Cionko signed a letter of intent at a ceremony last Wednesday at TCHS.
“He’s been an integral part of everything we’ve done, particularly on defense,” Trigg head coach Shannon Burcham said.
Burcham said the plan was for Cionko to see more time at running back during his junior season, but an injury forced the coaching staff to use him only on defense. As a senior, Cionko led the Wildcats in rushing yards.
“I don’t think we would have been the team we ended up being if he hadn’t played both sides of the ball,” Burcham said. “He was fortunate to stay healthy all year, and he’s one of the reasons we were as successful as we were.”
Cionko joins fellow senior Mitch Rogers as the second Wildcat to sign for football with Lindsey Wilson. He said playing with Rogers and the quality of Lindsey Wilson’s campus led him to choose to play there instead of Campbellsville University.
Defensively, Cionko has led Trigg in tackles and sacks the last three seasons, and he’ll likely line up in a similar position for Lindsey Wilson as he did as a linebacker at Trigg.
Cionko, who plans to major in business or accounting, said he owes thanks to Burcham and assistant coach Coby Lewis for preparing him to be a college football player.
“I wasn’t always the smartest football player,” Cionko said. “I knew what I was doing, but they prepared me well.”
During Trigg’s 41-14 playoff win over Owensboro Catholic on Nov. 4, a win that snapped the Wildcats’ postseason losing streak against the Aces, Cionko ran for 263 yards and filled in behind center when quarterback Andrew Stewart missed some plays due to injury.
“He had a tremendous game that night and a tremendous season,” Burcham said. “We lost a lot of leadership before last season, and he was one of those guys to step up and fill a hole.”
Cionko said the win over O’Cath is a highlight for him.
“We started off slow this season and pulled together toward the end,” Cionko said. “That game is where we really did shine.”