University Prep Begins Varsity Play
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University Prep is not a new school. The all-boys school that sits next to Aquinas was started two years ago by Joe Munno, who's now the school's principal.
"It took me six months to write the application, get it to the State, get revisions, get a Board of Trustees, it takes a lot of work," he said.
Athletics are a large part of a school's curriculum, especially when it's all boys.
"My personal philosophy is, I believe in the whole child. I believe we have to have strong extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, music."
Munno played high school football for Dick Cerone, who is now his next door neighbor. The former Aquinas athletic director is also the State Football Chairman.
"He's doing everything at this school and he's trying to schedule athletic events and he said 'I don't know who the contact people are.' So I said, 'Joe, I'll give you a hand.' He said, there's no money for an athletic director but we can put you on part-time and I said, whatever," said Cerone.
UPrep will field varsity football and basketball teams along with a couple of modified and JV programs. The oldest students are sophomores.
Last season, as freshmen, the team lost only two modified games - under the direction of former Marshall coaches Raheem Miller and Majied Eason.
"We are a Class D school, we are the smallest school in Section 5. I want to challenge them. We're playing our own size schools but the difference is, the other teams are able to field juniors and seniors," Munno said.
"I met with all the kids and gave them a little talk about what I feel about football and school but I said, you're going to make history this year. You're making history because it's a brand new school, you're the first varsity team. No matter what you do, it's history and you'll never forget this year," said Cerone.
The Griffins open at Red Jacket Stadium Saturday. The Indians, along with some of the other Finger Lakes teams, were left with open dates when Geneva DeSales closed its doors.