Vince Napolitano’s summer was pretty much spent on the road.
Fenwick’s biggest football player would like to use the sport to attend an elite Division I college and showed his commitment to that goal by going on a rigorous tour of the East Coast. He attended nearly a dozen college scouting camps in June and July.
It meant that the 6-foot-2, 320-pound offensive lineman missed some time with Fenwick’s summer workout schedule, but Napolitano felt he had to take steps that would get him seen by college recruiters.
The Oak Park resident attended nearly every Ivy League school except Brown and Columbia. After a while, Napolitano could have been excused if he forgot what school he was visiting at the time. He went to Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Penn and Cornell. He even went to a couple of non-Ivy League schools such as Holy Cross and Colgate.
At each stop, Napolitano was measured and weighed, met with coaches and competed in drills against other camp attendees, usually against a defensive lineman.
“My preference is the Ivy League,” Napolitano said. “ I want to use football to get an education like that.”
Connections to Fenwick help. Napolitano is gaining interest from Penn, which already has former Fenwick linebacker and current Western Springs resident Jack Stibich in its program as a freshman.
Stibich was a two-time all-Catholic League selection while at Fenwick and Penn recruiters discovered Napolitano while watching video of Stibich.
Napolitano started the season at right tackle, but played right guard during Fenwick’s 50-0 victory over St. Laurence Saturday night at Morton West. Napolitano played guard the previous two years, but has moved around due to injuries of other players on the Friars’ line.
The most notable is the absence of Bob Kemp at left guard, who has missed two weeks due to a back injury.
The line against St. Laurence featured Danny Cooney and Anthony Caputo at tackles, Rocco Stefanini and Napolitano at guards and Jimmy Krecek at center.
The moves have forced defensive lineman Kyle Pullia to take some snaps on the offensive line. First-year coach Gene Nudo said he expects Kemp to return soon.
“It’s a work in progress,” Kemp said. “We get through it every day. They’ll get better with a week of practice as a team this week.”
Napolitano wasn’t the only offensive lineman missing over the summer. Other absences have led to a slow start for the offensive line, but Fenwick (4-1, 2-0 Catholic League White) has opened holes in recent games for Robert Spillane and Bobby Somers.