Friday, April 30, was one of those celebratory days at Xavier.
“As we begin the end of the year celebrations, days like this are why we chose to be educators. A truly fabulous day at Xavier,” Headmaster Dave Eustis said as he reflected on all that had occurred.
First up, before the school day began, was a signing ceremony for 12 Division II and III athletes in the gym at 7:30 a.m.
“Besides the obvious of living through and competing at such a high level during a global pandemic, these young men have done all that we have ever asked of them,” athletic director Matt Martorelli told the students-athletes and their families gathered for the ceremony.
The signees: Nicholas Beaulieu: Mitchell College, basketball; Jay Bruni: Endicott College, football; Josh Castano: Florida Southern College, lacrosse; Chris DiBella: Salve Regina University, football; Ian Domeika: Hendrix College, lacrosse; Drew Errera: Western New England University, baseball; Hunter Geisler: Clarkson University, baseball; Adam Goralski: Roger Williams University, track and field; William Heher: Hamilton College, lacrosse; Tiernan Powers: UConn Avery Point, baseball; Jason Salley: Roger Williams University, soccer; Malcolm Wilson-Toliver: Western New England University, football.
At 1:30 p.m. there was the Academic Awards Ceremony for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, presided over by Dan Lyons ’21, the president of the National Honor Society. Among his many messages: “We are not being taught to become stellar students; we are being taught to become stellar, well-guided individuals, men, men like Christ.”
That was amplified by Principal Brendan Donohue. He spoke of the Xavier motto, “Be A Man,” and said when we talk about it we “typically equate it to ordinary day-to-day actions, but these are extraordinary times, and the challenges you are facing are extraordinary. We want to thank students for everything you have done to maintain academic excellence.”
Headmaster Eustis thanked the students for the “effort put forth and the great resilience and determination” in taking on the pandemic. “You have delivered,” he said.
At 3 p.m., there was the Division I signing ceremony for Mike Rapuano, the two-time State Open champion who likely would have won a third if COVID had not claimed the wrestling season. It’s about the only thing that could have taken him down. Rapuano will wrestle for George Mason University.
Coach Mike Cunningham said Rapuano was the best to come through the doors of Xavier, and not only here but in the state of Connecticut and throughout New England. Eustis thanked Rapuano for all he has done for the wrestling program and the school.
Rapuano was the third Xavier senior to sign with a Division I school this school year. In the fall signing period, Luke Lappe (North Alabama, baseball) and Andrew Mitchill (Villanova, swimming) signed.
By Jeff Otterbein