SEAN IN THE NEWS
SALEM’S SEAN STELLATO BRINGS SOME MORE ‘FOOTBALL MAGIC’
SALEM — For Salem native Sean Stellato, Saturday night was an evening of good times, old friends and working together for a good cause.
Surrounded by family, friends and supporters of all kinds, Stellato and his 14-year-old daughter Gianna celebrated the release of their latest book, entitled “Football Magic: A Pirate’s Tale.” The book is a follow-up to their first story as a father-daughter writing duo, having released “Football Magic: Buddy’s New Beginning” back in 2019.
“It’s a little surreal to see so many people come out to support the vision and the goal of helping other people,” said Sean Stellato, who currently works as an NFL agent. “And to be here with my daughter, I’m really grateful and blessed to be able to do this and create something that we think will really help change lives.”
“It’s been really fun working together and writing about things that we both love,” said Gianna Stellato. “And to see the reaction from everyone and to see everyone come out here and support us, it’s really incredible.”
The book picks up where the last one left off, with main characters Buddy and Gianna riding high after winning the league championship at school. Even better, Buddy’s dad decided to keep the family in Salem, so that Buddy and his sister can stay with their new friends after adjusting to life in a new town in Massachusetts.
When Buddy and Gianna discover something magical, it leads them on a mysterious adventure through historic Salem and Marblehead. Things seem to be going great — until the wicked Kurtin Drapes and his raven reveal some dreadful plans. With the clock ticking and time running out, will they be able to outwit Drapes? Can Buddy and Gianna do the impossible, or will the magical ball lose its luster forever?
“We already had the basics of our story when we started writing this one, so that helped a lot,” said Gianna Stellato. “And it was fun to then go in and add more characters and make the story bigger and everything like that. It’s a lot more enchanted than the first book and has a lot more magic, and I think we were really able to get more creative with this one.”
The evening began with a VIP reception on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel at the Salem Maritime Center before moving over to the House of the Seven Gables for the main event.
A number of current and former athletes came out to support Stellato for the event, including but not limited to New England Patriots safety Brandon King, former Patriots safety Obi Melifonwu, Detroit Lions cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu, Philadelphia Eagles receiver Michael Walker, former Boston Bruins great Bob Sweeney and Las Vegas Raiders assistant director of player personnel DuJuan Daniels, who wrote the foreword of the book.
“To be honest, it’s a privilege to get to know Sean’s family and be a part of this whole process,” said Daniels, the only client that Sean represents who is on the player personnel side of the football business. “Sean’s an incredibly driven person and he’s doing some great things, so just to play a small role in that is very special to me.”
“Sean has always been so supportive of me and everything I’ve done, even before he was my agent,” said King, who has won two Super Bowls with the Patriots. “So if I can come out and support him in whatever way I can, I’m always going to do that.”
“I’ve known Sean ever since he was a kid working out and trying to make it in college football, and I always remembered his determination and passion for the game,” said Sweeney, who played for the Bruins from 1987-1992. “Obviously that passion has extended into his post-career work with charity, and I’m glad to come out and support his efforts.”
“Sean is a great guy and the epitome of someone who you want to have in your circle,” said Walker. “I’m just happy to be part of an event like this and to play a small part in helping him spread his message.”
The night featured a red carpet event, a book signing, a silent auction, a live auction and a number of different raffles, all to benefit the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation.
For Stellato, the night was a great opportunity to celebrate all the things that he holds dear — his family, his friends, the game of football and serving his community.
“Family is my core and football has been very good to me, and I’ve been blessed to live my bliss every day and have my life enriched by so many incredible people,” said Stellato. “It’s so gratifying to see everyone come out and support our cause, and I’m truly humbled by it all.”
By Jay Cridlin
Published Nov. 23, 2020
Lisa Levine thinks her company’s upcoming Super Bowl celebrity flag football game could look a lot like the one they held last season in Miami.
Retired NFL stars like Michael Irvin, Doug Flutie and Donovan McNabb will pal around with players and celebrities on the sand near Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60. The game will air on ESPN platforms the day before Super Bowl 55 in Tampa. Fans will be able to watch for free.
On the other hand, those fans will have to stay outside a fence, a “beach bubble,” Levine called it, so they don’t come into contact with the stars, who will have been tested and contact-traced for COVID-19.
“We knew Super Bowl week would be different,” said Levine, the president and CEO of Celebrity Sweat, which has brought the charity game to each of the last 20 Super Bowls. “We have a lot of sponsors that are NFL sponsors that are all just very sensitive and pulling back completely. But our thought was, even if we couldn’t have the regular meet-and-greets that we would have, even if we couldn’t have the regular seating as close to the players as possible, that’s fine. They would still be able to enjoy the excitement.”
Less than 80 days from Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium, the celebrity event factor — traditionally a major part of Super Bowl week — remains a big unknown.
The NFL has several long-planned official events penciled in, even as coronavirus cases spike in Florida and around the country. The NFL Experience, an interactive celebration of the game, is still scheduled to wind along Tampa’s Riverwalk. The Weekend is booked to play halftime.
But outside the league, there’s a sense of hesitation about what kind of party Tampa’s next Super Bowl will be.
Major sponsors like Anheuser-Busch and AT&T say they won’t be hosting their usual A-list Super Bowl events in Tampa. And local venues that would, in a normal season, already have events locked in still have dates open on the calendar.
“You can’t really put the show together right now, because you don’t know what kind of show to put together,” said John Santoro, owner of the Ritz Ybor. “The sponsors don’t want to pull the trigger on the money if they don’t see enough eyeballs on their product. And the promoters are kind of stuck in the middle of it all. It’s just a big, big wait-and-see.”
Before the pandemic, the Ritz was already reserved for Super Bowl week, Santoro said. Then sponsors of that party pulled out, and those dates have since been open. Only in the last month have booking discussions started heating up again.
Sean participates in Celebrity Flag Football game with fellow Boston Native Doug Flutie
LYNNFIELD NATIVE BURT FULFILLS HIS NFL DREAM
LYNNFIELD — Every young football player, at some point in time, dreams of going pro. And for Lynnfield native Jake Burt, that dream has become a reality in the best way possible, as the former St. John’s Prep and Boston College tight end has signed a contract with his hometown New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent.
“It truly is a dream come true for Jake,” said Burt’s agent Sean Stellato, a Salem native and former professional football player himself. “I mean, what would be the odds of a kid growing up in Lynnfield, going to the Prep, going to BC and then signing with the Patriots? I don’t know if anyone’s ever done it before, but it’s a great story and we’re all very proud of him.”
Burt clearly caught the eye of the Patriots brass, signing a 3-year deal with $80,000 in guaranteed money — one of the biggest contracts for an undrafted tight end in this year’s draft class.
“I think it’s just a testament to Jake’s grit, drive and determination to continue to get better,” Stellato said. “The Patriots have this incredible ability to find high-caliber guys who know how to work but still fly under the radar.
“Jake’s contract is proof for a lot of players in this area who might not get the national coverage that there is an opportunity to make it to the league if you work hard enough,” Stellato added.
Hard work was the key for Burt, who has been a worker ever since his time at the Prep. After a senior season that saw him haul in 28 catches for 255 yards with seven touchdowns and earn All-State honors, the Lynnfield native earned a scholarship to Boston College in 2015. He then had to battle through some adversity in college, suffering some injuries that eventually forced him to redshirt in his sophomore year. But he came back strong in the latter half of his college career, capping it off with a strong 2019 season as a graduate student.
“Jake was in the trenches, and he was a key part of (BC star running back) AJ Dillon’s success in the backfield,” said Stellato. “Jake can be a blocker and a wide receiver, and he really fits in with that “blue-collar” attitude that the Patriots value at that position.”
Following his time in college, Burt continued to work to try and prepare himself for the next level. He continued to work out at Athletic Evolution in Woburn, then he eventually made a trip down to Tampa, Fla. to work out with speed coach Ron Jones at Fit To Go. Things got thrown for a loop once the coronavirus pandemic shut down gyms, athletic fields and travel, but Burt continued to adapt.
SALEM’S STELLATO JOINS GUNNERY ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
SALEM — There isn’t much NFLPA certified agent and Salem native Sean Stellato didn’t accomplish during his athletic career.
Stellato quarterbacked the Salem High football team to a Super Bowl appearance in 1994, helped lead the Witches boys basketball team to a state championship in 1995, earned a Division I scholarship to Marist and played professionally in the Arena Football League.
Last Saturday his efforts on the gridiron and the hardwood came to fruition when Stellato was inducted into the The Gunnery School’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Stellato attended The Gunnery School, a private boarding school in Connecticut, in 1996-1997, after graduating from Salem High. He played football and basketball at Gunnery before continuing his career as a student-athlete at Marist.
“I’ve been an agent for 12 years but I look back and that was the first step of my ‘Jerry Maguire’ journey,” Stellato said. “My guidance counselor gave me a book full of prep schools and I called every single one. I sent film to each of them. Gunnery gave me a full scholarship to go there. It was the most influential year of my life. I left there as a lifelong learner. I learned core values.”
Stellato flourished as a post-grad athlete at Gunnery. He was named MVP of the football and basketball teams after scoring 30 touchdowns and averaging 30 points per game. He captained the hoops team and was a first-team all-New England football and basketball selection.
“I think the beauty of that school is that a lot of us have blinders on,” Stellato said. “We don’t realize the beauty of what’s out there. This expands your horizons to other beauties of life. The campus is one of the most beautiful bodies of land. It’s a beautiful place. If you look at who’s graduated from there, it’s an exceptional list. There’s been big pedigree that comes from that school.”
At last Saturday’s induction ceremony, Stellato was joined by members of his family. Stellato, who also wears the hat of a motivational speaker from time to time in addition to his other roles, delivered a four-minute speech that reflected on his success at Gunnery while expressing gratitude to those who supported his journey.
“I wanted to hone in on the people that have supported and influenced me,” Stellato said. “A lot of time, you don’t have the chance to look people in the eye with gratitude. If I didn’t go that route to Gunnery, I would’ve gone another route and I would’ve lived a completely different life. I’ve sent four kids to Gunnery over the years and they’ve done well. I’m hoping to extend that pipeline a little bit.”
Hall of fame inductions have become somewhat of a norm for Stellato over recent years. In 2013, Stellato was inducted into the Salem High School Athletics Hall of Fame and the Massachusetts chapter of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame.
Stellato noted the success he reached through his athletic career wouldn’t have been possible without his support system.
“I’m really appreciative and grateful,” Stellato said. “I carry my name with such pride. I think of everyone that’s come before me. My kids can see firsthand that through hard work, grit, tenacity, you can do anything you want. Using athletics as that platform can really differentiate you. I’ve been blessed to do that along with angeletic brothers and sisters who’ve helped me get there. I’m really grateful for that.
“This wouldn’t have been possible without my grandfather, Pasquale, Owa, my Nana and my aunt Laurie,” Stellato added. “I’m dedicating this to my parents, my children and every underdog kid out there with big dreams.”
Stellato’s annual All-American Fundamental Camp Showcase returns to Lynn’s Manning Field Sunday, July 22. The camp will be hosted by New England Patriots Jonathan Jones and Marquis Flowers, and Obi Melifonwu of the Oakland Raiders. The showcase offers a discounted rate for Lynn residents. Those interested in registering can do so on Stellato’s website, seanstellato.com.
“We’re gearing up,” Stellato said. “We’re going to have some great names that’ll be there.”
5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became An NFL Agent, With Sean Stellato
I had the pleasure to interview Sean Stellato, a real life Jerry Maguire, and agent for NFL greats like Super Bowl Champion Bryan Braman of the Eagles, Kyle Arrington, Nate Ebner and Ryan Allen of the New England Patriots, Alfred Morris of Dallas Cowboys and Obi Melifonwu of the Raiders.
"Emotions will be challenged: I have had two Super Bowls with clients from both teams. It is a difficult position knowing that some of my clients will achieve their ultimate goal and others will fall moments, seconds or one play short of their goal. How do you feel elation for one set of clients and at the same time know the disappointment my other clients are feeling?"
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS WITH US! WHAT IS YOUR "BACKSTORY"?
I, Sean Stellato, NFL Agent, have never backed down from a challenge. Some have said I defied naysayers to become a star quarterback at Salem High School during a tumultuous time in the town’s history. I went onto play football/basketball at Marist College, a Division 1 dual athlete and excel in the classroom. After college, I played for the Florida Fire Cats and Louisville Fire in the Arena Football League. In 2013, I left my first job at a mid-sized sports agency and went out on my own to do battle with the titans of the industry. Phil Stacy, Sports Editor compared my "one-on-one" style of personal service of player representation to Jerry Maguire. Today, I represent 15 NFL players as an NFLPA certified sports agent and founder of Stellato Enhanced Sports. My day to day business has me negotiating multi-million dollar contracts for a host of players including Super Bowl Champion Bryan Braman of the Eagles, Kyle Arrington, Nate Ebner and Ryan Allen of the New England Patriots, Alfred Morris of Dallas Cowboys and Obi Melifonwu of the Raiders.
I also negotiated endorsement deals with Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, NBC Sports, Mercedes, Breitling and many other top brands. In 2016 I was named to The Boston Business Journal 40 under 40, and the 2017 Greater Boston Ten Young Leaders joining the company of past recipients JFK and Leonard Bernstein. I have been featured on the cover in North Shore Magazine. Additionally, I was inducted in to the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame Massachusetts Chapter and the Salem High School Hall of Fame. As a published author of an award-winning book No Backing Down, The Inspirational Story of 1994 Salem High Football Team. I have appeared at numerous book signings and book discussions at high schools as well as sports organizations across the country. Angelo Pizzo, the talent and creativity behind the classic sports films “Hoosiers,” “Rudy,” and “My All American” is writing the screenplay to bring No Backing Down” to the big screen.
My book has a front cover testimonial from Bill Belichick and endorsed by Doug Flutie, Mike Ditka, Adam Schefter, Evander Holyfield, Mark Bavaro and dozens of others. My family and my faith are the foundations of my life. My career takes me away from home for many a day each year. Without my wife Krista in my life I would not be able to live my dream. I spend any free time with my wife Krista and four young daughters, Gianna, Sophia, Giulietta, and the newest member to the Stellato family, Siena. I also donate time supporting organizations close to my heart including; Lifebridge Homeless Shelter, Boston Shriners Children’s Hospital and speaking engagements with schools to promote literacy and the values portrayed in “No Backing Down.”
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Sean Stellato named to the 2017 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Awards
Boston’s next generation of leaders are hard at work solving some of the biggest issues facing our region. They bring bold, innovative, and creative ideas to the table and are shaping the future of the city. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to spotlight these incredible individuals at our 2017 Ten Outstanding Young Leaders (TOYL) Awards on November 8.
Hear from our honorees as they share their visions for keeping Boston the best place for people and businesses to thrive. They’ll discuss the work they’re doing – from the opioid crisis to the startup scene to cutting edge journalism - and how it will continue to create impact on the way we work and live for years to come. We hope you'll celebrate with us - enjoy refreshments, connect with peers, and take part in the conversation around the future of Boston. You’ll walk away from this night feeling inspired, ready to take action, and energized about the Boston we know and love – full of young, bright, talented people like our honorees, and you.
Sean Stellato, CEO & Founder, SES Sports
Sean Stellato is CEO & Founder of Stellato Enhanced Sports and an NPLPA certified sports agent. He is a former Division one athlete for Marist College where he played football and basketball. He went on to play football/basketball at Marist College, a Division 1 dual athlete, and excel in the classroom. Sean has negotiated multi-million dollar player contracts for a host of NFL stars including Kyle Arrington, Nate Ebner and Ryan Allen, of the New England Patriots. He has also negotiated endorsement deals with Nike, Adidas, NBC Sports, Breitling and many other top brands. Sean is also the author of the award-winning book No Backing Down: The Inspirational Story of the 1994 Salem High Football Team. In his free time he likes to support Lifebridge Homeless Shelter, Boston Shriners Children’s Hospital, and visit local schools to inspire children.
To see the list of other honorees joining Sean click here
5/10/2017 - Stellato inspires St. Mary's Seniors
Salem native Sean Stellato wears many hats. A 1995 graduate of Salem High, Stellato quarterbacked the Witches to a Super Bowl run in 1994. As an author, Stellato chronicled his experiences with the Witches in a novel titled “No Backing Down.” As an NFL agent, he represents a number of clients including Patriots Ryan Allen and Nate Ebner. Thursday afternoon at St. Mary’s, Stellato wore the hat of a motivational speaker.
In front of a group of 99 St. Mary’s students from the class of 2017, Stellato delivered an empowering speech that touched on a number of themes. Among those were the challenges of life and the importance of refusing to back down.
“I hope these kids understand that all things are possible,” Stellato said. “Their lives are really just about to begin, graduating high school. They can accomplish anything they want. I think I’m a prime example of grit, resilience, faith and work ethic. If they can follow that and be passionate, they can accomplish anything.”
The afternoon began with Stellato giving an autographed photo of Patriots special teamer Brandon King, one of Stellato’s 18 NFL clients, to St. Mary’s football standout Joey Silvestri.
Per usual, Stellato attached a powerful message as he handed Silvestri the autographed photo.
“When you want something, what do you do?” he asked the seniors. “When you want something, you go out and get it.”
The afternoon included a 13-minute video highlighting the trials and tribulations of the 1994 Salem Witches football team. The Witches went undefeated in the regular season before losing to Whitman-Hanson in the Division 3A Super Bowl. In the midst of the run was a teachers’ strike that, on several occasions, threatened to end Salem’s season.
“It makes my heart feel good knowing that I can touch these seniors that were in attendance with my message that they can do something special,” Stellato said. “At the end of the day, we get caught up in small time stuff. If you can program your mind to dream big, don’t back down. I’m a prime example and I’m truly blessed.”
The opportunity for Stellato to share his life experiences with the seniors is one that allows him to step out of his shoes as an agent and engage in another activity that he reveres.
“I love being able to do these things,” Stellato said. “It’s therapeutic, to the up and down high stakes of being an agent. I can get out here, get out of the box, and be able to share my life’s journey and pass that on to the next generation.”
Stellato also offered advice to the seniors, as they prepare to set out for their future endeavors. To those who might be undecided about which career paths to follow, Stellato said it’s all about finding a passion and sticking to it.
“Really try to hone in and find out what you want to do,” Stellato said. “It’s going to take some time. Don’t be afraid to fail. With every failure there’s an opportunity to learn something new.”
He added, “Just go for it and put it all on the line for what you’re passionate about.”
The afternoon ended after a questions and answers session in which the students picked Stellato’s brain about his current whereabouts, his career as football player and his experiences as an agent.
A donation on behalf of the St. Mary’s student government to Salem’s Lifebridge Homeless Shelter was presented to Stellato by student-athlete Anthony DelVecchio.
Stellato will be back in the Lynn area when he hosts his annual football clinic at Manning Field in July.
9/7/2016 - Sean Stellato - Boston 40 Under 40
This year's Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 honorees are all young and extremely talented professionals. As a group, they represent a wide variety of business industries in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. As individuals, they are the definition of overachievers — each already making a significant, positive impact on Massachusetts as a result of their professional and community contributions.
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Sean Stellato - Northshore Magazine Cover
In 1994, Sean Stellato led the Salem High School football team through a harrowing season. Now, he's taking his tale to the big screen.
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Boston Herald - Scribe set for film on Salem Football
Sports agent Sean Stellato, who reps Patriots Joe Vellano, Ryan Allen and Nate Ebner, is one step closer to his dream of getting the story of the 1994 Salem High School football team and its inspirational coach Ken Perrone up on the big screen.
Stellato, who quarterbacked that team as a high school junior, has struck a deal with “Hoosiers” and “Rudy” screenwriter Angelo Pizzo to turn his 2014 book “No Backing Down: The Story of the 1994 Salem High School Football Team” into a movie script.
“He has a pedigree as one of the greatest storytellers ever,” Stellato told the Track. “I can’t wait to see what he can do with the city of Salem, the Witch City, and this modern-day witch hunt with our coach.”
