Yesterday, we officially announced that Mr. Santino Quaranta had signed a new contract with the Black-and-Red. The 24-year old returned to United, after dealing with a much-publicized drug addiction, and put together the most impressive season of his eight-year career. I caught up with Tino earlier today to ask him about the new contract and his expecations for 2009 (and also found out more about the upcoming addition to the Quaranta family!).
BTB: Tell me a bit about what the new contract means to you:
“It means a lot. Just where I was this time a year ago. Just all of the amount of work I put in. To be able to redo the deal and be making decent money again - I'm very grateful. I have to thank D.C., with Dave [Kasper], Tommy [Soehn] and Kevin [Payne] - that they were true to their word, after they promised me last year if I did well that they'd redo my contract. It just shows again how first class the organization is."
BTB: Tell me a little bit about your off-season - how is it going? What are you doing to stay fit?
“I've been working really hard. I'm actually working with a guy here in Baltimore - doing a lot of stuff I've never done before. More like boxing stuff, not actual boxing, but that type of training. A bunch of guys went and played with a the guys from Maryland University who are going through the draft next week, including Benny, Devon, Burchy - you know, getting out there and playing soccer, because it's a whole different ball game than just running. I'm just trying to stay real busy and active. I'm enjoying working out again, because I don't want to suffer in preseason.”
BTB: Talk a little about the upcoming year - what are your expectations?
“I'm excited, personally, but on a team note - we had a great group of guys last year. I think it was a lot of adversity that we dealt with the best that we could. But, the group of guys we did have was probably one of the most talented teams I've been on, it's just that so many things went wrong. I've never been a part of anything like that. I think it's good that they kept Tommy, first of all, and that they didn't run through the team again. It shows they have confidence in the team and the core group of guys, which goes a long way with us. It means a lot for the locker room. I'm excited and can't wait get back at it.”
BTB: What did you do for the holidays?
“My daughter is five now, so the whole Christmas thing was amazing for us. I had my close family over for New Year's and we're just getting ready for the other baby - we're having a little boy [Valentino, due in May], so we're pretty excited.”