The student news site of Notre Dame Academy

The Tritonian

The Tritonian

The Tritonian

Five Student-Athletes Sign Letter of Intent to Play College Sports


Last week Athletic Director Mathew Koenig called it a “privilege” to announce that “over the next two weeks NDA will be celebrating five student-athletes who have committed to play Division One and Division Two athletics.”

The student-athletes include Trista Fayta, basketball at Illinois State University; Gracie Grzesk, basketball at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Brady LaViolette, baseball at Ohio University; Sydney Whitehouse, basketball at Northern Michigan; and Avery Duncan, baseball at Dallas Baptist University.

                                                                                      Trista Fayta

Senior Trista Fayta, who signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division One basketball at Illinois State University, started playing basketball because her mom and brothers were always in the gym. 

She has been playing basketball for about 15 years now. 

“One day I just decided to try and do what (her mom and brothers) were doing and then just continued to work hard, and I am loving every minute of it,” said the Lady Tritons point guard. 

During her first three years at Notre Dame, she has helped the varsity team win three consecutive state championships while tallying over 1000 points and becoming the all- time assist leader. 

NDA varsity coach Sara Rhode said during the signing, “She is one of the best, if not the best point guards to come through our program. She has been a pleasure to coach.”

Fayta chose ISU because it is family oriented and felt very welcoming. She also loves the campus size and the coaches. 

She would like to thank all of her family, friends, teammates, coaches, and trainers who have been there along the way.–Ari Hinz

                                                                                       Gracie Grzesk

Senior Gracie Grzesk signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division One basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Grzesk has been playing basketball for around 13 years. She was always around the sport because both her parents played and coached and her older brother also played. 

Grzesk, now a senior at NDA, has been on varsity her first three years and won three consecutive gold balls. She has also exceeded the 1000 point mark and received many awards such as FRCC Player of the Year, three time WBCA All-State, three time All Conference, and second team AP all state. 

At the signing Varsity Head Coach Sara Rohde talked very highly about Grzesk and her family, stating that “there was no doubt in my mind that she wasn’t going to follow in her parents’ footsteps.”

Grzesk then said, “I’ve always had the goal of making it to the next level.” 

When she got the opportunity to attend University of Wisconsin, she knew it was perfect for her so she said yes. She loved it because it is close to home, it’s challenging athletically and academically, and she felt a great connection with the coaches there. 

Grzesk’s favorite memory is winning her third straight gold ball versus Pewaukee last year, and she is super excited to go for one more this upcoming season. –Ari Hinz

                                                                                    Brady LaViolette

Hitting a baseball is really, really challenging. I like to think it is the hardest thing to do in sports, so it is pretty difficult for me,” said senior Brady Laviolette.

Laviolette, who has been playing baseball since he was five years old, signed his national letter of intent to play baseball for Ohio University this past Tuesday

“I just signed up for t-ball one day and fell in love with it,” said Laviolette.

I love winning and being around my teammates. My baseball teammates are some of my best friends and when we win it just makes the whole experience a million times more fun,” said Laviolette. 

Laviolette’s achievements include being the NDA career home run leader, the NDA RBI leader, unanimous first team all conference as a junior and as a senior and All District.

The All District award commends athletes on excellence on and off the field in the classroom.

“It is very difficult to balance school and baseball but what I’ve learned that has helped me is to write a plan out and to get into a routine everyday so that you know when it is time to practice as well as when it is time for homework,” said Laviolette. 

Laviolette is grateful for all the support that he has received over his years of playing baseball.

“The people that influenced me the most are my parents, my coaches and my teammates. Those are the people I really want to thank,” said Laviolette.  –Ben Wolcanski 

                                                                                   Avery Duncan 

“After visiting Dallas Baptist University I felt like I was at home, and that was a feeling I didn’t get at other schools,” said Avery Duncan, student at NDA. 

Avery has been playing baseball since the age of 14 in the position of the pitcher. Inspired by his brother’s involvement in the game, he has been on an extraordinary journey that has shaped his athletic path. 

Some of my biggest influences have been my parents, Chris and Jill, my brothers Noah and Evan as well as my friends and coaches. I would like to thank all of them because without them none of this would be happening right now. They pushed me to be the person I am,” said Avery. 

While continuing his education and athletic life, the decision of what college to sign with became a crucial turning point. He was in contact with great programs, some of the more notable ones were TCU, Ohio State, Dallas Baptist and Northwestern. 

After visiting TCU and DBU, the decision was clear. It was the feeling of “being at home”  at DBU that led to his decision. 

In the world of baseball, being consistent with finding the zone is the most challenging skill for Avery.

“Sometimes throughout the game I’ll kind of get a wild inning where stuff can spiral out of control, so limiting that would be my biggest challenge,” said Avery. 

Aside from the competitiveness of the sport, Avery finds joy in the bonds he makes with his teammates throughout the year. 

“Some of the relationships you form on the field will last you a lifetime,” said Avery. –Amelia Butz

                                                                                Sydney Whitehouse

Senior Sydney Whitehouse signed her Letter of Intent to play basketball at Northern Michigan College. 

Whitehouse has been playing basketball for 11-12 years. She decided to start playing the sport because of her older sister. 

“Watching her play basketball while I was younger made me want to play the sport as well,” said the senior. 

Whitehouse has been playing on the varsity team for four years and has been a starter three years. During her junior year, she made all conference defensive team and second team all conference. 

Whitehouse felt that she was always leaning towards going to Northern Michigan. 

“The facilities and team stood out to me the most because of how modern it was built and because of how welcoming the team was,” she said. 

The favorite part about playing basketball is the people she has met. 

Whitehouse said, “I would like to give the biggest thanks to my parents for always being there and supporting me. They will support me no matter how I play or the outcome of the game. I look up to them and can not thank them enough for everything they have done for me.” –Breanna Schwarten












Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Tritonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.