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Crusaders Commit with Rutgers, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins Topping the List

17 Bergen Catholic seniors will take their talents to the NCAA as freshman from the Division-3 level up to Division-1 schools; Fort Lee's Travis Nitti signs with Rider University for soccer.

From Rhode Island and Maryland to Arizona and Illinois and back to New Jersey, 17 Bergen Catholic Crusaders officially inked their NCAA Letters of Intent during a Wednesday morning ceremony.

The 17 seniors represented seven varsity teams from football, tennis, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, soccer and golf. Of the athletes, 11 have committed to a Division-1 program with two to Division-2 schools and three competing on the Division-3 level.

"We are honoring everyone who has committed to be an NCAA athlete next year," Bergen Catholic Sports Information Director Dan Long said. "These 17 athletes represent seven Crusader sports. This is a very special year for Bergen with the most sports represented here in school history."

The 2013 Bergen Catholic committments saw several athletes commit to familiar programs such as Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Bryant and West Point.

For the second year in a row, the New York military academy has recruited Bergen Catholic athlete as Jack Lippin began garnering interest from the Black Knights during his junior year. He now joins former Crusader wrestler Connor Melde at the Point.

Football standouts Kyle Queiro, Jon Germano and Parker Tobia will join former Crusaders on the gridiron as well. Queiro joins former teammate Cameron Dickerson at Northwestern while Tobia teams up with Mike Gerst at Columbia. 

After breaking every school quarterback record, Germano will next head to Johns Hopkins where former Crusaders Martin Scheuring and John Finkel have taken the field before him. 

Tucker James (lacrosse) will find familiar faces in Kevin Tejada (soccer) and Charles Wingate (football) at Bryant University.

"We could celebrate 17 individuals in a way that gets them puffed up today," Bergen Catholic President Brother Brian Walsh said. "But I hope we celebrate 17 individuals in saying well done. See what happens when you put in the time, energy, sacrifice, dedication and committment and how that can lead you to success in the future. We also celebrate the parents, the hours sacrificed to bring their sons to this point."

Also moving on to the NCAA level next fall for football are James Dawson (Salve Regina), Dan Grasso (Colgate University), Mike Harper (Hobart and William Smith College), JJ Kulcsar (Towson University), Chris McBride (Long Island University-Post), Rich Queen (University of Massachusetts-Amherst), Phil Rigoglioso (Bentley University), and John Tsimis (Rutgers University).

Additional commitments were made by Brian Balico (La Salle University, tennis), Zach Cerbo (Arizon State University, baseball), Travis Nitti (Rider University, soccer), and Ryan Rose (Rutgers University, golf) .

Bergen Catholic will hold an additional ceremony in May for those student-athletes who were not ready to commit to an NCAA program on Feb. 6.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Ann Piccirillo at annpiccirillo@yahoo.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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