Home: News : Four Lemont football players commit to playing collegiately next fall

Four Lemont football players commit to playing collegiately next fall


Four Lemont seniors recently committed to playing college football next year. Included in that group are (clockwise, from back left) Josh Young, Sebastian Koziel, Arnas Laurinaitis and Andrew Manganiello.

Four Lemont High School seniors - defensive linemen Sebastian Koziel (North Central College), Arnas Laurinaitis (Western Illinois University) and Andrew Manganiello (Olivet Nazarene University) and kicker Josh Young (Valparaiso University) - have committed to playing college football beginning in Fall 2012. They join linebackers Kyle Krull and Brad Uher - each of whom signed National Letters of Intent with Western Illinois in February - as members of Lemont’s Class of 2012 who will play college football.

Koziel, Laurinaitis, Manganiello and Young all were key contributors to the success of head coach Eric Michaelsen’s program in recent years. During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the Indians compiled a 23-2 record, posting back-to-back undefeated regular seasons and winning South Suburban Conference-Blue Division titles each campaign. Lemont went 12-0 in SSC Blue play in 2010 and 2011, posted a 5-2 record in the IHSA Class 6A playoffs over those two years, and shut out eight opponents.

Koziel (6’2”, 215) totaled 45 tackles (33 solo) from the defensive line as a junior and senior. He also contributed seven sacks, seven tackles-for-loss, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups during his career,

Laurinaitis (6’2”, 270) racked up 74 tackles (61 solo) while spending two seasons as the squad’s starting nose guard. An All-SSC performer, he collected 12 tackles-for-loss, forced two fumbles, and also recovered two fumbles.

Manganiello (5’9”, 230) totaled 39 tackles (22 solo) from the defensive tackle position. He also added six tackles-for-loss and two sacks over two seasons.

Young (5’10”, 145) played parts of three seasons on the varsity squad, and served as the team’s primary place kicker for two of those campaigns. He converted 100 of 112 point-after attempts, and also added two field goals to finish his career with 106 points. Young also averaged 45.8 yards on 112 kickoffs in his career.

In 2011, Lemont went 12-1 (6-0 SSC Blue) and finished as an IHSA Class 6A Semifinalist. The Indians shut out six opponents, and limited eight of 13 foes to fewer than 10 points. Laurinaitis posted a career-high 39 tackles (35 solo), including seven for-loss, and forced two fumbles and recovered another. Manganiello broke into the starting line-up for the first time and posted a career-best 30 tackles (17 solo) while adding two sacks and a fumble recovery. Despite missing time with an injury, Koziel managed 21 tackles (12 solo) and tied for fourth on the team with four sacks. Young posted a career-high 61 points by converting 61-of-68 extra point attempts. He also averaged 46.6 yards on 90 kickoffs and posted 13 touchbacks.

The Indians went 11-1 (6-0 SSC Blue) in 2010 and made an IHSA Class 6A Quarterfinals appearance. Laurinaitis earned All-SSC Blue honors after posting 35 tackles (26 solo), including five for-loss, to go with a career-best four sacks. Koziel totaled a career-high 24 tackles (21 solo) and had five tackles-for-loss, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups. In limited playing time, Manganiello had nine tackles, including two for loss. In a back-up role, Young was successful on one-of-two point-after attempts, but did knock through a career-long 37-yard field goal.

Young spent most of the 2009 season as Lemont’s primary place kicker. He converted 38-of-42 extra points, and also converted a 24-yard field goal. His 41 points led all kickers and ranked fourth overall on the squad. The Indians went 10-2 (5-1 SSC Blue), shared the SSC Blue crown, and advanced to the IHSA Class 6A Quarterfinals.

A high honor roll performer, Koziel will suit up for head coach John Thorne at North Central, an NCAA Division III institution located in Naperville, Ill., and a member of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW). The Cardinals went 10-2 in 2011, and advanced to NCAA Division III Playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons. North Central has won six consecutive CCIW titles, and at 88-24, Thorne already is the school’s all-time winningest football coach through just 10 seasons on the sidelines.

North Central College Football

Also a member of Lemont’s wrestling program, Laurinaitis will look to team up with Krull and Uher by earning a walk-on spot at Western Illinois, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institution located in Macomb, Ill., that competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Head coach Mark Hendrickson has compiled a 15-24 record in parts of four seasons. In his first full season heading the program, he led the Leathernecks to an 8-5 record and an NCAA FCS Playoff appearance in 2010; he was the runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award (FCS Coach of the Year) that season.

Western Illinois University Football

An honor roll student, Manganiello will play for head coach Brian Fish at Olivet Nazarene, an NAIA institution located in Bourbonnais, Ill., and a member of the Mid-States Football Association. The Tigers went 5-6 overall (3-4 MSFA) in Fish’s first season on the sidelines last fall.

Olivet Nazarene University Football

A high honor roll performer and National Honor Society student, as well as a starter on the school’s boys’ tennis squad, Young will play for head coach Dale Carlson at Valparaiso, a non-scholarship Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institution located in Valparaiso, Ind., that competes in the Pioneer Football League. Carlson enters his third year heading up the Crusaders’ football program, which is 1-21 in his first two seasons.

Valparaiso University Football

For more information, contact Director of School and Community Relations Tony Hamilton at (630) 243-3280.
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