Wisconsin-Whitewater netted a pair of recent commitments from the Batavia football program, and nearly landed a third.
While Batavia all-state running back Anthony Scaccia chose Butler over UW-Whitewater and others Sunday, two of Scaccia’s Batavia classmates – receiver Jordan Zwart and defensive lineman James Millette – chose Whitewater, the reigning Division III national champions.
Scaccia was deeply enthused by Butler before his senior football season began, and stayed true to those feelings despite a late push from Whitewater that gave the big-play running back pause.
“It was actually really hard,” Scaccia said. “It was kind of stressful this past week because Whitewater is a great school and they made it hard for me because, originally, I thought I was going to Butler and after I [visited] Whitewater, it got me thinking. I had to do all the pros and cons about these schools and kind of narrowed it down to a couple things that in the end would make me go to Butler.”
Scaccia, the Kane County Chronicle co-Football Player of the Year, played a huge role in propelling Batavia to its first football state championship in 2013, rushing for 1,913 yards and 28 touchdowns while also supplying 313 receiving yards and seven TDs through the air.
He was a Class 6A all-state selection.
Despite his build, the 5-foot-7, 150-plus pound Scaccia was a workhorse at times for Batavia and anticipates a potentially more targeted role at the college level.
“There are going to be guys that are in there that are much bigger backs in the power game and I’m probably going to be more for zone [plays] and other types of things to get me in open space,” Scaccia said.
Remaining a Bulldog at Butler – a Division I, nonscholarship Football Championship Subdivision program – is a plus for Scaccia.
“Still going to have a ‘Dog Pound’ there, so that’s cool,” said Scaccia, who plans to study human movement and health sciences. “Unfortunately I’m going to have to wear blue and white, but it’ll be good.”
Butler plays in the Pioneer Football League, which also houses Drake, another of the finalists for Scaccia’s services.
On Sunday, Scaccia became the second Class of 2014 Batavia player to make a college commitment after Anthony Thielk earlier chose Minnesota State, and Monday, Zwart and Millette became the third and fourth, each selecting Whitewater.
Whitewater has won the D-III national title four of the past five seasons, and Zwart could see why on his visit last weekend.
“Mostly their facilities compare to a small D-I school,” Zwart said. “If you look at their school and all the football stuff you have there, you would be surprised it’s a D-III school.”
The 6-3, 190-pound Zwart caught 37 passes for 698 receiving yards and five touchdowns as a senior. He said he might room at Whitewater with fellow Batavia receiver Rourke Mullins, who also plans to attend the school.
Zwart’s pool of potential roommates with B-Town ties expanded Monday night when Millette also chose Whitewater.
Millette had 17 tackles for a loss among his 54 total and also had 71/2 sacks.