Updated 09/30/2010 05:44 PM
Milford Academy fostering top football talent in New Berlin
You probably would not know it driving through the tiny Village of New Berlin, but one of nation's top football prep schools is hidden in the old Unadilla Valley High School complex. YNN's Brian Sandler takes us behind the scenes of Milford Academy, which has been sending elite high school athletes to elite college programs for decades.
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NEW BERLIN, N.Y. -- You probably would not know it driving through the tiny Village of New Berlin, but one of nation's top football prep schools is hidden in the old Unadilla Valley High School complex.
Milford Academy was founded in Connecticut in 1916 and became a football factory in the 1970s, providing a place for top high school athletes to come improve their grades and/or their opportunities to play at college football's highest level. Director of operations and head coach Bill Chaplick moved the academy from its original and aging home to New Berlin seven years ago when Unadilla Valley High School vacated its complex for a new one and players continue to come from as far as California despite the remote location.
While the school is not a college, the student-athletes' daily schedule closely resembles that of a top NCAA program's and the opponents are mostly junior colleges and Division I junior-varsity teams. Players wake up at 6 a.m. and have their entire day regulated through bedtime at 11 p.m., including workouts, classes, meals and practices. Chaplick says it's a culture shock for most students, but it keeps them focused on what they're there for: To improve their academic standing and move on to a Division I program, something about 98 percent of recent graduates have done with nearly two-thirds of them receiving full scholarships to the likes of Syracuse, Florida and Miami.