Neuqua Valley to Honor 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

Neuqua Valley Athletics Hall of Fame
Donate Today Buy This Video

Neuqua Valley recently announced the selections for the 2022 Athletic Hall of Fame class. Six former Wildcat greats from a variety of sports will be honored before the varsity football game against Metea Valley on Friday, September 30th.

2022 Hall of Fame Class

The six new Neuqua Athletic Hall of Fame members are:

Jennie Whitman – Class of 2003 – Track and Field

Ryan Kwiatkowski – Class of 2006 – Boys Volleyball

Grant Betulius – Class of 2010 – Boys Swimming

Dwayne Evans – Class of 2010 – Boys Basketball

Gia Dalesandro – Class of 2013 – Girls Swimming

Mikey Dudek – Class of 2014 – Football

Meet the 2022 Class

Jennie Whitman was the first track and field state champion for the blue and gold. After earning All-State honors in 2001 at the Class AA IHSA meet with a 5th place finish, Whitman won the 2002 IHSA Triple Jump state championship. Whitman also finished as the state runner up the following year in 2003.

Ryan Kwiatkowski was a 6’5 setter for the Wildcats, guiding his team to three straight regional championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006, falling to eventual state runner up Naperville North in the sectional finals in his senior season. Kwiatkowski played collegiately at George Mason University. He finished his career fourth all-time in school history in assists, second in the rally-scoring era. He then went on to play professionally in Belgium from 2010-2011.

Grant Betulius was a four time IHSA state medalist, winning the 2010 state championship in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard medley relay. He helped the Wildcats finish as the state runner up in 2010. He was also a state qualifier in the 100 backstroke in 2009, where Neuqua again finished as the state runner up. Betulius continued his career at the University of Iowa where he finished his career as the school record holder in the 100 back (45.56), 200 back (1:42.19), 200-medley relay (1:25.53), 400 medley relay (3:08.56), and 800 free relay (6:26.79).

Dwayne Evans was an All Area and All State selection and led the Wildcats to three conference titles and two sectional crowns. He played collegiately at St. Louis University, where he was a two time All-Conference pick and finished in the top ten in career scoring and top five in career rebounding for the Billikens. He is the school’s all time leading rebounder (727) and third all-time leading scorer (1,162). Evans still plays basketball professionally, currently playing in Japan.

Gia Dalesandro was one of the most decorated swimmers in Neuqua Valley history. She earned 11 IHSA medals in her career, including state championships in the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley at the 2013 state meet. Dalesandro went on to swim in college at Indiana University where she was a ten time All-American. She also earned a spot at the Team USA Olympic trials in 2012 and 2016.

Mikey Dudek was an All State selection and finished his Neuqua Valley football career as the school record-holder for receptions (120), receiving yards (2,430) and touchdowns (33).  He was a freshman All-American at the University of Illinois, who set the freshman program record in both receptions and receiving yards. He was named 2nd team All-Big Ten in 2014. Dudek currently hosts a podcast about University of Illinois Football called “The Field Pass.”

The Neuqua Valley Athletic Hall of Fame first opened its doors in the winter of 2016.