Luke Foley combines love of sports, love of Catholic education at ND
On April 11, Luke Foley pitched six strong innings to help Notre Dame, Lawrenceville, to a 7-1 win over West Windsor-Plainsboro North. The senior defeated the team that he would have played for had he opted for public school.
But that thought never crossed his mind.
After attending St. Paul’s School, Princeton, from kindergarten through 8th grade – along with going to Mass in adjacent St. Paul Church – Foley was intent on becoming a Notre Dame student-athlete.
“I’ve grown up with a Catholic education,” he said. “My parents wanted a Catholic education for me, and I’ve loved it. It’s such a tight community. I’m close with a lot of my friends at Notre Dame, but I’m still close with my friends from St. Paul’s as well.”
Foley lists the Catholic Athletes for Christ’s father-son retreat from several years ago as one of his great high school memories, as he grew closer with his dad and others in the group. And he enjoys the constant journey that brings him closer to God.
“Faith means the world to me,” Foley said. “Before every game we touch a brother and say the Hail Mary for baseball and basketball. That’s what’s different at Notre Dame. It’s that Catholic faith – not only the faith with religion, but also the Catholic community. Everyone is so tight-knit and it’s something I fell in love with.”
Just as Notre Dame’s staff and students have fallen in love with Foley’s competitive nature in athletics. He was a savvy point guard for the Irish basketball team and became part of Mercer County Tournament basketball lore when his foul shot with no time remaining gave ND a semifinal upset victory over Ewing in February.
But baseball is where Foley’s future lies as he will pitch for Muhlenberg College, a Division III program in Allentown Pa., next year. Irish coach Joe Drulis, whose staff turned the former outfielder into a pitcher his freshman season, is certain he will succeed.
“Absolutely,” Drulis said. “He’s got this great mental make-up and he’s just such a team player. Every individual wants to do well individually but he gets it. It’s about the team winning.”
The team often wins when the left-hander takes the mound. He went 4-2 last year with a 2.06 ERA and ND won eight of the 12 games Foley appeared in. This season he is 1-0 with a 2.10 ERA in two starts and the Irish (5-1) have won five straight.
Luke is not a strikeout pitcher, as he relies on finding just the right location to induce batters into making a weak connection with the ball.
“That’s always been a focus of mine,” Foley said. “I’ve always lived on the outside and inside corners; just trusting the guys behind me; knowing that you’re up nine versus one when you’re out there. It’s just trusting the guys behind you and making sure they put soft contact in play.”
Looking at the results of Foley’s outings, that trust has been well placed.