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ON THE FIELD

Football Preview

A special advertising supplement to the HERALD Community Newspapers SEPTEMBER 6, 2012

Eight for playoffs is just right

W

hen Nassau County increased its number of football postseason participants from four to eight teams earlier in the decade, the opinions were mixed among coaches. Some felt the playoffs were being watered down; others were thrilled to have an opportunity to have their team just one win away from a trip to Hofstra University for the conference semifinals. With the creation of the ANDREW new Relief Developmental Football League, a league comprising five public schools (Great Neck North, Great Neck South, Jericho, Roslyn, and Port Washington) and three private institutions, the four conferences in Nassau are left with 50 teams, 32 of which will make a trip to the playoffs. Should nearly 65 percent of the county's public school football teams qualify for the playoffs? Sewanhaka head coach George Kasimatis is a big proponent of more teams getting the chance play postseason football. “Well, if we had the old system where just four teams made the playoffs, we would have fallen short a couple times,” Kasimatis said. “It gets more teams and more kids playing football a little longer. Getting a taste of the playoffs adds excitement to the program, and gives a team a chance to make an unexpected run.” One memorable postseason run would not have been possible without the expanded playoff field. East Rockaway, the school with the lowest enrollment in Nassau County, peaked at the right time and went to the Conference IV championship game in 2011.

The Rocks entered the final game of the regular season with a 3-4 record and needed a win on the road over undefeated Locust Valley to earn a postseason berth. East Rockaway beat the Falcons, 21-0, and then got on a roll, handily topping the No. 3 and No. 1 seeds before being nipped by No. 2 Roosevelt in the title game. While some will argue McCLURE eight teams from each conference competing in the playoffs takes away from the regular season — keep in mind it’s rare for a No. 8 or 7 seed to upset one of the big dogs in the quarterfinal (opening) round — it’s hard to dismiss the idea that having your hometown team competing in the playoffs creates a buzz. Long-time East Rockaway head coach Russ Pajer, who has brought his team to a pair of conference championship games, is all for the current format. “The biggest key is that it keeps the season alive for more teams; you have a lot of teams fighting to make the playoffs in Week 8,” Pajer said. “It doesn’t affect the elite teams who are in every year as much as it does the middle of the road teams. It’s exciting for the kids. One big playoff upset, and you’re playing at Hofstra.” The reason the NCAA’s March Madness is one of the most intriguing times of the year for sports fans is the opportunity to watch the little guy try to oust the perennial power. The eight-team format gives Nassau’s high school football players a chance at that one shining moment.

High School Sports

Publishers CLIFFORD RICHNER STUART RICHNER Executive Editor JOHN C. O’CONNELL Section Editor TONY BELLISSIMO Editorial Designer JEFFREY A. NEGRIN Production Manager KAREN MENGEL Production Assistant SHEAUWEI PIDD Art Director CRAIG CARDONE Photo Editor CHRISTINA DALY Photo Editing ALYSON GOODMAN Vice President of Sales RHONDA GLICKMAN Sales Administrator JANIE FAHEY-MAGEE Page Editors JEFF BESSEN SCOTT BRINTON ANDREW HACKMACK Account Executives MIMMA BARONE AUDREY COHEN ROBERT CUMMINGS JANE FAIELLA NANCY FRIEDMAN ELLEN FRISCH JILL KAPLAN VICKI KAPLAN KAREN RESNICK ON THE COVER

INDEX Baldwin Bruins ....................................3 Calhoun Colts (Bellmore-Merrick) ....... 4 Carey Seahawks (Franklin Square) ..... 5 Clarke Rams (Westbury) .................... 6 East Meadow Jets .............................. 7 East Rockaway Rocks......................... 8 Elmont Spartans ................................ 9 Freeport Red Devils .......................... 10 Hewlett Bulldogs .............................. 11 Kennedy Cougars (Bellmore-Merrick) ........................... 12 Lawrence Golden Tornadoes ............. 13 Long Beach Marines......................... 19

Lynbrook Owls .................................. 20 Malverne Mules ................................ 21 Mepham Pirates (Bellmore-Merrick) ........................... 22 Oceanside Sailors ............................ 23 Roosevelt Rough Riders ................... 24 Sewanhaka Indians (Floral Park)....... 25 South Side Cyclones (Rockville Centre) ............................. 26 Valley Stream Central Eagles ............ 27 Valley Stream North Spartans .......... 28 Valley Stream South Falcons ............ 29 West Hempstead Rams .................... 30

TYLER FREDERICKS Lawrence High School Photo by Jeff Wilson

CONTRIBUTING SPORTSWRITERS TONY BELLISSIMO, ANDREW McCLURE, STEVE SINISKI, TOM JORDAN Football Preview is an advertising supplement to the HERALD Community Newspapers. Copyright © 2012 Richner Communications, Inc.

Cover Design - Jeffrey A. Negrin Photo - Kathy Leistner Cover Photo - Tayvon Hall West Hempstead H.S.

Published by Richner Communications, Inc. 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 569-4000 • www.ilherald.com

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

BALDWIN

Backfield leads way for Bruins

Schedule

BY TOM JORDAN

B

September

aldwin coach Steve Carroll is definitely ready for some football. Carroll likes the Power I and he likes to line his kids up and see what they have. In a word, he likes toughness. And that’s exactly what he has in this year’s edition of the Bruins. Carroll said his players “got after each other pretty good” in camp and then couldn’t wait to scrimmage last week. After finishing 6-2 last season, and then losing in the first round of the playoffs (28-7 to Massapequa), the Bruins were a preseason No. 3 seed in the loaded Conference I. They have been through the battles, winning a handful of close games against the best competition, and also experiencing the bitterness of defeat. This time around, they have a stable of top-notch running backs, a solid defense and a new quarterback. Junior Tyler Warner will take over for the graduated Patrick Dillon at quarterback. Dillon was a savvy signal caller with guts, having returned last season after missing much of his junior year with a broken ar m. Dillon helped Baldwin win their opener at Farmingdale with a two-yard scoring run with two minutes remaining. Warner, up from the JV, was his backup. Now Warner gets his chance, and Carroll said he’s confident he’s up to the task. “He does everything well and he’s bright,” Carroll said. “He’s a kid who learns fast. He executes the plays and he’s progressing well.” Carroll said that Warner has been especially adept at reading defenses and throwing underneath, and is also a threat in the option. Of course, the Bruins first option on offense will be Javaun Tomlinson, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards with 12 touchdowns a year ago. Tomlinson scored the Bruins first points of the season last year, an 11-yard run that helped them beat Farmingdale, 20-19. He ran for 152 yards

8 14 22 29

Uniondale @ Farmingdale @ Hempstead Massapequa

1:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ East Meadow Hicksville Oceanside @ Syosset

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

KENDALL BRAMBLE

TRAVIS HYLTON

Lineman

Receiver

and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 19-18 win at Oceanside in Week 4, then followed that up with two scores, including a 53-yard run, in a 21-0 win at Valley Stream Central. Tomlinson will be spelled by Trayvon Mask, an all-purpose performer. Mask rushed for over 500 yards with six touchdowns last season. He has also scored on punt and kickoff returns. He rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-18 win over previously undefeated Freeport last Oct. 29, a game Tomlinson put on ice with a late 20-yard touchdown run. Mask had tied the game with a 19-yard run after Freeport returned the opening kick 90 yards, and then put the Bruins up 18-12 with a 56-yard run in the third quarter. “Treyvon is a real good football player,” Carroll said. “He’s all over the field.” Mike Abrahams and John Robinson will both split time between fullback and tight end, giving the Bruins some power to complement their speed in the backfield. Both are strong runners, good blockers and capable receivers. Kendall Bramble and Luke Krucher are the linchpins of a sturdy offensive line. Travis Hylton, a senior, is the team’s top receiver and defensive back. He grabbed a 35-yard touchdown pass in Baldwin’s

victory over Port Washington last year. His score was the second of seven straight Baldwin touchdowns to open the game. Mask also had an 84-yard punt return in that one. Defensively, the Bruins are strong. They allowed 108 points in eight regular-season games, and 20 of those were in the final minutes against Port Washington, when the outcome of the game was already decided. Only twice did they allow more than 20 in a game, and they shut out Valley Stream Central. Matt Guilfoyle is the rock of the unit, a returning senior inside linebacker. Robinson, Krucher and Hylton all do double duty, playing both offense and defense. Nothing is going to come easy for the Bruins, not in Conference I. Uniondale is waiting for them in Week 1. Farmingdale is waiting for them in Week 2. An entire conference of contenders is waiting for them. But the Bruins have great talent in the running game and the have toughness. Carroll is ready to line them up and play some football.

TRAYVON MASK Running back

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

CALHOUN

Colts hope for smooth transitions Schedule

BY STEVE SINISKI

C

September

alhoun narrowly missed qualifying for last season’s Nassau Conference II playoffs, finishing with a 3-5 mark that left the Colts one win shy of the eighth and final seed. Needing a win to get in against Carey in the regular-season finale, Calhoun jumped out to a six-point lead in the first quarter but could not generate any other points in a razor-thin, icesoaked, 8-6 loss. Looking ahead to 2012 as the No. 9 seed in Conference II, Calhoun is hoping that a strong core of returnees will help steady the transition to a new quarterback and a new head coach. Jeff Haruthunian takes over on the sidelines after six years as an assistant in the program, and the hope is that familiarity breeds success. “It definitely helps the transition because I know the kids and they know me and how the system works,” Haruthunian said. “We’re going to try and keep some of the verbiage similar.” Senior Tom Ostreich and junior Brian Downey were locked in a training-camp battle for the starting quarterback job, and their prior experience in the program made execution the name of the game. “One of the things we’re focusing on is execution,” Haruthunian said. “For them, it’s not too much different [the system]. It’s a snapshot of what they’re used to and I think they’re transitioning nicely.” Calhoun will also be ushering in a new backfield tandem, as junior Zach Mastrangelo slides over from wide receiver and junior Brandon Lee is set to get carries after seeing the bulk of his snaps at outside linebacker last season. Mastrangelo is the shiftier of the two, while Lee brings a little more downhill power to the huddle. Senior Scott Halleran, at 6-foot2, 220 pounds, is the bulldozing fullback, who’s ready to help punch holes in the line of scrimmage. Seniors Tom Marropodi and Tony Cardinal are among a group of players vying

8 14 22 29

Wantagh @ Westbury Garden City New Hyde Park

1:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 5 13 20 29

@ Herricks @ Carey Kennedy @ Elmont

5:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

STEVEN VALENTINO

JACK BENNETT

Lineman

Lineman

for time at wide receiver. Even with some new faces in the offensive huddle, the Colts do have some veterans returning on the line to ease the transition. Senior Steven Valentino is back at center, while senior Jack Bennett, entering his third year as a starter, returns at guard. Senior Jake Nestola slides over to tight end after a stint at tackle, allowing the team to take advantage of his blocking skills and strong pass-catching abilities. “In general it’s important to have the experience coming back [on the line],” Haruthunian said. “It’s important to have that chemistry in blocking as well as the communication. It builds a comfort level.” The defense returns experience at every level of the unit, including Valentino and Bennett in the trenches. “We’re trying to be big on the defensive line and have speed around the edges,” Haruthunian said. “We want to bend but not break.” Halleran is back at middle linebacker and gets help from Lee, while Cardinal and Mastrangelo are veterans who will line up in the secondary. And even if all of the defensive returnees did not start every game, it’s the experience gained during their run that still stands to pay big dividends. A number of players are likely to con-

tribute in some way on special teams, including senior kicker Tom Murphy. After seeing spot action at the position last season as the backup, Murphy is in for a somewhat bigger workload. “It’s important to not only get that extra-point consistency but also the field position on kickoffs,” Haruthunian said. “If he can get it deep and high enough that will give us time to get down for the coverage.” Slotted ahead of three other teams, the Colts hardly have an easy road to travel. They open with county finalist Wantagh in Week 1 and then face Garden City, which has won the last three Conference II championships, in Week 3. Perennial contender Elmont and district-rival Kennedy are also part of the eight-game slate. Calhoun hosts New Hyde Park for homecoming on Sept. 29. “The guys feel like they have something to prove,” Haruthunian said of the near-miss for the postseason.

