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Matt D’Avino - The Montgomery News Athlete of the Month

By Pennie Lu | Posted February 7, 2024


Matt D’Avino—a D1 athlete soon to be playing for Lehigh University—says football has been a force in his life since the first time he played in seventh grade. A Division 1 (D1) student-athlete participates in a college NCAA Division 1 sports program. It is the most competitive and intense division.


Matt D’Avino is headed to Lehigh.


“I remember playing with my neighbors in the side yard every weekend, and really feeling the connection to my teammates and the sport,” D’Avino says. “My parents were initially worried about the risks of playing football, but I was able to show them I was mature enough to handle everything.”


Despite starting his high-school career with only one year of prior experience, he quickly became a star on the team. In the off-season, D’Avino busies himself with lifting and studying film, pushing himself both physically and mentally to be a better athlete. From football itself, he says he learned the virtue of patience and resilience. Specifically, he credits the growth of his mental fortitude to his experiences overcoming his injuries and poor practice games.


Even though there were many times when he lost, he says he didn’t let it become a setback. Instead, he analyzed what went wrong and focused on his mental conditioning. With games every week, however, injuries were much more difficult to recover from. Oftentimes, D’Avino’s shoulder and ankle injuries would persist after treatment and playing through the pain was inevitable. Despite all this, his motivation never wavered.


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D’Avino’s practice, training, and conditioning could take up to five hours a day during the active season, with additional time for running routes on the field and speed training. Coupled with other opportunities, such as the chance to play in a 7-on-7 football team called ASG that boasts collaboration with top-ranked players around the country and the chance to study techniques used by professional football players and trainers, there is rarely a moment he is not busy.


Rest is a necessary aspect of recovery for an athlete, and D’Avino prides himself on scheduling out his days to ensure he is allotted the proper amount of time for studying, practice, and sleep. Long practices had an unexpected benefit. Spending five hours a day with teammates built incredible bonds and trust between the team members. For D’Avino, it helped him make new friends across the state and nation, while also spreading leadership throughout Montgomery High School.


Matt D’Avino in action.


With fellow co-captains Michael Schmelzer and Brady Post, D’Avino delved into a new phase of his football career, leading the Montgomery team to amazing wins and learning from their passionate mind sets. Even with his extreme dedication to the sport, D’Avino says he wouldn’t be where he is today without his parents and coaches.


“My parents have been there with me at all times and made sure everything was going well, setting up treatments, training, and putting me in the right places at the right times,” D’Avino explains. “And coaches Grundy, Remsen, Robinson, and Milich have been the best support system. Coach Robinson, in particular, taught me the perspective of a professional player from his experience at Rutgers and in the NFL.”


As D’Avino continues to dominate the field, his exceptional performance and dedication are not just noteworthy, but set a standard for excellence that is inspiring to see.

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