Record-setting Lawrence High School quarterback Joe Capobianco will take his skills to Division II Merrimack after signing his letter of intent and accepting a full scholarship to the Massachusetts-based college on Feb. 5.
Merrimack, which finished 7-4 last season, employs a pass-first spread offense and competes in the Northeast 10 Conference, which includes LIU-Post. Graduating quarterback Joe Clancy of the Warriors led the conference in passing yards (4,116), touchdowns (48), and attempts (615), so the scheme appears a perfect fit for Capobianco.
“I went there for a visit and really liked everything the football program and school was all about,” said Capobianco, who holds Long Island records for career passing yards (8,013) and touchdowns (100) and led the Golden Tornadoes to back-to-back L.I. Class III championships and three straight Nassau Conference III crowns. “The team is successful and has a promising future, and the campus is beautiful,” he added. “I’m excited about it.”
Capobianco is expected to compete for Merrimack’s starting job with a pair of returning seniors lacking in experience. “It should be great for him,” Lawrence head coach Joe Martillotti said. “I know he got a positive vibe from coaching staff and the campus when he visited. They run an offense that’s right up Joe’s alley. They sit back and try to pick defenses apart. He has an opportunity to start as a freshman, so it’s an ideal situation.”
As a senior, Capobianco threw for 2,987 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also rushed for 543 yards and nine scores. As a junior, he set the L.I. single-season mark for passing touchdowns with 38. And as a sophomore, Capobianco tied a L.I. single-game passing yardage mark with 541 and broke the L.I. Championship record for touchdown passes with seven.
Because Lawrence Central School District was closed on Feb. 5 due to inclement weather, Capobianco signed his letter of intent at home and faxed it to Merrimack, which features the same school colors (blue, gold, and white) as the Golden Tornadoes.
He said he plans to study business at Merrimack, which is located in North Andover.