By Sean Lynch
Washingtonville – It took a passionate plea and a promise to prioritize his academics, but Rob DelGuidice’s mom Laura let him participate in football for the first time as a sophomore at Washingtonville High. Like most parents, she feared for the injuries that happen in the sport.
He had watched football since elementary school, and DelGuidice’s first NFL memory was David Tyree’s helmet catch to help the Giants win Super Bowl XLII.
“It’s any young athlete’s dream to make an insane catch like that in a championship game, and I knew from that moment I wanted to play sports,” said DelGuidice.
He played baseball until sophomore year. He attempted to try out for the jayvee team but broke his ankle a few weeks before tryouts and wasn’t cleared to participate.
DelGuidice made his varsity football debut as a thin high school junior in 2016. A wide receiver, he was mainly used on special teams and spent more time on the sideline than on the field. He hated standing on the sidelines during games. DelGuidice was going to do whatever he could in the off-season to change that.
Then a setback.
DelGuidice broke his ankle for the second time in a pickup basketball game a couple weeks after the football season. He was determined to make sure the injury didn’t sideline him for months. “I’d go to the gym in a walking boot and some people would look at me like I didn’t belong there,” DelGuidice said.
“Rob became more attentive to me on the field this (past)season,” said Martello. “Whenever I talked to him mid-game or mid-play, he always looked me in the eye and did exactly what I told him to, and it helped the team greatly. He gave it his all every time he was on the field.”
DelGuidice finished his senior season with seven receptions and 146 yards.
He was accepted to Hartwick College as a criminal justice major before Hartwick coach Mark Carr came to Washingtonville to meet with Washingtonville teammates.
Washingtonville head coach Don Clark suggested to DelGuidice that he should meet Carr because he had already committed to attending the college.
Carr watched some of DelGuidice’s highlights and suggested he be a member of the Hartwick football program.
“I was pleasantly shocked,” he said. “Three years ago I wasn’t playing football and now I’ll be playing football at the collegiate level.” He paused. “It’s an indescribable feeling.”