WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Archbishop Stepinac star football player Christos Aloizos visited Western Illinois University last weekend and has made a commitment to attend the school in the fall for his freshman year.
"This has been a pretty hard choice for me," Aloizos said. "I had quite a few early choices like Towson, Maine, Appalachian State and Louisiana Tech. It was my appreciation of Western Illinois University academics with its strong graphics communications department, school spirit and atmosphere, and the Western Illinois football program as a whole, including all the coaches, that made up my mind. It seems it was the same feeling from all the freshman recruits I met this past week during my orientation and registration."
Aloizos, a 6-foot 4-inch, 305-pound senior lineman from Ardsley, will leave for Illinois in July, where he will play football for the Division I-AA Missouri Valley Conference Leathernecks.
Aloizos' older sister, Kyra Aloizos, is currently playing Division I college basketball at upstate Binghamton University, after being All-City and All-State at Archbishop Molloy in Queens. Stavros Aloizos, their father, played college football at Miami University.
A two-year starter who helped move the Crusaders vaunted running game, Christos Aloizos was part of the unbeaten 2010 Catholic High Schools Football League AA championship team and last season's 2011 squad, which reached the AAA CHSFL final before losing to St. Anthony's of Long Island.
Aloizos noted that Western Illinois is rebuilding its football program this year and brought in some top coaches who have played in the NFL or played and coached in major college programs.
"I felt comfortable with the coaches and with my future teammates," the recent graduate said. "The coaches are no-nonsense kind of folks. They tell it like it is and do not glamorize and mislead you to get you there, as I felt was being done to me at some other schools I visited. My goal is to come into camp as strong and in the best shape I can be. They like my skills and feel I can play anywhere on the O-line, left or right."
Western Illinois has produced many great players, such as Rodney Harrison (New England Patriots), Rich Seubert (New York Giants), Frank Winters (Green Bay Packers), Mike Wagner (Pittsburgh Steelers) and others.
"The coaching changes were made to bring back the big-time football tradition and restore Western Illinois' glory years," Aloizos said. "I am really happy and proud that I can be part of it."