Former Brownwood Lion Kenny Vaccaro donned the purple and gold of the Early Longhorns during Thursday night’s scrimmage at Llano.
Vaccaro, a verbal commit to the University of Texas, withdrew from Brownwood High School earlier this week and will begin classes at Early High School when the school year officially begins Monday. Vaccaro, a senior, competed in the Lions’ scrimmage at Midway on Saturday.
“It was a surprise to me,” said Early head football coach Robbie Tindol. “I walked through my office door and I thought (Kenny and his mother) were going to tell me something about Kevin (Vaccaro, Kenny’s younger brother who also attends Early). They told me Kenny was moving to Early, and that they wanted to keep the family together. He’s got two or three siblings going to Early and they didn’t want to go in different directions. They all wanted to go here, and that’s where it started.”
Tindol added that Brownwood head coach Steve Freeman had signed the Previous Athletic Participation (PAP) form earlier this week, which cleared Vaccaro - who has been practicing with the Longhorns the majority of the week - to compete at Early.
Freeman declined to comment on the situation.
While Vaccaro is eligible to practice with the Longhorns, when he will be allowed to play in a regular season football game won’t be known until Tuesday.
The District 8-2A coaches will hold a meeting to review Vaccaro’s PAP and only with the league’s approval would he be cleared to compete.
Tindol anticipates that Vaccaro will be allowed to play in the season opener at No. 1 Cisco on Aug. 29 and not sit out the mandatory 15 days for transfers since he will be starting the school year at Early and a legal residence is established within the school district.
Vaccaro was the District 16-4A defensive co-newcomer of the year as a sophomore and last season he tallied 103 tackles, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries while earning honorable mention all-state status on the Associated Press Class 4A team.