6 VHS Athletes Commit To College Play

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Speed, agility, focus, poise and determination. These are the traits that the six Verona High School athletes who signed with colleges on Wednesday have consistently demonstrated over the last four years. Throughout their tenure at the school, they have shown leadership and dedication, and guided them through games like few have before. This talented group of students has certainly changed the course of sports at VHS, and will indisputably continue to make a lasting impression in their next step in life.

Track star Ian Zalewski will compete for Lehigh

Ian Zalewski has put up extremely fast times in track and cross country throughout his time at the high school. As a freshman, he qualified for the Group championship, running a 4:38.83 in the 1600 meter. The next year at Groups, he took home third in the 3200m, third in the 1600m, and fifth in the 800m runs. In February 2023, he became the Sectional champion in the 1600m and took second and third in two other events. In December 2023, Zalewski swept the SEC Liberty Conference championship, taking home first place in the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. Most recently, at the N2G1 state Sectionals, Zalewski swept his races yet again with a 2:04.38 in the 800m, a 4:36.58 in the 1600m, and a 10:08:40 in the 3200m. He has officially committed to Lehigh University, which is a Division 1 school.

Lacrosse players Dominick Hook and Andrew Healy will play for Moravian and Embry-Riddle, respectively

Andrew Healy has been the goalie for Verona boys lacrosse. He had over 10 saves every single game of the year except one, and finished with a total of 249 saved goals throughout one season. His finest game was the last of his junior year, where he had twenty saved goals against Madison. He played in every single game, proving resistant to injury and remaining reliable on the field throughout the season. For this, he was rewarded as 1st Team All-County Liberty and 1st Team All-NJILL Kimber. He has committed to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which is a D2 school.

Fellow lacrosse player Dominick Houck also committed Tuesday. Houck had a standout junior season, where he improved on his sophomore year playing to acquire 23 goals and 17 assists. He played club at Evolution Lacrosse Academy 2024, allowing him to hone his skills to attain a signing with Moravian University, a D3 school.

Baseball player Ryan Madigan, seen here with his parents, is headed to Arcadia

Moving onto baseball, Ryan Radigan committed on signing day to Arcadia University, a D3 school. Radigan has maintained a 3.12 batting average throughout his career. He started his sophomore year as just a batter but moved up his junior year to fill in to pitch as well. Last season, he had 20 runs, two home runs, fourtriples, six doubles, and 16 singles. However, when he wasn’t filling in at that spot, he was helping out at third base.

Zach Garmont with his very proud mother

As for football, one player was present on signing day, and that was Zach Garmont. Garmont played in a limited capacity his sophomore year but became one of the most reliable receivers his junior year. He stepped up his senior year to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the state. A two-way starter, he played safety and wide receiver. As a safety, he made 28 solo tackles and 15 assists throughout the season, often preventing touchdowns in those scenarios. As a wide receiver, he had 1,327 receiving yards over the season, finishing at #2 in the state. The #1 player had three more games than Garmont–and had only seven more yards. Garmont’s other accomplishments include breaking the VHS reception record of Anthony Fasano (VHS ‘02) and making 1st team All-State. He is committing to D1 Monmouth University.

Soccer player Samantha Rizzi brought friends–and family–to her signing

The final athlete to commit was soccer player Samantha Rizzi. She scored a few goals her freshman year but moved on up to become a truly critical part of the Verona girls soccer squad in her sophomore and junior years. In her sophomore year, Rizzi played four games and put up four goals and five assists. In her junior year, she played six games and scored six goals, with six assists, and 18 points. Her senior year, she played in five games and scored four goals and seven assists, before she was brought down by injury. As a captain for the team, she has been crucial in its success over the last year, despite her injury. She has committed to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), a D3 school.

These student-athletes are truly doing something remarkable by continuing their careers in college. Only 7% of high school athletes go on to play a varsity sport in college, and under 2% play at a NCAA D1 school. The six will continue to show their talent to the world and make a name for themselves on the college scale. But if anything’s for certain, it’s that their years of experience at VHS have helped them refine their craft to be true game-changers and become people who can take on any challenge they put their minds to.

Photos: Lexie Popwich

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Daniel Frenklakh
Daniel Frenklakh
High school writer following football, marching band, swimming and various high school events.

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