SCOTT HALLERAN Fullback

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

CAREY

Expectations high again for Seahawks Schedule

BY ANDREW McCLURE

C

arey advanced to the conference semifinals before falling to eventual champion Garden City in 2011, but the season was hardly looked upon as successful. The Seahawks had a 5-3 regular season, and didn't accomplish what they had set out to do, which was to win their first championship since 1978. Despite losing a ton of starters, the expectations remain high for Carey, the No. 3 seed in Conference II. Top-seeded Garden City is once again the team to beat. Elmont and Wantagh are expected to also be in the hunt. Coach Mike Stanley has led his team to Hofstra in each of his five years at the helm. Despite having a slew of underclassmen on the roster, Stanley expects the Seahawks to be in every game in 2012. "This is a young group, but it's a very coachable group," Stanley said. "The team is taking practice very seriously, and there are no egos or attitude problems. We're getting our work in every day and getting better as a team. I expect us to be able to compete with anyone in the league. I like what I'm seeing so far." The Seahawks have had numerous skill players to rely on in the past, but this year it begins and ends with the play from the big guys in the trenches. Tri-captains Matt Lucito, Sean Nagy, and Tim Turcic are the nucleus of an offensive line that is big, strong, and agile. All three are seniors who have played three years with the varsity. Nagy will see time at both guard and tackle, Turcic, who could be the team's most physical player, will play guard, and Lucito is the center. Stanley calls Lucito one of the most coachable players he has ever had, and an intelligent athlete who carries himself like an extension of the coaching staff. Junior Joe Lucito and senior Messiah West round out what figures to be a solid offensive line. Junior Andrew Ris takes over the reins of Carey's spread attack. Ris gained valu-

September 8 15 21 29

Mepham @ Long Beach @ New Hyde Park Wantagh

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ Garden City Calhoun Elmont @ Kennedy

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

TIM TURCIC

MATT LUCITO

Lineman

Lineman

able experience by calling the signals in the final three contests in 2011, including a playoff win over Long Beach. With increased confidence and better command of the offense, Ris gives the Seahawks more balance at quarterback than they have had the past few seasons. He has a quick release that is perfect for Carey's passing game. Sophomore Nick Spillane should be a chief target for Ris when he goes to the air. Stanley is high on junior Matt Robison, who saw spot duty on offense as a sophomore. Robison will play a hybrid position, and will be a threat both on the ground and when Carey throws the ball. Fleetfooted sophomore Mike De Leo, impressive sophomore Conor Colasurdo, who may be the strongest player in the program, and senior Darren Rodriguez will all contribute out of the backfield. The defensive unit will have a little less bulk than it has had in the past, but Stanley hopes speed and athleticism will make up for the lack of size. With Turcic, Nagy, and senior Tom Dente on the line, and West and sophomore Kieran Murchie at ends, Carey should be tough to move the ball on. The linebacker crew of Colasurdo and the Lucito brothers will be hard-hitting

and aggressive. Spillane will also see time at both linebacker and safety. Robison, De Leo and junior Nick Conte comprise a quick, athletic defensive backfield. There are no weak spots in Carey's schedule. The Seahawks, who open the season at home against Mepham, a team that ended Carey's 19-game home winning streak in Week 2 last season, will face Elmont, New Hyde Park, Long Beach, Calhoun, Garden City, Bellmore-JFK, and Wantagh. Stanley is looking forward to seeing how his team matches up with Conference II foes. "Garden City should be the team to beat, but we can't worry about them until October," Stanley said. "The league is very good; there are no easy games. The teams in Conference II are pretty solid from top to bottom. We hope to get better every week, and to be in the mix at playoff time."

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

CLARKE

Rams aim for playoff return Schedule

BY STEVE SINISKI

C

larke had its nine-year run of playoff appearances on the gridiron end not because of a dropped pass or a turnover a losing streak, but due to a decimal point. Despite finishing 5-3 and riding a threegame winning streak in Conference IV, the Rams were done in by the mathematical power point formula when regular season play ended and found themselves just tenths of a point shy of the No. 8 seed. The hard-luck numbers game may have left Clarke, seeded fifth in 2012, a little down in the short–term but long-term, the shortfall has turned into some added motivation. “When you finish 5-3 with eight teams making the playoffs you figure you’ll be one of them,” coach John Boyle said. “But we’re spinning it around and using it as motivation for this year. We’re planning on making a splash.” Clarke has a new field general taking over under center, where senior Jake Louw appears ready to fill the void left by Mike Martiello, a four-year starter who graduated last June. Louw has good size for a quarterback, standing 6-foot, 4-inches, and has also put some weight on his frame. The strong-armed signal-caller is also developing into an on-field leader. “We brought him up as a sophomore and he was working behind Mike [Martiello] which is good,” Boyle said. “He learned a lot and not just football-wise.” Senior Andrew Iannucci returns as the lead runner in the backfield after finishing second on the team in rushing yards last season. Quick and powerful, Iannucci will also get help from senior Anthony DeFilippi. The Rams’ Wing-T offense doesn’t utilize the traditional fullback/halfback tandem and at times will work a wingback into the running mix. To that end, senior T.J. Clappi, entering his third year at the varsity level, stands to also log some carries. Louw has a potentially explosive group of pass catchers led by senior receiver

September 8 15 22 29

Oyster Bay @ West Hempstead Malverne Mineola

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 5 13 20 27

@ Island Trees @ V.S. North Locust Valley @ Roosevelt

6:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

JAKE LOUW

ANDREW IANUCCI

Quarterback

Running back

John Fogarty and senior tight end John Hess. Fogarty’s a speedster with a great set of hands and a knack for coming down with the ball in traffic, while Hess, a 6-3, 240-pounder, has soft hands and will also be called on to block in an offense that demands versatility at the position. “It’s something we need to have,” Boyle said. “He has to be able to do both. He has excellent hands and is a nice-sized target for [Louw].” The offensive line is a strength with senior guard Anthony Yodice and junior guard Kevin McGowan the anchors. “The guards have to be quick and be able to pull a lot and trap a lot,” Boyle said, noting an offense which relies on motion as a weapon of deception. “That’s really the key to the offensive line.” Senior tackle Jimmy Morace, a 6-2, 290 pounder and returning starter, and senior Chris Kuzminski, are the bookends to Yodice and McGowan. Junior center Michael Perez is also a returning varsity player. Defensively, the key for the Rams lies at linebacker in a scheme that starts five of them along with three linemen and three in the secondary. “We’re able to put pressure on the offense,” Boyle said. “With three down linemen, we can send one of the linebackers and [teams] won’t know which one is coming.”

M c G ow a n , t h e starter in the middle, is flanked by Iannucci and senior Kyle Wenzel on the inside with juniors Austin Ceris and Joe Truono looking to get snaps at the outside. In Yodice and Clappi, the Rams have a pair of athletic, 6-3 ends with long arms who can disrupt the quarterback’s vision. Morace and senior Anthony Mendracchia were battling for time at nose tackle during camp. “[The ends] have good speed and good size,” Boyle said. “They’re much quicker than the tackles they will be [lining up] against.” The secondary is led by Fogarty at one cornerback and senior Carl Grgas and junior Nestor Haddo on the other side. Junior Peter Falgiano, who also doubles as the backup to Louw, is slotted as the starting safety. “I think we have the talent to do some things,” Boyle said. “It’s just a matter of a few things falling into place.”

JOHN FOGARTY Receiver

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

EAST MEADOW

Champion Jets still strong up front

Schedule

BY STEVE SINISKI

E

September

ast Meadow entered 2011 chasing the Nassau County Crown, but this fall, it’s the Jets who will have to turn on their afterburners, because now they’re the team to beat, as the No. 1 seed and defending champs of Conference I. East Meadow finished 10-1 against Nassau foes as the No. 2 seed, including a thrilling, 34-33, victory over then-No. 1 Freeport in the championship game last November that gave the Jets their first county title since 2006. “Everyone wants to beat the No. 1 seed,” Jets coach Vin Mascia said, noting the schedule has the Jets squaring off against seeds two through nine. “It helps other teams get up for games when you play the No. 1 seed, and they play with more juice because [a win] means a lot.” The run-oriented attack will again be keyed by a veteran offensive line, as three starters are back, including senior AllCounty tackle Giancarlo Carvalho. Now a fourth-year starter, he’ll be joined by senior Tommy Hippner as his bookend with seniors Richie Renkle and Ben Fritzen slotted at guard. They’ll be paving the way for another explosive group of runners, including junior Billy Andrle, a bruising junior who pounded out more than 900 yards and a dozen touchdowns during the run to the county title. Expected to take on an even bigger role after the graduation of Thorp Award winner Robbie Healy who set a Nassau County record with 38 touchdowns last season, Andrle will be joined in the backfield by seniors Jack Ritter and David Zea and juniors Bobby Bender, Nick Suchocki and Nick Conti. “We definitely have team speed,” Mascia said. Compounding problems for opposing defenses will be senior quarterback Chris Bruschi, entering his first season as the starter. On top of being a strong runner, which is a key in the option offense, Brus-

8 14 22 29

Hempstead @ Oceanside @ Hicksville @ Uniondale

1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 12 20 27

Baldwin @ Farmingdale Massapequa Freeport

3:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

GIANCARLO CARVALHO

CHRIS BUSCHI

Lineman

Quarterback

chi’s also got a powerful arm that East Meadow can use to attack defenses focused on stopping the ground game. “He’s a strong runner that can throw,” Mascia said. “If teams load the box he can throw it deep.” Waiting to run under Bruschi’s big throws are seniors Robbie Bergmann, whose use to pulling down long flies as the center fielder for the varsity baseball team, Jake Borresen and Nick Trivolis. Of the group, the 6-foot Bergmann could be the one running the most sprints down the sidelines. “He’s got a lot of speed,” Mascia said. “He’s going to be a deep threat.” Adding a new dimension to the offense is junior tight end Chika Ewulu, a 6-2, 210-pounder, who has the hands and speed to take advantage of openings in the middle of the field. Graduation has forced some changes on an aggressive defense that saved its best series for last, turning back Freeport four times inside the 10-yard line in the closing minutes of the one-point title win. But there are still several veterans returning across the unit, and a well-balanced assortment of size. Carvalho, a 275-pounder, is back at one end slot with senior Chris Green lining up on the opposite side. Renkle, who also tips the scales in the

neighborhood of 275 pounds and sophomore Marcus Watkins are in line for snaps at nose guard, while the 6-foot, 4-inch Hippner and 235-pound Fritzen are also in the mix on the line. “We’re not going to sit back too much,” Mascia said. “Our line is our strength.” Consistent penetration up front will allow the linebackers freedom to roam in open spaces and track down ballcarriers. Andrle is back on the outside with Zea in the middle and Bender at the stack position of the five-man unit. “If the defensive linemen can take up double teams it will give our linebackers opportunities,” Mascia said. “We’re going to do plenty of blitzing and the penetration will [allow] for more plays behind the line.” Ritter is part of a secondary mix that also includes Bergmann, Suchocki, Conti, Trivolis and sophomore Brian Kavanagh. Borresen has taken hold of the punting duties, while East Meadow had a number of players capable of stepping in to handle the return duties on special teams.

BILLY ANDRLE Running back

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

EAST ROCKAWAY

Challenges await inexperienced Rocks

Schedule

BY ANDREW McCLURE

E

September

ast Rockaway had one of the finest football seasons in program history in 2011. The Rocks were up and down before catching fire in the regularseason finale and riding the momentum all the way to the county championship game where they lost to Roosevelt, 21-14. Making another playoff run won’t be an easy task for the Rocks. East Rockaway, the No. 8 seed in Conference IV, faces a difficult schedule that includes games with No.1 Roosevelt, No. 2 West Hempstead, and No. 3 Seaford. Russ Pajer, in his 18th season as head coach, hopes that his relatively inexperienced team will be able to shorten the learning curve. “We have a bunch of newcomers who are just getting started out in football, and a lot of guys with very little experience,” Pajer said. “We’re going to ask a lot from those who have experience, and hope that the new guys can pick things up quickly. We need everyone to completely believe in the system we’re teaching. We’re coming along a little slower than past years, but we’ll be ok.” One of the players that Pajer will lean heavily on is David McClure. The senior fullback/middle linebacker will be called upon to lead a young defensive unit, and to carry much of the load on offense. Pajer believes McClure, who could also see time at wingback, quarterback and tight end, will have to perform well if East Rockaway is to be successful in 2012. “David is by far the strongest allaround athlete on the team,” Pajer said. “He’s a very good blocker, has the ability to run with the ball, and is our best tackler on defense. He’ll be very important to us on both sides of the ball.” The backfield figures to be a position of strength for the Rocks, who defeated West Hempstead and Locust Valley in last year’s playoffs. Seniors Cameron Ralph, Matt Daube, and Adam Reicherter, and junior Matt Barbaro will likely get the bulk of the

8 15 22 29

@ Roosevelt Mineola Seaford @ C.S. Harbor

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

Locust Valley @ West Hempstead Island Trees @ Oyster Bay

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

BEN GILIBERTI

JOHN DRAUDE

Lineman

Lineman

carries out of the double wing offensive attack. Junior Connor Parzych adds depth at fullback. The Rocks will be inexperienced at the quarterback position with senior Charlie Campbell having the inside track to the starting role. Junior Joe Sheridan, the starter on last year’s JV, will push for playing time. Don’t be surprised if talented freshman Mike Delgais works his way into the mix. As usual, East Rockaway will look to run the ball and control the clock. When the quarterback goes to the air, junior Kevin Blessington and senior Jack Crawford will be targets from the tight end position. Just two starters return in the trenches. Senior center Ben Giliberti, a threeyear varsity performer, anchors the offensive line, and senior John Draude returns at tackle. Senior Ian Reill and juniors Ernesto Amorelli, Ryan Murphy, Jack Lark, and Ricardo Kinzer are all battling for starting positions. On defense, McClure will be joined by Parzych, Crawford, and Sheridan at linebacker. Expectations are high for Ralph at safety. Ralph is a hard hitter who missed much of his junior campaign with an injury. Draude, Amorelli, and Giliberti should

be tough on the defensive front line. Senior Kevin Keane and Reill have impressed at defensive end during training camp. The secondary should be a strength. Reicherter, Blessington, Daube, and Barbaro will all see time at cornerback. In addition to meeting the top three seeds in the conference, the Rocks will face Island Trees, Mineola, Locust Valley, Oyster Bay, and Cold Spring Harbor in what should once again be an exciting conference Pajer knows that this team is different from the those that advanced to the big stage at Hofstra University the past couple of years, but still thinks the Rocks are capable of being playoff participants. “We’re going to have a tough time matching up with teams like Roosevelt, Seaford, and West Hempstead,” Pajer said. “With the way we run our offense, it’s really a matter of players understanding their roles and staying disciplined. If the guys stick to what we’re teaching them, and continue to get better, I think we should be able to compete for a playoff spot.”

