A team for the ages: The 1980s

President Ronald Reagan takes a look at the

President Ronald Reagan takes a look at the Heisman Trophy with winner Vinny Testaverde during a White house ceremony. (Credit: Newsday/Al Stephenson)

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The 1980s will be remembered for MTV, the Miracle on Ice, Ronald Reagan, Bill Buckner and a Jamaican bobsledding team. The Mets won a World Series, and the Giants won a Super Bowl.

And Long Island’s high school gridirons were working overtime, churning out future NFL players such as Jumbo Elliot, Jay Fiedler, Quinn Early, Rob Moore and, of course, Vinny Testaverde. Here, then, is Newsday’s all-time Long Island football team for the 1980s.

GARY BALDINGER
Massapequa, OL, 1981

He was All-Long Island as a dominant two-way lineman. Baldinger had an outstanding career at Wake Forest and played six seasons for the Bills, Chiefs and Colts.

ROY BARKER
Central Islip, DL, 1986

All-Long Island, he played at North Carolina and went on to have a nine-year NFL career, mostly with the Vikings and 49ers.

CRAIG BIGGIO
Kings Park, RB, 1983

Before his outstanding baseball career with the Houston Astros, he made his name on the Kingsmen's football field, winning the Hansen Award as Suffolk's top player. He scored 130 points as a senior.

STEPHEN BOYD
Valley Stream Central, LB, 1989

The two-time All-Long Island choice was a devastating tackler who led the Eagles to their only Nassau Conference title. Boyd went to Boston College and played seven seasons with the Detroit Lions. He now coaches at Chaminade High School..

ROB BURNETT
Newfield, DT, 1984

He was a one-man wrecking crew as an All-Long Island linebacker. He went on to Syracuse and played 14 seasons in the NFL for three teams, and was a starting DT on the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl championship team in the 2000 season.

ROB CARPENTER
Amityville, WR, 1986

All-Long Island selection transferred from Notre Dame to be a standout wide receiver at Syracuse. He played five seasons in the NFL.

GEORGE COOPER
Wyandanch, RB, 1982

He rushed for 1,323 yards and an 8.5 average, earned All-Long Island honors and became a three-year starter at Ohio State.

QUINN EARLY
Great Neck South, WR, 1984

Played at the University of Iowa before a 12-year NFL career with four different teams. In 1995, he had 81 receptions and eight TDs for the Saints.

JOHN ELLIOTT
Sachem, OT, 1982

Jumbo Elliott played on the offensive line for the Giants from 1988-95 and with the Jets from 1996-2000 and 2002. He was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl XXV championship team.

JAY FIEDLER
Oceanside, QB, 1989

Threw for 4,400 yards and 38 TDs in his three years with the Sailors. Fiedler was a standout QB at Dartmouth and spent 11 seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins, Eagles, Jaguars, Vikings and Jets.

JAMES SCOTTY GRAHAM
Long Beach, RB, 1986

Rushed for 1,534 yards and 17 touchdowns (including seven 200+ games). Played at Ohio State and then six NFL seasons.

TED GREGORY
East Islip, DE, 1982

Won the Zellner Award as Suffolk's outstanding lineman and led the Redmen to a 10-0 season. Gregory was a consensus All-American at Syracuse.

LAMONT HOUGH
Hempstead, QB, 1988

Earned the Thorp Award as Nassau's top player and led the Tigers to a 19-1 record and two straight Conference I titles.

HAROLD JASPER
Bellport, WR, 1989

A two-time All-LI and All-State selection, He had more than 2,000 receiving yards in his three-year career. In 1989, Jasper was selected to the national high school all-star game. He was all-Big Ten at Iowa.

CLARENCE JONES
Central Islip, DL, 1985

Jones played 10 years in the NFL, including three with the Giants. He was All-LI and All-State at Central Islip.

ADAM MARIANO
Comsewogue, RB, 1988

He won the Hansen Award, rushing for 1,443 yards and 21 touchdowns.

DON McPHERSON
West Hempstead, QB, 1982

A stellar passer, he won the Thorp Award and went on to Syracuse, where he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.

ROB MOORE
Hempstead, WR, 1986

Two-time Pro bowler, Moore had 97 receptions and led NFL receivers with 1,584 yards in 1997. In his 10-year career with the Jets and Cardinals, he had 628 catches for 9,368 yards.

GUS PALMA
Bellport, WR, 1986

A two-time All Long Island selection went on to start at Illinois.

WARREN STITH
Hempstead, QB, 1986

Stith went 27-0-2 as a starter, leading the Tigers to three straight county titles.

REGGIE TERRY
Hempstead, OG/LB, 1988

Accomplished the rare feat of being named State Player of the Year as a lineman. He played college ball at Syracuse.

VINNY TESTAVERDE
Sewanhaka, QB, 1980

Started only one season at QB in high school, but was so outstanding, he was named All-Long Island and All-American. Testaverde was a wide receiver as a junior. At Miami, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1986 (the only Long Islander to win the trophy) He had an outstanding 20-year career in the NFL, passing for 46,233 yards and 275 touchdowns while playing for seven teams, including the Jets.

TOM WATSON
Bellport, DL, 1982

He was twice All-Long Island and won the Hansen Award as a senior while leading the Clippers to a 10-0 season. He played at Syracuse.

 

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