Nicholas Ioanilli, Lincoln graduate of 2016 is now attending Colgate and playing for their football team as a middle linebacker.
Last week, Colgate squared up against Cornell, leaving the opposing team in the dust with a final score of 21-7.
Ionanilli was excited about his first sack.
“It felt so good –really amazing! All my hard work that I had put in finally showed through with an awesome play! My Mom and Sister, Shae, were at Cornell and I knew they were screaming and excited. So, being able to do that for my Mom at that game, made it even more special! She was at Yale last year for my first tackle and now she was there for my first sack! It is just an unbelievable feeling- I hope to have many more.”
His mother, Lynda Barrett, is not the only one who’s extremely proud of his progress at college.
“Every time I am at the school teachers and staff ask me about his progress,” she stated.
He is the son of Lynda and Damion Barrett and Dave and Cathy Ioanilli. He has two brothers, Joey Ioanilli and DJ Barrett, two sisters Maria Ioanilli and Shaelyn Barrett. His grandparents are Geno and Kathy Ioanilli of EC and Bob & Barb Bauer of Lyndora Pa., and Shelli Dashield and Great Grandma Dorothy Barrett both of Beaver Falls, Pa.
Here’s our Q&A with Ioanilli:
Tell us the biggest difference between college football versus high school football?
Learning all the plays – there are so many. It is a thick book that you literally have to study a long time to know. Just knowing what everyone is doing on the defense each play as a linebacker is a challenge too. Another huge difference is being able to make checks and audibles right before the play. College is truly another level. People use to say that and until you are playing it, do you truly realize how different it is. Everyone out there is an amazing athlete! The speed at which you have to do all these things before the snap is quicker than you can imagine.
Current favorite course or study at Colgate?
This semester I am currently in an American School Class. It is really interesting learning about how American history has evolved from the beginning of the first classroom to present day classroom environments.
Favorite on campus activity to do other than practice/play football?
The football team volunteers at the local Elementary School. We get to interact with the students and play with them at recess. It is just an overall fun activity to do and very rewarding for myself and the kids we are with.
One thing you love about living at college?
You are forced to live on your own and in my circumstance that puts you 6 hours away. That kind of makes you grow up quick. But in a positive way, it helps you define yourself; you figure out what kind of person you really are. All the life lessons your parents taught you- you finally get to apply what you learned and by those things..you can accomplish tasks you never thought were possible before. “Remember where you came from” – is a quote my Mema Bauer always tells me. That is true… it goes with you no matter how far away you are.
One thing you miss about living with parents?
Some days are harder than others. It’s really difficult not seeing them everyday. Just spending the quiet moments with them at night, watching tv, or eating dinner. My family is close and I did everything with them especially my Step-brother DJ. We are best friends as well as family. We are the same age and were teammates in every sport we played. It’s hard not being able to run home and tell them every detail about your day. My little sister Maria is a freshman at Lincoln- playing 3 sports. It is hard not to be there for her games, knowing she never missed any of mine. So another thing that would go along with “what I miss about living with my parents” is most definitely… missing all my siblings too. Oh… I can’t forget my Mema Ioanilli’s sauce and meatballs. Living so far away you miss the awesome home cooked food too.
Tell us one thing not a whole lot of your teammates know about you.
I am a huge Mommas boy. 110%… I am tough on the field and usually pretty crazy with no fear. But when I am with my Mom or even just on the phone with her, I am different. I’ve always been a Mommas boy since I was born, so that… I guess stays with you forever.
Tell us your best piece of advice for future Lil’ Wolverines dreaming of playing in college.
Great question! Little Wolverines made me love the game. I would tell the little guys…Believe in yourself! Never let anyone tell you … you can’t achieve your goals…it doesn’t matter if you came from a small school… or your size… or how you look…Dream Big! Set your goal and go for it – the sky is the limit!
Anything you would like to share with the current Wolverines football team?
Keep working hard- never sell yourself short. Always respect your opponent week in and week out- Most of all prepare as if it is the last game you will ever play! Always make an impact! Hard work on and off the field will pay off!
Who or what has been the biggest influence in why you love the game of football?
I had an amazing group of Football coaches when I was young as a Little Wolverine. (My Step-Dad, Coach E -Eric Bell ) Junior High football playing for Coach Bobby Ewing, Coach Ronnie Grimes, and Coach Craig Alberts, Coach Tom…they all pretty much sealed my desire to play in college. Those years I learned so much and it was so fun at the same time! But the biggest influence would be my Step-Dad, Damion Barrett. He coached me every year from termites to midgets. He taught me the game play by play. Even when I was in JR High and JV/Varsity my Mom continued to video tape the games and it was always the Sunday ritual since we were 6 to sit in front of the TV with my brother DJ and spend hours going over plays with him. He was always honest with both of us. When we sucked he let us know and when we did really well, he was beaming with pride. I guess I would have to thank him for making me love the game so much by enforcing the importance of hard work, dedication, and passion on and off the field. My Ellwood City roots have truly inspired me daily on the field at Colgate University.
Colgate Debut: Sept. 2, 2016, at Syracuse
Stats Through End of 2016: Nine tackles, including five solo.
2016 Colgate Gordon Watson Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year
2016 (First Year)
Stats: Nine tackles, including five solo … Among special teams tackle leaders with five.
Best Games: Season-high two tackles against both Cornell and Lafayette … Both stops against Leopards were solo in 38-17 victory … Single tackles in five other games.
Lincoln High School graduate 2016 … Three-year letterman and senior-year captain.
EC FB and ECLW involvement.
Played since he was 6 years old in ECLW program. Termites till Midgets!
He credits the awesome coaching staff of The EC Little Wolverines, especially his Step-Dad, Damion Barrett –who was his coach for 8+ years, for teaching him the game of football as well as enforcing the importance of hard work, dedication, and passion on and off the field. His Ellwood City roots have truly inspired him daily on the field at Colgate University.
Born: Nicholas Anthony Ioanilli in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.
Family: Parents are Lynda and Damion Barrett, and Dave and Cathy Ioanilli .
Season Highs (Defensive)
|Ioanilli, Nick – Season Highs (Defensive)|
|Ioanilli, Nick – Defensive Statistics|
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