DAVID McCLURE Linebacker

Photos by Kathy Leistner

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

ELMONT

New-look offense key for Spartans Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

W

September

ith a good amount of talent and depth at the skill positions, Elmont’s offense is transitioning to the spread but could take a few weeks to work out the kinks. “I think by the third or fourth game, we’ll be much improved,” coach Jay Hegi said. “Conference II has a lot of very solid teams, but I don’t think anyone will be dominant like Garden City was last year. Our goal for the regular season is to finish as one of the top two seeds, because playing in the 3-6 or 4-5 [playoff] matchup is really tough.” The Spartans, who come off a 6-4 campaign that ended with a hard-fought loss to Wantagh in the Conference II semifinals, open with Herricks before facing defending champion Garden City in Week 2. Overall, Hegi likes the layout of the schedule. “I like the balance and where most of the games fall,” he said. “We’re going to have to grind it out as best we can against Garden City, since we’ll only have a few scrimmages and one real game running the new offense.” Going into camp, Hegi had two options at quarterback. Junior James Bailey was the starting signal-caller at the JV level in 2011, while senior Mike Braun served as the varsity backup. Bailey brings running ability to the position and is also a capable pocket passer. “James is building confidence and leadership qualities,” said Hegi, who hinted Bailey or Braun could join the receiver corps. “Mike’s an intelligent athlete and a tough runner who can handle the offense if we ask him to,” he added. In the backfield, the Spartans boast explosive speed with senior Calvin Aristide leading a group that includes classmates Bradley Atkins, Seiji Fenelon and Nick Walton. One of the top track sprinters in the tri-state area, Hegi said, Aristide battled injuries most of last season but is ready to make up for lost time. “He’s quick and elusive, and the offense should fit him

8 15 22 29

@ Herricks Garden City Westbury @ Kennedy

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ Wantagh MacArthur @ Carey Calhoun

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

JON JOHNSON

CALVIN ARISTIDE

Guard

Running back

nicely,” Hegi said. “He’s a very good athlete and we want the ball in his hands.” Atkins, who has experience on varsity, and Walton are speed types, while Fenelon is a power runner likely to contribute in shortyardage situations. When it came to stretching defenses, few teams were able to match Elmont’s pass-catching combination of Ben Ogdubesan and Kyle Johnson last season. While both weapons graduated, Hegi likes this year’s receiver contingency. Senior Jaelen Morris, the third option last fall, is strong and quick with reliable hands, and the coach noted 5-10, 150-pound senior Daniel Crawford is “as tough as they come for someone his size.” Crawford, one of the school’s top lacrosse players, could also see time at tailback. There’s no shortage of depth at the position with seniors Dens Ylfort, Nick St. Louis, Reggie Pierre and Paul Jean, as well as juniors Matthew Brutus and Kavon Chambers in the fold. Up front is where Hegi expected the most battles in camp. The lone returning starter on the offensive line, senior Jon Johnson, will work at guard. “Jon showed marked improvement in the weight room and is our top lineman,” Hegi said. At 140 pounds, junior Isaiah Flaherty will be one of the smallest centers in Nassau County

but far from a pushover after a strong JV campaign. Others vying for a starting job include seniors Vladimir Paris, Uduma Kalu and Rugen Fullwood Jr., and junior Valdy Valere. Given the new offensive scheme, Hegi said the defense was “steps ahead” as camp opened. He projects more two-way starters than previous seasons, particularly in the trenches, and believes defenders will be quick to the ball and cover well. Morris, Crawford, St. Louis, Fenelon and senior Collins Ihaza provide the unit with a tremendous group of linebackers that can close running gaps and drop back into coverage. Aristide is a shutdown cornerback and the leader of a secondary likely to include Pierre at a corner spot and Jean at safety. “We’re not going to be overpowering, but we’ve got a lot of pieces,” Hegi said of the defense. Weapons in the return game include Aristide, Morris and Crawford, and soccer player Wilgy Sainvilier will handle kicking duties.

JAELEN MORRIS Receiver

Photos by Janette Pellegrini

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

FREEPORT

Brand new turf for Red Devils

Schedule

BY ANDREW MCCLURE

I

t's a brand new day at Freeport. A new turf field, new players, and a new patient approach. The Red Devils, who saw their streak of three consecutive county championships come to end when they were edged by East Meadow, 34-33, in last November’s title game, return just a pair of starters. Freeport, the No. 5 seed in Conference I, will have a tough road to return to the title game in a league that should see East Meadow, Baldwin, Oceanside, Farmingdale, and Massapequa all challenge for the championship. The Red Devils finished with an overall record of 9-2 in 2011. Head coach Russ Cellan, in his 27th year at Freeport, knows that it will take time for his Red Devils to get going. "It's been 20 years since I have had a team that is this young and inexperienced," Cellan said. "It's a work in progress. The good thing is the work ethic has been excellent. We have 49 kids on the roster and they're all working hard to get better. There's little separation from one player to the next. We're going to learn a lot about who we are during the scrimmages." Freeport didn't have a ton of depth a season ago, but it had a slew of skill players. Quarterback Isaiah Barnes, who is now playing at Princeton University, led a high-octane offensive attack that average 36 points per game in 2011. Also gone are Maurice Irby, Jere Brown, and Even Lapice, three players who, along with Barnes, combined to find the end zone 53 times a season ago. Cellan will need to find players to step into the skill positions. "We don't have players of that caliber this year, but the guys who are competing have talent and speed," Cellan said. "It's really hard to say who is going to step up and earn the positions at this point, but guys are fighting for time. We're a little smaller at the skill positions, but there's plenty of quickness." Senior Eric Corona returns to lead

September 7 15 22 29

Plainview @ Massapequa Syosset V.S. Central

6:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ Uniondale @ Oceanside Farmingdale @ East Meadow

3:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

JASON JIMENEZ

ERIC CORONA

Lineman

Lineman

the linemen. Corona, who is 5-foot-10, 250 pounds, will be the anchor on both sides of the ball. The three-year varsity performer is the player Cellan looks to for execution and leadership. "Eric is doing everything that we're asking him to do,� he said. “He's built like your typical high school lineman, but he's guy we're looking at to lead by example and to help his teammates get better." The personnel is different from past years at Freeport. But, despite the lack of a prototypical go-to player, the Red Devils will not change what they do. Freeport will spread the field on offense, look to run the ball effectively, and utilize a quick-strike passing attack to keep opposing defenses on their toes. They'll do so on a brand new playing surface. Typically, by October the Red Devils would be playing on dirt and a little shredded sod, but the new field, complete with light stanchions and bright red end zones is stunning. Cellan loves the new gridiron. "I haven't seen a more impressive surface," Cellan said. "It's absolutely beautiful. It's something that the community can be very proud of. With soccer, football and lacrosse, it will get plenty of use." Freeport, which has advanced to the title game in five of the past six seasons,

will face a balanced schedule. After opening up against Plainview-JFK, the Red Devils travel to No. 2 Massapequa, host Syosset and Valley Stream Central, go on the road for a game with Uniondale, before taking on Oceanside, Farmingdale, and East Meadow over the last three weeks of the season. Cellan, who begins the season third among active coaches in Nassau with 187 career wins, will have to be patient with his young team. "It's going to take time," Cellan said. “We're getting better in practice every day, and see a ton of improvement. We don't look much at what other teams are doing. We go out and play, take one week at a time, and hope that we're in the mix at the end.�

KHALID BURTON Receiver

Photos by Susan Grieco

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

HEWLETT

Bulldogs can’t be taken lightly Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

M

issing the playoffs just once in the last 10 seasons stamps Hewlett as one of the most consistent football teams in Nassau County. Last year’s appearance in the Conference III postseason was brief, thanks to cross-town rival Lawrence, but the Bulldogs will vie for a return behind an offense led by senior quarterback Zach Richman. “One of our goals is to get to the semifinals, but that’s so far down the road and our kids do a great job of taking one game at a time,” coach Jay Iaquinta said. “If we can develop chemistry, grow up quick on the line and stay healthy, we’ll have a good chance to be in the top four.” Seeded No. 7, Hewlett (4-5 in 2011) will be tested right away with a night game at third-ranked Bethpage, which finished atop the regular-season standings a year ago, in Week 1. The Bulldogs face top-seeded Lawrence and No. 2 Plainedge down the road. Richman, who emerged as the starter last year after Mark Rizzo went down with an injury, literally took the ball and ran with it. “He’s got leadership qualities, toughness, great quickness, and all the intangibles,” Iaquinta said of Richman, who also stars on the lacrosse field. “He makes good snap-decisions, can rush for big yardage and pass the ball real well.” Richman’s experience in big-game situations, such as an assignment under the lights at then-defending champion Lynbrook and the playoff start at Lawrence, should serve him well, Iaqunita said. Richman will also see time in the defensive secondary and handle punting duties. The quarterback and backfield are the keys to Hewlett finding the end zone. At fullback, junior Rich Lyons got a taste of varsity action late last year after leading the JV squad in rushing yards. “He’s a smooth runner with deceptive strength,” Iaquinta said. Talented sophomore Jeremy Leguillow returns to a wing spot and

September 8 15 21 29

@ Bethpage @ North Shore Carle Place Plainedge

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 19 27

@ Glen Cove Lawrence @ Lynbrook Sewanhaka

7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

WOODLY AUGUSTIN

WELDON IRVINE

Linebacker

Receiver

brings speed and added muscle to a group that also includes senior Drew Schweitzer and juniors Kevin Fuchs and Dimitry Baptiste. Fuchs can be explosive and make people miss, while Baptiste is the fastest player on the roster. “We have to try to get all those guys in space,” Iaquinta said. “It’s probably the fastest group we’ve had in a long time.” In order to reach its full potential, the offense will have to overcome some youth and inexperience on the line. “It’s where our biggest camp battles are taking place,” Iaquinta said. Junior center Matt Kaminer has some varsity starts under his belt, and senior tackle Luciano Morello came to camp in tremendous shape. There’s a battle for both starting guard spots, with senior Andrew DeProssino, juniors Anthony Cordello and Sal Bosco, and freshman Mike Curiel all in the mix. Also working at tackle are senior Justin Ciraolo and junior Chris Sokol. A pair of fleet-footed receivers will allow the Bulldogs to stretch defenses. Senior Weldon Irvine, who stood out in summer drills according to Iaquinta, is not only a huge target at 6-foot-5 but also possesses outstanding leaping ability to go with good wheels. “We expect him to be one of the toughest receivers to cover in

the conference,” Iaquinta said. Opposite Irvine is senior Kevin Dehaney, a track and field standout with game-breaking speed who’s improved his overall game to rise on the depth chart. Special teams are usually an area of strength for Hewlett, which will employ Richman and Leguillow on the return units. Junior Jimmy Anderson looks to continue the program’s long line of quality kickers and has shown ability in camp. On the defensive side, Iaquinta said the jury is out and he’s looking for the physicality of seniors Lester Enriquez on the line and Woodly Augustin at linebacker to lead the charge. Augustin ranked second on the team in tackles a year ago. Morello and junior Alex Messados join Enriquez up front, while Irvine and classmates Logan Grossman and Logan Calman will contribute a lot at linebacker. Senior Lucas Candella and Mike Rubino are vying for time. The secondary has depth with Leguillow and his older brother Nico, a senior, plus Gio Pugliese, Joe Curieo, Shlomo Amar, and David Ben-Yosef.

