Nine students from Whittier Regional High will go on to play college football — the most Wildcats to do so in years.
"This is one of the most successful classes we have had in years and now they are moving on to the next level," said Kevin Bradley, head football coach and athletic director.
The class of 2012's biggest highlight was winning the Division 4 Super Bowl in 2009, when this year's seniors were sophomores. Whittier defeated East Boston 14-12 that year to bring home the title.
Here are the Whittier players and the colleges they are going on to:
Nicholas Mazzone, Division 1-AA Stetson University
Shane Surette and Cameron Dubiel, Bridgewater State College
Mike Melling, Western New England University
Pat Lawlor, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Andrew McGrath, Nichols College
Victor Munoz, Holland College in Canada
Bryan Goulet, Anna Maria College
Rudy Ortiz, Dean College
Mazzone was recruited by several schools as a long snapper. He learned the specialty late in his junior year and performed it well enough to earn the opportunity to play at Stetson, which has a new football program. Mazzone will redshirt his first year before playing in the 2013 season.
"He worked hard and was able to get everything he wanted," Bradley said. "He's going to be flying all over the country playing football."
"I know I wanted to play in Florida somewhere and I found Stetson, which was great academically," Mazzone said. "It's going to be great playing for a new program, instead of building on tradition. I am going to help create it."
Surette was a three-sport athlete at Whittier and will play baseball and football at Bridgewater State. He moved from wide receiver to quarterback in his senior year.
"He was our most versatile player," Bradley said. "When we needed someone to play a certain position, Shane was always the guy we called on. He's a multi-talented player. Ideally he's a wide receiver, but he can play everywhere on the field."