WNY Athletics

Host of Marauders ready to storm the next level

Photo by Andrew Miller

Brian Anken won’t play favorites when it comes to his outgoing senior classes of Student-Athletes as Athletic Director at St. Joe’s.

But the Class of 2023 will always mean a little more than the others.

“It’s the first one that I’ve been with from Day 1 with the camps all the way through today and including graduation,” said Anken, who’s in his 7th year leading the Marauders.

“I remember seeing them when they came through open house, then they are coming to our camps and you see them thinking about St. Joe’s. And then you see them as freshmen playing on our freshman and JV teams and just their development.”  

Another reason it will be hard to forget the Class of 2023; 18 of its student-athletes will be playing a sport in college.

While he didn’t have the numbers in front of him Wednesday following the annual SJCI Athletics College Commitment & Letterman’s Club Celebration, Anken assured the Class of 2023 is certainly one of the highest in school history.

Tyler Smart is one of four Division-I signees in the group. A star for one of the most successful programs in Western New York among all sports, St. Joe’s Lacrosse, the midfielder will be playing for the Air Force Academy next year.  

“I remember coming from the hospital with a lacrosse stick in my hand,” Smart said. “Ever since I was a kid I wanted to play Division-I lacrosse. My dad played Division-I lacrosse and he’s mentored me. It’s about working every day – in the classroom, on the field and in the gym.”

Power Hitter Anthony Greco is a member of another one of the Marauders’ most successful programs. Like Smart, Greco is also going D-I – playing baseball at William & Mary University.

“I’m really honored to be a part of this group,” Greco said. “At St. Joe’s, we call it the brotherhood. It might seem a little cliché but as a senior, after four years here I can truly say they are my brothers. To see them be able to play a sport (in college) that they love – it means the world to me.”

The Marauders also gave special recognition to its multi-sport athletes during the ceremony.

12 student-athletes joined the school’s Letterman’s Club. Only in its second year, the club honors student-athletes who earned six or more Varsity letters.

“A bunch of our coaches kept saying the number of multi-sport athletes we have here is dwindling,” Anken said. “So we thought why not recognize these guys who are not only achieving academically but are earning varsity letters in multiple sports? It shows our philosophy of getting guys involved in multiple things is working.”

Evan Lasky leads the group with a staggering 11 letters – four from golf and squash and three from lacrosse.

“It was a lot of hard work,” Lasky said. “It’s a very inclusive environment here at St. Joe’s. Every team I truly become a brother on.”


DionAndersonFootballAlfred UniversityD-III
BrendanBucelloBaseballSt. John Fisher UniversityD-III
LiamClarkLacrosseMercyhurst UniversityD-II
JoshuaEagleBaseballRochester Institute of TechnologyD-III
EvanGalloLacrosseSt. Bonaventure UniversityD-I
AnthonyGrecoBaseballCollege of William and MaryD-I
AndrewHerstekSoccerHilbert CollegeD-III
AtticusHlubinSwimmingCanisius collegeD-I
AaronJentzFootballSUNY CortlandD-III
CalebJohnsonSoccerPennState University (Brandywine Campus)D-II
EthanMasseSoccerHilbert CollegeD-III
BrendanO’BryanLacrosseAlfred UniversityD-III
DerekOneveloBaseballD’Youville UniversityD-II
LeviRoestLacrosseLander UniversityD-II
TylerSmartLacrosseUnited States Air Force AcademyD-I
KillianVargasFootballSUNY MorrisvilleD-III
MarkWittmannSwimmingCanisius CollegeD-I


DionAnderson8 (Basketball 11 & 12, Football 10, 11 & 12, Lacrosse 10, 11 & 12)
GabrielCusack8 (Federation Hockey 11 & 12, Squash 10, 11 & 12, Lacrosse 10, 11 & 12)
TomasFerguson8 (Sailing 9, 10, 11, 12)
EvanGallo6 Lacrosse 9, 10, 11, 12 / Wrestling 9, 12
EvanLasky11 lacrosse 10, 11, 12 / golf 9, 10, 11, 12 / squash 9, 10, 11, 12
KaiMessmer6 Indoor Track 9, 11 & 12 / Track 10, 11, 12
TylerSmart6 Soccer 10,12 / Lacrosse 9, 10, 11, 12
AndrewTalbot7 Soccer 10,11,12 / Indoor Track 9 / Track 10, 11, 12
JavierTorres7 Football 10, 11, 12 / Wrestling 9, 10, 11, 12
LukeVentresca9 Football 11, 12 / Lacrosse 10, 11, 12 / Wrestling 9, 10, 11, 12
MatthewVoelkl9 Golf 9, 10, 11, 12 / Lacrosse 10, 11, 12 / Squash 11, 12
HenryWalsh9 Cross Country 11, 12 / Indoor 10, 11, 12 / Track 9, 10, 11, 12

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