ZACH RICHMAN Quarterback

Photos by Victoria Lodi

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

KENNEDY

Cougars hope to build off fast finish Schedule

By STEVE SINISKI

K

September

ennedy took some historical strides after an 0-3 start last season, winning its final five games and earning the No. 8 seed in the Conference II playoffs. The road to the program’s first fivewin season in 38 years included a threescore comeback at homecoming and a regular-season ending road win in the type of weather that would make NFL players cringe. Looking ahead to this September, the Cougars are seeded 10th and welcome back a collection of talent capable of making another playoff run. Senior quarterback Chris Racalbuto, who capped the stunning homecoming rebound with a final-second 40-yard touchdown pass, is back for his second season as the starter. Part of the program since his freshman year, Racalbuto’s heady play and athleticism are a perfect fit for the offense. “You need to make the quality throws and be that leader,� coach Nick Martone said of Racalbuto, who has filled both roles. “You’ve got to be the guy the 10 others look up to. Now [a second season as the starter] has given him that confidence.� Senior fullback Chris Jones and junior Tom Ferner both return after strong campaigns and will be joined in the backfield by junior John Austin-Emory, a speedy athletic runner who comes off a successful JV season. Senior Ralph Faiella, on the receiving end of Racabuto’s final-second toss a year ago, is again set to be the target in the passing game. “He has very good athleticism and excellent hands,� Martone said of his returning All-Conference receiver. “He’s difficult to deal with in one-on-one situations.� In open space, senior Mike McCormack has the potential to be a game-breaker. “We hope they could be two of the better receivers [in the conference],� Martone said. “If you can throw and catch with regularity [at the high school level] you can be deadly.�

8 15 21 29

Long Beach @ Mepham @ MacArthur Elmont

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 5 12 20 27

@ Westbury Herricks @ Calhoun Carey

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

CHRIS RACALBUTO

CHRIS JONES

Quarterback

Fullback

Seniors Corey Shapiro and Nick DiGangi offer Racalbuto good-sized targets at tight end. DiGangi, one of the more versatile members of the team, could also line up in the slot or fullback, handles the punting duties and comes off a perfect 14-for-14 showing on extra-point attempts as the kicker. Kennedy’s revamped the offensive line with senior Chris Alfaro and junior Austin Miller among those battling for playing time during camp. “There’s definitely a lot of spots up front that we’re filling with new faces, but we’re excited about it,� Martone said. “The players are working hard and there’s competition up front. They’re pushing each other on both sides of the ball.� Flexibility appears to be the name of the game on defense, where a solid mix of talent and football-savvy players has already made impressive adjustments to an overhaul of the scheme. “We’re going to mix it up a little bit,� Martone said. “The staff has done an excellent job of creating a new defense and putting it in place. When you have football smarts out there it certainly makes life easier.� Senior nose tackle Anthony Ciullo is set to clog the middle, while Shapiro’s sure to work his way into the quarterback’s

line of sight with his 6-foot, 4-inch frame. Senior Rob Broder, perhaps the team’s surest tackler, is joined at linebacker by the likes of DiGangi, Jones and Ferner, all hard hitters in their own right. The secondary is led by McCormack and AustinEmory along with juniors Tyler Barnett and Mike Kaplan. “We’re going to cater what we do [defensively] to what we have [talentwise],� Martone said of the design of the new defense. “They’re very much into football. We are always able to throw things at them [scheme wise] and they’ve always responded.� As a low seed, the road to the playoffs is not an easy one. The Cougars will square off with the likes of Carey and Elmont and also battle both of the other district teams in Calhoun and Mepham. The schedule features three night games — one at home against Herricks on Oct. 12 for homecoming — and trips to Westbury and MacArthur. “We’ve got our work cut out for us and some work to do,� Martone said. “We know every one of the teams will be ready for us.�

RALPH FAIELLA Receiver

Photos by Victoria Lodi

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

LAWRENCE

Golden Tornadoes can do damage Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

W

ith loads of talent at the skill positions and a defense coach Joe Martillotti expects to be improved, defending champion Lawrence is clearly the team to beat in Nassau Conference III. The Golden Tornadoes, who finished 10-2 last season and averaged 44.6 points per game, are seeded No. 1 and will look to get out of the gate quickly when Glen Cove visits in the Sept. 8 opener. They seek a fifth county title in seven years. “We’ve had a target on our back for a long time,” Martillotti said. “The kids are used to it and play better when the pressure is on. Conference III has so many tough teams. It’s an offensive conference and our starters at the skill positions are as good as anyone’s out there.” It all starts with tailback Tyler Fredericks, a legitimate Thorp Award candidate who totaled 29 touchdowns last season and rushed for 1,605 yards on the way to earning Second Team All-Long Island honors. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior averaged 11.5 yards per touch. “His numbers speak for themselves, and he had a tremendous offseason in the weight room,” Martillotti said. “I’ve had other coaches tell me he’s the top high school running back in the state. He’s the kind of player who can score any time he touches the ball.” Leading the offensive huddle is junior quarterback Joey Capobianco, who enjoyed a record-setting 2011 with more than 2,500 yards passing — a county singleseason mark — and 29 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. In last year’s wild 78-61 L.I. Class III championship game loss to Sayville, the All-County selection threw for a record 541 yards and seven touchdowns. “Joey’s football IQ is off the charts,” Martillotti said. “His field vision is awesome and he’s got a cannon arm. If he continues on the road he’s on, he’s going to go down as one of the best-ever in the county.”

September 8 15 22 29

Glen Cove Lynbrook @ Bethpage @ V.S. South

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

Manhasset @ Hewlett Plainedge @ Floral Park

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

JOEY CAPOBIANCO

EDDIE ROBINSON

Quarterback

Receiver

Among the weapons at Capobianco’s disposal is senior All-County receiver Eddie Robinson, who had 15 touchdown grabs a year ago to go with 709 yards. “Eddie’s a combination of speed, great hands and toughness,” Martillotti said. “He gets open and catches everything thrown his way. He stood out in the playoffs and the sky’s the limit for him this year.” Getting the ball in the hands of explosive sophomore Jordan Fredericks, Tyler’s younger brother, would only lead to good things, Martillotti said. Set to create havoc for defenders in a slasher role, Fredericks had 12 touchdowns in his first year of varsity football. “Jordan is hands-down the fastest player we’ve got, and he’ll probably be the fastest player on the field in every game,” Martillotti said. “He’s so smooth and has so much talent. He’s a special player.” Senior wideout John Ganes, who moves to the slot, is a breakout candidate after contributing a year ago, and senior Mike Fragner is a big target (6-3) with reliable hands. Sophomore Simon Jones, a midseason call-up last fall who got a taste of varsity on special teams, will work at tight end and fullback. The O-line features only one returning starter, senior left tackle Islam Mohamed,

but doesn’t lack in the experience department. Senior Florian Capobianco is fully recovered from a torn ACL that forced him to miss all of 2011 and projects as the starting center. Senior John Perrone, a returning defensive starter, gets the nod at right tackle, and senior Akil Mavruk is the top guard. Lawrence’s defense, which struggled at times last season, is returning to a 4-3 scheme. “We’re going back to what we know best,” Martillotti said. “I think the line will come together, and we’ve got a great set of linebackers and playmakers in the secondary.” Leading the effort at linebacker will be seniors Kenny Perez and Ludwing Velasquez on the outside, and Jones in the middle. Perez is a four-year performer. Robinson, Fragner (six interceptions) and the Fredericks’ comprise the secondary, and the defensive front will include some twoway linemen as well as senior Matt Leone and sophomore Melik Mavruk. “Our ultimate goal is to win our last game; to get over the hump and win Long Island,” Martillotti said.

JORDAN FREDERICKS Receiver

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

2012 Nassau County

FOOTBALL RANKINGS

JAVAUN TOMLINSON of Baldwin Photo by Jeff Wilson

CONFERENCE I 1. East Meadow Jets 2. Massapequa Chiefs 3. Baldwin Bruins 4. Oceanside Sailors 5. Freeport Red Devils 6. Farmingdale Dalers 7. Uniondale Knights 8. Hempstead Tigers 9. Hicksville Comets 10. Syosset Braves 11. V.S. Central Eagles 12. Plainview-JFK Hawks

CONFERENCE II 1. Garden City Trojans 2. Wantagh Warriors 3. Carey Seahawks 4. Elmont Spartans 5. MacArthur Generals 6. Long Beach Marines 7. Mepham Pirates 8. New Hyde Park Gladiators 9. Calhoun Colts 10. Kennedy Cougars 11. Herricks Highlanders 12. Westbury Green Dragons

CONFERENCE III 1. Lawrence Golden Tornadoes 2. Plainedge Red Devils 3. Bethpage Golden Eagles 4. Manhasset Indians 5. Lynbrook Owls 6. Floral Park Knights 7. Hewlett Bulldogs 8. V.S. South Falcons 9. Glen Cove Big Red 10. Division Dragons 11. Sewanhaka Indians 12. South Side Cyclones 13. Carle Place Frogs 14. North Shore Vikings

CONFERENCE IV 1. Roosevelt Rough Riders 2. West Hempstead Rams 3. Seaford Vikings 4. V.S. North Spartans 5. Clarke Rams 6. Locust Valley Falcons 7. Island Trees Bulldogs 8. East Rockaway Rocks 9. Cold Spring Harbor Seahawks 10. Malverne Mules 11. Mineola Mustangs 12. Oyster Bay Baymen


2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

15

CIRCLE THE CALENDAR October DAY

COACH VIN MASCIA East Meadow

COACH RUSS CELLAN Freeport

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CALHOUN CLARKE KENNEDY SOUTH SIDE BALDWIN CAREY Locust Valley ELMONT FREEPORT Manhasset LONG BEACH SEWANHAKA MALVERNE MacArthur OCEANSIDE Seaford Hicksville V.S. NORTH V.S. SOUTH HEWLETT EAST MEADOW Herricks Hicksville CALHOUN CLARKE EAST ROCKAWAY MacArthur LAWRENCE Garden City LYNBROOK Mineola MEPHAM FREEPORT ROOSEVELT Glen Cove North Shore V.S. CENTRAL Carle Place

Herricks Island Trees Westbury Carle Place EAST MEADOW Garden City EAST ROCKAWAY Wantagh Uniondale LAWRENCE New Hyde Park LYNBROOK Oyster Bay MEPHAM Massapequa ROOSEVELT V.S. CENTRAL WEST HEMPSTEAD North Shore Glen Cove Farmingdale KENNEDY BALDWIN CAREY V.S. NORTH WEST HEMPSTEAD ELMONT HEWLETT LONG BEACH Bethpage MALVERNE Westbury OCEANSIDE Locust Valley SEWANHAKA SOUTH SIDE Syosset V.S. SOUTH

DAY

TIME

COACH JAY IAQUINTA

5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

COACH NICK MARTONE Kennedy

COACH STEVE LOCICERO Lynbrook

13 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 26 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27

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TIME

FREEPORT HEWLETT OCEANSIDE KENNEDY ELMONT CLARKE Massapequa Island Trees Farmingdale Plainedge LONG BEACH MEPHAM WEST HEMPSTEAD Carle Place Division Plainview V.S. NORTH V.S. SOUTH MALVERNE Hicksville BALDWIN CALHOUN CAREY CLARKE FREEPORT EAST ROCKAWAY LAWRENCE Wantagh Plainedge Seaford Herricks SOUTH SIDE V.S. CENTRAL C.S. Harbor WEST HEMPSTEAD SEWANHAKA

OCEANSIDE LYNBROOK BALDWIN CALHOUN CAREY Locust Valley EAST MEADOW EAST ROCKAWAY FREEPORT LAWRENCE MacArthur New Hyde Park ROOSEVELT SEWANHAKA SOUTH SIDE V.S. CENTRAL Seaford Manhasset C.S. Harbor OCEANSIDE Syosset ELMONT KENNEDY ROOSEVELT EAST MEADOW Oyster Bay Floral Park LONG BEACH LYNBROOK MALVERNE MEPHAM V.S. SOUTH Uniondale V.S. NORTH Locust Valley HEWLETT

3:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

MALVERNE Photo by Kathy Leistner

HERALD

ELEVEN

Player

Team

Grade

Position

Frank Accardi

V.S. South

12

Running back

Joe Aliberti

Mepham

12

Linebacker

Joey Capobianco

Lawrence

11

Quarterback

Giancarlo Carvalho

East Meadow

12

Lineman

Tyler Fredericks

Lawrence

12

Running back

Vassili Grigorakos

Oceanside

12

Linebacker

Tayvon Hall

West Hempstead 12

Running back

Anthony Martelli

V.S. North

12

Quarterback

Anthony Pintabona

Oceanside

12

Receiver

Eddie Robinson

Lawrence

12

Receiver

Javaun Tomlinson

Baldwin

12

Running back

NOTE: Local teams listed in BOLD/CAPS

COACH KITO LOCKWOOD

Hewlett

Sat. Fri. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Fri. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat.

