Academic journal

Millbrook’s Andrew Rappleyea receives major college football offers

Andrew Rappleyea sat with his laptop on the kitchen table, listening for 20 minutes in a Zoom meeting as Wake Forest University close coach explained how they imagined he would fit into this team .

The Millbrook native was amazed, almost incredulous, that a high-profile college football program had been wowed by his talents.

His older brother, Allan, had listened just outside the room, and when the call was over he gave Andrew a hug.

“He told me how amazing it was that what we talked about since we were little really happened,” Andrew said of that moment in April. “But it has always been just a fantasy for me. I knew Allan was special. I didn’t even think it was possible for me to play at his level.

Allan Rappleyea is an offensive lineman entering his final year at Wake Forest. Her success there probably helped shed light on her hometown, and in particular her little brother, who was finishing 11th grade at Our Lady of Lourdes High School.

While performing at a football camp hosted by Temple University last Thursday, Andrew was approached by three Ole Miss coaches. They asked him how many study offers he had already received. As the 17-year-old replied “four,” one of the coaches cut him off and said, “It’s five. “

Living the dream: Millbrook’s Allan Rappleyea to play Wake Forest football

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“I didn’t know what to think,” the tight end said of receiving an offer of a branded program at the Southeast Conference. “When I watched Alabama, LSU and Auburn on TV, I didn’t think any of these teams would be interested in me. I was not expecting it at all. It made me lose my footing.

Well, the traction enhancement may need to be added to his summer training regimen as this is likely just the start of a wave of interest he will receive.

Since speaking to Wake Forest three months ago, Andrew Rappleyea has also received scholarship offers from the University of Virginia, Boston College, Temple and, of course, that fifth team last week.

“I’m very happy for him,” said his father, Allan Rappleyea, Sr. “It’s the start of a journey and I want it to be deliberate and thoughtful in the process. I am proud of all my children, above all, because they are good children. If he turns out to be a great athlete too, that’s a bonus.

Andrew has only played three games for Lourdes this year as the pandemic forced the season to be condensed and moved to the spring, and positive COVID-19 cases on his and his opponents’ teams cost them three more games. In addition, the Warriors were deprived of their starting quarterback for another.

Andrew Rappleyea of ​​Lourdes competes in the Armory Football Combine at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York on Saturday, December 5, 2020.

Nonetheless, Andrew scored three touchdowns and demonstrated his athleticism, creating obvious lags against defenses. He was named the league’s Most Valuable Receiver and won All-Star Journal honors.

At 6 feet 4 inches and 215 pounds, he has the size, physique, and the ability to jump to make contested catches in traffic. That, along with his speed, agility, and improved course, made him a great target in the deep and intermediate range. He recently clocked a time of 4.68 in the 40-yard sprint at a Duke football camp.

Allan Rappleyea, Sr. said his family “learned a lot” from the recruiting process from their eldest son and are better prepared.

“It helps you better target what you are looking for and what to expect,” he said. Still asking me now is, “Tell me about tutoring for athletes.”

Andrew will join a shortlist of Dutchess County athletes who have entered Division I top schools in recent years. After his brother signed to Wake Forest, Kyiev Bennermon, originally from Poughkeepsie, continued to play football for Boston College.

Owen Paino, a freshman at Roy C. Ketcham High School, made a verbal commitment last fall to playing baseball at Ole Miss. Basketball stars Natalie Fox (Millbrook) and Simone Pelish (Lourdes), both freshmen, have already received several offers, including Ohio State. Eli Stowe of Clinton Corners is an engaged pitcher in Maryland.

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2021 basketball stars: Rappleyea among the stars of the local hoops

“It shows that if you have talent and work hard, it doesn’t matter where you are from,” Andrew said. “I thought you had to be from Texas or Georgia for these great schools to notice you. “

Since Andrew’s first year, then Lourdes coach Brian Walsh said he believed the tight end would eventually become a Division I prospect. Andrew thanked his football and basketball coaches -ball in Lourdes for “having laid the foundations”.

“This combination of size, speed and athleticism is something that translates well to the next level,” said Walsh, who resigned at Lourdes in April. “Talent alone would have made him a productive receiver, but he’s improved tremendously as a tackle. He was a workout blocker on racing games. It’s no surprise that important teams are watching him.

Lourdes' Andrew Rappleyea reaches out to catch two Somers defenders in an April 1 game.

Andrew, too, is leaving Lourdes to enroll this fall at Milton Academy, a Massachusetts preparatory school his brother attended. That has always been the plan, his father said. The family loves the structure of the school, its academic criteria and the responsibility of the students having to live far from home.

There, Andrew will upgrade to junior and have an extra year in high school. During that time, he said, he hopes to grow an inch or two and weigh up to around 235 pounds before college. He wants to model his game on San Francisco 49ers star George Kittle, who he says has a similar “skinny” body type.

“I want to work on my outings and my models outside,” Andrew said. “I’m going to be used as a tight catcher so I have to improve myself to run off the roads. “

He now works with a trainer, focused on footwork, and trains five days a week with his Lourdes teammates Charlie Mullaly and Brandon Jorgensen, both also transferred to prep schools.

Allan Sr. told his son to appreciate these moments and respond to attention with grace and humility, but also to remember that “the peak of your life shouldn’t be when you’re 17”.

After a swirling spring, which is expected to get more dizzying in the coming months, Andrew is still dealing with everything.

“He hasn’t fully reached me yet,” he said. “Knowing that I will probably play football on national television is amazing. It’s starting to feel real, but it’s mind-boggling.

Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @ StephenHaynes4

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