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Can the original poster add the list of offerees and positions at the start of this so we can keep track? Thank you in advance.
 

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Woodgrove football standout Castellano keeps mother’s memory close
  • By Jason S. Rufner, Special to the Times-Mirror
  • May 23, 2018 Updated 4 hrs ago

Ben Castellano, shown on the left during the 2017 season, continues to draw strong interest from multiple college football programs. Ben is pictured with his family following an Upper Loudoun Youth Football League game, center, and more recently, a Woodgrove varsity football game.

Ben Castellano’s next football season will be unlike any he’s ever played before. The lifelong Loudouner and rising Woodgrove High School senior still expects to catch a lot of passes like usual, trying to help the Wolverines win a lot of games like usual.

The difference next season -- with Castellano holding 18 offers and counting -- is that he’ll be a bona fide future college football player.



On his Twitter feed, Castellano reports offers from Ivy League institutions Yale, Penn, Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth, the service academies in Annapolis and West Point, and Power 5 schools Wake Forest and Syracuse, among several others.

“This has come out of nowhere,” Castellano said. “I didn’t expect this at all.”

He projects himself at the next level as a pass-catcher and blocker on the field, and a business major in the classroom.

Castellano caught 87 passes for 1,140 yards and 15 touchdowns over the past two campaigns, earning him first-team all-region honors as a junior. Castellano's football acumen, combined with his lofty 3.7 grade-point average, have ignited a barrage of offers coming nearly weekly.

He recently visited the campus of Indiana University and is slated to visit Harvard University next. He holds offers from both school’s football programs.

The biggest difference in this upcoming football season will be that his mom won’t be up in the stands, wildly cheering him on.

Instead, she’ll be out on the field with her son, helping him catch passes.

Kim Castellano died Jan. 28 at the age of 48 after a protracted battle against breast cancer. She fought the disease for 17 years, nearly Ben’s entire life.

She was a mainstay at her son’s games, from his formative years in the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League through his attention-garnering performances for Woodgrove.

Her final wish for her son was: “Just play for me, Benny.”

“Every game, I’m going to write her name and the date she passed on my tape,” Castellano said. With her name on his taped wrist, she’ll be part of every pass he catches.

“She was always a huge influence,” he said. “You never know what you have until it’s gone, you know?”

Mike Castellano coached their son and daughter Riley throughout their youth sports careers. He now coaches wide receivers on Woodgrove’s staff, including his son.

“The community outpouring has been unbelievable,” he said. “They’ve really helped us through it all.”

Before the younger Castellano embarks on his collegiate career, he’s set goals for his final high school season.

“Two touchdowns and 100 yards a game. That’s what I’m going for,” he said, sounding like he meant it.

Castellano believes next season’s Wolverines could reach unprecedented heights.



“This is the best team we’ve had since I’ve been at Woodgrove,” he said, citing Woodgrove’s 18 returning starters. “We could go to states, easily.”

Wherever he goes, next football season and beyond, his mom will go with him.





 
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