DATE

Malverne

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$25 gift certificate to a local eatery, along with their name and pick published in the following week's HERALDS!

TO HIL ONES COACH P South Side

COACH FRANK CHIMIEN TI Valley Stream Central

COACH LANCE GRIFFIN Valley Stream South

COACH DOM

Visit www.liherald.com/contests for a list of games and to make your first pick now!

WEST HEMPSTEAD Photo by Kathy Leistner

C West HempARRE stead

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

CIRCLE THE CALENDAR

17

September DAY

COACH JEFF HARUTHUNIAN Calhoun

COACH RUSS PAJER East Rockaway

COACH JAY HEGI

Fri. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Fri. Fri. Fri. Fri. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Fri. Fri. Fri.

DATE 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 21 21 21

VISITOR

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Plainview Uniondale Wantagh MEPHAM Oyster Bay Hempstead EAST ROCKAWAY ELMONT HEWLETT LONG BEACH Glen Cove LYNBROOK Locust Valley OCEANSIDE SEWANHAKA V.S. NORTH V.S. SOUTH WEST HEMPSTEAD CALHOUN EAST MEADOW BALDWIN SOUTH SIDE MALVERNE CAREY CLARKE Mineola Garden City FREEPORT HEWLETT KENNEDY LYNBROOK ROOSEVELT Bethpage V.S. CENTRAL V.S. SOUTH CAREY Carle Place LAWRENCE

FREEPORT BALDWIN CALHOUN CAREY CLARKE EAST MEADOW ROOSEVELT Herricks Bethpage KENNEDY LAWRENCE Carle Place MALVERNE V.S. CENTRAL SOUTH SIDE Mineola Plainedge C.S. Harbor Westbury OCEANSIDE Farmingdale Floral Park Island Trees LONG BEACH WEST HEMPSTEAD EAST ROCKAWAY ELMONT Massapequa North Shore MEPHAM LAWRENCE V.S. NORTH SEWANHAKA Hempstead Division New Hyde Park HEWLETT Bethpage

DAY

TIME

6:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

COACH JOE MARTILLOTTI Lawrence

COACH SCOTT MARTIN Long Beach

COACH ANTHONY CRACCO Mepham

Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Fri. Fri. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat. Sat.

DATE 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 28 28 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29 29

VISITOR

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Garden City MALVERNE EAST MEADOW Seaford Westbury Syosset KENNEDY Hempstead LONG BEACH Glen Cove MEPHAM ROOSEVELT SEWANHAKA SOUTH SIDE Farmingdale Oyster Bay Floral Park Island Trees Plainview Westbury WEST HEMPSTEAD Massapequa New Hyde Park Wantagh Mineola EAST MEADOW C.S. Harbor ELMONT V.S. CENTRAL Plainedge LAWRENCE LYNBROOK V.S. NORTH Garden City OCEANSIDE ROOSEVELT Division SOUTH SIDE

CALHOUN CLARKE Hicksville EAST ROCKAWAY ELMONT FREEPORT MacArthur BALDWIN Herricks LYNBROOK Wantagh C.S. Harbor North Shore Manhasset V.S. CENTRAL V.S. NORTH V.S. SOUTH WEST HEMPSTEAD OCEANSIDE LONG BEACH Seaford BALDWIN CALHOUN CAREY CLARKE Uniondale EAST ROCKAWAY KENNEDY FREEPORT HEWLETT V.S. SOUTH Manhasset MALVERNE MEPHAM Syosset Island Trees SEWANHAKA Glen Cove

TIME 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

EAST ROCKAWAY Photo by Kathy Leistner

HERALD Player

ELEVEN Team

Grade

Position

Frank Accardi

V.S. South

12

Running back

Joe Aliberti

Mepham

12

Linebacker

Joey Capobianco

Lawrence

11

Quarterback

Giancarlo Carvalho

East Meadow

12

Lineman

Tyler Fredericks

Lawrence

12

Running back

Vassili Grigorakos

Oceanside

12

Linebacker

Tayvon Hall

West Hempstead 12

Running back

Anthony Martelli

V.S. North

12

Quarterback

Anthony Pintabona

Oceanside

12

Receiver

Eddie Robinson

Lawrence

12

Receiver

Javaun Tomlinson

Baldwin

12

Running back

NOTE: Local teams listed in BOLD/CAPS

Elmont

NT OB BOLceOanUside COACH R

COACH JOE VITTO O Roosevelt

IMATIS ORGE KSAeSwanhaka COACH GE

COACH TOM

Valley S Strea CHIAVO m No rth

COACH STEVE CARROLL Baldwin

NLEY IKE STAC arey COACH M

COAC H JOH N BOY L Cla E rke

2012 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE PULL-OUT COURTESY OF THE HERALD

LAWRENCE Photo by Jeff Wilson

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

LONG BEACH

Big Four on Marines’ radar

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

A

fter Long Beach kicked down the playoff door in recent years but twice fell short to Carey in the opening round, coach Scott Martin is looking for the Marines to climb the ladder in 2012. “We proved we can compete with those upper-level teams, and now we’re talking about getting to the Big Four at Hofstra,” said Martin, who guided the team to a 5-4 finish last season. “I’m confident we’re a playoff team and I think we can climb up, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.” The offense has something to prove given the loss of All-County quarterback Tom Rowley and four starting linemen, but the unit isn’t without talent. Senior Adam Salvadori, who contributed mainly as a linebacker last year but also played a large role in the team’s regular-season finale win over Herricks after replacing Rowley under center, takes over as the starting signal-caller. “Adam’s still learning the system, but he’s a confident kid and we’re confident he’ll step in and do a good job,” Martin said of the 6-foot, 210-pounder. “He’s a powerful runner with throwing ability, and he’s been working hard for years.” Only one starter returns up front and that’s standout junior left tackle Tariq Cole, who earned All-Conference honors a year ago. “He attended some camps during the offsesaon, and I expect him to be in the conversation for the Martone Award,” said Martin, noting the hardware given to the top lineman in Nassau County. “He’s got major size and pure natural strength, and if he gets his hands on anyone they’re not going to be effective.” Whether the entire line meshes, Martin said, could determine how far the Marines go. The group will be counting on some players making the jump from JV, including junior center Matt Michelman and sophomore left guard Donovan Campbell, to slide into starting roles. With the

September 8 15 22 28

@ Kennedy Carey @ Herricks Westbury

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ New Hyde Park Garden City @ MacArthur Wantagh

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

TARIQ COLE

MATT FIRPO

Lineman

Linebacker

280-pound Campbell and 360-pound Cole teaming on the same side, opponents are likely to have a tough time working their way to Salvadori’s left. Also in the mix up front are seniors Sam Golding and Kieran McNamee, junior Connor Kennedy and sophomore Eric Zeppa. Golding and Zeppa are candidates to line up at tight end. “I can’t say yet who’s going to start on the line, but they’ll all be part of the rotation,” Martin said. In the backfield, the Marines are likely to share the workload with sophomore Chris Parler and seniors James Forkin and Billy Kane all in line for carries. Parler, who comes off a remarkable All-County campaign as a freshman at the receiver position, is “going to be all over the place,” Martin noted. Parler, who possesses breakaway speed and reliable hands, had six receiving touchdowns and two scores on special teams. “He’s one of the most athletic kids in the conference, and a special player,” the coach added. Forkin, already with a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at Syracuse University, brings athleticism and experience. “He’s a great athlete and was part of the running back rotation last year,” Martin said. Kane, who missed 2011 with a torn ACL, had a strong opening week of

practice and has the tools to be a twoway starter. Senior Matt Firpo, the anchor of the defense from the middle linebacker spot, will see work at fullback. When Parler’s at tailback, Salvadori will look downfield to senior Jake Brown and Liam Rafferty, and to senior Joel Torres and junior Marke Sutton in the slot. Brown, the backup quarterback who can do damage with the ball in his hands, is a student of the game and the team’s top defensive back. Long Beach’s defense will employ five linebackers, led by Firpo, a three-year starter with a nose for the ball. “We added more to our defensive playbook because of the number of returnees,” Martin said. “Matt’s our defensive quarterback.” Zeppa, senior Ryan Ward, and juniors Dan Suarez and Ki-Jana Morton are all potential starters. The D-line features versatile senior Zamarr Allen, who can play nose guard or end, Cole and Golding. Any combination of Parler, Brown, Torres, Kane, Forkin and Sutton could comprise the secondary.

CHRIS PARLER Receiver

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

LYNBROOK

Sum of Owls’ parts is great

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

L

September

ynbrook’s strength in numbers is second to none, and the Owls will once again rely on their combination of depth and talent to get the job done following a 6-4 campaign that brought a fifth appearance in the Conference III semifinals in six years. “We had tremendous dedication throughout the summer in the weight room, and one of our goals is to get back to the Big Four,” coach Steve LoCicero said. “We want to be playing our best football towards the end of the year and hit the playoffs on a high note.” The Owls are seeded fifth and will play three of their first four games on the road, including a trip to defending champion and No. 1-seed Lawrence in Week 2. “The benefit of the early road games is we’ll have three of the last four at home, where we’ve been very successful over the years,” said LoCicero, who recalled just two home defeats in his six seasons at the helm. When Lynbrook opens at Carle Place, senior Eduardo Martinez will make his starting debut at quarterback at any level. “He’s a smart kid who can do it all and handle the pressure,” LoCicero said. “I’m not concerned about his inexperience.” The coach projects throwing between a dozen and 15 times per game, and Martinez’s list of targets starts with senior wideout Nick LoCicero. A serious injury cut LoCicero’s season short after four games last fall, but he’s 100 percent and runs crisp routes and catches everything thrown his way. Senior David Gralitzer, at 6-foot-3, is a big target opposite LoCicero, and senior Matt Fernez will be a weapon in the slot and can gobble up yards after the catch. The line has many able bodies. Senior center Matt Boll has a few starts under his belt, while others either contributed as varsity reserves or are up from JV. Juniors Chris Francia (tackle) and Brian Burke (guard) are likely starters on the left side,

8 15 22 29

@ Carle Place @ Lawrence Glen Cove @ Manhasset

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 19 27

Sewanhaka @ Bethpage Hewlett Plainedge

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

NICK LOCICERO

DAN KELLY

Receiver

Running back

and senior Jason Espinsoa (tackle) and sophomore Stephen Rossetti (guard) top the depth chart on the right. Others in the mix include juniors Derek Colannino and Matt Hennessey. “I’m very excited about the line,” coach LoCicero said. Senior Dan Kelly spearheads the ground attack and is someone opponents will focus on containing. Joining the backfield is junior Joe LaBarber, the leading JV rusher a year ago. “The more carries Dan gets, the stronger he gets,” LoCicero said of Kelly. “He can run it up the middle, but has enough speed to take it outside.” The Owls also boast a couple of versatile tight ends. Seniors Austin Bilello and Kenny Rubin, both 6-foot-2, 210 pounds with nonstop motors, will also serve as two defensive keys from the linebacker position. “We played really good defense last year,” said LoCicero, who has just as many bodies to choose from to contribute to the stop-unit as he does on offense. Bilello and Rubin are joined at by seniors Griffin Kelly and Paul Generosa, as well as junior Frank Cavassa. Up front, the Owls can shut gaps and fluster quarterbacks. Senior end Matt Mott has all the tools — size, speed, and athleticism — and All-County potential. Hennessey

or seniors Chris Roepken and Kevin Estrada will start opposite Mott. Roepken could start alongside senior Mike Cantanno at tackle, where senior John Vitale and juniors Nick Mascia, Joe DiLuca and Vinny Caracciolo will chip in. Junior Joe Grossi, a returning starter, leads the secondary and is switching from cornerback to free safety where his field vision will be put to greater use. Senior Bryce Coleman is ready to step in at strong safety, and the options at corner are seemingly endless with seniors Charlie Curcio, Robert Steinert, Gavin Dowd and Greg Karaczynski, and juniors Harrison Conn and Austin Sabel. In close games, special teams could push Lynbrook over the top. Senior kicker Pedro Martinez has turned heads in camp, booting field goals of 40-plus yards, and senior Tommy Wohlmacher will be tough to tame on coverages. Grossi and Ferenz lead the return units. “Everyone has a team mentality,” said LoCicero, “and they’re already jelling.”

