ALUMNUS RETURNS HOME TO TELL STUDENTS, 'I WAS IN YOUR SHOES'
It’s 6 p.m. on an August day, and the stifling afternoon heat has given way to a muggy evening on a sports field at St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark.
The grounds of the private Catholic school feel far removed from the buzz of a city in flux, and the field is quiet, until about 150 teenage boys emerge from the gym and onto the turf in an orderly rush.
There, St. Benedict’s freshmen are led by 12 U.S. Naval Academy cadets through a boot-camp-style workout that’s likely the most grueling physical challenge many of the young men have ever faced.
Joe Carmona of Elmwood Park, a 2017 graduate of St. Benedict’s, is familiar with the rigorous program, having gone through it a few short years ago. But today, he finds himself in an unfamiliar role. Today, he’s the one doling out commands.