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Name: Michael Longo Jr.
School: Iona Prep
Jersey number: 5
Offensive position: RB
Defensive position: ILB
What is your favorite part about football?: My favorite part of football is easily the feeling you get after winning as a team. The concept of 40 individuals working towards one common goal is something we have been striving towards since my sophomore year at Iona Prep. Coach Vic (Quirolo) preaches doing what is best for the team but not necessarily ourselves. That ideal has managed to stick with me over the past three years. I don’t think people realize how hard it is to get high school kids on the same page with all the distractions around them. However, when a team manages to compete as one, the feeling of accomplishment you get from being a member of that unit is indescribable.
What do you do to prepare for games?: Preparation for games begins with a solid week of practice. Whenever we pick up a win on a Saturday it is earned during the five days of practice throughout the week. Once the school week is over, I focus on loading up on carbohydrates and looking at the scouting report our coaching staff gives us. I try to prepare as much as I can mentally before my games so, once the game starts, everything becomes second nature.
What did it mean to be named a captain?: Being named team captian for the Gaels is not something I take lightly. Being mentioned among names such as Ryan O’Neil, Darlos James, and Tyrae Woodson-Samuels is an honor as an Iona Prep student-athlete in itself. Additionally, knowing that I have the trust and faith of my coaching staff to lead my teammates both on and off the field is humbling.
As a captain, what will it take to be a leader?: In order to lead my teammates, it’s going to take more than just words of encouragement and good intentions. I have to lead by example more than anything. This entails everything from always being the first one in the film sessions to setting the tone for our defense with big plays. A leader needs to put others first and himself last. If I can accomplish this task, I’ll be successful as a leader.
Who is your team’s best teammate? Why?: Our team has a lot of great kids that dedicate themselves to the team. However, one individual that comes to my mind immediately is our guard, Mike Mobarak. Big Mike is the kind of kid a coach dreams of due to his work ethic and acceptance of constructive criticism. We push each other during practice and make it fun at the same time. Whenever he manages to seal me off on a screen play or run, he’ll remind me of it for the next week and that kind of healthy competition is what we need.
Who is the best athlete on your team? Why?: I’d have to say the best athlete on our team is our quarterback, Timmy Perley. Not only is he going to be a captain for the team this upcoming season, but he was also an All-American swimmer as a sophomore. His drive to succeed and get better is something that is very hard to come by. It’s rare that you find a player with the ability and mindset to be great at two sports and then also be able to excel in AP courses. One word to describe Tim would be motivated.
Who is your funniest teammate?: I believe my funniest teammate is Dan Maldonado, our defensive end. In all honesty, I have yet to be in a bad mood around him. He manages to take what may be a horrible situation and turn it into something that’ll have you on the floor laughing. If anybody has the personality to do stand-up comedy, it’s Dan. Teammates like him make you enjoy workouts and practice everyday.
What are your team’s goals for the season?: As a team, our goal will always be to win a CHSFL AAA title. Winning that championship among the likes of other great programs in our league would speak volumes about our dedication and ability. But, I think that our main goal coming into this season is to learn from the experience and become better people from it. Football teaches you a lot about life and if we can grow into better men from this season, I believe we can consider it a success.
What will it take for you to achieve them?: In order to achieve these goals, it’s going to take focus and dedication from each member of the team. As individuals, we’re going to have to trust the man next to us to do his job and buy into the system. If we can each give our all and come together as a unit, we will be successful this season.
After high school, what’s your next step?: After high school, I plan on pursuing a career in medicine at a school where I could also play football. I would like to be a Biochemistry major and branch that off into becoming an orthepedic surgeon down the road. As of now, my top choices include: Princeton, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, and Yale.
Previous Captain’s Corners —
June 20: Joe Magardino, Horace Greeley
June 21: Jaylen Amaker, Mount St. Michael
June 22: Dan O’Connell, Panas
June 23: Justin Kennedy, Dobbs Ferry
June 24: Giuseppe Deluca, Eastchester
June 25: Gustavo Larramendi, Horace Greeley
June 26: Eddie Fanning, Dobbs Ferry
June 28: Tom DiCarlo, Eastchester
July 2: Nick Cevallos, Westlake