MIDDLETOWN >> Middletown High School football star Dario Highsmith has decided to attend the US Military Academy at West Point to play for Army, according to his father Friday night.
Highsmith had previously announced he would attend the University of Connecticut as a preferred walk-on, but since that time he and his family met with Army coaches and according to his father, Dario Sr., he made the decision to attend the Academy Friday.
Highsmith was the Connecticut Football Gatorade Player of the Year in his junior season, is a two-time New Haven Register All-State selection and was named the Connecticut Male High School Athlete of the Year by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance this winter.
He rushed for 6,612 yards in his career, an all-time Middletown High School record. He also passed for 1,773 yards in his career and scored 70 rushing touchdowns and threw for 19 more.
Highsmith will attend the Academy either as a freshman or a high school post-grad. If he opts for the year of prep school, then after one year all of his options remain open to him.
“If Dario decides that he would rather not do the full career at West Point, all the other college options will remain open,” his father, Dario Highsmith, Sr said. “If he likes it, the scholarship remains in full force. It really is a win-win.
“He could have gone to Choate for a year. But if he got hurt at Choate, there might have been no one to pay for his college education. Here, if he gets hurt at Army, he still gets the scholarship if he stays at Army.”
Dad said that what clinched the deal was not only the obvious benefits that accrue to him athletically and the first-rate education, but the fact “my son said he felt wanted” by Army.
“Dario is a young senior,” said his dad. “He’s still only 17.”