Character, work ethic, and academics, these are the top three most important qualities at Mater Dei Prep Football. The Seraphs have come together to hold a true skills and drills training camp for the next wave of football athletes. The camp showcased the true spirit of what it means to be a Seraph while teaching real-life football skills, training, techniques, morality, and respect that can be used not just on the field but also in their daily lives. Adding to the excitement was current NFL and college dedicated coaches, trainers, and athletes that shared their expertise throughout the day.
With an impressive roster of football icons such as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins Brian Flores to Patrick McDowell the assistant defensive line coach for the Eagles to Mater Dei Prep’s very own skilled coaching staff to new players that are advancing into the college and NFL scenes. Each person had an impressive resume in the football world and they were there to prepare the next generation for what to expect as they go further.
Mater Dei Prep has been excelling their students to new heights with innovated programs that are bringing each graduate further along the path of success. This is one of those programs.
The camp started off with an inspiring talk by the head coach of Mater Dei Prep Football Dino Mangiero. Coach Mangiero has a rich history in football playing for a total of six seasons of professional football as a defensive lineman across three top teams (1980-1982) Kansas City Chiefs (1984) Seattle Seahawks (1987) New England Patriots. Coaching for four seasons and three NJSIAA football championship appearances Coach Mangiero brings a lot to the field. Coach Mangiero is also an inductee of the Staten Island Hall of Fame.
Starting the camp off was a focus on the defensive side of the game. Players were broken up into sections based on their respected positions and matched up with the coaches and players who took a detailed time going over skills to learn. Instructing the defensive line was Mater Dei Prep Coach Shannon Hoadley. Coach Shannon is not only a former head coach of the seraph’s football program but is also respect throughout NJ for his leadership and advanced knowledge of the game. Coaching and guiding many over the years Coach Hoadley was accompanied by former player Izaiah Henderson. A recent graduate, Henderson is a strong and solid defensive end player who is now onto Boston College thanks to a great scholarship. Also, teaching was Patrick McDowell a strength and D-Line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Though the group had a large crowd, each player was taught individually as the session went on. Everything from form to techniques was mentioned. However, as the players went through the basics the techniques became more and more advanced. The leaders of the groups were demonstrating patience, timing, and professional critiques that most young athletes don’t learn until they are late into their high school years. One of the goals of the camp was to teach these advanced skills to better acclimate the players so they are readily prepared when it comes time for them to hit the varsity football level.
Moving over to the other side of the defense was the safeties who were being mentored by the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins Brian Flores. Coach Flores was the former defensive coach for the New England Patriots who brought the Los Angelos Rams to a standstill in the 2019 Super Bowl. Taking players to the side he helped guide them through the drills so they learned the perfect movements and allowed them to adapt to the proper techniques. Jumping in was also former Mater Dei Prep coach Lance Bennett. Coach Bennett has had a dramatic impact in the Mater Dei Prep community serving as Atheltic Director and an assistant coach he has was instrumental in getting the program to were it is today. Now, Coach Bennett is the new assistant to the head coach for the Miami Dolphins.
Each player was not only having a great time throughout the drills but was learning more than just new moves. The staff really emphasized the importance of a good moral character, respect, and faith in God. With a strong character, you will win all the time, stated Coach Mangiero. The Seraphs football has always acted as a strong pillar in the community, just recently more than half of the active team showed-up for a local beach clean-up that gave the community a better place to enjoy. These qualities were being absorbed by the players through the entire day as Mater Dei Prep loves a good character player over how they perform on the field.
After a few more defensive drills the players were gathered for a lunch break to rest and talk one-on-one with the highlighted players and coaches. Following the players went to a few classrooms to hear a few inspiring words from Brian Flores. Coach Flores shared what he looks for in a player, He mentioned his path through hard work to get to where he is today. He also did a Q&A with the players to answer any questions they might have.
One of the biggest hurdles a lot of high school players face today is quality nutrition and training. Jimmy Mangiero is a strength coach for the Miami Dolphins who got up and spoke to the players on what they should do to better prepare to excel on the field. Things like eating healthy and proper sleep were among the topics that were emphasized.
Talking about innovation, As the players were enjoying and learning on the field the staff at Mater Dei Prep recorded the practice drills and just like a true professional experience the players were brought in to a film room. Each player was studied and helped by the coaches as they went through a standard film session. Studying film is one of the important steps that gets overlooked in football. In order for a player to get develop, they have to know when to start watching Film is key to the player’s improvement.
Following, the players were brought back to the field where they focused on the offensive side. Doctor Mosiello who has been dedicated to the Seraphs athletic programs for years was also seen helping the players with the drills advising them the best timing to act in different scenarios. Jesse Ascolese who is the Mater Dei Prep Running Back Coach was engaging the players how to react with different plays while some of the other Mater Dei Prep Coaches such as Mark Chicoltelli who is now the new offensive coordinator for the Seraphs shared his legendary knowledge.
At the end of the day, all the players gathered and talked about what they learned and what it means to be a football player for the Seraphs. Looking at the program as a whole Mater Dei Prep teaches their players to be an upstanding individual on and off the field. Hard work and academics was another quality they honed in on. According to the NCAA, only 7.1% of high school players go on to get a scholarship to play football for Division I-III. In order to maintain those scholarships, the players must have a good standing GPA in their Core Courses and must be a good standing individual.
The camp was a new innovation that Mater Dei Prep brings to the shore that offers a way to better prepare the future generation for success in the real world. The Seraphs are already prepping for the new season and can’t wait to back on the gridiron.