The Marian football team has added a third member to its list of Division 1 football signees.
The Colts' "man in the middle" linebacker Anthony Damiano has signed his Letter of Intent to play for the Red Flash of the St. Francis University of Pennsylvania. Damiano will receive a partial scholarship to the school which is located in Loretto, PA, plays in the Northeast Conference, and is an NCAA Division I FCS school (formerly 1-AA).
2011 served as a bounce back year for Damiano as he missed five games during his junior campaign due to a broken ankle. Damiano had an impressive season for the Colts in 2011 finishing the year with 125 tackles and 15 tackles for a loss, which are both team-highs. He also was named to the Anthracite Football League first team defense and TIMES NEWS area first team defense.
"My junior year got off to a good start and I was really rolling there," said Damiano. "Then the Panther Valley game came along and I broke my ankle. It took me two months of rehabbing and working hard to get back to full-strength so I could start off-season workouts. My Dad and I worked hard to get me back and then I just put in the time in order for me to have a successful senior season."
Marian coach Stan Dakosty is certainly proud to have such a stellar senior group that has now sent three of its members to the Division 1 level. Damiano is no exception to that pride and Dakosty explained Damiano's passion for the blue and gold is what has helped mold him into a terrific football player.
"Anthony is a "true Colt," said Dakosty. "He's been watching Marian football since he has been about knee-high and has been a great contributor to our program. He's another one of our kids who was injured his junior year and came back with a vengeance for his senior season. He was all over the place for us on the defensive side of the ball and really made some nice plays from sideline to sideline."
Damiano is also carrying on the family tradition of playing Division 1 athletics. His sister Amanda plays Division 1 softball for the Retrievers of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
"I was in eighth grade when she went to play at UMBC," said Damiano. "She never rubbed it in or anything, but it was definitely motivation for me to get to that level. She couldn't be any happier for me."
Damiano chose St. Francis over a host of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference offers (Division 2) and Division 1 Wagner where teammate Paul Martin will be playing.
"I chose St. Francis first and foremost because of their academics," said Damiano. "I want to study Biology and their science program is second to none. Football wise they're are headed in the right direction and they have a young energetic coaching staff that is committed to winning."
Now that Damiano has his foot in the door at a Division 1 school he wants to show the St. Francis staff that he means business not only in the classroom, but on the gridiron as well.
"I'm going to work really hard," added Damiano. "I want to show them how coal region football is played, I want to get stronger, and I want to play fast. I would like to come in and make an impact right away whether it be on defense or special teams."