Joe Tangredi wins top linebacker award, continuing MacArthur tradition
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Forget quarterback. The glamour position at MacArthur is fast becoming linebacker.
For the second time in three years, the Generals earned one of Nassau's major postseason awards when Joe Tangredi Sunday was named the Piner Award winner as the county's outstanding linebacker.
In 2010, MacArthur linebacker Tom Joyce won the Thorp Award as the county's most outstanding player, a fact not lost on Tangredi.
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"He also wore No. 31. I always looked up to him," said Tangredi, an All-County player for 2012 who led the team in tackles for the second season in a row.
Tangredi said he didn't ask for Joyce's uniform number. "It just worked out that way," he said. But he did make winning the Piner Award -- won by MacArthur's Gian Villante in 2002 -- a priority.
"Since the ninth grade, I always dreamed of winning that award," Tangredi said.
"He's a quiet kid, but the Piner is something he wanted and he really worked for it," said MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach, who promoted Tangredi to the varsity for the playoffs after his JV season of 2010 and started him against Farmingdale. "He had a nice game, and after that, we knew we had something special. He knows the competition is great in Nassau County. It meant a lot for him to be up there holding that award."
The 6-foot, 180-pound Tangredi held on to opposing runners and receivers for both of his varsity seasons. A classic sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker with coverage skills, Tangredi made 80 tackles as a junior and improved to 83 last fall, specializing in beating ballcarriers to the hole or running them down. "I've got a lot of instincts," he said.
"He studies film and diagnoses the play," Fehrenbach said. "On film, you'll see him pointing at the hole or redirecting one of our guys. He's a smart player."
A fast one, too. "I'm a speed guy," said Tangredi, who is strongly considering Division III Buffalo State as the place he'll continue his football career. "It's tremendous to be only the second guy in school history to win this award."
But maybe not the last.