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Submitted Natalo Maggiolino

Natalo Maggiolino, football

Natalo Maggiolino committed to Bridgewater State University to play football.

When did you first start playing football?

“I started playing football in kindergarten, when I was 5 or 6 years old. It was one of the first kindergarten teams to be made in the Northborough-Southborough organization.”

What is your favorite thing about football?

“My favorite thing about football is probably the comradery with all the guys on the team. They’re all my family and I’ve grown up with them since before elementary school or even at the start of it, so all those guys I grew up [with] I still hangout with pretty much every day. [Football] also takes my mind off a lot of things. I always say this to people: it’s the one time you can legally hit people and not get arrested.”

What position do you play and what do you most enjoy about playing that position?

“Currently I play linebacker and that’s what I’m going to college to play. My favorite thing about linebacker is that … it’s the quarterback of the defense. I feel like I’ve always been a good leader, so I kind of get to lead the other positions on the field and I get to oversee everything that happens on the defensive end. I get to go out there and make some tackles and go hit people.”

Why did you want to play football at the collegiate level?

“After this football season ended, I was kind of at a weird point where I didn’t know if I wanted to play football at the next level or [if] I just wanted to go to college at a big school, meet a lot of people and just live my life which I’ve never really gotten to do. A guy at the gym that I work out with told me this, which brought me to the realization. He said, ‘You work out to play football.’ For all [the time] that I’ve known him I’ve played football so that kind of opened my eyes and I realized I put all this work in. I can’t give up. I can’t just stop, put a pin in it and dig a hole and just lock it up. I’ve got to keep playing; it’s my favorite sport. I highly doubt I’ll lose love for it, but there’s just always so much to do and I’ll regret it if I don’t play.”

What about Bridgewater State University enticed you to play for them?

“Bridgewater was one of the first schools to reach out to me. It was the first school I went on a full visit to. I went there probably summer going into my senior year; they invited me over to their campus and I met the coach. It was almost like a one-on-one and my criteria for going to college was either I get to play football or I go to a big school. All the other schools that reached out to me were smaller schools, [with] two or three thousand kids. Bridgewater has eight to twelve thousand [students]. So I was like, ‘Okay I’ll still be able to meet new people, but I’ll also be able to play the sport that I’ve loved for so long and still do.’ And I love the area; I have a house down in Cape Cod. [Bridgewater is] 45 minutes from there so on the weekends I can just go down to the Cape. It’s pretty much a perfect fit. My parents knew it from the start so it just took me a little bit to figure it out.”

What are you most looking forward to in these next four years of your life?

“Just to see how far I can go [with football]; I started training sophomore year of high school and I really started to take football serious sophomore through senior year. That’s only three years out of four, if I can maximize these next four years from where I’m at now. So I’m building off of what I’ve already created and I have another four years to work on that, and I’m really excited to see where I end up.”

Do you have hopes to play football beyond the collegiate level?

“It would be amazing to [play beyond college] whether it’s arena football or overseas football. It would be really surreal to be able to do that. That would probably have to be a decision I would have to make junior or senior year of college depending on how I match up against other college athletes and how I feel about the game in another four years’ time, but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out.”

Do you have any ideas of majors or other focusses you’d like to pursue at Bridgewater?

“I’m going to major in Sports Management because if I won’t be able to play professional sports, I’d still love to be around [professional sports]. I’d love to get involved with some professional teams and be able to work. I coached a seventh grade youth [football] team and I was a co-defensive coordinator and we won the Super Bowl [for their league].”

Do you have anything that you think is important to include about your relationship with football or your commitment?

“I really came from a low point, which is why I think I’m at the level I am now. I was able to mature and make the decision to devote pretty much the rest of my life to [football]. Freshman year, I was not in the best shape mentally or physically, and I wasn’t the laughing point of the team, but [I] wasn’t the strongest link. I wasn’t where I was, position-wise…Luckily, we had the big [COVID-19] shutdown, so I had time to improve my mental state and my physical state. [To] younger kids who really want to make it to this level, you have to put in so much time and energy to really make [your dream] real, and it’s a lot more than you can understand but it will be worth it.”

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