRY COLLEGE
Keiley Ayers is the first person in CJ history to be signed to play college lacrosse. She will take the field in the spring of 2015 for the Lady Vikings of Berry College, an NCAA Division III school in Georgia, where she will receive the school's Presidential Scholarship to pursue a degree in animal science with a specialization in pre-veterinary medicine.
The midfielder, who first picked up a lacrosse stick as a freshman, was named honorable mention All-District and a 2013 US Lacrosse Academic All-American last season. She is one of four seniors (along with Julie Ward '14, Megan Barrett '14 and Ben Reis '14) who played on the school's inaugural teams in the spring of 2011 according to Eagles Lacrosse Club President Mary Reis ‘77. Reis founded the men’s and women’s program at CJ just four years ago.
"Keiley is the epitome of what happens when hard work and athletic talent collide,” Reis said. “That in three short years Keiley has gone from having never played lacrosse to being signed to play at the college level is nothing short of remarkable."
Women’s lacrosse at CJ is now a school sponsored interscholastic varsity sport for the spring 2014 season. The Eagles officially open the season Saturday, March 22 at Lakota East.