DURHAM, N.H. -- Mickey Mangieri was looking forward to the University of New Hamsphire football season with great anticipation.The 2007 Fox Lane graduate and Pound Ridge resident missed his junior year with a broken leg. What made this difficult to accept was that Mangieri sustained the injury one week prior to the first game, in the annual Blue-White scrimmage. Also, he had a promising sophomore year in which he led all receivers in touchdowns (three) and yards-per-catch (19.8).It was difficult, the first couple of weeks, sitting out my junior year, but my teammates, coaches and family kept my spirits optimistic and assured me that I would recover quickly, he said.Mangieri was cleared following Christmas break and returned to running, before embarking on spring practice.The 5-foot-10, 178-pound red-shirt senior is currently third on the team with 25 receptions for 305 yards (12.2 average) and one touchdown in six games. New Hampshire is 7-2 with two games remaining -- at Towson and Maine.Even though he was injured last year, Mangieri was at practice daily.I supported my teammates just like they supported me, said Mangieri, a communications major. The coaches and my teammates did a great job of making me feel like I was still important to the games. I felt like I was out there with them even if I was not on the field because we are such a close program. During my rehab, I didnt focus on how physically and mentally grueling it would be because I knew it was what would get me back to playing.Once spring practice rolled around, Mangieri went all out, as if he had never been injured. However, Mangieri would not be satisfied with just making it back. He wanted to prove the injury did not sap him of his speed and that he could win back a prime receiver position in New Hampshires aerial offense.Once I was cleared to start running, towards the end of Christmas break, it was up to me and how my leg felt, Mangieri said. My approach was to not favor or be tentative with my leg, but rather focus on the opportunity of playing again and getting better each day."The first pass Mangieri caught from quarterback Kevin Decker, an Armonk resident, made him feel right at home.It felt great to catch that first pass in practice, Mangieri said. Everybody was happy for me and I was happy to be back with my teammates. My goal was to get back to where I was and improve upon that each day.Mangieri has become one of Deckers favorite targets in what is an enjoyable offense to play on, especially for a receiver.I love our offense because our coaches put us in positions to make aggressive plays, Mangieri said. Decker is an excellent quarterback who puts the ball on the money every pass. This season I have felt great and I couldnt wait to start playing games. We have a close-knit team and a great coaching staff which makes it a fun and prideful place to play.
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