An NFA family affair for Cajanos
Vincent Cajano Jr. played college football and he’s also coached football.
But when his son, Vincent III, decided to start playing the sport last year, Vincent Jr. had a bit of a problem.
“My son wanted to play football, and he wanted to play quarterback,” Vincent Jr. said. “I’ve been a football coach since 2000, but I coach offensive linemen and defensive linemen, so I couldn’t really help him at quarterback.”
Vincent Jr. started doing research on finding an organization that specializes in developing QBs. Not surprisingly, he ran across NFA.
Vincent Jr. liked what he read about NFA, and he took his son to a camp J.C. Boice was running in Long Island, N.Y., a short drive from his home in Staten Island. When the Cajano’s arrived, Vincent Jr. crossed paths with James Martinez.
Not only is Martinez a certifed NFA coach, he was Cajano’s college football teammate at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kansas. “I hadn’t seen James since college,” Vincent Jr. said. “We automatically clicked again.”
Vincent Jr. was so impressed with the NFA camp in Long Island, and he was so thrilled with reconnecting with Martinez, he decided to become a part of the NFA coaching staff.
“After that first camp, James and I spoke a few times,” Vincent Jr. said. “He saw the passion I had for it and I saw how great the NFA camp was run, how regimented it was, the kids really got it and it worked. I’m a very passionate person and I took the next steps and started my certification process and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Vincent Jr. became a certified NFA coach in May and is thrilled to be coaching quarterbacks in addition to coaching linemen for New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.
“It’s been a big change,” Vincent Jr. said. “But everything relates to footwork. With linemen, as clumsy as everyone thinks they are, it’s a dance. If you can’t dance on ice, you’re going to have a problem. The footwork with the quarterbacks, I really gravitated toward that. I started with the basics and it’s a matter of teaching the repetition after that. James has helped me out a lot with the transition.”
Not only did Vincent Jr. like the way NFA helped his son learn how to play quarterback, he’s impressed with the organization’s overall philosophy.
“It’s the values,” Vincent Jr. said. “You see how they hold kids accountable and how they explain it’s not just about football, it’s about life. The microcosms of what actually goes on during a football game, you have to be accountable to your teammates and you have to be accountable to yourself in life. I’m a big family person and I also like how everything is family oriented with NFA.”
Rising young QB
Vincent III is 9 years old and he’s been playing competitive football for less than a year. A tight end and linebacker for the Staten Island Pop Warner Lions, Vincent III is also the backup quarterback.
When the regular starter couldn’t make a game earlier this season, Vincent III stepped up at quarterback and led the Lions to a victory with no practice reps and with no fumbled exchanges from the center during the game.
“I was really excited to play quarterback,” Vincent III said. “We hadn’t beaten that team for seven years, so it was a lot of fun.”
As he gets older and gains more experience playing football, Vincent III looks forward to becoming a better QB. Continued training with NFA will greatly help his development.
“NFA has already helped me a lot,” Vincent III said. “I really didn’t know anything before I started working with them. NFA has taught me everything I know. I was doing everything wrong before I started working with them.”