By Brett Carroll
Matt DeGennaro plans to relish the final game of his scholastic career.
This attitude is a result of a senior season at Saint John Vianney High School during which DeGennaro missed a good portion of the campaign when he was sidelined after three games with mononucleosis.
He will get his opportunity when he plays quarterback in the All-Shore Gridiron Classic all-star game at Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch June 29. DeGennaro will call signals for the Monmouth County team against Ocean County in the all-star game that will kick off at 7 p.m.
DeGennaro returned when his Lancers fell to powerful Saint Joseph Regional High School of Montvale, 45-20, in the semifinals of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Non-Public, Group III playoffs in November. Saint Joseph went on to win the state sectional playoff title and the Bergen County school was named the top-ranked team in New Jersey.
The Lancers ended the season with a 10-1 record.
DeGennaro is thrilled to be playing one more game in New Jersey.
“It’s a great honor,” DeGennaro said. “This is my last chance to play a high school game and impress scouts.”
DeGennaro will take advantage of playing in the game.
“It does mean a lot more because I feel like I didn’t get a chance to show what I had,” DeGennaro said. “Now I can.”
DeGennaro plans to enjoy the atmosphere.
“I don’t know how much time I’ll get to play, so I’m just going to go out there and have fun,” he said. “Of course, I want to go out and win.”
Derek Sininsky, the head coach at Saint John Vianney and of the Monmouth County team in the all-star game, is anxious for his quarterback to play in the all-star game.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Sininsky said. “We kind of look at this as everything happens for a reason. It gives him one last chance, one last hoorah.”
Sininsky will offer some advice.
“I’ll tell him to just go out there and play,” he said. “I’ll tell him to not be worried about being rusty. Go out there and let it loose. Most of all, I’ll tell him to just have fun and perform great like I know you can.”
DeGennaro’s next stop will be at a prep school, Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts. He hopes that his play will attract some college recruiters.
“I think it gives me another year to showcase myself,” the 6-foot, 197-pound DeGennaro said. “I’m excited to get back out there and show them what I got.”