Ashburn, VA (February 28, 2015) – Stone Bridge High School senior, Tanner Karafa, recently signed his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play football at Boston College (BC) in Chestnut Hill, MA starting in the 2015-2016 academic school year. Karafa said “I verbally committed to BC in late June of last summer. I was very fortunate to generate interest from many Ivy League schools throughout the fall so I did consider those options as well. However, BC is clearly the best fit for me.”
“I selected BC because their education is top-notch, Business Week rated the Carroll School of Management as the No.4 business school in the US, and it is a rising threat in Power 5 football,” said Karafa. Karafa will be studying business. At BC, all Business students take Portico, a class that offers samples of each of the business majors. I will use this class as resource to decide specifically what business area I want to study,” said Karafa. Eight schools make up Boston College, which includes the College of Arts and Sciences, Lynch School of Education, Connell School of Nursing, Carroll School of Management, Woods College of Advancing Studies, the Graduate School of Social Work, Boston College Law School, and the School of Theology and Ministry. BC was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus, and with three teachers and 22 students, opened its doors on September 5th, 1864. BC is sprawled over 334 acres across 4 campuses and a family retreat & conference center and observatory in the U.S., as well as a one acre campus in Dublin, Ireland. BC’s main campus in Chestnut Hill consists of 175 acres and includes over 120 buildings on a hilltop overlooking the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The presence of these buildings feature gothic towers reaching into the sky. The main campus is known generally as the “Heights” and to some as the “Crowned Hilltop” and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. BC is six miles west of Boston and is adjacent to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and is also part of the Boston Marathon route.
BC’s mascot is Baldwin the Eagle and their school’s official colors are maroon and gold. The Eagles compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports offered by the ACC. 720 student-athletes compete on 13 varsity teams for men and 16 for women at the NCAA Division I level. The student-athlete graduation rates among Top 10 of NCAA Division I-A universities.
Karafa’s decision to attend BC left him feeling great from both educational and athletic perspectives. From the athletic viewpoint, “BC Football coaches take a family oriented approach and both they and the student-athletes take higher education as seriously, just as I do!” said Karafa. Karafa is really excited to play football in the ACC against top players in the country. Karafa said, “It is that top level of competition that drives me!” Once the decision to commit to BC was made, Karafa was relieved to know the recruiting process had come to an end and the stress of making that first huge life decision was made. Now he can focus ahead to a new, thrilling and challenging stage in his life, life at BC and becoming a contributing member of the BC Eagle Football Team! The recruiting process was amazing for Karafa because it taught him to stay level-headed through the gauntlet of changes and the roller coaster of emotions that comes with it. On one day college coaches are hyping you up and telling you how interested they are in you. Then they never speak to you again. According to Karafa, “BC was extremely consistent with their interest and they provided a very pleasant recruiting experience overall.”
Karafa can’t wait to play for Head Coach Steve Addazio and Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach, Don Brown and Defense Coach, Ben Albert. Coach Albert will coach Karafa on rushing the passer. BC has turned its football program around in the last two years. Karafa said “I’m fortunate they chose me to be a part of the BC Eagles’ future.” Karafa plans to work very hard to earn his spot on the team. “I have to say though that red-shirting a year to learn the defense as thoroughly as I can would not be devastating to me because it would give me a fifth year to earn my MBA” said Karafa. Karafa is the second Stone Bridge Bulldog to play for BC. The first was Spencer Rositano, another defensive standout for the Bulldogs and the Eagles. Spencer, a senior, is due to graduate this summer. The recruiting trail has started between BC and Stone Bridge, because they know what kind of athlete they are getting when they recruit a Stone Bridge Bulldog!
Karafa has been playing football for 10 years, since third grade. He started in AYFL and for the past four years earned his spot every year in high school playing for the Stone Bridge Bulldogs.
In Karafa’s senior year at Stone Bridge, he played Tight End, occasional Running Back, and Linebacker. He was selected to the Washington Post All-Met First Team Defense. He had 103 tackles, including 30 for loss yardage, and 2 interceptions. Karafa also earned honors as the Virginia High School League (VHSL) 5A North, Defensive Player of the Year, and Viva Loudoun’s All-Loudoun 1st Team Defense. Karafa had an exceptional senior year and was a team captain and one of the cornerstones of the team.
Karafa has several fond memories of playing Stone Bridge Football! Karafa recalls, “I loved the two-a-day practices in the summer. Getting up and going to work out and practice with all my teammates, then hanging out during the break, and finishing the day strong with another practice and watching the team come together. The favorite play of my career was during the Fairfax game when I rocked their Quarterback, and it made it to the Gameday Top 10 play of the week,” said Karafa.
“I am thankful for so many supporters and role models. Coach Mickey Thompson has been an amazing role model and mentor through the recruiting process.” “I’m thankful for Dave Mikel as my trainer at Performance Edge, without him I wouldn’t have been able to stay healthy and perform my best,” said Karafa. Karafa is very humble and grateful for his friends and family for being there in the stands every week to cheer him and the team on. “It is important and exciting to know that there are fans in the stands and cheerleaders cheering the team on,” says Karafa. They are the 12th man on the team! I have so many people to thank including all my Ashburn Youth Football League (AYFL) coaches, especially Coaches Schaff and Cromwell, and my Premier Intermediate Football League (PIFL) coaches, Coaches Reitzel and Larson.
In giving advice to others in pursuing their dream, Karafa says “set your goals, work harder in the weight room and through every rep on the field, give the best you’ve got on every play and the rest will come together.” Karafa is also very humble and goes on to say “don’t be afraid to ask for help when you think you can do better, because that is what coaches and teammates are for – there is always room for improvement.”
Please join me in congratulating Tanner on his signing to play football for Boston College. Go Eagles!
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Written by Steven Holland