Class of 2016 Graduate Pete Guerriero signs with Carolina Panthers

Dec. 10, 2020

By Jason Swayze

Growing up, Pete Guerriero’s dream was to play for the NFL. That dream is now a reality for the LHS Class of 2016 graduate. On Oct. 1, the Carolina Panthers signed him to the practice squad so he could get ready to be called up to the major league.

In August, Guerriero was approached by the New York Jets and signed with them on Sept. 1. However, a day later, they let go of him because he was an extra running back that they did not need. 

“And I DEFINITELY have so much to prove but nothing to lose, which makes me dangerous,” Guerriero posted on Twitter on Sept. 3.

Guerriero attended Monmouth University in West Long Beach, New Jersey. A graduate of the Class of 2020, he ran track as a freshman and started playing football with the Hawks during his sophomore year. Guerriero, who played running back, ended his career at Monmouth as the second leading rusher in school history, rushing 3,974 yards. He also contributed to Hawks history by scoring 239 points, which is the third-most in the university’s history. 

Guerriero was the First Team Consensus All-American player in 2019 and a finalist for the prestigious Walter Payton Award. Having played 34 total career games as a Hawk, Guerrier finished with over 4,800 all-purpose yards and found the endzone over 39 times

Guerriero attended LHS during his junior and senior years and was a quarterback on the football team for both of those years. He was mentored by Head Coach Tuero, who is now in his 11th year coaching at LHS.

“The amount of time and effort that was put into this journey is just humbling,” Tuero said.

Tuero said he was blessed to have coached Guerriero and is proud of all he has accomplished. Guerriero’s accomplishments as a Golden Bear included running for 3,813 career yards and scoring 36 touchdowns, according to the Bergen Record. 

The Observer named Guerriero the 2015-2016 Observer Male Athlete of the Year. The Observer reported that during his senior year of high school, Guerriero rushed for 2,161 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He averaged 11.1 yards when he carried the ball and averaged 240 yards per game. Guerriero contributed defensively by making an interception and collecting 67 tackles during the 2015-2016 season.

Tuero said Guerriero was one of the best players to have come through Lyndhurst.

“When Pete Guerriero came to Lyndhurst, it was, ‘Why not you? Why can’t you make it big?’” said Tuero, whose first season as head coach coincided with Guerriero’s junior year. 

“The amount of time and effort that was put into this journey is just humbling.”

Tuero congratulated Guerriero via Twitter on Oct. 1, writing, “Petey I have no words, you knock down every wall put in front of you. I Love you brother, I am so proud to call you family. Just a guy from Little ol’ Lyndhurst! The newest member of THE Carolina Panthers!!!” 

Tuero included the hashtags #FamilyForever and #LyndhurstForever with the post.

Offensive coordinator Coach Auteri said Guerriero was a standout player on the football team.

“Petey has a competitive nature that is second to none. He wants to be the best, but he just doesn’t say it, he proves it with his work ethic and his desire to learn and get better every day,” Auteri said.

Auteri said Guerriero was a pleasure to coach.

“He has a tremendous work ethic and will not stop working until he reaches his goals. He wants to be the best and knows that it’s not going to be easy to be the best,” Auteri said. “That motivation and determination are what separates him from a lot of athletes.”

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