Five Crusaders sign to play sports in college


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It was the final signing day of the 2020-21 school year as five Canisius Crusaders signed on the dotted line to play sports in college.

Two Crusader football players signed their NLI’s to their schools on Thursday.

Offensive lineman Andrew Cisco will be playing Division III football at Alfred University. He says the biggest thing that attracted him to Alfred was the engineering program.

“I’m going into Mechanical Engineering, and I was looking for a football school that also has engineering, and Alfred seemed to be a really good fit,” Cisco said.

Cornerback Freddie Pagan will be playing Division III football at St. John Fisher next year. He fell in love with the Cardinals from the minute he stepped onto campus.

“Once I took a visit, I just fell in love with it. It felt like home, like taking my first steps into Canisius, that’s how I felt taking a visit. The facilities are great and the coaches are very friendly and it felt like a very great atmosphere,” Pagan said.

Canisius basketball standout Joe Ciocca will play Division III basketball at John Carroll next year. Aside from attending the same school as his two older brothers, Ciocca says he’s looking forward to playing basketball in the nice college facilities that John Carroll has to offer.

“Honestly for me, I just like the new facilities. It’s kind of an upgrade from what I’m used to because it’s college obviously, so I’m just really looking forward to everything to be honest,” Ciocca said.

Two members of the Canisius crew team signed their NLI’s this morning as well. Finally competing in their first spring since 2019, they both have high hopes for the team this season.

Matt Talty will be headed down south to join the Embry-Riddle rowing team next year. On top of rowing at the Division II level, Talty is excited to major in Aerospace Engineering.

“First of all, their Aerospace Engineering program is top in the nation, and it’s down in Florida so who wouldn’t want to row in Florida? That was one of the main choices, and overall after visiting the school, I was like, this is it,” Talty said.

One of the top rowers in the Canisius crew, Andrew Skakal will be joining the rowing team at the Division I school St. Joseph’s University.

“I did get to talk to the coaches a lot over Zoom, unfortunately I didn’t get to go there officially, but I did get to know them more, I got to talk to some of the teammates. I did get a chance to tour before COVID and the whole school really kind of felt right for me both academic wise, and I really liked what the coaches were saying and how they really seemed to know the sport. I’m really excited to go there,” Skakal said.

Thursday’s signings brings the total number of Canisius signings to 20 in the 2020-21 school year.

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