Joe Cardona
New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski (3) is greeted by long snapper Joe Cardona (49) after kicking an extra point in the second half of a preseason NFL football game in New Orleans, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Joe Cardona, who is currently serving at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI, will start at Long Snapper for the New England Patriots in the NFL Season Opener on Thursday, September 10th.

The 23 year-old was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft, after the Patirots didn’t re-sign Long Snapper Aikens Carona’s secured the starting job.

Keep an eye out for Cardona (#49) in NFL Opener when the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:30 p.m.

Cardona, a native of El Cajon, Calif., told The Sun Chronicle that “he currently splits his time between Foxboro and the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I. It’s where he’s been posted as a means of facilitating his training camp responsibilities and still fulfilling his military commitment by preparing the next generation of midshipmen for matriculation at Annapolis.”

About The Naval Academy Preparatory School

The Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) is located on Naval Station Newport in historic Newport, Rhode Island. The Naval Academy Preparatory School is the Navy’s fourth oldest school; only the Naval Academy, Naval War College, and Naval Post Graduate School are older.

The mission of the Naval Academy Preparatory School is to enhance midshipman candidates’ moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the U.S. Naval Academy. The ten-month course of instruction at NAPS, lasting from August through May, emphasizes preparation in English Composition, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Information Technology.

Demanding military, physical and character development programs complement the academic preparation to fully prepare students for the challenges of life at a service academy. As part of the physical development program, NAPS offers a varsity athletic program that competes against other preparatory schools, junior colleges and college junior varsity teams.

Photo of Stephen Gostowski and Joe Cardona via New England Patriots