BY MICHAEL KELLY
CLIFTON PARK — After a superlative senior season rushing the football for Shenendehowa, Carl Fiore plans to spend a post-graduate year at the high-profile IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Fiore received interest from a number of colleges, mainly at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level, before recently making his commitment to IMG Academy. The Shenendehowa senior is coming off a 2015 season in which he scored 15 touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in nine games.
“He’s an extremely tough kid that was willing to go the extra mile for our team,” Shenendehowa head coach Brian Clawson said of Fiore. “He was a true pleasure to coach and was always ready to take the ball whenever he got the opportunity.”
IMG Academy is a boarding school comprised of a variety of academies designated for individual sports. Its elite football program has attracted national attention in recent years, most recently when the University of Tennessee offered scholarships to 20 players from the school in late February.
In the post-graduate track he is likely to take at IMG Academy, Fiore said he will not be able to play in games, but will get to participate in all other football-related activities. As a junior at Shenendehowa, Fiore’s role was mainly as a practice player for the Plainsmen and he excelled in that spot.
“That was a learning year for him and he won our ‘12th Man’ award, which is the postseason recognition for our best practice player that prepared our team for Friday nights,” Clawson said.
Your Clifton Park & Halfmoon recently caught up with Fiore to discuss his commitment to IMG Academy.
Q: How did the process of committing to IMG Academy unfold for you?
A: It all started when I was thinking about college, and prep school got brought up. I really wanted to go south, so I had my mom looking south for the warmer weather. She brought up IMG and all the good things we’d been hearing about it, so we kept researching it.
Q: When did prep school become a more realistic path for you?
A: I went down for a visit [in December] and I really liked it. I’d applied to two or three other schools, too, but I really wanted to go to IMG. Those [other] schools were colleges, IMG was the only prep school I looked at.
Q: What’s life like at IMG Academy?
A: Basically, you take your classes, you have a nutritionist to diet out your eating plan — it’s really structured. That’s one of the things I really liked about the school. Your day is structured out for you, so when you have free time you’re not just wasting time.
Q: What excites you most about your decision?
A: I’m excited about the education I’ll get there, and I want to go down there and prepare myself with the best athletes and make myself into the best version of me. … I want to see all the competition there, all the different levels of guys that will be there. However I do down there, hopefully that will open up more [college] offers for me, too.