QUINCY -- Four Quincy Notre Dame student-athletes announced their future plans as they were surrounded by their families, coaches and student body in a Wednesday morning press conference.
Signing first was Marko Cucuk, who committed to the Quincy University men's tennis team.
"I want to thank my family," Cucuk said. "From the ones 5,000 miles away across the world (in Serbia) to the ones sitting right here with me, none of this would be possible without you. I would also like to thank all of my QND coaches for pushing me to be a better player."
Cucuk plans on majoring in nursing at QU.
QND boys tennis head coach Bob Catalpa said he has been working with Cucuk since he was nine-years-old at the Racquet Club.
"Most people don't think of tennis as a team sport," Catalpa said. "When you think of team sports, I think of your quarterback or point guard being your coach out on the field. Marko is another coach. He can run practices for us and really coaches up his teammates."
Catalpa added that Cucuk has been a great teammate and student.
"I'm just so excited for him to continue on," Catalpa said. "I think there will be great things to come for the (QU) program. It's a strong program."
Lilly Marth was the second one to sign, committing to the Quincy University women's volleyball team.
Marth plans on majoring in nursing at QU, and will join her brother, Jack Marth, who plans to transfer to play football for the Hawks.
"I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and encouraging me in every aspect in life," Marth said. "Thank you for all the teammates who have been with me since the start of my volleyball career. A huge thanks to my coaches."
QND volleyball head coach Courtney Kvitle has been on the job for five years, and Marth is the first player she's coached to sign with a local college.
"I've been watching her for a long time and she's really improved her game," Kvitle said. "She's ended this year, her senior (season), being our best passer. In my gym, that's a really big deal. So I would like to give her some praise in that she's worked extremely hard."
Evie Schuetz committed to Webster University for women's tennis, the third signing of Wednesday morning.
"I would like to thank my family," Schuetz said. "Because I grew up in a tennis family. I would like to thank all of my past coaches, especially Theresa (Quintero) and Julie (Schuetz). Thank you to my amazing team (for) all four years. You guys are the reason I wanted to play in college."
Quintero has been Schuetz's head coach at QND for all four season, with Schuetz being her first player to move on to the collegiate level.
Quintero said Schuetz has made a lot of progress during her four years at QND, moving from a No. 6 player on varsity as a freshman to the No. 1 player on varsity during her senior year.
"I remember her words at one of her very first practices -- 'I think I would really like to make it to state in singles'," Quintero said. "I loved hearing this brave statement. It was a job she was willing to take on with stronger competitors than those she had faced in the past."
Quintero added that Schuetz will be a great asset to the Webster University women's tennis team.
"Evie knows her style of play very well," Quintero said. "It's how long she can outlast anyone else on the court. At times bringing them to tears, and it worked all season long. She did earn that spot at our state tournament. What a great goal and what a great achievement."
Last but not least, Brock Wiley committed to the Quincy University football team, one of 48 players to sign with the Hawks on Wednesday.
Wiley said he is thankful for the opportunity to continue his academic and athletic career at QU. He plans on majoring in biology.
"I would like to thank God for his many blessings in my life," Wiley said. "Without him, none of my desires or goals would be possible. I want to thank my parents for their constants support they've made for me so I continue to chase my dreams at the next level. Thank you also to my siblings and grandparents for always coming to my games and encouraging me to be the best I can possibly be."
Wiley also thanked Raiders football head coach Jack Cornell and his previous coaches for helping him develop as a player.
"I would like to thank all of my teammates and friends who have pushed me to get better each and every day," Wiley said. "I cannot have asked for better guests to be surrounded by. Lastly, I would like to thank the coaching staff at Quincy University for believing in me. I'm looking forward to being part of this team and cannot wait to get to work."
Wiley rebounded for a strong senior season after suffering a season-ending injury early in his junior year.
At QND Wiley played on both sides of the ball, but QU plans on using him as a linebacker.
Cornell said Wiley is one of the toughest players that he's coached.
"No doubt he's going to excel at the next level," Cornell said. "Very proud of Brock for the young man that he is and the football player he is. I know the sky's the limit for him. One piece of advice I'll give you is that you still cannot tackle the quarterback in practice when you get to college."
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