Alumni Feature - Dario Longhetto ’18

Place-kicking is a uniquely difficult position to find success at the collegiate level. With very few scholarship spots available to kickers, recruitment can be even more difficult for these athletes than other positions and that’s how Dario Longhetto ’18 found himself at Bridgton.

Dario was recruited by Jim Mora at UCLA, but without a scholarship available in their current class, the coaching staff suggested a postgraduate year. Things seldom go as planned, though, and while Longhetto was at Bridgton, Jim Mora and his staff were fired. After a period of tense waiting, a late decommitment opened the door for Dario to join the University of California and after that, he never looked back. Now in his junior year, Dario is starting for the Golden Bears and in week eight of this season, the Lou Groza Award committee recognized his performance in a victory over Colorado with one of their Stars of the Week. The Lou Groza Award is given every year to the country’s best collegiate place-kicker and recognition from the committee is a testament to his ability, persistence, and consistency..

Dario credits Bridgton for helping to develop these traits and preparing him for the demands of being a college student-athlete, saying, “The independence you have at Bridgton is a good mix between high school and college. You have to develop the time management and skills that you’ll need in college, but there are still people to help you. At college, you’re on your own and, at Bridgton, things like having study hall even when I wasn’t motivated helped me build those habits before getting to college.”

He still appreciates his time here in North Bridgton and urges current Wolverines not to miss their chance, “There will never be another time when you’re with a hundred guys in Maine, trying to figure out how to have fun. Don’t let the place you want to go next distract you from the time you’re having now.” Given the drama of his recruitment, Dario knows a thing or two about handling distractions. He emphasizes, “Don’t forget where you are. Enjoy it right now. It might not be exactly what you want all the time, but it’s important and you’ll look back at it fondly.”   

Our congratulations to Dario on his recognition from the Lou Groza committee. We look forward to seeing all the good work to come from this Wolverine.