MATT MOTT Defensive end

Photos by Ron Manfredi

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

MALVERNE

Mules aim for a resurgence

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

M

8 14 22 29

Locust Valley @ Island Trees @ Clarke V.S. North

1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ Oyster Bay Mineola @ C.S. Harbor Seaford

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

MICHAEL SALAMONE

AARON HILL

Guard

Quarterback

more Maxon Jean turned a few heads during the opening week of camp. Jean, who also stood out during offseason drills, will be part of the return units as well. A pair of sophomores, Kyle Richard and Kevin Young, are auditioning at tight end but instead could see time on the offensive line. Spearheading the ground attack is senior speedster Antonio Soares, a track and field standout. Time will tell if he can be an every-down back, and Lockwood said junior Prince Scott and senior Najee Lee will contribute out of the backfield. “In my opinion, Antonio is one of the fastest players in the county,” Lockwood said. “He’s got breakaway speed and we need to get him some space.” The front line has more questions than answers heading into the opener against Locust Valley. Junior Michael Salamone (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) anchors the group at right guard, where he started last season. “He doesn’t back down from anyone and he’s probably the hardest worker on the team,” said Lockwood, who added assistant coach Francis Orekoya is working hard with the group. Junior Tyler Zimmerman, a beast on defense, or junior William Hackett will be the starting center. Senior left tackle Emmanuel Adeyeye (6-4,

235) has all the tools, and junior James Henderson is pushing for a starting job. On defense, the Mules will employ four linemen and four linebackers. “Stopping the run is priority,” Lockwood said. Zimmerman anchors the unit from the middle linebacker spot and is a strong tackler. Joining him at the position are Richard, Kelly and junior Donovan Veaurban. Some of the same faces that comprise the offensive front will be asked to work in the trenches on defense, while the secondary has Soares and Jean at the corners and either senior Tyler Michaels or Hill at safety. “The kids impressed me during the first week of practice,” Lockwood said. “Our numbers are a bit concerning, having less than 30 kids, and we’re young, which could be a bad thing or a good thing.” Seeded 10th in the 12-team conference, the Mules have their work cut out as far as qualifying for the playoffs is concerned. Their first four games are against teams ranked higher: sixth, seventh, fifth and fourth. “I’m striving to be .500,” Lockwood said.

TYLER ZIMMERMAN Linebacker

Photos by Kathy Leistner

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alverne must overcome its youth, a lack of depth and a challenging first half of the schedule to make a run at the Conference IV playoffs after missing out last season with a 3-5 record. “We need to beat a high-caliber team and build some confidence,” coach Kito Lockwood said. “The schedule is top-heavy, so we’ll have early tests. One thing we haven’t done in recent years is get better down the stretch, so I’m hoping that’s something we’ll change.” The Mules struggled on the defensive side of the ball in 2011, allowing at least 34 points in four of five losses, and Lockwood is seeking marked improvement against the run. “I’m pleased with what we’ve got, but I’m concerned about depth,” he said. “I think if all the pieces come together up front, we can do a lot of good things.” An offense led by junior quarterback Aaron Hill could take some pressure off the defense. Hill, who came out of the backfield last season, takes over at signalcaller after incumbent Malique Merchant moved to Westbury. “Aaron’s the complete package,” Lockwood said. “He can run and throw and is a student of the game. He’s a game-changer.” Hill was the team’s second-leading rusher to Merchant last year, and though his legs can do lots of damage, Lockwood, a former star tailback at Malverne, wants the offense to be as balanced as possible. “Having a balanced offense makes things tougher on a defense,” Lockwood said. “Our pass protection needs to be better if we’re going to throw as much as we’d like.” Senior wide receiver Tyrae Kelly, a three-year starter, is someone Lockwood plans to get plenty of touches. “He’s big and physical with unlimited skills,” Lockwood said. “He can stretch a defense and makes things happen.” Senior Solomon Duchesne emerged as a target late last season and can pick up where he left off, while talented sopho-

September


2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

MEPHAM

Defense a driving force for Pirates Schedule

BY STEVE SINISKI

A

veteran defense and a deep talent pool on the offensive side of the field have helped Mepham set its sights on earning another trip to the playoffs. Coming off a 4-4 mark in Conference II and the program’s third consecutive playoff berth under coach Anthony Cracco, the progress arrow continues to point straight up for the Pirates. “I feel we’re a little deeper and have multiple guys that can play in [a number] of spots,” Cracco said. If there was one key position with a battle coming down to the wire in training camp, it was quarterback, where junior Chris Vento and sophomore Tyler Davis were vying for the starting job. The backfield has a wealth of talent returning with senior Shane Agostino and juniors Chris Gabriel and Chris Durkin all expected to get consistent handoffs. A wide receiver last season, Agostino is now in line to do more than just have a few passes thrown his way. “He had a big year last year,” Cracco said. “We have multiple packages, some in the backfield and some in the slot. He’s definitely a kid we’re looking to get the ball to.” Senior Joe Aliberti, a returning AllCounty tackle, anchors a veteran line that is loaded with seniors. “He’s the real deal,” Cracco said of the 6-foot-3, 250-pound battering ram. “I think he’s one of the premier players in the County. He has the ability to finish blocks off like no player I’ve ever coached. He consistently finishes plays with defensive players on the ground.” Pat Receno lines up at center with guards John Rizzo and Nick Carter flanking him. Classmate Brian Ferris is slotted in at the other tackle spot. Senior Cory Heller has the versatility to play any of the line positions. The returning experience is a boost not only to the new quarterback, but also the potentially explosive

September 8 15 22 29

@ Carey Kennedy @ Wantagh Garden City

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

MacArthur @ Westbury @ New Hyde Park Herricks

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

JOE ALIBERTI

SHANE AGOSTINO

Lineman

Running back

group of runners. “Having the ability to run the ball is critical to any high school offense,” Cracco said. “And to step in as a high school quarterback knowing you have an experienced line is important. You know you’ll be able to stand [in the pocket] and they’ll make blocks.” Sophomore Yianni Hilas and Joe Pedine are among a large group of receivers that will take the field and provide plenty of options in the passing attack. Juniors Danny Kapps, Austin Replogle and Andrew Licausi and sophomore Cormack Quigley, as well as senior tight ends Logan Abrams and Henry Senatore are all vying for looks in the passing game. “By having quality depth at the skill positions, we’ll be able to spread the ball out and look for matchups that [our guys] can win,” Cracco said. As explosive as the offense appears, however, it’s on the defensive side of the field where the Pirates truly seem to generate big plays and excitement. The big push in the attacking scheme is generated by a veteran front seven that includes Aliberti, Senatore, Heller, Receno, Durkin and senior Justin Derosena. “Our defense sets the tone for the entire team,” Cracco said, noting the efforts of coordinator Rich Biancanello. “He makes our defense and

a being part of the defense at Mepham is special for the kids. He puts them in positions to make big plays.” The defensive backfield is also long on talent, as Agostino teams up with junior Ian Avanzato at strong safety, while the versatile Vento is locked in at free safety. Pedine and senior Tyler Clougher are penciled in for time at cornerback. The Pirates placed a bigger emphasis on special teams during camp, and the kicking units appear to be in good hands — or feet — with Vento punting and senior Dante Ippolitto handling placekicking duties. Seeded No. 7 in Conference II, Mepham has tough sledding ahead. After opening with Carey, the Pirates battle in-district rival Kennedy followed by Wantagh and Garden City, the two finalists in the conference last season. “That’s a daunting task,” Cracco said of the first four weeks. “We play three of the top seeds and have a rivalry game against a team we always play barnburners against.”

PAT RECENO Lineman

Photos by Ron Manfredi

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

OCEANSIDE

Sailors bring lots to the table

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

A

fter winning just once in 2008, Oceanside has evolved into a contender under head coach Rob Blount with three straight appearances in the Conference I playoffs including backto-back trips to the semifinals. The Sailors, who went 5-5 overall last season, return their share of talent and experience and figure to be part of the county title conversation come November. Seeded No. 4, they’ll open at Valley Stream Central before hosting defending champion East Meadow in Week 2. “We’ve done some really good things in the past three years and we’re looking to go as far as we can,” Blount said. “Our strength is at the skill positions. We don’t have any starters back on the offensive line, but we’ve got capable guys and if they come together we’re going to be that much better.” Though Tom Capone has only four career starts under his belt, he provides Oceanside with one of the more experienced quarterbacks in Conference I. The senior double threat led the team to victory in the regular-season finale at Farmingdale and started the playoff win over MacArthur before leaving with a knee injury. “Tom’s a big, strong kid who knows the offense and can throw and run,” Blount said. “He’s been working hard.” Capone’s favorite target will be no secret. Senior wideout Anthony Pintabona comes off an All-County campaign that saw him haul down 30 catches for 560 yards. “Anthony’s a great route-runner with speed and leaping ability,” Blount said. “He’ll out-jump bigger defensive backs to come down with the ball.” Joining Pintabona are juniors Ryan McCarthy and Tim Nolan. To say the Sailors are deep in the backfield would be an understatement. They were already returning seniors Justin Buckley and Shane Saucier, and junior Luke Schwasnick, and added a key

September 8 14 22 29

@ V.S. Central East Meadow Plainview @ Syosset

1:30 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 26

@ Massapequa Freeport @ Baldwin Hicksville

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

ANTHONY PINTABONA

JUSTIN BUCKLEY

Receiver

Running back

transfer in senior Vasilli Grigorakos. An All-County selection as a junior at Massapequa, Blount said Grigorakos rushed for 900 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011 and brings a smash-mouth style to the huddle. The coach described Buckley, a threeyear starter who had 700 yards and nine scores last season, as the team’s best athlete. Buckley and Schwasnick, who developed into a force down the stretch a year ago and scored twice in the playoff win over MacArthur, will both see time as slot receivers. Saucier is a hard-nosed runner and someone who’s number will get called in short-yardage situations. The line is a question mark but has size and potential. Three starting jobs appeared locked by the second week of camp, Blount said. Junior tackle James Kretkowski (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) and junior guard Max Schneider (6-0, 280) comprise the left side, and senior Scott Schulz takes over at center. On the right side, junior Spencer Anderson (6-4, 270) and sophomore Matt Kear are working at guard, and senior Jimmy McGuinness and junior Ryan Hertling top the depth chart at tackle. Hertling is set to contribute in every area. He’s slated to start at defensive end with Buckley and also handle punting

duties. Junior Mike Palmiotto is the new kicker. Defensively, the Sailors allowed a reasonable 23.2 points per game last season. The addition of Grigorakos alone could bring that number to shrink. He had 85 tackles for the Chiefs and will line up on the strong side, Blount said. Saucier, another bruiser, mans the middle, and sophomore Morgan McCarthy fills the weak side. Up front, holes for opponents could be tough to find with tackles Schneider and senior Jesse Haskell (6-1, 305) clogging the middle. The secondary is led by Pintabona, a shutdown cornerback sure to get the toughest assignment each week. He had 16 pass breakups and two interceptions last fall. Ryan McCarthy can wreak havoc at the other corner, and Blount likes the physical element juniors Connor Johnson and Joe Denaro bring to the safety spots. “Those guys take a lot of pride in defense,” Blount said. Back-to-back games against Freeport and Baldwin in October will provide a late-season measuring stick, Blount said. “Those games will tell us who we are heading into the playoffs,” he said.

TOM CAPONE Quarterback

Photos by Ron Manfredi

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

ROOSEVELT

Rough Riders out to defend title

Schedule

BY ANDREW McCLURE

R

oosevelt is coming off a season that saw it win its first Nassau County title since 2006, putting an end to Seaford’s four-year reign as Conference IV champions. The Rough Riders, who knocked off East Rockaway 21-14 in the title game, lost a slew of skill players including All-County running back Erin Parker, but return everyone on the offensive line. The top-seeded Rough Riders, No. 2 West Hempstead and No. 3 Seaford should all vie for league supremacy in what figures to be a very deep conference. Longtime Roosevelt head coach Joe Vito likes the makeup of his team. "While we return a lot of players from last year, this team is very different from past teams," Vito said. “We don't have a superstar player, but we have experienced guys on the line who have played a lot as a unit. It's the first time since 2006 where we've had a line made up of guys who were mostly in the same class. It's nice to have guys who have been together through some battles." Right tackle Nefty Henderson is the anchor of the offensive line, and the unit's only senior. Vito expects the 6-foot-3, 275pound Henderson to get plenty of looks from college programs. Senior center Sam Edouard is a consistent lineman who blocks well, and does a very good job longsnapping for the punting team. Both starting guards return. Junior Rob Hansen, the strongest player on the team, has terrific football IQ and is an excellent run-blocker. With a year of varsity experience under his belt, junior right guard Kayshawn Malone should be solid. Junior Kyle Manuel starts at left tackle. Roosevelt's tight ends are critical in its run-oriented offensive attack. Junior Raymond Jones, an outstanding blocker, and senior Marquell Saunders, a fouryear starter who blocks well and has good hands, should form a solid tandem at end. Replacing Rob Sweeney at quarter-

September 8 15 22 29

East Rockaway @ V.S. North @ C.S. Harbor @ Island Trees

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

Seaford @ Locust Valley West Hempstead Clarke

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

NEFTALI HENDERSON

JOHN AKIN

Lineman

Running back

back will be sophomore Justin Terry. Vito thinks Terry will be a strong fit for his offense attack. Terry's quickness gives him the ability to get outside and make opponents miss, and his strong throwing arm, when the Rough Riders go to the air, makes him a dual threat. Junior fullback Jordan David is a versatile performer who is tough between the tackles and has breakaway speed. Junior running back John Akins should get the bulk of the carries after getting spot duty as a sophomore. Sophomore speed demon Denzell Barnes gives Roosevelt another threat, while sophomore Shamari Kirkpatrick could see time at all positions in the backfield. Vito said the defense has to be better this year if the team is going to compete for a championship. "We were pretty bad at times last season, so we're making it a big point of emphasis to get stronger on defense," Vito said. "We have to get better against the pass, and we'd like to force more turnovers. We have a ways to go to get where we need to be." On defense, two-way starters Henderson and Hansen will be tough to move in the trenches. Junior Chris Anderson and freshman Chuk Ukwu take over at defensive end.

