Friday, May 3, 2024

WHS grad Gugliuzza continues to succeed following college football career

By Matt Pascarella

Windham High School 2020 graduate Anthony Gugliuzza has always been a dedicated hard worker. In high school, he was senior class president, vice president of the National Honor Society, a Maine Youth Leadership Representative for Windham High School, a Maine Varsity Club inductee and won the Team’s Coach’s award – just to name a few accolades. Now he’s a senior at Endicott College in Massachusetts working on his master’s degree in exercise science.

Windham High graduate Anthony Gugliuzza
has wrapped up his college football career at
Endicott College and will serve as an intern
athletic trainer for the Harvard University
college football team this fall.
After college, he says he would like to do something in the medical field that would allow him to help others.

“I chose Endicott College because of the close-knit family community ... the chance to play football at the collegiate level, the chance to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said Gugliuzza. “I was also drawn to Endicott due to their amazing internship program. During my time here I have done an internship with Boston College Football Strength and Conditioning and will be completing an internship with NASA this summer at the Kennedy Space Center down in Florida.”

Ever since he was a baby, he remembers watching football with his father. When Gugliuzza was old enough to play, he loved the game immediately. He got the chance to be coached by his father in middle school and that is something he’ll never forget.

Football, whether watching or playing, is where Gugliuzza says he has met his best friends and to escape all stressors; on the field, nothing else mattered.

In 2022, Gugliuzza was on Leadership Council for Endicott football and through his leadership, helped his team win the Commonwealth Coast Conference. The council is about holding players accountable, not just on the field, but in life. The council discusses what goes on behind the scenes and recognizes hard workers, continuing to build team comradery. This past season Endicott’s football team had a strong season, finishing 9-2.

“Anthony is the quintessential leader by example,” said senior and teammate Josh Vecchio. “He has a reputation for discipline, effort, and good decision making on and off the field, which our teammates admire and respect. He is also a fiery competitor, and always gave the defense a run for their money as a scout player, which in turn prepared them for other opponents. But his greatest contribution is his character, which makes for a great example for others to emulate.”

Playing for Windham Highm School prepared Gugliuzza to play collegiately because he says that Windham Coach Matt Perkins does an excellent job of instilling strong principles in his players. It doesn’t matter what grade you are in, Gugliuzza says the decisions that Perkins makes are always focused on what is right for the team. Perkins preaches hard work and challenges his players to be their best – and he always had their back.

According to Gugliuzza, Perkins develops his players into well-respected young men who grow up to be unbelievable husbands, fathers, and coworkers. It’s not just about football, it’s about life beyond football and teaching athletes how to not just be the best in their sport, but in everything they do.

Gugliuzza has now exhausted his collegiate football eligibility after having been on the team at Endicott College as a wide receiver. He will intern with NASA this summer and has agreed to serve as an athletic trainer intern for Harvard University’s football team this fall.

“Anthony was an asset to the team as a silent leader,” said Endicott College Head Football Coach Paul McGonagle. “He was someone the younger players could look up to. He never complained, but showed up every day and went to work. He was an absolute pleasure to coach and very smart on and off the field. His biggest improvement was being more vocal which helped him gain more confidence each year.”

Anthony’s advice to players who want to play a college sport is to keep working hard, believe in yourself and never give up. Bet on yourself and follow your dreams because life is too short for regret.

Gugliuzza remains very active off the field; he participated in college student government, was selected as a Presidential Ambassador, went to Florida to meet with trustees and advocate for the school the last three years and helped to provide money to various clubs and organizations on campus through his role in the finance committee. He says that Endicott College has allowed him to grow as a student and as a person.

“When it comes to sports, I have achieved everything I could have imagined and more,” said Gugliuzza. “Playing the game I love, being coached by my dad, playing in college, winning championships, meeting lifelong friends, and learning from individuals like Coach McGonagle, Coach Perkins, and Coach Ledbetter, I could not have asked for a better experience.” <

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