GLEN CARBON – McGivney Catholic's athletic program achieved a first in a ceremony this past Thursday afternoon.
The Griffins – in this case, their boys' basketball program – had an athlete sign with a collegiate program.
Logan Shumate, who was a basketball standout that helped get the varsity basketball program off the ground when the Griffins began playing at the varsity level, signed a letter of intent to attend Milwaukee School of Engineering, an NCAA Division III program in Milwaukee, to play for the Raiders beginning next fall. MSOE is a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, which includes schools like Aurora University in Aurora, Dominican University in River Forest (a Chicago suburb), Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and Concordia University-Wisconsin in Mequion, Wis.
“I decided in late April (to go to MSOE),” Shumate said. “I was able to take a trip up there in early April; just talking to the coaches, playing with the guys on the basketball team and just touring the campus, it felt right; I was just right at home.”
The fact that that MSOE's emphasis is on engineering and academics was an important part of Shumate's decision to head to Milwaukee. “When I was raised, I was told I was a student-athlete,” Shumate said, “so grades always came first; that mentality played a huge factor in where I wanted to go to school – loving math, I realized I wanted to become an engineer; they have a really good engineering program, so I decided to go to (MSOE).”
Being a part of the Griffins' inaugural varsity basketball teams was important to Shumate. “My freshman year, my eighth-grade year, I came into the shadow of McGivney,” Shumate said. “I was able to talk to coach (Rich) Beyers and he talked about being able to start a program; that was a big factor to me so I could leave my mark on the school and leave behind my legacy and be remembered here for something.”
“He led us in pretty much in every category for the four years he's been here,” Beyers said. “He got the program off the ground and we're really excited for him today; this is an important step and the first basketball player for Father McGivney to go on to play at the next level. He's going to be close enough to still get up there and catch a game or two.”
That Shumate has the academic record to enroll in a school like MSOE is a plus for the program and the school, Beyers believe “That was a big part of his decision,” Beyers said. “Logan's a very intelligent kid, he's done a great job in the classroom; if a school didn't have engineering, he wasn't interested (in the school).
“He had some other opportunities, but they didn't have the curriculum he was looking for – this is a great fit for him.”
“Just being someone to go to; I always try to look for people to help,” Shumate said when asked what he would remember most about his time at McGivney, “just being that shoulder to lean on – the family environment is something really big to me and I always try to be that big brother that they don't have.”
Shumate hopes to get into mechanical engineering after he graduates from MSOE; “probably structural engineering, designing bridges, that sort of thing,” Shumate said.
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban