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Jon Tallerico - Stepinac Player of week

Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 by Mike ODonnell

Port Chester cousins working together at college
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(Original publication: September 21, 2006)

Though they are first cousins, Port Chester residents Matt Guaragna and Jon Tallerico couldn't have been any closer while growing up in Port Chester.

"We've been together since birth," Guaragna, 21, said. "We're not just cousins, we're also best friends."

"He's like my brother," Tallerico, 22, said. "We only live a mile down the road from each other."

Nevertheless, they never had a chance to play football together in high school since Guaragna attended Port Chester and Tallerico went to Stepinac.

But now, they're not only classmates, but two of the leading players on a Western New England team that's jumped out to a 2-0 start.

Guaragna, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound linebacker, had a game-high 13 tackles in a 28-26 win over Maine Maritime on Saturday. Tallerico, a 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback who completed 15 of 22 passes and tied a school record with four touchdown passes in that game, was named New England Football Conference offense player of the week.

The fact that they're now playing together did not happen by design. Both transferred to Western New England 2 Tallerico from Western Connecticut and Guaragna from Springfield College.

"After I transferred, I kept bugging him to come here, too," Tallerico said. "I saw him all the time because Springfield is right down the road from here."

Now the two are not only living in the same house, they're getting a chance to do something else they never did before.

"I play defense and he plays offense, so I have the opportunity to watch him play and he has the opportunity to watch me," Guaragna said. "We kind of missed out on that in high school. I never thought this would wind up happening. It's kind of like a dream."

"Hi Coach O'D Thought you might like to know Jon is starting QB at WNEC.
This week he got 4 awards for game on Sat. 15 for 22, 4TD passes. Golden
Helmet award from Boston Globe/New England Sports writers, ECAC offensive
player of week, New England Football Conf. Player of week and WNEC male
athlete of week. Nice Journal news article in Thurs sports section on him
and cousin Matt. Good luck with rest of season."
from Western New England

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