Akins and David should be in on a lot of tackles from their inside linebacker positions. Jones and fellow junior Devonte Seals will handle the outside backer positions. A new secondary composed of Barnes and Terry on the corners and Saunders at safety should be tough to beat when foes go to the air. Despite winning the title a year ago, Roosevelt is still one of the conference's younger teams. Vito will rely heavily on his experienced line to set the tone. “One of the real positives is the way the guys on the line get along," Vito said. "It's very important. To be honest, anytime we've had a unit that worked out together, and hung out on and off the field together, we've been successful. If we can cut back on our turnovers, something that was a problem last year, and force opponents to turn it over, we should be fine. The conference is very good once again.”

RAYMOND JONES Tight end

Photos by Susan Grieco

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

SEWANHAKA

New beginning for young Tribe

Schedule

ANDREW McCLURE

A

September

fter registering back-to-back 6-2 campaigns, Sewanhaka had a disappointing 2-6 season in 2011 and missed the playoffs. With only one returning starter and a bevy of sophomores on the roster, this figures to be a building year for the Indians. They’re seeded No.11 seed in a tough Nassau Conference III, which includes the likes of Lawrence, Plainedge and Bethpage. George Kasimatis, in his fourth season as head coach, is hopeful his young team will get better as the year goes along. “We’re very young and don’t have many players with varsity experience,� Kasimatis said. “The great thing about a young team is having the opportunity to watch them grow and improve from week to week. They’re a great bunch of kids who love to play football, and are terrific to work with. The coaching staff is excited about working with this group.� Perhaps the biggest difference from past teams at Sewanhaka is the lack of a big man on the line. It lost Kareem Are and Chris Jean to graduation, a pair of 6-foot-6 linemen both playing at the next level. The Indians don’t have the size in the trenches, so they will have to rely on their quickness and agility. Nick Montoni is the only returning starter on either side of the ball. The senior center is a hard-working, intelligent player who will anchor a young group of offensive linemen. Senior tackle Jamal Mirville, another lineman with excellent football IQ, is strong at pulling and assists Montoni with calling out blocking assignments. Kasimatis will lean heavily on Montoni and Mirville for leadership. There are battles going on for playing time at nearly every position including quarterback. Sophomore Peter Militano brings linebacker mentality to the quarterback position. Militano, a standout fullback on a JV squad that went 7-1 a year ago, is the type of runner who never shies

8 15 22 29

@ South Side Bethpage @ North Shore Division

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ Lynbrook Glen Cove Carle Place @ Hewlett

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

NICK MONTONI

JAMAL MIRVILLE

Lineman

Lineman

away from contact. Junior Jake Mellon is more of a drop-back passer. Regardless of who is selected to call signal, both players will have a spot with the offensive unit. Junior De'Ante Gonzalez can play either halfback or fullback. He should get plenty of carries in a revamped offense that will be run by former Sewanhaka head coach Laurence Reid. Senior Jaquan Johnson is quick, agile, and catches the ball well out of the backfield. Fleet-footed junior Elijah Smith gives the Indians another breakaway threat. When the Indians go to the air, senior Jerry Bolivar, junior Tyler Regnier, and senior Ryan Byrne are more than capable targets. Jacques Francois not only catches the ball well, he’s also an excellent blocker from his wide out position. On defense, the Indians will try to use their quickness to make up for their lack of size. Mirville will be tough to push around at nose guard, and Montoni returns at tackle. Regnier, Gonzalez, and senior Greg Gange have the inside track at defensive end. Militano may be the hardest hitter on the team. While Kasimatis said he’ll likely be cautious about using Militano on both sides of the ball, it will be difficult to have him on the sidelines. Junior Fred Bailey and Bolivar will occupy inside

linebacker slots. The secondary will feature Francois, Smith, Johnson and junior Malik Elliot. Expect sophomore Brenton Mighty, one of the go-to guys on the JV, to see time at cornerback and also in the offensive backfield. Playing in what is typically one of the county’s most competitive conferences will be tough on Sewanhaka. The Indians will face Bethpage, Glen Cove, South Side, Lynbrook, Hewlett, Carle Place/Wheatley, Levittown Division, and North Shore. The opener brings a trip to South Side. Kasimatis knows that with a young, inexperienced roster, success won’t be measured solely by wins and losses. “We’re not big, not deep, and we don’t have a lot of experience, but the enthusiasm is terrific,� he said. “It’s great to have guys that want to learn. It may not show on the scoreboard each week, but we expect to get better as the year progresses. With a lot of sophomores, we’re really looking forward to being around these guys for three seasons.�

JAQUAN JOHNSON Running back

Photos by Janette Pellegrini

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

SOUTH SIDE

Cyclones pointed in right direction Schedule

BY TOM JORDAN

W

September

hen Phil Onesto took over as coach of the South Side football program last fall, he inherited a team in need of an adrenaline boost. The Cyclones were coming off a 1-7 season in which theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been shut out three times and were sometimes not competitive in defeat. Onesto, a disciple of longtime coach Walter Denton and once a star receiver on a South Side team that played its way to a county championship a decade ago, wanted to change the losing culture in a hurry. He reminded his players and the South Side faithful that the team was not that far removed from glory. He spoke of a resurgence, and talked about what a privilege it was to play football and to play it for South Side. He recruited gifted athletes from other sports and he promoted promising players from the JV squad, including a junior quarterback named Cole Considine. Onesto was a ball of energy. Then on their first possession of their first game, the Cyclones moved right down the field. Considine scrambled and he threw on the run and he dropped perfect spirals into receiversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; waiting hands. They drove deep into Valley Stream South territory and had it first-and-goal on the five before they were stopped on four straight plays. Then ended up losing 21-0. Rome wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t built in a day. A week later the Cyclones fell to Hewlett, 25-14, but they got a 21-yard touchdown run from Eric Willie and a 38-yard touchdown strike from Considine. They were 0-2 but little by little things were beginning to take shape. They were 0-2 but had reasons to be excited. It all came together in Week 3, when they beat Great Neck North, 27-20. Considine threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and Willie rushed 27 times for 244 yards and a pair of scores. The Cyclones had a win, an identity and a direction. They also defeated Roslyn, 40-6, in October, as Considine ran for a

8 14 22 29

Sewanhaka @ Floral Park Manhasset @ Glen Cove

1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 5 13 20 27

@ Carle Place North Shore Division @ V.S. South

7:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

MATT BERRY

HARRY DANTONA

Receiver

Lineman

touchdown and passed for another. In their six losses, only in a 43-6 loss at Bethpage were they overwhelmed. They finished 2-6 but came a long way from that stalled opening drive in Valley Stream South. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Going 2-6 may not sound like a successful season for a lot of people,â&#x20AC;? said Onesto, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but when you consider the strides we made, and the excitement around the team, and the reaction from the community, it was all very positive.â&#x20AC;? Much will depend again on Considine, now a senior with a year of varsity ball under his belt. The quarterback showed agility and he showed a deft touch, but the Cyclones are looking for much more this time around. Considine will lead an offense that features Willie, fullback Kevin Rafferty and receivers Matt Berry, Eric Genare and Matt and Paul Gandolfi. Harry Dantona, Nils Destafano and Matt Forscher anchor a strong offensive line that will look to open holes for the backs and allow Considine to survey the field. Onesto expects big things from Rafferty, a player who â&#x20AC;&#x153;lived in the weight roomâ&#x20AC;? in the offseason, trying to get stronger. All in all, it is a talented group. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean that Onesto isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t looking to bolster his talent. He promoted

sophomore Steven Gimare from the JV squad, which went 5-3 a year ago. Alex Weiss is another newcomer with a strong work ethic, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll start at defensive tackle. Sophomore John Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Shea will start at defensive end. The leader of the defensive unit is middle linebacker Eddie Seganti. Most of the starters on offense are two-way players. Onesto believes the addition of Keith Lessuk to the coaching staff will go a long way in rounding the group into shape. Lessuk, the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s varsity baseball coach, has stepped in to help as a defensive coordinator. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already been a huge help,â&#x20AC;? Onesto said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great teacher, a great coach and a great mentor.â&#x20AC;? The Cyclones, seeded No. 12, still have a ways to go before theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re contenders for a playoff spot in Conference III, but they are headed in the right direction. They open at home versus Sewanhaka, the No. 11 seed, then hit the road to face sixth-seeded Floral Park before returning home in Week 3 to take on the highest seed on their schedule, No. 4 Manhasset.

COLE CONSIDINE Quarterback

Photos by Susan Grieco

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September 6, 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

V.S. CENTRAL

Eagles face tough early tests

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

G

etting through the first half of a grueling Conference I schedule in reasonable shape will be a key to Valley Stream Central’s chances of challenging for its first appearance in the Nassau County football playoffs since 1993. The Eagles, who finished 2-6 last season, winning their opener and finale while averaging 10.2 points in six defeats, drew Freeport, Farmingdale and Oceanside as September opponents. “We’re going up against teams with great talent and coaches, but we’re working as hard as they are,” coach Frank Chimienti said. “It’s a great opportunity for us, but at the same time the season isn’t about just two or three games. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Central, seeded No. 11 this year, sprinted out of the gate last season, beating Port Washington in the opener behind Laton Butler’s 250 rushing yards. But everything changed for the worse on the opening offensive series in Week 2 when Butler suffered a season-ending broken clavicle. As a sophomore in 2010, he rushed for nearly 1,200 yards. “Laton can be dynamic, and it’s great to see him healthy,” Chimienti said of the senior tailback. “He has tremendous vision of the field, great quickness and the ability to break tackles.” Butler won’t be getting the ball 30 times a game, however. The Eagles’ backfield also features senior speedster Delencio Blanco-Halstead and versatile junior Suraj Kumar, as well as fullbacks DeShawn Newton, a senior, and Boljan Castillo, a junior. Sophomore quarterback Vito Friscia’s throwing ability should allow for a balanced attack, Chimienti said. “Vito had a strong JV season and has a varsity start and win under his belt,” the coach noted. “He’s a big kid with a strong arm, and he knows how to read a defense. His potential to be a three-year starting quarterback for us is exciting.” Senior Brandon Wilder backs up

September 8 15 22 29

Oceanside @ Hempstead Farmingdale @ Freeport

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

FRANCISCO MONTALVO Lineman

Friscia and also serves as the No. 1 wide receiver. Wilder is a big target with the ability to catch the ball in traffic and shed tackles. Split wide opposite Wilder will be junior Ludwig Louis, a transfer student from Florida who enjoyed a solid opening week of camp. “He looks the part,” Chimienti said of the newcomer. “He can jump, he’s physical, and he can be a big contributor.” Also in the mix at receiver are senior Nick Rosario and junior Stephen Falana. Anchoring the offensive line from the center position is senior captain Francisco Montalvo, an All-Conference selection a year ago. “He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve coached,” Chimienti said. Senior Aaron Martino, another captain, returns at tackle and worked hard in the weight room to improve his strength, the coach said. Senior tackle Michael Claussell bulked up during the offseason and moves well in space. At guard, junior Chris Robert is athletic and physical, and sophomore Gabe Alejo appears ready to make the transition from JV to varsity. “We’re running the same system at all three levels,” said Chimienti, citing the Middle School, JV and varsity programs. “Every year we’re getting healthier and improving.”

