Boys' Latin punter-kicker Dom Maggio's goal of earning a spot in an All-America football game almost died when a hip flexor injury forced him to take four months off during the spring and summer.
Just two weeks before the July 25-26 tryout camp in Milwaukee for the Under Armour All-America High School Football Game, he was medically cleared to kick, but he still waited until four days before the camp to decide that he was 100-percent ready to go.
And he was, blasting each of his three punts in the key pressure round more than 50 yards. Not only did Maggio earn a spot in the Under Armour game Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with his performance at the Kohl's Kicking National Scholarship Invitational, but he became the No. 1 rated punter in the nation in the Class of 2016.
"I'm honored and thankful to play in such a prestigious game," Maggio said. "It really was an honor to be selected by coach Jamie Kohl and his staff. He sees a lot of talented guys out there. It's great to be a part of that group of punters and kickers who get to play with a ton of talented athletes in the game."
Maggio, at 6 feet 3 and 160 pounds, is the first Under Armour football All American from Boys' Latin.
"It's pretty impressive," Lakers coach Ritchie Schell said. "He's a fabulous punter and a fabulous kid. He works his tail off and I can't ask for anything more. He's a huge weapon. Many coaches feel he's going to be in the NFL someday."
Maggio, a five-star punter according to Kohl's camp's rating system who has committed to Wake Forest, said more than 350 players were at the camp looking for one of four Under Armour game berths — two punting, two kicking. They kicked in two sessions each day with evaluators charting eight punts per session.
"Then the final charting session was called a pressure round of charting where you're on the main turf field with all the parents and the campers and the camp counselors," Maggio said. "And the camp counselors, 40 or so current NFL and college guys that work with Jamie Kohl, were on the field heckling us and trying to provide a game situation."
Maggio had three punts in the pressure round and sent them 52, 53 and 55 yards.
In addition to the distance of his punts and the hang time, he said the evaluators were looking for consistency.
"You're really looking for what college coaches, special teams coaches, are looking for, which is usually a fair catch but a deep ball, too," Maggio said. "They want distance so you can flip the field position-wise and then hang the ball up so there's not a big return, which leads to good net punting averages in college and the NFL."
Maggio has been on the national kicking and punting scene for a while. As the son of former All-American UCLA punter Kirk Maggio, a Calvert Hall graduate, Dom Maggio learned the art of kicking early and excelled quickly.
He said he thrives on the pressure.
"Usually I find a way to step it up during competition, so when they made it like a game situation that was all the better for me," Dom Maggio said. "It was a lot of fun to compete with a ton of talented guys, especially all the guys who are committed already, because really it's a small fraternity that's created through Kohl's Kicking because we all know each other."
Last season for the Lakers, Maggio averaged 43.5 yards on 34 punts with a net average of 37.8. He put 14 inside the 20-yard line.
Rated the ninth-best kicker nationally by Kohl's, he made 12 of 15 field-goal attempts last fall for the Lakers and had two of more than 40 yards while kicking off a half-inch block rather than the 2-inch block most high school kickers use. He was 29-for-30 on extra points and put 70 percent of his kickoffs in the end zone.
He is one of only two players from Baltimore selected for the Under Armour game along with Rahshaun Smith, an All-Metro linebacker last season at St. Frances who transferred to IMG Academy in Florida.