D’Onofrio Signs with Arena League Team
By Lorenzo Recupero
Everett’ native Joe D’Onofrio isn’t a stranger to success on the field — and that’s exactly why his football journey is still in play.
D’Onofrio, a former Everett High and Pope John football standout, was recently signed by the New England Cavalry of the Arena Football League.
The signing insures he will play for the team as part of the AFL’s 2018 football season.
The team issued a press release that said this of their new recruit:
“The Cavalry are excited about Joe joining us for the arena as well as the minor league. Joe is a very versatile athlete – his bio and resume speaks for itself. He will help us on offense and defense this year, as well as return kicks for the Cavalry indoors and outdoors. Welcome Joe!”
The warm reception was preceded by a long list of Joe’s accomplishments both in high school and college, including his more than 4,000 all-purpose yards accrued as a duel running back, wide receiver threat at Pope John and over 2,000 yards and 8 touchdowns posted while attending Anna Maria College for two years. While there, he also ranked fifth in division 3 nationwide as a kick return specialist.
In hearing the news of his former players signing, Brian Vaughan, then Pope John head coach, recalled a 2012 league championship game against Cathedral where D’Onofrio let everyone know what he was about.
“Do you remember that?!,” said an ecstatic Vaughan as he detailed D’Onofrio’s game-tying 31-yard touchdown reception in-between and over four Cathedral defenders in the corner of the end zone with three seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime.
“Joey was one of my favorite players and not just because of his talent, but he was a really funny kid. It was fun times coaching him,” said Vaughan. “I’m happy for him, he’s a really special player. [His signing] says a lot about the type of athlete and kind of player he is.”