The Mario Danelo Scholarship Fund
"Livin' The Dream"

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Mario's Bio

Mario Danelo was born July 3rd, 1985.  In his twenty-one years, a great majority of his time was dedicated to sports.  Like most kids he grew up with, he played AYSO and club soccer, Little League baseball, and basketball.  At a young age, he was befriended by a core group of kids that he spent most of his younger years playing with or competing against.  Because Mario was lucky enough to have such a good group of friends while growing up, it was easy for them to find hobbies that gravitated towards athletics and competition.  At any given time when organized sports were over, Mario could be found golfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, or lifting weights with his friends.  Because athletics and competition was so much a normal part of his environment as a kid, Mario’s transition into high school sports was one that was met with an eager zeal.  At San Pedro Senior High School, Mario lettered in two sports, soccer and football.  When football season started, Mario had already been working out for months before he stepped on the field for the first practice.  He spent his summers fine-tuning his kicking skills with his dad, lifting weights, and running.  When the seasons started, Mario was physically and mentally prepared to compete.  Those that watched him knew he rarely came off the field as he played on special teams, offense and defense. Because of his dedication, Mario was named team captain his senior year and received many accolades for his game on the gridiron.  Each year when football ended, Mario turned his attention to soccer. As a goalkeeper, Mario was an inspirational leader on the pitch through his fearless play. Throughout his four years, Mario found his niche, to always compete at his best.  Before graduating in 2003, Mario and his dad continued to develop his skills as a place kicker.  After attending a few kicking camps, a buzz about his skills started to spread throughout the NCAA scouts.  Not soon after, the University of Southern California offered Mario the opportunity to walk on.  At this point, opportunity met head on with preparation, and Mario had impressed Pete Carroll and his staff enough to earn a spot on the roster.  Two years later, Mario earned a full scholarship and was named starting kicker for the USC Trojans.  During his time at USC, Mario was a part of two National Championship teams, and chalked up a few NCAA records of his own.  Many times when Mario was asked how things were, he nonchalantly replied, “Livin’ the Drean.” For those of us who got to experience his life, both on and off the fields, we truly got to see him LIVIN’ THE DREAM!!!

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