When preparing for the next step in regards to his educational and athletic pursuits, Nokomis senior Alex Tosetti didn’t have to just pick where he was going to school, but what he would be playing once he got there.
Tosetti was a three-sport standout for the Redskins as a junior, earning all-conference honors in football, basketball and baseball, a feat that he is well on his way toward in his senior season as well.
On the hardwood, Tosetti was the second leading scorer last year at 9.4 points per game and was among the leaders in steals and assists as well. Going into the regional championship game against Central A&M, Tosetti had already surpassed his point total of 329 points from his junior season, despite missing several games due to injury.
In baseball, Tosetti was a first-team pick in the outfield, with the speed and range to track down anything hit his direction. At the plate, he was just as valuable, batting .316 with 27 runs and seven steals, both of which tied for the team lead.
But after playing the other two for such a long time, the sport of the future for Tosetti is the one where he has arguably had his greatest success. On Thursday, Feb. 20, surrounded by his family and coaches, Tosetti made the decision to play football and pursue a degree in business administration at Augustana College in Rock Island.
“I’ve been playing the other sports since I was little and I just wanted to get a little more time with football,” Tosetti said of his gridiron destination. “Coach (Steve) Bell is a really good coach and takes care of his players. When it came down to it, I just wanted four more years of football.”
A member of the CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin), Augustana went 6-4 last season and plays a schedule dotted with teams not far from Nokomis, like Illinois Wesleyan, Millikin, Washington University in St. Louis and several Chicago area schools. If the school sounds familiar to Nokomis football fans, it should. Former standout Austin Chausse played for the Vikings from 2014 to 2017.
“He texted me after I did my signing and he told me that he hopes I love it as much as he did,” Tosetti said of Chausse. “So it sounds like he liked it a lot.”
And there is a lot for Augustana to like about Tosetti as well.
After leading the team in receiving yards (440), catches (33), touchdowns (seven) and points (44) as a sophomore, Tosetti made the move to quarterback in 2018.
With a potent receiving corps of Trevor Wright, Hayden Brown, Mason Stewart and Brandon Keiser behind him, Tosetti threw for 1,601 yards as a junior, with 101 completions in 175 attempts, 15 of which went for touchdowns. He also racked up 287 rushing yards on just 32 carries, led the team in interceptions and shared punting duties that season.
For all of his accomplishments that year, Tosetti was recognized as one of the Prairie State Conference’s offensive players of the year and a first team all-conference pick at defensive back.
With the graduation of his four top targets, Tosetti was asked to do less through the air in his senior season, but still had 356 yards passing on 29-for-58 passing, with six touchdowns, including a 50-yard strike to Landon Engelman against East Alton-Wood River to clinch Nokomis’ first playoff berth in five years.
Defensively, Tosetti was again an impact player in the secondary, tying for the team lead with four interceptions and earning first team all-conference honors once again.
While Tosetti’s athleticism has a lot to do with his success on the field, he gives credit to his family and his fellow Redskins for the part they played.
“My parents, grandparents, and little sister, for keeping me in line, have all been a big support,” Tosetti said. “I’m thankful for all of my coaches and teammates. You can’t play without your teammates so without them, none of this is possible.”
Tosetti also credits his community for the support that they’ve given him, not just in football, but in every sport.
“Everyone comes up to me and tells me good job. That motivates me to keep going,” he explained. “Everywhere you go you have your friends. You look up in the stands and in the student section and they’re all there cheering for you.”
Tosetti felt that same sense of community during his visit to Augustana, which was one of the main factors in his decision to go there.
“The way they built their program is all about family first,” Tosetti said of the Vikings. “It’s a brotherhood there. Everything you do is not for yourself, but for everyone around you.”