NUTLEY, NJ-- Frank DeMaio continues to excel, not only as an athlete on the collegiate level, but he's also doing the job in the classroom.

That combination has enabled DeMaio, the son of Jodi and Frank DeMaio, to earn All-Academic accolades from the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL).

DeMaio is a freshman at Caldwell University, which began playing in the CSFL, in 2017. This fall, the Cougars had its best season, finishing 2-5 against a rugged schedule. DeMaio is from Nutley, NJ, and attended Nutley High School, where he played football and wrestled for the Raiders. 

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Frank plays wide receiver at Caldwell University, whose head coach, ironically, is Nutley native Jim Kelly, who played for the Raiders and was later that program's head coach for six seasons, from 1998-2003. 

"I'm really happy for Frankie," said Kelly. "I knew that he was a tremendous all-around athlete, but it's great to see him doing so well in the classroom, too. He does the little things on, and off, the field to be a better student-athlete. Frank is a multi-dimensional player, and that's a plus in sprint football." 

Sprint football has become very popular in the Northeast section of the country. While there's a weight limit for each player, it opens the door for 'smaller' athletes to compete on the collegiate level against some talented athletes. 

Among the teams on Caldwell's schedule since 2017 includes the United States Military Academy, in West Point, the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md. and Ivy League powerhouses Pennsylvania and Cornell.

"We play a really tough schedule," said Kelly. "And getting the chance to play teams like Army and Navy is a great experience for our players. We played on Navy's field (the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium) this season and also traveled to West Point, which, of course, has a beautiful facility."

According to Kelly, DeMaio's grade point average is above 3.90, which put him in position for All-Academic accolades. DeMaio is a Biology major at Caldwell with aspirations for a career in Physical Therapy. Frank's older sister, Breanna, is finishing her undergraduate work at Felician University and plans to attend medical school next year. The DeMaio family also has a younger daughter, Lia, who is a sophomore at Nutley High.

In his first year of college football, DeMaio led the Cougars in receptions, with 16, and receiving yardage, with 184, while scoring a touchdown. He had four receptions each, in games against Army and St. Thomas Aquinas while scoring in a Caldwell win over Alderson-Broaddus, on Sept. 29. 

"Frank is a smart kid, who knows the game of football well," said Kelly. "I'm not surprised by his ability to play right away on the collegiate level. And to see him make the All-Academic team is really special."

DeMaio, who was graduated from Nutley High in 2018, was also a standout wrestler for the Raiders and qualified for the state championships at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, as a senior. He won over 100 varsity wrestling matches at Nutley. 

On the football field, he played on the varsity for head coaches Tom Basile and Steve DiGregorio. DeMaio also was recipient of the prestigious Brian Piccolo Award, in 2018.

 

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