In case you don’t know the story, the Salem Witches football team was undefeated in ’94 when an 11-day teachers’ strike threatened to end its season. Coach Perrone, who had a contract to teach and coach, wanted to continue to coach the team during the strike. The teachers union was OK with it, but the school superintendent told him if he did, he’d be fired.
“We were supposed to play undefeated Swampscott,” Stellato recalled. “We broke into the school to get our equipment. There were police and K-9 dogs, Perrone had a cease-and-desist order from the town not to coach. There were boys crying. We were going to have to forfeit. But the next thing you know, the coach came running onto the field and said, ‘Boys, let’s go play ball.’”
Twelve thousand people showed up for the game. The Witches won, but Perrone was fired.
Stellato tells the coach’s story along with the story of some of the players and the hardships they endured at home while excelling on the field.
“It’s an inspiring story on several levels,” he said. “I was living with my Italian grandmother who was dying at the time. There were other players with personal struggles. And, of course, a legendary coach.”
Stellato threw a bash at the Salem Waterfront Hotel the other night to celebrate the second edition of the book and announce Pizzo as the screenwriter.
“It’s a human story that resonates with all walks of life,” he said. “Watching our coach put his livelihood on the line for us, that was really our victory.”
Stars come out to celebrate Stellato's new book
SALEM — Young and old flocked to the gala at the Hawthorne Hotel last night to celebrate the release of ‘No Backing Down’, the book by Sean Stellato chronicling Salem High School’s 1994 Super Bowl season.
It seems fitting that the book is coming out during the 20th anniversary of that tumultuous season, which involved controversy surrounding a teacher’s strike in Salem that threatened to derail the Witches’ football season. Stellato, now an NFL Player Agent, was the quarterback for Salem’s Northeastern Conference championship squad.
Over 400 people came to get a book signed by the local author. Current Salem High players, wearing their red football shirts, watched slides on a big screen about that season. They weren’t even born when it happened, but are learning about the tradition of the program they play for.
“I didn’t know anything about it until coach (Matt) Bouchard came down to talk to us,” said senior right tackle Riley Grondin. “He told us about Salem High and its history.”
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Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame comes calling for Stellato
SALEM - Sean Stellato will be inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame, one of three athletes selected from New England. The ceremony will take place in Quincy on March 9, 2013.
For the former football and basketball star at Salem High, this honor is important not only for him but his entire family.
“My grandfather came to Ellis Island with a suitcase,” said Stellato. “He was a shoe cobbler and paved the way for my family. He worked hard to give us a chance to attain our goals. Family is everything for me, and I am very excited about this honor. It is the first hall of fame for me.”
Stellato will be inducted along with former New England Patriot player Joe Andruzzi and Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone.
“I’m going in with two highly respected athletes,” said Stellato, who is an NFL player agent, whose clients include Kyle Arrington and Kyle Love of the Patriots, Gary Guyton of Miami, and Isaac Redman of the Steelers among others. “Rocky Marciano, Phil Esposito, Tony DeMarco, Scott Pioli, and Mark Bavaro are members of the Italian Hall of Fame. I am so honored to be in that group.”
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Salem's Stellato to Student-Athlete nominees: Go out and get what you want
DANVERS — Sean Stellato, the former Salem High and Marist College great who spoke at last night's 50th Salem News Student-Athlete Award banquet, didn't just tell the 14 nominees how to succeed.
He showed them.
Speaking to the student-athletes, their parents and others in attendance at the CoCo Key Resort, Stellato opened a vibrant and poignant speech by holding up a photo of New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington, last year's NFL leader in interceptions and one of Stellato's clients.
"Who would like this photo?" Stellato asked.
One of the nominees, Melissa Moore of Manchester Essex, jumped up to grab the picture.
Then Stellato made the perfect point.
"This is what life's about," he said. "If you want something, you have to go out and get it. She just did."
A 1996 graduate of Salem High, Stellato led the Witches to the Super Bowl in 1994 and was a key piece of the school's 1995 state championship basketball team, Stellato went on to play both sports at Division 1 Marist College.
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