Some of the most prominent football recruits from Maine are still in the decision-making process, but several seniors signed national letters of intent Wednesday to play at the college level.

At Kennebunk, Maine Sunday Telegram All-State linebacker Dante DeLorenzo made it official that he will be joining the University of New Haven football team. A Division II program that competes in the Northeast-10 Conference, New Haven went 9-3 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA playoffs.

“They said they liked my film and I definitely got the feeling they wanted me there,” said DeLorenzo. “They had been in touch with me since last spring.”

The national letter of intent is a one-year binding agreement used by NCAA Division I and II programs to confirm that a student will attend the institution in exchange for an athletic scholarship.

On Monday, Portland High defensive lineman Nathan Kapongo verbally committed to a scholarship offer from New Hampshire, a Division I program. He did not sign a letter of intent Wednesday but will do so at a later date, according to new Portland coach Jason McLeod. Kapongo received full scholarship offers from New Hampshire and UMaine, McLeod said. A native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Kapongo set a school record with 16 sacks. He played multiple positions on the defensive line, fullback on offense, and even returned kicks. He first played football as a sophomore, shortly after moving to Portland with his family.

Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Tyler Bridge, the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year, said he won’t make his decision until after visiting both Maine and Division II Bentley later this month. Bridge has visited New Hampshire and Colby. Last fall, Bridge rushed for 2,390 yards as a senior for Wells High and scored 45 touchdowns, an unofficial state record.


Anthony Bracamonte of Thornton Academy, a Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist and the Gatorade Maine Player of the Year, is also weighing his options. Thornton’s Tommy Palmer, the Gaziano Award winner as the state’s top defensive lineman, has attracted interest from Maine and New Hampshire as a potential preferred walk-on, in part because of his long-snapping skills.

Scarborough High lineman Zach Reed (6-6, 315 pounds) is another player working through the process, with interest from both Maine and New Hampshire, according to Scarborough Coach Lance Johnson.

Three linemen with southern Maine roots did sign letters of intent Wednesday.

Former York High player Jackson McCarty, a 6-2, 270-pound lineman currently attending Deerfield (Massachusetts) Academy, signed to play at Merrimack, which is transitioning to Division I status.

Offensive linemen Anthony Pizzella (6-4, 270) of Scarborough and Ian Dures (6-5, 270) of South Berwick, who played at Marshwood, both signed with Franklin Pierce in Rindge, New Hampshire. The Ravens will be playing their first season of Division II football in 2019 as a Northeast-10 team. Both players are projected as offensive tackles for the Ravens.

At Kennebunk, two of DeLorenzo’s teammates signed acceptance letters Wednesday to Division III programs in Massachusetts with the intent to play football. Zack Sullivan, a two-time All-State wide receiver, will be attending Bridgewater State, and Tripp Bush, a three-year starter at quarterback, is going to Springfield College.


“I asked them to sign with me,” DeLorenzo said. “They weren’t really planning on doing it (Wednesday), but I thought it would be cool to do one last thing together that involved football.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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