Football - Wed, Feb. 25, 2004
CHICAGO -- Head coach Mike Feminis and the Saint Xavier University football program continue to add quality area preps to its 2004 roster with the signing of four more recruits this week, who plan to continue their academic and athletic endeavors as Cougars. SXU landed offensive linemen Tom McKenna (Lincoln-Way Central) and Jake Ziesmer (Joliet Catholic), defensive back David Gonzalez (Oak Forest) and defensive end Chris Garcia (Morton).

Feminis beefed up his offensive line with the signings of McKenna and Ziesmer. McKenna was an All-Area First Team selection for both the Joliet Herald News and Star Publications, in addition to being named a Chicago Sun Times All-Area special mention. He also was selected as the No. 1 lineman in the SICA Blue Conference. He played under Rob Gliemi at Lincoln-Way Central and is the son of Cheri McKenna of Manhattan, Ill.

"I think Tom has the chance to be an outstanding player on our level," said Feminis."When you are named the No. 1 offensive lineman in one of the best conferences in the state, it says a lot about your abilities. More importantly, Tom is a person with character and you can never have enough of those on your team. I'm ecstatic that we got him."

Ziesmer joins the Cougar program after serving as the starting left guard for Class A state champion Joliet Catholic under head coach Dan Sharp. He was named a Third Team All-Area selection by the Joliet Herald News. Ziesmer is the son of Terry and Linda Ziesmer of Joliet.

"Jake would have been the No. 1 lineman on about 95 percent of the high schools in Illinois," said Feminis. "However, he got overshadowed by Joliet Catholic's two tackles, who both signed Division I scholarships. For a big player, he has very good feet, which is essential in our offensive scheme. Plus, Jake is an excellent student, so we are thrilled to get him."

Gonzalez, a defensive back from Oak Forest High School, played under Brian McDonough. He was an all-conference player in the SICA Orange and was a Star Publications All-Area Special Mention. Oak Forest went undefeated during the 2003 regular season and advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs finishing the year with a 10-1 record. Gonzalez is the son of Joe and Isabel Gonzalez of Oak Forest.

"David is not very big, but he is definitely a football player," said Feminis. "He can run and will stick his nose in there, because he is not afraid of contact. I think his best years are ahead of him."

The Saint Xavier University football team also signed Garcia, a tight end/linebacker from Morton High School in Cicero, Ill. Garcia will likely be moved to the defensive end position as a Cougar. He was coached by Anthony Grazzini at Morton.

"Chris was a very versatile player in high school in that he was asked to play several positions, including quarterback," said Feminis. "With his size and our need for defensive linemen, I believe that will be his best fit for us. His high school coach (Grazzini) said he is a ‘team' guy, who always sacrificed individual glory. I love to coach players like that."