Football - Fri, Apr. 29, 2005
CHICAGO - Head coach Mike Feminis recently added five more Chicagoland area preps to his 2005 Saint Xavier University football roster with the recent additions of Michael Bertini, Martell Frazier, Gustav James, Nicholas Redmond and Nick Tsapaliaris, when the group signed letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers as Cougars at SXU. The five include two defensive linemen, a linebacker, a wide receiver, and an offensive lineman.

Bertini is a Chicago native, who played prep football at Saint Patrick High School under Dan Galante. He played on the defensive line during his prep career at Saint Patrick and will also be used on the defensive line during his collegiate career at SXU.

"Mike is a strong, tough player, who was an excellent run stopper in high school," said Feminis. "He is going to be a solid contributor for us down the road at nose tackle."

Frazier joins the SXU football program after wrapping up a successful prep career at Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Ill., under Bill Mosel in 2003. Although Frazier played at the running back position in high school, he will move to wide receiver as a Cougar.

"Martell originally signed with with a Division II school in Minnesota out of high school a couple of years ago, but came back before classes started because he was homesick," said Feminis. "His nickname in high school was ‘Magic' and after watching him on film I can see why. He reminds me of a mini Jarrod Nowman (current SXU standout wide receiver)."

James hails from Highland Park, Ill., where he played under Kurt Weinberg at Highland Park High School. He will also play on the defensive line for the Cougars, the same position he played during his prep career as a Giant.

"Gustav is a little undersized to be a defensive lineman at the collegiate level, but we will see what happens," said Feminis. "He is a hard worker and may end up being a linebacker for us in the future."

A native of Machesney Park, Ill., Redmond adds another offensive lineman to the Cougar roster in 2005. He played for Dan Appino at Rockford Boylan High School in Rockford, Ill.

"Signing the two starting tackles from a program like Rockford Boylan is a big plus for us," said Feminis. "Nick is not as polished as Matt Renfro (who SXU signed a couple of weeks ago), but we think he has some ability."

Tsapaliaris played at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Ill., under Gary Korhonen where he started on the defensive line. Feminis is planning to move Tsapaliaris to linebacker this fall.

"Nick is a true walk-on type of player, but he comes from a great program and a great coach (Korhonen)," said Feminis. "He wants to give college football a try and we are glad to have him."

Saint Xavier finished the 2004 campaign with an overall record of 7-4 for its fifth straight winning season. The Cougars finished in a tie for second place with Trinity International University (Ill.) in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League with a 5-2 mark. SXU also ended the season rated No. 23 nationally in the final 2004 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football Ratings. It is the fourth straight year the Cougars have finished the season rated in the NAIA's top 25.