Mater Dei Prep’s Isaiah Alston: “It’s My Time” By Eugene Stewart

Mar 26, 2019 | Football, Mater Dei Prep

Mater Dei Prep’s Isaiah Alston: “It’s My Time”

By Eugene Stewart
 
As the 2018-2019 school year winds down, with mixed feelings, we watch as our favorite student-athletes from the pages of the Jersey Sporting News prepare for the next stage of life –
adulthood. Many walk the college path, while others entertain vocational or professional training. Some decide to enlist, heads held high, to serve their country through a branch of the armed services or reserves. Few are fortunate enough to be accepted to one of the prestigious military training schools – the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  One of the most difficult colleges for acceptance and comparable to an Ivy League school, the list of West Point graduates ranges from world renown poets, actors, war generals and strategists, Secretaries of State and US Presidents. Even fewer are invited to such an institution and also provided a full scholarship.  Meet Isaiah Alston.
 
At a commanding 6-foot-4, 185 lbs., Alston is a physically imposing figure. 
 
“I wasn’t always big like that,” said Isaiah. It wasn’t until the summer between seventh and eighth grades that Isaiah began playing his current position of wide receiver.  Extremely competitive as the youngest of four brothers, Alston began playing football at five years old, following in his brother Mark’s footsteps.  “It was way back then, I developed a passion for football,” added Alston. 
 
Patricia Mitchell, a staffer at a local shore area high school athletic department and Isaiah’s mother, adds, “They (Mark and Isaiah) would play (football) against each other all the time out in the backyard.”  
 
The drive to out-duel his brother would fuel Isaiah all throughout his youth and his football career. 
 
“I was small and fast growing up, playing running back, defensive back and quarterback.  I was pretty good and was in the paper a lot with youth football, along with my brother.” 
 
Influenced by college and professional standouts LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU/Chargers), Reggie Bush (USC/Saints and Dolphins) and Chris Johnson (ECU/Titans and Chargers), Alston’s fire to excel in football was stoked.  
 
“I moved to receiver in eighth grade, then as a sophomore, in that summer, I grew almost six inches.” That growth spurt would push Alston to the realm of elite receivers on the New Jersey high school circuit, complementing his earlier success in skilled positions in his community of Carteret. 
 
“My first two years of high school, I played at Matawan. The last two I played at Mater Dei,” he said. Mater Dei Prep became Isaiah’s high school home as a few developments, outside of his control, moved Isaiah to the private Jesuit school in Middletown.  A couple of key transfers from Matawan and a plea from Isaiah’s older cousin, current Eastern Michigan quarterback George “LC” Pearson, influenced Isaiah and convinced his mother to allow her son to attend Mater Dei Prep.  
 
In two years, Alston was integral in helping his team reach the Non-Public A NJSIAA finals both years. During his senior year at wide receiver for the Seraphs, Alston amassed 33 receptions for 634 total yards and eight touchdowns.  
 
As with earlier in life, competition with his brother Mark continued to drive Isaiah’s success.  “Sometimes during games, I would get updates during my games of what my brother was doing in his game (at Erie Community College).  That would push me to do better,” said 
 
Attending an offseason skills football camp at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, Isaiah was initially spotted by representatives of the US Army ROTC, a sponsor of the camp.  Other programs showing some interest in Alston at the camp were Albany, Villanova, Monmouth and Delaware.  
 
Completing his senior season on the gridiron, West Point was the only program offering the talent a full scholarship at the Division I level.  The honor and prestige of such an offer resonates through the family and the community where the family resides.  
 
“I’m not sure if Isaiah even understands the significance of the opportunity before him.  He will graduate the Academy as a 2nd Lieutenant in the military and enlist as an officer right from the beginning” said his mother. “So many doors will be open to him.  He is on his way and through the grace of God; I am so happy and pleased.  Work hard, do what I ask and you can get whatever you want.”
 
Isaiah will study Kinesiology with plans on becoming a physical therapist or athletic trainer upon completing his education and military commitment. Upon enlisting, Alston plans to request Military Intelligence as his MOS.  Asked who is his favorite college football team is, Alston quickly responded, “Army West Point, of course.”  
 
JSN salutes Isaiah Alston; it’s your time!  Congrats and all the best.