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St. Vincent de Paul junior defensive back/receiver Dante Antonini always competed with his older brother to see who was best.
Dante Antonini and his brother, Giovanni Antonini, a recent graduate of St. Vincent de Paul and currently playing at Western Oregon, pushed each other throughout their childhood days. Both needed to win. Both needed to be the best in the house.
And what Giovanni Antonini showed the younger Antonini was everything it took to be successful, as he led the team with 100 tackles last year as a senior to lift the Mustangs to a 9-2 record – their most victories since 2012, when they won 10 games and competed for a section championship.
“We just kind of pushed each other,” Dante Antonini said. “He was our best player, so it’s just kind of motivating when your brother is the best player and it’s just what you have to live up.”
Dante Antonini, tabbed as a three-star recruit, has put himself in a position to dominate just like his older brother – something coaches at the school and elsewhere noticed while watching him play.
After starting freshman year and then midway through his sophomore season, St. Vincent de Paul’s defensive back coach, who also coaches for the TMP 7-on-7 team, had a message for him.
“He’s like, ‘You should really come out.’ And then once I started playing 7 on 7 that’s when I really knew I could play in college,” Dante Antonini said.
His production at St. Vincent de Paul on both sides of the ball has him destined to play collegiately, too.
During that star-studded 2019 season for the Mustangs, Dante Antonini hauled in 254 receiving yards and six touchdown grabs, also finishing with seven total scores, adding another 32 tackles, three tackles for loss, three interceptions and one forced fumble defensively.
With that display came college interest for Dante Antonini, who is determined to garner a free education.
Among the top schools who have contacted Dante Antonini the most are BYU and San Diego State, and bringing in a scholarship offer to become a college student-athlete would be everything to him and his family.
“That would mean a lot to me,” Dante Antonini said. “I would probably cry to be honest. That would be pretty huge. It would be pretty life changing. Not many people can say they want to go to college for free, so I’d cherish that for sure.”
When his junior campaign rolls around soon, Dante Antonini is looking for even more out of himself to lift he and the Mustangs to even greater heights.
“For myself, I’d like to have 70-plus tackles, five-plus interceptions and then 1,000 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns on offense,” Dante Antonini said. “For our team, definitely just win every game, take every opponent seriously but know we’ve got to get the job done and win every game.”
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