McDonough, McLoughlin, Zadrozny ink NLIs

McDonough, McLoughlin, Zadrozny ink NLIs

Cumberland’s Jack McLoughlin, left, and Owen Zadrozny, right, sport their university’s apparel as they get ready to sign their NLI. McLoughlin, who recently won the state cross country championship, will continue his running career at Georgetown University, and Zadrozny, who is one of New England’s top pitching prospects, will take the mound for Northeastern University. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Local La Salle seniors make plans to continue athletic careers at D-I universities official

PROVIDENCE – Three local student-athletes from a nearby private school made their collegiate plans public on Friday, Nov. 13.

Lincoln’s Darien McDonough and Cumberland’s Jack McLoughlin and Owen Zadrozny joined 13 of their classmates at La Salle Academy in signing their National Letters of Intent to the Division I universities of their choice inside La Salle’s Alumni Dining Rooms.

Because of the state’s social distancing guidelines, each athlete took center stage by themselves and their families for a 15-minute ceremony. McDonough, McLaughlin, and Zadrozny were among the eight seniors who participated in the second day of signings, with the first taking place a day earlier and containing the student-athletes whose last names ended in the letters A-L.

Of all the student-athletes, not many committed to their school as early as McDonough did. The First-Team All-State center fielder of the Rams’ softball team, McDonough decided to continue her career at Boston College on Sept. 24, 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world.

Waiting to finally put pen to paper and officially become part of the Eagles’ family at “The Heights” was difficult for McDonough, who spent this year playing for the R.I. Thunder Gold-Lotti U18 travel softball team, but once she signed on the dotted line, she was obviously overjoyed.

“This whole experience was really amazing, and I am so blessed to be able to say that I am a Boston College Eagle,” McDonough said. “I was obviously so excited when I committed last year, but making it official is a whole other level. The dream I’ve had for about 10 years has now become a reality, and I can’t wait to get to work in the (Atlantic Coast Conference) and under Coach (Amy Kvilhaug).”

McDonough recently wrapped up an amazing fall season with the Thunder, as she batted a whopping .481, collecting 39 hits in 81 at-bats, with 42 runs scored, seven triples, seven home runs, 26 stolen bases, and 19 runs batted in.

Minutes after McDonough signed her NLI, McLoughlin, who captured the state cross country championship that weekend at Ponaganset High, did likewise when he decided to follow the footsteps of two former La Salle All-Staters from the Class of 2016, Matt Bouthillette and Jack Salisbury, and continue his outstanding running career at Georgetown University.

“Georgetown stuck out a lot to me, just because of how early the coach (Brandon Bonsey) reached out to me after my sophomore season,” added McLoughlin, who also had Stanford, Syracuse, Michigan, and North Carolina among his top five choices. “We kind of clicked automatically. We had the same goals and focuses, and talking to him was really assuring.”

Talking to Bouthillette and Salisbury was also assuring, “and they told me that the training out there has made them both improve from high school, and that’s what you really want to see,” McLoughlin added. “I’m just excited that I can go to Georgetown and hopefully improve myself.”

McLoughlin, who committed to Georgetown in late August, is a three-time First-Team All-Stater in cross country who was selected the R.I. Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2019. Last season, McLoughlin took second place at the state meet and the Nike Cross Northeast Regional Championships, third at the New England meet, and 35th at the Nike Cross National Championships in Portland, Ore.

Zadrozny, who is regarded as one of the top high school baseball pitchers in New England, signed his NLI to Northeastern University, and like McDonough, he had to wait more than a year before finally making his decision official. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander, who also had James Madison and Xavier among his top choices, committed to the Boston school on Aug. 12, 2019 in what he called a “pretty easy decision.”

“Academically, it’s such a great school, and for the major I want, criminal justice, Northeastern has a great program,” he said. “Athletically, (head) coach (Mike) Glavine is a player’s coach. I started talking to him my sophomore year and I have a great relationship with him. And obviously, the program’s on the rise. The team ended (the season) hot because the coronavirus shut the season down.”

Zadrozny is part of a talented recruiting class that was ranked number one in New England by the Perfect Game national scouting organization, and he’s already reached out to his fellow teammates from the Class of 2025.

“(Assistant) coach (Nick) Puccio also did a great job recruiting me, and overall, you can’t say enough about the coaches and that program,” said Zadrozny, who played this summer with the Massachusetts-based Team Mizuno Nor’easter Runbirds. “Obviously, I’m excited to join the program and get to work with them.”

Lincoln’s Darien McDonough shows off a Boston College pennant after the Rams’ All-State center fielder inked her National Letter of Intent to attend the nearby Atlantic Coast Conference school during La Salle’s NLI ceremony on Friday, Nov. 13.