A team for the ages: The 1970s

Before the NFL, CBS and WFAN, Boomer Esiason

Before the NFL, CBS and WFAN, Boomer Esiason starred at East Islip High School. (Credit: Newsday File Photo)

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The Seventies will be remembered for the disco beat, Watergate, world championships by the Yankees, Knicks and New York Nets and futility on the part of the Giants and Jets. It was a decade defined by John Travolta's portrayal of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever and Reggie Jackson's portrayal of Mr. October.

Pro football was not king in the 1970s but on Long Island, high school football was - with the emergence of future NFL stars Boomer Esiason, Dan Jiggets, Sean Farrell and Mike Tice. Here, then, is Newsday's all-time Long Island football team for the 1970s:

BOB AVELLINI
New Hyde Park, QB, 1970

Avellini was All-Long Island, went to Maryland and spent the 1975-84 seasons with the Chicago Bears, starting at QB from 1976-78. 

KEVIN BAUGH
Deer Park, RB, 1979

He was a three-sport star, and the only L.I. athlete to win both the Hansen Award as Suffolk's top football player, and the Yastrzemski Award as Suffolk's top baseball player. Baugh was a member of Penn State's 1982 national championship team. 

NICK BUONAMICI
St. Anthony's, OL, 1972

He was the first All-Long Island and All-State selection for the Friars. Buonamici earned four letters at Ohio State.

HERBERT BUTZKE
New Hyde Park, DL, 1978

A ferocious defensive player whose team allowed only seven points in 1977. He won the Thorp Award as Nassau's top player and was a two-time All-Long Island selection.

TONY CAPOZZOLI
St. Dominic, QB, 1975

He won the Thorp Award and led his team to a 9-0 season. He was a great all-around player as a passer, runner and kicker. He booted a 26-yard field goal against Notre Dame for Penn State's first points in the 1976 Gator Bowl.

GEORGE CARABERIS
Farmingdale, OL, 1972

Two-way lineman led the Dalers to back-to-back 9-0 seasons and national top-10 rankings. Caraberis was All-Long Island and first team All-State. He played in college at Brown.

JOE DIANGE
Farmingdale, QB, 1973

A Thorp Award winner, Diange lost only one game in three years with the Dalers. He played defense at Penn State.

CHRIS DIETERICH
Ward Melville, DL, 1975

Dieterich led his team to an undefeated season and won the Hansen Award. He had a great career at North Carolina State. He then played on the defensive front for the Detroit Lions from 1980-86.

TOM DONOVAN
Holy Family, HB, 1974

Led his team to Suffolk's only 9-0 record that season. Donovan played at Penn State and appeared in five games for the New Orleans Saints in 1980.

BOOMER ESIASON
East Islip, QB, 1978

Boomer is ingrained into the New York sports scene as a former Jet and former NFL MVP with the Bengals, and now as a radio/TV personality. At East Islip, he was All-Long Island and led his team to the Rutgers Trophy. Esiason played college ball at Maryland.

SEAN FARRELL
Westhampton, DL, 1977

A two-time All-American at Penn State, he played eight seasons in the NFL (Buccaneers, Patriots, Broncos and Seahawks). As a Westhampton Hurricane, he was usually double- and triple-teamed.

HENRY FEIL
Berner, OL, 1976

He won the Thorp Award as a dominant two-way lineman for the former Massapequa high school. Feil was a three-year starter at Purdue.

JAMIE FRANKLIN
Brentwood, HB, 1970

He won the Hansen Award and led the Indians to their first undefeated season. Franklin was All-Long Island and played at Maryland.

RON HELLER
Farmingdale, DL, 1979

Heller won the Thorp Award - and a state wrestling title. He was Baugh's teammate at Penn State and had a 12-year NFL career with the Bucs, Eagles and Dolphins.

DAN JIGGETTS
Westhampton, DL, 1971

A devastating two-way player, Jiggetts was All-Long Island and a three-time All-Ivy League selection at Harvard. He played seven years in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, later becoming the vice-president of the NFL Players Association and a Chicago sports talk show host.

MATT KUPEC
Syosset, QB, 1974

He won the Thorp Award and was the state player of the year. Kupec had an outstanding college career at North Carolina.

PAUL LANKFORD
Farmingdale, DB, 1976

He was a versatile athlete and a speedster. He ran a 9.6 in the 100. Lankford played at Penn State and had a solid 10-year career with the Miami Dolphins.

KEVIN MANNIX
Syosset, HB, 1973

Earned All-Long Island and state player-of-the-year honors. Mannix played for Penn State and Rutgers.

RALPH PERRETTA
Holy Trinity, DL, 1979

He was All-Long Island and led the Titans to their first CHSFL title. Perretta attended Purdue, then played from 1975-80 with the San Diego Chargers and the second half of the 1980 season with the Giants.

JOHN ROGAN
Chaminade, QB, 1977

Rogan won the Thorp Award, leading Chaminade to the first CHSFL playoff title. He played college ball at Yale and led his team to three Ivy League titles.

JOHN SCULLY
Holy Family, OL, 1975

He was All-Long Island and became an outstanding center and All-American at Notre Dame. He played nine seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

MIKE TICE
Central Islip, QB, 1976

Now the tight ends coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tice won the Hansen Award and was All-Long Island, leading CI to an undefeated season. Tice played tight end at Maryland, 14 years in the NFL (Seahawks, Vikings and Redskins) and was head coach of the Vikings from 2001-05.

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