GRANGER TWP. — Dylan McVay gambled, and it paid off in a scholarship to play football at Alderson-Broaddus University.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior signed his national letter of intent to play tight end for the West Virginia-based Division II school that last fall sponsored the sport for the first time since 1930.
McVay also considered a host of other D-II schools, including Ashland, as well as D-I Toledo and St. Francis, with the latter extending a significant offer he passed up in favor of waiting for something more.
That came from the Battlers, who will cover all of the annual $30,000 tuition.
“It’s a great up-and-coming program,” said McVay, who plans on majoring in business or education. “It’s also a great opportunity to play and make history.
“I really like the offense they run and the way the coaches run the team. It also seemed like a great fit away from football and a great football family.”
McVay started two years for the Hornets. As a hybrid H-back/wide receiver last fall, he compiled 22 receptions for 395 yards and a touchdown after posting 15 grabs and 213 yards as a junior.
He also spent time as a defensive end, but will play exclusively offense for Alderson-Broaddus, which plans on running an Air Raid attack while competing in the newly formed Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
“I played almost every position in high school, so I’m used to moving around,” he said. “I just want to help the team and no matter where I’m playing. I’ll be working as hard as I can to make a difference.”
The decision also fulfills a dream for McVay, as his grandfather, Ron Ciammaichella, played for Highland’s first football team in 1952 that won the Medina County League. The muscular Ciammaichella is considered one of the most physically imposing players in school history.
When Ciammaichella passed away in 2004, McVay made it his mission to play college football.
“I’m really blessed to have this opportunity,” he said. “My grandfather used to be a great football player, and when he passed, I told myself I would be the same.
“He’s been my inspiration on and off the field the whole way, and that will continue to be no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I’m just doing whatever I can to make him proud.”
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.