From East to West, then from OC to SD, the DeMaio’s have carried along a rich legacy of lacrosse. MaxLaxSD is proud to announce the DeMaio’s most recent honor: Coronado junior Anthony DeMaio has officially committed to the Air Force Academy.
Anthony DeMaio is not just a lefty. He’s the lefty who took JSerra lacrosse by force his freshman year, and now practically owns the low left side of the crease on Coronado’s offense. Skip pass feed or no, the man can thread the needle past heads of unsuspecting long pole defenders, and make a finishing teammate shine like gold. Anthony finishes well himself, too. That’s an understatement. Hand him the ball right there, in low left territory, watch him shake and bake a bit, and it’s automatically in the net before you can say, “My oh, ‘Maio!”
After high school graduation in 2016, Anthony will be attending and playing lacrosse at the Air Force Academy. The Air Force is “more than an education,” according to its website, “It’s a way of life.” There, Anthony will have the privilege to build on his already-solid character and become an even stronger leader. With Air Force Men’s Lacrosse, Anthony will compete against the most reputational teams in the nation, including Duke, Michigan, and Ohio State.
Anthony DeMaio’s repertoire at Coronado High School includes a sophomore year of 64 goals, 62 assists, and 126 points made in 17 games. Those 126 points stand as the San Diego single- season record. He’s a First Team All City Conference and Second Team All San Diego honor. Go deeper into the past and you’ll see Anthony’s shining freshman year at JSerra. There he earned Offensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Trinity League All Star titles.
His current Coronado Head Coach, Alex Cade has this to say of Anthony:
“Anthony had a tremendous year last year for us at Coronado. There are very few secrets to the success of a player of his caliber. He is highly motivated, tough, hardworking, athletic and coachable. As a student of the game he was able to pick up the various offensive systems we use quickly and really became the ultimate team player. Even with this team first approach I looked at his stat line at the end of the year and realized that as a sophomore, he had broken the San Diego single season points record held by Dennis Yeatman with 122 points. Moreover, the thing that impressed me the most about this feat is that he did it in a team offensive environment, against top western competition, and not in a superstar “give this guy the ball” scenario. This way in which he broke the record is ultimately why I never even thought to check the stats. He was a consummate team player the entire season and led by example to make his teammates better. The exciting part is to watch where Anthony will be as he works hard to put the next level of polish on his game and begins to transcend into a collegiate level player.”
It seems almost impossible to be as involved as Anthony is in the lacrosse scene. He’s played with FCA, Brady’s Bunch, and 3D Lacrosse. The list of lacrosse events Anthony has attended is even longer. Through all this, Anthony draws support from a clan of laxing DeMaio’s who feel family pride in his commitment to the Air Force Academy’s Falcon team. There’s at least one other man who’s seen it all with him. Proud father Tom DeMaio and son Anthony generously shared their excitement with MaxLaxSD. The DeMaio men talk lax here in an exclusive double interview.
MAXLAXSD: Anthony, you’re going to have to shave your head at the Academy. Psyched for that or not?
ANTHONY: Honestly I have to say, I love my longer hair but look forward to a new chapter in my life and a new haircut. Growing up in Boston haircuts were seasonal: shave in the summer for football and long hair for hockey season in the winter.
How do you feel knowing that you’ll be studying and playing lacrosse with the Air Force in two years?
I am very excited to have the opportunity of being a student-athlete at the Air Force Academy. They make it clear it is a lot of hard work and I am up for it. I am going to have to work as hard as I can to achieve my goals on the lacrosse field as well as in the classroom.
What made you choose the Academy?
I was always interested in the academies and visited the Naval Academy early on. I was considering Boston University, Fairfield University, Navy, and Notre Dame. Right when I showed up on campus [at Air Force] I knew it was the right fit for me. From the great facilities, academics to the great sports teams. Air Force also is a cool division of the Military with lots of job opportunities after college.
Academically, what steps did you take to be recruited?
Last year when I got my GPA up to a 3.5 it opened up many more opportunities for college. Through hard work and challenging myself with AP classes, I was able to achieve that.
What recruiting events have you participated in? How were they?
I participated in a lot of recruiting events in the past couple years. Jake Reed’s Nike Bluechip, Adrenaline BlackCard, and Maverick Showtime. Showtime and Black Card had the best gear! Biggest Highlight was making the All-Star team this Summer at Maverick Showtime, knowing I was among the top 40 players in the country.
How do you plan to use the remaining years of your high school lacrosse career at Coronado?
Before my Coronado Lacrosse career is over I want to win a CIF championship. I look forward to my brother (Nicholas) coming in as a freshman this year and playing two years with him. We played together for many years growing up and will win championships in back-to-back years here at Nado!
MAXLAXSD: Tom, what kind of lacrosse philosophies does your family uphold?
TOM: Sports are a huge part of our life with all of our kids (6 of them) involved in lots of stuff. We preach practice and hard work, and without it there will be no success. Lacrosse is a great sport and a privilege to play, but being a good person is even more important.
Through Anthony’s lacrosse career, you had a wicked ride. How was it?
It has been a great ride, Nicole (Anthony’s mother) and I would not trade it for anything. It has been so enjoyable to watch Anthony become a young man on and off the field. As far as challenges, I do know it was real hard for Anthony to move out West and sort of start over with a whole new group of friends and Lacrosse teammates.
Any highlight memories of Anthony playing lacrosse?
Endless….it would be real hard to just pick one. He has just done so many great things as a teammate over the years that I am blessed to have been on the sideline for most of them. If I was going to pick one, I think back to when our Town team was playing in the 5th grade championship in a tournament of the 16 best teams in New England. We were down in the championship by a goal and Anthony found a way to tie it up as time expired. I didn’t realize it till a few years later when watching the video, but after he scored he ran directly to the sideline and chest bumped his little brother Nic who was not on the field at the time. It was a pretty emotional moment and sort of a reminder to me we were doing something more than just playing the sport of lacrosse. This was a family thing for them.
What advice would you give to a parent seeking to help their player reach opportunities like Anthony’s?
Good grades early and often! Play in lots of different events and teams, as you never know where you will be seen by a coach or friend of a coach who likes your style for play. Also, remember as a player and person, you are ALWAYS being evaluated. Never let up on or off the field.
How do you feel about your son’s commitment?
We are proud, but not surprised that he picked a path that requires a lot of hard work and commitment to something bigger than himself. That is just Anthony.
MAXLAXSD: Tom and Anthony, are there any shout outs you’d like to make to those who helped you accomplish your goals?
ANTHONY: My family for being there to support me throughout my Lacrosse career so far. My Mom and Dad took me to everything for so many years. I am fortunate to have had played with the best clubs and had the best coaches in the country: My Dad, Kevin McLean (Norwood), Kyle Harrison (JSERRA), Alex Cade (Coronado), Brendan Porter and all my FCA coaches, Papi and all the BUNCH coaches, and Jamie Munro from 3d. I know I have been lucky to have all of these coaches over the years they are all so different but helped me be a better player and person.
TOM: Anthony deserves a huge shout out for all the work he has put into his game and school work. He started playing at 7 years old and never took his foot off the pedal. He is a special kid. All of his coaches have been great over the years and he certainly makes me look good as a coach all the time! Most of all I have to thank my wife Nicole who has supported us in the “lacrosse lifestyle” of foregoing vacations for lacrosse events, and raising 5 other great kids in our hectic lacrosse life! Like Anthony, she is special. Plus, she is the lefty…
Congratulations, Anthony DeMaio! Go Falcons!