Absegami High senior Mark Schenauer, one of South Jersey's premier players the last two seasons, had a full football scholarship in his hip pocket.
He politely declined the offer from Division II Charleston in West Virginia and decided to take a more risky route.
Hey, when you manage to become a star at two positions - quarterback and wide receiver - you are adept at handling risks.
Confident in his ability, Schenauer has decided to attend Delaware, even though it did not offer a scholarship. For now.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Schenauer was recruited as a preferred walk-on.
Translation: He is guaranteed a spot on the team but not guaranteed a scholarship.
"It's a bit of a risk, but I like the thought of big-time football, so I'm willing to take it and play my cards right," Schenauer said. "If I impress them, they said they would give me a scholarship."
Schenauer, who also turned down partial scholarship offers from Monmouth and West Chester, was recruited as a wide receiver by both Delaware and Charleston.
As a junior at Absegami, Schenauer was an Inquirer all-South Jersey wide receiver, catching 44 passes for 1,043 yards and 13 touchdowns; he combined with all-South Jersey quarterback Mike Isgro, who is now at Delaware Valley College, to form the area's best pass-catching duo.
When Isgro graduated, Schenauer moved to quarterback last year; he threw 16 TD passes and was a second-team all-South Jersey selection.
"I prefer wide receiver; it's more fun to run around and catch balls," he said. "I'm not big on the spotlight. Quarterback was too much of the limelight for me and my liking."
So he will head to Delaware, where he will redshirt but work out with the team as a freshman . . . and hope to eventually climb up the depth chart.
"I liked the coaches; they seemed down-to-earth and the players seemed like a tight-knit family, very similar to what we have at 'Gami," he said. "And I loved the campus and the school, so it was pretty much of a no-brainer for me."
Even though he estimates he will pay about $27,000 his first year.
"The dollar signs were in my eyes," he said with a smile, referring to Charleston's offer of a full scholarship, "but I had to go with what I liked the most."
Williamstown's Nick DiBacco, a speedy and underrated 5-10, 185-pound two-way back, is taking his talents to Widener, where he will probably be used as a running back and kick-return specialist.
Without much fanfare, DiBacco averaged 6.5 yards per carry last year and helped the Braves compile a 7-3 record. DiBacco rushed for 823 yards on 127 carries last fall and averaged 19.1 yards on punt returns.
DiBacco, who drew interest from Temple, hopes to start as a freshman.
Vince McAneney, Joe Frappolli and Pete Tate will be inducted into the New Jersey Football Coaches' Association Hall of Fame today at the Pines Manor in Edison.
McAneney was the head coach at Philadelphia's West Catholic, Cherry Hill West and Pennsauken, and Tate was his long-time Pennsauken assistant who later became the Indians' head coach for the 1995 and 1996 seasons. Frappolli is the current Florence coach and he has accumulated 228 wins - two behind retired Delsea coach John Oberg, the top winner in South Jersey history with 230 victories.
McAneney had 192 wins in South Jersey and 52 at West Catholic, giving him 244 overall victories.
Isn't it time that Pennsauken, where McAneney coached mostly powerhouses from 1970 to 1994, named its football stadium in his honor?
McAneney, 77, deserves it.
The second annual football fundamentals clinic will be held at Eastern on May 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) The clinic, which costs $10, is available to high school and youth coaches.
The assistants who will serve as speakers: Virginia's Mike Groh (quarterbacks); Cincinnati's Charley Molnar (wide receivers); Temple's George DeLeone (offensive line); Rutgers' Bob Fraser (linebackers); and Delaware's Phil Petitte (defensive line).
For information, call Eastern at 856-784-4441 (extension 1165) during school hours.