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2011 HERALD High School Football Preview

September 8, 2011 - FOOTBALL PREVIEW - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

HEWLETT

Bulldogs no strangers to semifinals Schedule

By TONY BELLISSIMO

September

H

ewlett has become a fixture in the Nassau football playoffs with eight appearances in the last nine years, including seven trips to Hofstra for the semifinals with the latest coming in 2010 when it came up short against Lawrence. The Bulldogs, winners of seven games a year ago, will be back at Hofstra this weekend when they host Floral Park in the opener as their home field gets new turf and permanent lights. They’ll hope to return to the college campus in November for the postseason, and as the No. 3 seed in Conference III are expected to do so. “With 10 returning starters we’re in between a veteran and a young team,� head coach Jay Iaquinta said. “We seem pretty strong at the offensive skill positions. How we’re going to stop teams is our biggest concern.� Defending conference and Long Island champion Lynbrook, top-seeded Lawrence, Plainedge, Sewanhaka, Bethpage and Manhasset — all returning playoff teams — can be found on Hewlett’s schedule. It’s possible the Lawrence game, scheduled for Sept. 24, could be played the night before at Hofstra or Hewlett. “I can’t confirm anything with the schedule yet,� Iaquinta said. The Bulldogs’ premier lacrosse players are also two of the key cylinders that crank the football offense’s engine. Senior Mark Rizzo, headed to North Carolina on a lacrosse scholarship, takes over at quarterback after spending last season at running back, while senior Sam Martorella, bound for Michigan to play lacrosse, is the featured wingback. “Mark is one of the better athletes in the conference and is a former JV quarterback,� Iaquinta said of Rizzo, who had seven touchdowns last season. “He’s a great option guy who also throws the ball well.� Martorella, who suffered a serious knee injury last fall that cost him the playoffs and eventually required surgery, had 850 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns.

10 17 24

Floral Park @ South Side Lawrence

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

October 1 6 15 22 29

@ Sewanhaka @ Lynbrook Bethpage @ Manhasset Plainedge

3:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m.

HABNER SANCHEZ

MARK RIZZO

Lineman

Quarterback

The All-County selection heads a backfield that includes senior Justin Fyne, junior Drew Schweitzer and freshman Jeremy Leguillow. “Sam’s just about 100 percent,� Iaquinta said of Martorella. “He’s one of the most explosive backs in the conference and his 40 time is very close to what it was before the injury.� Iaquinta said the offensive front has “as much depth as we’ve had in a while.� Senior center Stanley Friedman is the lone returning full-time starter to the group. Seniors Jared Brent (right tackle), Andrew Ballin (right guard), Carlos Ubiera (left guard) and Pat Vardaro (left tackle) are stepping into starting roles and junior Ayo Akinnowonu is pushing to crack the lineup. Split end Michael Gray (22 catches) has all the tools and is someone sure to give opposing defensive backs fits. The 6-foot-1 senior serves as Rizzo’s go-to receiver. “He’s got great hands, improved speed, and runs good routes,� Iaquinta said. Joining Gray is junior Weldon Irvine, the top receiver on the JV team in 2010 who possesses outstanding size (6-3) and leaping ability. Hewlett’s also capable of putting up points on special teams. Senior Trevor Ellman will try to continue the team’s long line of quality placekickers, and Martorel-

la leads the return units. Rizzo is the returning punter. Iaquinta called his defense “a work in progress� and wants to limit two-way way starters so the unit can jell quicker. The defense played well in all but two wo games last season and returns All-County nty senior linebacker Gabe Rodriguez, who had 52 tackles before missing the playoffs offs due to injury. “Gabe has great instincts cts and makes a lot of stops behind the linee of scrimmage,� Iaquinta said. Gray is a newcomer to the linebacker ker spot where his athleticism will come in handy. Junior Woodley Augustin starts in the middle and junior Logan Grossman n will contribute on the outside. Martorella, fellow seniors Matt Mill-er and Dylan Sasson, junior Zach Rich-man and sophomore Oran Revivo comomprise the secondary, and leading the pass ass rush up front are ends Irvine and senior ior Habner Sanchez.

SAM MARTORELLA Tailback

Photos By Ron Manfredi

GO HEWLETT BULLDOGS!! +HUH VWRD:LQQLQJ)DOO6SRUWV6HDVRQ

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Dom Valenti RJ Valenti (Richie)

High School Football Preview - 2011 Herald Community Newspapers  

High School Football Preview - 2011 Herald Community Newspapers

High School Football Preview - 2011 Herald Community Newspapers  

High School Football Preview - 2011 Herald Community Newspapers

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