By Jerry Del Priore
Darius Lancaster started playing organized football with the Mill Basin Mariners at the age of 13. It’s late for anyone who realistically aspires to put the pads on at the collegiate level. He chose other sports, such as basketball and baseball, over the gridiron.
Though Lancaster was behind football-wise to other children, it didn’t stop him from achieving his ultimate goal. The former Canarsie Chiefs wide receiver committed to college in February, selecting Morrisville State College—a Division III school in the Empire 8 Conference—in Upstate New York.
It was Lancaster’s top choice, and he knew right away after his first and only campus visit that he wanted to go to Morrisville State.
“The coaches showed me a lot of attention, a lot of love and stuff like that,” Lancaster explained. “I felt comfortable. Two days later, they wanted me to commit, and I wanted to commit because it felt like home already.”
But playing football wasn’t the only reason the Far Rockaway, Queens resident wanted to attend Morrisville State College.
“I feel like it’s a place I could grow academically as well as athletically,” said Lancaster, who earned the Scholar Athlete Award for achieving academic excellence while a Public School Athletic League (PSAL) participant during his time at the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (IAM) at Canarsie Educational Campus (CEC).
Nevertheless, the 17-year-old’s high school grades were never an issue for him, according to his mother, Patrice Mckoy.
“His grades were awesome. He stayed on the honor roll,” Mckoy said. “He’s not that much on bragging; that’s my job. He was a true student-athlete.”
Lancaster plans on studying human performance and health promotion, a natural fit for a fine student and promising, young athlete.
Moreover, going into training camp, Lancaster is gleefully optimistic regarding his school choice.
“I am happy with my decision,” he said. “I feel like I am going to take my game to the next level, and better myself (as a person).”
A true mark of venerable character for anyone looking to achieve excellence on the next level, football or otherwise.