Hicksville @ Syosset Plainview @ Uniondale

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

BRANDON WILDER Receiver

Defensively, Chimienti said the unit faces a serious test opening week when Oceanside visits Firemen’s Field. But he likes the talent and depth at linebacker and believes the Eagles’ three-man front can hold its own. “We’re trying to go with as many one-way starters as possible to keep everyone as fresh as possible,” he said. Montalvo, Blanco-Halstead, Newton and Castillo are likely to comprise the starting linebacker group, and Chimienti said the foursome complement each other’s talents. In the trenches, Central has its work cut out given the schedule but is not without potential with Robert and juniors Treyvon Robinson and George Hughes. “We’ve got good experience in the front seven,” Chimienti said. In the secondary, senior cornerback Chad Blaize brings blazing speed and ballhawking skills. Senior safety Greg Jursack is a steady performer, and Louis is the X-factor. Butler and classmates Kendal Collis and Devon Kearney are in the mix at corner. “We can’t worry about the teams on our schedule,” Chimienti said. “We just have to worry about ourselves and work toward getting better every week and being competitive.”

LATON BUTLER Running back

Photos by Kathy Leistner

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

V.S. NORTH

Spartans have unfinished business Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

L

September

ast year was a special one for Valley Stream North, which tied a program record for wins in a single season with eight when it knocked off four-time defending Conference IV champion Seaford in the first round of the playoffs. Now the Spartans, who came within one play of beating eventual champion Roosevelt in the semifinals, will try to pick up where they left off with a senior-led group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The kids who graduated in June are telling our returning guys to finish what we started last year,â&#x20AC;? coach Tom Schiavo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re done. I think we can make another run, but the conference is as deep as its been in a long time.â&#x20AC;? Fourth-seeded Northâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schedule in September is interesting. It faces the three lowest seeds â&#x20AC;&#x201D; No. 11 Mineola, No. 12 Oyster Bay and No. 10 Malverne â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in Weeks 1, 3 and 4, respectively, in addition to No. 1 Roosevelt. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are quite a few teams with a lot of experience back, especially on the line,â&#x20AC;? Schiavo noted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping to get our O-line to jell quickly.â&#x20AC;? Having a three-year starter at quarterback will help ease some of the lineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growing pains. Senior Anthony Martelli, an All-County selection, has more than 2,400 career passing yards and last year posted a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 18-to-5 while leading an offense that produced 332 points in the regular season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He sees the field as good as anyone, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a great mind and arm,â&#x20AC;? Schiavo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tough and determined three-sport athlete, and his arm is even stronger than last year.â&#x20AC;? Martelli has plenty of weapons at his disposal. Seniors Stephen Giuliante, James Capoziello, Dylan Heitner and Frank Trotta are all capable of doing damage in the air attack. Schiavo called Capoziello, who will work the slot, the Spartansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;most explosive and dynamic player.â&#x20AC;? Giuliante is a returning starter

8 15 22 29

@ Mineola Roosevelt Oyster Bay @ Malverne

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

BILLY PATSOS

ANTHONY MARTELLI

Running back

Quarterback

with speed and reliable hands, while Heitner and Trotta moved up the depth chart after contributing last season. A handful of starting gigs on the offensive line were up for grabs heading into camp, and Schiavo didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rule out a rotation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The linemen look good and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll play as many as possible,â&#x20AC;? he said. Senior center Nick Miller and senior guard Mike Carucci return to lead the group. Miller stands only 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as tough as they come. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a businessoriented athlete who makes sure everything runs smooth around here,â&#x20AC;? Schaivo explained. The three starting spots up for grabs and depth will be filled between seniors Nick Gonzalez, Paul Acosta, Michael Ferro and Matt Michel, and junior Pat Brady. At the forefront of the running game will be senior Billy Patsos, who came up big in the playoff victory at Seaford. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a grinder who gets stronger as a game goes on,â&#x20AC;? Schiavo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He can run between the tackles but can also get outside.â&#x20AC;? Paving holes for Patsos is senior fullback Isaiah Short, a former linebacker who could get his number called in short-yardage situations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an old-school, crushing blocker,â&#x20AC;? Schiavo said. Northâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defensive players have been

@ West Hempstead Clarke @ Seaford C.S. Harbor

â&#x20AC;&#x153;flying around the fieldâ&#x20AC;? during camp and are well ahead of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pace, Schiavo said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The guys on defense want more than anything to do their share,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They expect a lot from themselves.â&#x20AC;? Opposing tackles could have their hands full with disruptive ends Short and senior Joe White. Brady, coming off a strong JV campaign, joins the group. The Spartans are deep in the interior of the line with Carucci, Acosta, Ferro, Michel and sophomores Shawn Supreme and Shomari Jackson. Gonzalez, one of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top wrestlers, returns at inside linebacker where senior Chris Dinko, and juniors Mike DiRico and Joe Abruzzino will also contribute. Capoziello and Patsos will start on the outside, where Heitner and senior James DiPaoli provide depth. In the secondary, Giuliante and Trotta are locked in the cornerback spots, and sophomore Brian Carroll is making a case to start at safety. On special teams, senior Glen Carey returns at placekicker after booting 28 of 38 extra-point tries in 2011. Giuliante and Patsos can punt.

JAMES CAPOZIELLO Receiver

Photos by Ron Manfredi

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

V.S. SOUTH

Falcons have playoffs in sight

Schedule

BY TONY BELLISSIMO

A

September

fter missing the Conference III playoffs by the slimmest of margins a year ago despite a .500 record, Valley Stream South has its sights set on its first trip to the postseason since 2006. “The kids feel they have some unfinished business after coming so close to the playoffs,” said Joe Gustafeste, who runs the offense for head coach Lance Griffin. “I think we have the tools to surprise some people and be a tough team,” he added. The Falcons will look to pick up where they left off last fall when they rallied from an early 21-point hole to beat Glen Cove, 34-28, marking the biggest comeback victory in Griffin’s 25 years at the helm. Leading the charge is senior AllCounty running back/linebacker Frank Accardi, the go-to guy on offense who last season gained 878 yards and had three touchdowns of 60 yards or longer. “Frank’s our leader on and off the field,” Gustafeste said. “He went to camps all summer and is in great shape. He’s a strong straightahead runner and a great tackler on defense.” Senior Phil Crisci is another member of the ground attack capable of doing damage on sweeps with his combination of speed and cutback ability. He gained more than 400 yards last year and was instrumental in the win over Glen Cove. South is breaking in a new quarterback, former JV starter Jesse Blouin. Gustafeste described the junior as “a student of the game with a strong arm.” Blouin’s first varsity start comes at Plainedge. “Just like anyone making the transition from JV, it’s going to take him a little time to adjust to the speed of the varsity game,” Gustafeste noted. “But Jesse’s not prone to mistakes, and teams will need to respect him.” Getting the ball in the hands of senior speedster Bryan Providence will be one of Blouin’s responsibilities. Providence will serve as a receiving and rushing threat

8 15 22 29

@ Plainedge @ Division Floral Park Lawrence

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

@ North Shore Carle Place @ Manhasset South Side

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

ANTHONY STALLONE

FRANK ACCARDI

Lineman

Running back

from the wing position. “We can go vertical with him or get him the ball at the line of scrimmage,” Gustafeste said of Providence, a track and field standout. At wideout will be seniors Frank Reichert and Steven Gotkin, while senior Anthony Giganti provides a large target at tight end where he’ll also contribute as a blocker. The front line averages 230 pounds, and all but one projected starter brings varsity experience to the huddle. Guards are the key in South’s Wing-T formation, since they’re constantly pulling as lead blockers, Gustafeste said, and senior Anthony Stallone and junior Frank Romano will start. At tackle, senior Chris Infantino is expected to make a smooth transition from tight end since the same blocking schemes are used, and junior Enrique Morales makes the jump from JV. Senior Matt English gets the wheels in motion from the center position. The defensive corps will be put to the test immediately by Plainedge, the No. 2 seed in the lone remaining 14-team conference in Nassau County. Gustafeste is counting on the unit’s strength and depth to make a difference. A rotation will be used at most spots to keep players fresh. Infantino is a threeyear starter on the D-line, where Stallone

also returns. Giganti and senior Michael Springer will handle the workload at end. Accardi spearheads a solid linebacker group from an inside spot. Senior Eric Servian is steady on the outside and someone Gustafeste said “is always in the right position to make a play.” Crisci, English and senior Joey Reichert will also contribute a lot. “What stands out about our linebackers is they’re all very good tacklers,” Gustafeste said. The secondary is led by safety Frank Reichert, who made numerous touchdownsaving tackles a year ago. Providence and Gotkin are the starting corners. “There’s more competition for playing time compared to recent years,” Gustafeste said. “It’s important because the kids are pushing each other.” The Falcons will have revenge on their minds Week 2 when they travel to Division, which took last year’s meeting, 14-12, which ultimately kept South from squeezing into the playoffs. “Division’s a game we’re looking forward to, but right now everyone is focused on Plainedge,” Gustafeste said.

FRANK REICHERT Receiver

Photos by Victoria Lodi

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2012 HERALD High School Football Preview

WEST HEMPSTEAD

Rams won’t sneak up on anyone

Schedule

BY ANDREW McCLURE

I

t wasn’t long ago that West Hempstead had lost 19 straight games and was regularly being penciled in by opponents as their homecoming day foe. However, after finding their way to respectability in 2010, and posting a 6-2 mark a year ago, the Rams have emerged as one of the teams to beat this season. If West Hempstead, the No. 2 seed, can avoid the injury bug that decimated the team a year ago, expect it to compete for its first championship in 30 years. Top-seeded Roosevelt, No. 3 Seaford and No. 4 Valley Stream North figure to be in the mix for Conference IV supremacy. Head coach Dom Carre knows the Rams can no longer fly under the radar. “For a couple years we were able to sneak up on teams, but that’s no longer the case,” he said. “The element of surprise is gone. Everybody knows who we are and what we do. Last year, the end of the season was disappointing, but we’ve regrouped. If we can stay healthy and everyone stays committed, we can be a very good team.” Keeping senior running back Tayvon Hall on the field is essential. Hall, who earned All-County honors as a junior, is a three-sport star who had West Hempstead off to a 5-0 start in 2011 before suffering a serious foot injury that cost him the rest of the football season and all of the basketball season. Carre expects big things from Hall. “Tayvon does everything better than everyone else,” Carre said. “He runs faster, he blocks better, and he catches the ball better than every other player. He’s a little bigger and stronger than he was last season. Tayvon is a big part of what we do.” Calling the signals will be senior Michael Petrizzo. The first-year quarterback will be asked to lead the offense, be a solid runner, and throw the ball when teams are keying on the rushing attack. Sophomore Bruce Gibbs looks good in training camp at both the wing and full-

September 8 15 22 28

@ C.S. Harbor Clarke Island Trees @ Seaford

1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

October 6 13 20 27

CHRISTIAN JEAN-LOUIS Fullback

back. Junior Christian Jean-Louis moves from the offensive line to fullback. West Hempstead’s running game received a huge boost when Enrique McFarlane transferred in from Holy Cross. The talented 6-foot-1 junior will prevent opponents from keying on Hall. The big guys up front blasting open holes for West Hempstead’s backs should be solid. Guard Danny Njoku, an All-County honoree as a junior, is the leader of the group. Njoku will be joined by center Vinny Greco, junior tackles Michael Sands and Kyle Outmazine, and junior tight end Donovan Steele. Like most teams in Conference IV, West Hempstead will have a slew of players lining up on both sides of the ball. Jean-Louis, Njoku, Steele, and Gibbs comprise a big, strong front four that hits like crazy. Carre will look to give his big men a breather from time to time on defense, and hopes that guys from the second unit will embrace their roles and rise to the occasion when called upon. Petrizzo and McFarlane should make up a solid tandem at inside linebacker. Naturally, West Hempstead’s pass defense suffered when Hall went down with his injury. His return at cornerback gives the secondary an immediate boost.

V.S. North East Rockaway @ Roosevelt @ Locust Valley

3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

MICHAEL PETRIZZO Quarterback

The Rams, who fell to East Rockaway in the first round of the playoffs, face a difficult road to the postseason with Seaford, Roosevelt, Locust Valley, Clarke, East Rockaway, Valley Stream North, Island Trees and Cold Spring Harbor on the schedule. Carre believes it will take a full team effort if the Rams are going to take the next step. “ We k n o w what the first unit is capable of, but it’s important that we get more from those who aren’t starters, as we learned last year,” Carre said. “The guys need to understand that just because they’re not starting week one, doesn’t mean they’re not going to be playing in big situations. The backup players need to be ready to perform. We’re going to take it week by week and hope that when the playoffs come around we have a high seed and are playing our best football.”

DANNY NJOKU Lineman

Photos by Kathy Leistner

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

THE BEST COVERAGE OF HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS 52 WEEKS A YEAR JOEY CAPOBIANCO TYLER FREDERICKS EDDIE ROBINSON of Lawrence Photo by Jeff Wilson

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September 6, 2012 — FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

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