Former Everett football standout Joe D’Onofrio has signed a professional contract with the New England Cavalry of the American Arena League (AAL).
D’Onofrio, who scored 35 touchdowns and accumulated more than 4,000 yards in his career at Pope John XXIII High School and Everett High School, will make his pro debut for the Cavalry in an April 28 game on Fox Sports TV against the Richmond Roughriders.
The handsome, 6-foot, 190-pound Everett resident was selected to the team after a tryout that drew 100 players. “It feels great to have the chance to play football at the professional level,” said D’Onofrio. “I’m just going to play my best and help our team win games. I hope to make the most of this opportunity.”
Following his outstanding high school career, D’Onofrio starred at Bridgton Academy and continued on at Anna Maria College where he emerged as one of the nation’s leading kickoff returners in Division 3. He gained 2,300 yards and scored eight touchdowns in two seasons and was voted an All-Conference return specialist.
D’Onofrio started in Everett Pop Warner football at the age of five and excelled in each age division. He is very grateful to his father, Everett School Committee member Bernie D’Onofrio, for getting him involved in sports at a young age.
“Growing up, I always looked up to my father,” said Joe. “He’s the one that got me into sports and he made me the athlete I am today. My brother, Michael, helped me in my training and conditioning my whole life. And my sister, Michaela, and my mother, Connie, have been supportive of everything I do.”
Scouts from the newly formed Alliance of American Football, which begins in 2019, and Vince McMahon’s XFL, which returns in 2020, will no doubt be keeping an eye on D’Onofrio and other AAL players as future prospects. Arena football players have gone on to play in the National Football League and Canadian Football League.
D’Onofrio will be playing wide receiver and safety and returning kickoffs for the Cavalry. He will be wearing No. 13 on his red, white, and blue jersey.
“It’s my birthday – September 13,” explained D’Onofrio.