There’s a little bit of a operating joke within the household, or not less than from grandfather Mike Cella, that Peabody star kicker Domenic Scalese is a café desk and a cappuccino away from finishing his relaxed persona on the sidelines.
His dad and mom, grandparents and 9-year-old sister make up a small military of tremendous followers at nearly each recreation. Football-adoring mom, Stephanie Scalese, can rattle off his milestones as a full-time supporter. They’ve all watched Domenic’s kicks this yr as he reached 100 profession factors, shattered the varsity’s all-time kicking factors file, tied a program-best 48-yard subject aim, and helped the Tanners win their first playoff recreation since 2016.
In between, although, they lovingly chuckle over Domenic’s nearly nonchalant demeanor.
It’s clear how tight-knit the household is, and Peabody’s most profitable kicker has given his most loyal followers fairly the present. It’s particular. But whereas that’s not misplaced on Domenic, each single a kind of factors they cheered for this yr have been devoted as a substitute to the member of the family who can’t sit within the stands with them.
Brother Nico Cella Scalese was stillborn at 36 weeks when Domenic was in kindergarten. He thinks about him on a regular basis, particularly within the staff’s pre-game prayer. So, Domenic pledged his factors and efforts this season, and in any future seasons, to Every Kick Counts – a program within the Count the Kicks public well being marketing campaign that’s devoted to stopping the often-overlooked concern by elevating cash and educating expectant moms on the significance of monitoring their child’s actions.
Domenic could be cool and picked up, however there’s nothing nonchalant about his execution on the sector, nor the greater than $3,000 he’s raised for the trigger thus far.
“I just wanted to bring a memory to him, and I really wanted to shine a light on it because not a lot of people shine light on (stillbirths),” Domenic mentioned. “It’s just something really good to do. Especially when I’ve gone through something like that, I really hate to see other families going through something like that too.”
What he’s gone via is so much to recall from kindergarten. But Domenic remembers.
He remembers when his father, Mark Scalese, picked him up from college the day Nico didn’t survive an emergency C-section. He remembers Mark sitting him up on a counter to inform him the information, and his anguish. He remembers visiting Stephanie within the hospital, and the way heartbroken everybody was.
“I remember (my dad) just broke down and I broke down,” he mentioned. “We immediately went over to the hospital, I think my grandparents were there. My mom, she was really distraught. It hurt a lot to see her really upset too, and the rest of my family. But within the coming days, moving forward, the community definitely helped. … It was just really nice to see people kind of being there for us.”
Domenic has grinded at mastering his kicking craft.
He’s one of many first gamers on the subject for practices and video games, and his mission to kick in school has him working at it year-round. He’s attended a few of the identical kicking camps and showcases as the opposite prime kickers across the nation. Domenic has gotten so good that Tanners coach Mark Bettencourt reportedly mentioned he may let him go for a 60-yarder if the situations are proper. Thanksgiving is his final likelihood in highschool.
But for all of the work he’s put in towards 162 profession factors, Domenic says his most significant efforts are available in turning into a kind of very group members that when helped his household get via tragedy.
It was at a Kohl’s kicking camp that Domenic discovered extra about Every Kick Counts in conversations with one other kicker, and he instantly determined to be part of it. Taking the lead on signing up, spreading the phrase and elevating cash is a little bit of a rarity for a person highschool athlete to pursue – and that isn’t misplaced on his household.
“It’s beyond significant,” Stephanie mentioned. “I could not be more proud of him, I cry when I talk about it. He’s an absolutely amazing human being. He is such an independent, smart, very, very caring individual. … He cares about a lot of things, and it is no surprise to me that he would do these things.”
“He does stuff on his own. He’s very mature,” Mark added. “He works hard for everything and when he puts his mind to something, he just does it. He just achieves what he wants to do. … To see him want to help families that are experiencing something we went through is great. It’s just a really good thing for him to do.”
This isn’t the primary charitable enterprise Domenic has been part of, and Stephanie is way to thank for serving to instill the motivation.
After shedding Nico in March 2012, she was “engulfed” in making an attempt to maneuver ahead and discover a technique to give again. She walked within the March of Dimes’ March for Babies simply two months after the C-section, having raised over $10,000. The household walked yearly till 2019, and was acknowledged as an envoy household for his or her dedication.
Stephanie additionally organizes donation baskets stuffed with provides for households with infants within the NICU to be delivered to 4 totally different hospitals on Nov. 17 – World Prematurity Day. Nurses are introduced some treats, and baskets are stuffed with easy gadgets: “Anything to help them just feel more comfortable being in there because it’s a horrifying experience,” Stephanie mentioned.
Domenic has been together with her each time. And when the NFL’s Play 60 initiative opened an essay contest about youngsters’ favourite gamers, Stephanie helped her then third-grader write about New England Patriots tight finish Rob Gronkowski not just for his dominance on the sector, however his work with March of Dimes.
“There were 33 finalists in the United States, and it was between him and the girl from New York to be a journalist at the Super Bowl,” Stephanie mentioned.
Domenic didn’t win the competition, however definitely took away an initiative for one thing far more necessary.
Donations may be made at https://charity.pledgeit.org/f/taw0tmvllx.