Trey DeCicco is the type of guy that prefers to stay active.
An athlete from an early age, the 18-year-old Padua High School senior has played all types of sports, from soccer to table tennis, and until this year played three sports at the varsity level for both the Bruins and, before that, Lutheran West.
He’s a seasoned multi-tasker, and on Feb. 3 he signed his National Letter of Intent to continue playing both football and baseball at NCAA Division III Allegheny College, a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference. The school is located in Meadville, Pa.
“I knew my freshman year that I absolutely wanted to play college baseball,” said DeCicco, a Fairview Park resident who transferred to Padua in 2019 after two years at Lutheran West. “Football was kind of uncertain to me until this year. But I love the game and thought it was a possibility (to play in college).”
A rangy 6-foot-4, 185-pound centerfielder, DeCicco was certain he wanted to continue playing baseball at the college level, but decided to also pursue football prior to the start of the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
The Bruins went 5-2 on the gridiron, including a 28-9 playoff win over Rocky River on Oct. 16. DeCicco enjoyed the experience enough that he decided he’d attempt to be a two-sport college athlete.
“I love the game,” DeCicco said. “I had a great time with my teammates, had some good plays out there. I decided to (continue pursuing) football my senior year.”
An athlete with size and the ability to excel in multiple sports, DeCicco received numerous offers–about 10 in all–from schools in and out of state. Three, including Allegheny, offered him for both football and baseball.
In total, he was contacted by more than 25 schools and, despite the pandemic, was able to visit 15 of them.
That’s a lot for one teenager to take in, so he enlisted the help of his family, parents Dean and Marnie and grandparents Bill and Carole DeCicco and Pete and Nancy Otterman, to help him narrow down his wide range of options.
“My grandparents came over and we made a list of all the colleges I was considering,” Trey said. “Slowly, we put together the list. I narrowed it down and eventually I was down to three. It was either Ohio Northern, Wooster or Allegheny, and all of those offers were for two sports. I felt the most comfortable at Allegheny.”
When he announced his commitment on Jan. 13, Allegheny football coach Rich Nagy, himself a two-sport athlete during his college days, took to Twitter to express his excitement.
“Another Gator commit! We just got better!,” the post read.
With his final high school baseball season set to start in just over a month, DeCicco couldn’t help but look ahead to his college choice. He intends to major in business, but hasn’t decided exactly what he’d like to do with the degree.
“I love the school itself,” DeCicco said. “The academics are great. I’m super pumped. It was definitely a thorough decision. I did my homework on it, didn’t take it lightly and I’m excited.”
He’s not the only college athlete in his family, either. His sister, Ella, is a 2019 Lutheran West grad who currently plays soccer at John Carroll University.
DeCicco lives for athletic competition and likes to stay as active as possible. When he’s not interacting with his friends, he’s likely working out or playing ping pong in his basement. Football and baseball-related workouts are daily activities after school, depending on what’s in season. Up until this year when he narrowed his focus, he also played basketball during the winter months.
It’s that work ethic that made him a favorite of Bruins head football coach Mike Polevacik, who converted the former Lutheran West quarterback to both wide receiver and defensive back for his final two seasons.
“Trey is a coach’s dream,” Polevacik said. “His attitude and work ethic are top of the line. He came every day with the mindset he was not going to be outworked. His effort was relentless, from off-season workouts to daily practice.”
During the summer months, he plays for the Diamond Hit Club, based on Cleveland’s east side. Even though the pandemic wiped out his junior baseball season at Padua last spring, he was able to play in several tournaments for the club team over the summer.
He’s champing at the bit to take the field in a Bruins uniform this year after spending the spring of 2020 looking for any opportunity to stay active.
“When quarantine started (last spring), I went to my neighbor’s house and asked if there was anything I could do,” DeCicco said. “I said I’ll powerwash your driveway, I’ll mow your grass. I was working everyday and earning some money. There was not a day during the spring where I wasn’t working, working out. That definitely helped me in the weight room for football (in the fall).”
“He loves competition and pushing himself,” Polevacik said.
The Bruins will open their season March 27 with a double-header in Sandusky against Normandy. As always, DeCicco, the future Gator, will be ready.
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