By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY —- It was a big day at Lehman Catholic High School as three Cavalier senior athletes signed their college letter of intents in front of a large crowd of Lehman students and family.
The son of Rick and Gail Denning, a Lehman boys soccer standout as well as the place-kicker and punter on the football team, will take his kicking talents to the University of Dayton football program next year.
“I was going to go to school there (University of Dayton) anyway,” Denning said. “So, this is great.”
Denning started out as strictly a soccer player in his younger years.
“In eighth grade, one of the football coaches (Joe Reiderman) suggested I kick for the football team,” Denning said. “So, I gave it a try. Even though I didn’t do that well in eighth grade, coach Roll (Lehman high school football coach Richard Roll) said I should keep doing it.”
That decision has worked out well for both Denning and Lehman.
He became one of the few kickers in OHSAA history to score more than 200 points in his career.
Denning was 161-for-170 on PAT kicks and 15 of 22 on field goals in his career, with a long of 42.
This past season, he made 40 of 42 PAT kicks and nine of 13 field goals, highlighted by a game-winning field against Ansonia in the opening round of the Division VII playoffs.
“That was definitely the highlight (of his kicking career),” Denning said.
“That was a big kick, a pressure kick,” he said. “I think Michael (Denning) has a chance to excel at Dayton. I really do.”
Denning also had 27 touchbacks on kickoffs this season, averaging 52.3 yards carry on kickoffs.
“I think I have a chance (to be the kicker for Dayton next season),” Denning said. “It will just depend on how things go.”
The son of Ken and Amy Magoteaux will continue the family tradition at Wittenberg with as much untapped potential as any player.
Magoteaux, who is also the pitching ace on the baseball team, has been limited to just 13 games in his high school football career due to injuries. After missing his entire junior season due to injury, he tore his ACL after just four games this past season.
“We just have not seen enough of him to see what he can do,” Roll said. “He does (have a lot of untapped potential). He had move to offensive tackle in the third game this season to help the team out and he was injured two games later.”
Magoteaux is well aware of the tradition of excellence at Wittenberg.
His father Ken was a four-year starter in both baseball and softball and his uncle, Bryan Magoteaux, is a member of the Wittenberg Wall of Honor.
“I have heard a lot about it growing up,” Magoteaux said about Wittenberg football. “When the opportunity came, I wanted to take advantage of it. I have always loved football.”
The linebacker is just hoping for more opportunities at the college level and feels like his best football is ahead.
“His body certainly isn’t beaten up,” Roll said. “I think he is going to do really well at Wittenberg.”
The daughter of Andy and Julie Monnin has shined on the soccer field for one of the top D-III programs in Southwest Ohio the last four years and will continue her career at John Carroll University.
This past season she was the WOSL Player of the Year as well as first team All-Ohio in Division III. She also has been named to the NSCAA All-Region team.
The mid-center finished her career with 42 goals and 25 assists, including a spectacular goal in the D-III regional semifinal, when she kicked a ball in mid-air straight into the goal.
She led led to the Elite Eight and regional championship game for just the second time in school history.
“She is athletic as any player I have coached,” Lorenzo said. “To tell you how important she was to our team, she was the kind of player that if she had a good game, we had a good game. And if she didn’t have as good a game, neither did we.”
In fact, the only reason Monnin didn’t receive D-I offers was because of her success in other sports.
She averaged near a double-double in basketball and is one of the top catchers in the area in softball.
“Grave (Monnin) plays three sports and is a star in all three,” Lorenzo said. “Because of that, she never had the opportunity to play on the big club teams or she would have had bigger offers and I really feel like she could play at that level.”
There was no question which sport is Monnin’s favorite though.
“I have always loved soccer,” Monnin said. “I have played it since I was a little. It would have seemed off to be in college and not playing soccer to be honest.”
And she said it was an unplanned decision that landed her at John Carroll.
“We were up visiting another school in the area and they were telling us about John Carroll,” Monnin said. “So, we decided to go see it. I fell in love the second I stepped on campus. I loved everything about it.”
And she is hoping to make an instant impact next season.
“That is the plan if everything goes right,” she said.