SPRING HILL – Florida high school football teams that aren’t a part of the FHSAA don’t get much love. But over in Spring Hill, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic senior wide receiver/cornerback Joe Mastrino deserves more attention.
The four-year contributor totaled 19 touchdowns and two interceptions. He may be a bit undersized at his 5’8″, 150-pound frame, but his burst off the line is evident. In 10 games this season, Mastrino balled out. He totaled 46 receptions for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns.
A three-sport athlete, Mastrino starts at point guard for the Hurricanes basketball team and runs track. He says participating in both basketball and track helps with his agility, quickness and speed on the football field.
Bishop McLaughlin went 5-5 this season appearing in the first round of the sunshine state conference playoffs two weeks ago. Although, St. Stephens Episcopal beat the Hurricanes 49-21, the night was special to Mastrino, marking his first playoff game ever.
“It was a great feeling,” Mastrino said about earning a playoff spot. “The atmosphere and just knowing that we reached one of the goals that we set at the beginning of the season. It was a good feeling overall.”
Starting his football career at age 10, Mastrino played quarterback for a few years before settling into wide receiver and cornerback.
He says he gained the confidence in his game the summer before his junior year.
“We got a new strength program [that year],” Mastrino said. “Building my strength and speed and competing in 7-on-7 helped a lot.”
Bishop McLaughlin has had only three seasons with a record above .500 since starting its program in 2005. In Mastrino’s four seasons on the team, the Hurricanes went 13-27. However, over the last two, they went 9-11.
“It was pretty good. We were always the undersized team with not enough kids,” he summed up his four seasons. “We always went out there and competed. Each year, we got more and more kids.”
Mastrino says he thinks the program is going uphill under Jeff Swymer’s command. The athletic director/head coach just completed his second season as the man in charge.
“I love the way he [Swymer] coaches,” Mastrino said. “He pushes you to an extent that you never thought you could go, in a good way. He just brings the competitor out in you which is good.”
When it comes to his own skills, Mastrino pointed out his elusiveness, route running and hands as his biggest strengths.
He’s aiming to keep his quickness and speed while also trying to put on some weight. His goal is to add 15 lbs. before college starts up.
Speaking of college, Mastrino currently has three offers on his table from Stetson and Division-III programs LaGrange and Thomas More. He also has interest from Methodist and Bethany.
He visited Stetson this past weekend and said the school is at the top of his list right now, but he’s still open to any other recruiting at this point.
“It was great. We got to see the team warm up,” Mastrino said about his Stetson visit. “It felt homey and it was a good atmosphere.”
His dad serves as his biggest role model.
“Both on and off the field he guides me. He’s always given me advice on what I should do,” Mastrino said. “He’s helped in all aspects of life to become the man I am today and to be a better man in the future.”
Just to play at the next level and earning and education while doing so is Mastrino’s main goal. He plans to study sport management and law in college.
Don’t rule out the little guys. Being looked at as a slot receiver, Mastrino is a pure speedster. Adding more weight is a must for him and that’s his plan this off-season.
If Chargers hybrid back Danny Woodhead can come from Division-II Chadron State at 5’8″ and Patriots wide receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman can overcome the odds, that gives hope to players like Mastrino. All he needs is that one chance to prove himself and he’s going to get that opportunity.
Favorite players to watch – Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker
Playlist before games – Meek Mill, Lil’ Snupe
Favorite movies – Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV shows – The Walking Dead
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I love fishing and golfing. No one really knows that. I caught a 62-pound black drum a couple years ago off the Skyway.”
Nickname (s) from teammates or friends – “Rambo”
Game film: Mastrino’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: Tampa Tribune
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.