A couple of days after the college signing period began for high school football players, Archbishop Mitty's Chandler Ramirez hopped on a plane with his father bound for the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"I went there somewhat with an open mind," said Ramirez, the Mercury News defensive player of the year last season. "But I was leaning toward it, definitely."
By the end of the weekend, Ramirez, a linebacker and fullback at Mitty, was sold. Sunday morning, he accepted the offer to play football for Army and its new coach, Jeff Monken.
"It was amazing," Ramirez said after returning to San Jose. "West Point is really something else."
Ramirez received interest from Army's previous coaching staff to play fullback. He said the new staff recruited him as an "athlete" but with a good chance to play defense as the team switches from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme.
Ramirez said the coaches were thrilled about his decision. "But I was probably more thrilled," he added. "I finally know what I am doing."
Ciardella coached Sacred Heart Prep to four consecutive state championships from 1993-1996. After leaving the college ranks in 2012 where he was serving as an assistant at Notre Dame de Namur, Ciardella assisted Jenny Circle, a former player of his at SHP, last season at Kehillah Jewish School in Palo Alto.