Caruso to play football at Mississippi College
By GEOFF STOUTE
BERWICK — Wins may have been hard to come by during the last four years for the Berwick High School Panthers and senior linebacker VC Caruso, but on Wednesday, both he and those affiliated with the football program had reason to celebrate a huge victory.
Caruso and the rest of his fellow senior football players as well as Caruso’s family and others gathered at the school to celebrate Caruso’s decision to continue his football career at Mississippi College, a Division 3 school in Clinton, Miss.
Caruso attributed the fulfillment of a longtime dream to play college football to his hard work through the years.
And hard work he had to complete, especially during the past year when he had to recover from a knee injury.
“It was very hard,” he said. “It was six months, seven months of therapy, and then I lost a lot of my speed, a lot of my size, strength. It was tough coming back from it, but I did it.”
Initially, Caruso said he feared the injury would derail his dream of playing college football.
“But then when I thought about it and realized I just got to work harder, that’s what pushed me, motivated me to get where I’m at now,” he said.
Where he was at Wednesday is coming off a senior season in which he recorded 87 tackles, 10 sacks, a safety and recovered a fumble. He earned second-team All-District 9-3A honors following the season.
Brodie said he is not surprised that Caruso rebounded from the injury and said Caruso’s movement to the collegiate level is something other Berwick student-athletes can draw motivation from.
“I told the kids the first day on campus here, if you want to play at the next level, everybody will have an opportunity,” he said. “It might not be at the school that you would choose, but there’s a place for everybody if you make a commitment to it and you dedicate yourself and work real hard.”
Caruso said he chose Mississippi College because it is within 10 minutes of family in Mississippi. He also said the campus was nice.
Caruso said the coaching staff has told him they want him to continue playing linebacker, but they haven’t decided whether it will be at the inside or outside position. He said the defense Mississippi College runs "is a lot like how I play."
Besides Mississippi College, Caruso also received interest from Evangel University, Millsaps College and Louisiana College, according to his father, Paul Gilder.
Gilder, who played football at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe), said it’s a good feeling to see his son fulfill his dream of playing college football
As he continues to work himself back into shape and continues to improve in college, Caruso said the work ethic he learned through this injury would be beneficial.