Johnnie Akins leads Roosevelt in Nassau IV

Roosevelt High School's Johnnie Akins runs for a Roosevelt High School's Johnnie Akins runs for a first down in a varsity football game played at Roosevelt High School against Seaford. (Oct. 6, 2012) Photo Credit: Dan Neri

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Can Roosevelt three-peat? A veteran offensive line, led by senior center Sam Edouard and senior guard Kayshawn Malone, will have a big say. With Edouard making the line calls and blocking assignments and senior tight end Raymond Jones providing more stability in pass and run protection, expect senior running back Johnnie Akins to have another big season after rushing for 2,292 yards and 25 touchdowns. Senior fullback Rob Hansen will be featured in the running game, too.

Roosevelt's top challenge could come from West Hempstead, which features a double-wing offense starring Enrique McFarlane (770 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns last season) and Bruce Gibbs (600/5).

Seaford's success will have a lot to do with the play of returning All-Long Island second team offensive and defensive tackle James O'Hagan, who at 6-2, 290, remains one of the best and most respected lineman in the conference, according to West Hempstead coach Dom Carre.

Valley Stream North has potential impact players in linemen Pat Brady, Tim Sarro and Emmanuel Petit-Frere, according to coach Tom Schiavo.

North Shore and Carle Place/Wheatley could be wild cards, moving into the conference from Nassau III. North Shore coach Dan Agovino says junior lineman Giorgio Recine is the best lineman he has had in his 19 years.

1. ROOSEVELT ROUGH RIDERS

2012 record: 9-3

Coach: Joe Vito, 20th season

KEY PLAYERS: Rob Hansen, FB/DL 6-1, 250, Sr.; Johnnie Akins, RB/LB 5-10, 190, Sr.; Raymond Jones, TE/DE 6-3, 210, Sr.; Sam Edouard, C/DL 6-0, 245, Sr.

ABOUT THE ROUGH RIDERS: The two-time defending county champions return as the No. 1 seed in the conference and feature another strong, veteran offensive line. Edouard will be in charge of line calls and blocking assignments. Akins, who rushed for 2,292 yards and 25 touchdowns on 251 carries last season, is the primary back.

2. WEST HEMPSTEAD RAMS

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2012 record: 8-2

Coach: Dom Carre, 4th season

KEY PLAYERS: Enrique McFarlane, RB/LB 6-1, 210, Sr.; Bruce Gibbs, RB/SS 6-1, 200, Sr.; Donovan Steele, TE/DE 6-5, 240, Sr.; Christian Jean-Louis, OL/DL 5-8, 230, Sr.

ABOUT THE RAMS: A veteran, well-balanced team on both sides of the ball that will run a double wing offense that features McFarlane and Gibbs. They combined to rush for 1,370 yards and 15 TDs and also totaled 110 tackles on defense. Senior OL/DL Mike Sands and newcomers Kyle Outmagzine and Sean Regan join Jean-Louis.

3. SEAFORD VIKINGS

2012 record: 9-1

Coach: Rob Perpall, 16th season

KEY PLAYERS: James O'Hagan; DT/OT 6-2, 290, Sr.; Justin Cestro, RB/LB 5-10, 200, Sr.; Matt Natland, QB/DB 6-0, 180, Sr.; Kyle Kolodinsky, RB/DB 6-1, 195, Sr.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS: O'Hagan returns as a second-team All-Long Island selection and will be the focal point of the offense. He's the lead blocker who won’t come out of the game to help run the power I offense for Cestro and Kolodinsky. Senior linebacker Zach Antonette will run a 3-3 stack defense.

4. MINEOLA MUSTANGS

2012 record: 5-4

Coach: Dan Guido, 27th season

KEY PLAYERS: Vin Bienik, QB/DB 6-3, 190, Sr.; Ryan Eccher, RB/MLB 5-11, 195, Jr.; Anthony Caruso, OT/DT 6-3, 285, Sr.; Tim Natale, OG/DT 6-3, 295, Sr.

ABOUT THE MUSTANGS: Bienik will run a spread offense with some running formations for Eccher. The game plan is to be less predictable with the ball, which will make it harder to defend. The team is counting on Bienik's versatility for improvement. Guido said this year’s group has the most depth he's ever coached.

5. NORTH SHORE VIKINGS

2012 record: 4-4

Coach: Dan Agovino, 12th season

KEY PLAYERS: Giorgio Recine, OL/DL 6-0, 255, Jr.; Josh Schwartz, WR/DB 5-7, 145, Sr.; Anthony Magliocco, FB/LB 5-10, 190, Sr.; Chris Inzerillo, RB/LB 5-11, 160, Sr.

ABOUT THE VIKINGS: Many returnees and experience on both sides of the ball, led by Recine, a premier lineman who will pave the way for Magliocco, Inzerillo and Michael Moritz. Quarterback Michael Floccari leads the offense. Schwartz, who bolsters a strong secondary, also has great skills at wide receiver.

6. LOCUST VALLEY FALCONS

2012 record: 4-5

Coach: Matt McFarland, 3rd season

KEY PLAYERS: Louie Jokinsky, RB/DB 6-0, 185, Sr.; Matt Vezza, FB/LB 5-9, 170, Sr., Jordan Formicola, QB/DB 6-1, 180, Sr.; John Piscitello, TE/LB 6-1, 215, Sr.

ABOUT THE FALCONS: Returning to help run the power I formation is junior running back Yamique Webb, who rushed for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns last season. Webb will also contribute in the 5-2 defensive set, alongside defensive end Dan Syrett, who finished with 17 tackles and three sacks a year ago.

7. ISLAND TREES BULLDOGS

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2012 record: 4-5

Coach: Michael Bonsignore, 6th season

KEY PLAYERS: Brian Eletti, QB/FS 5-11, 195, Sr.; Vinny Manna, OL/DL 6-4, 280, Sr.; Anthony Reyes, OL/DL 5-10, 210, Sr.; Andrew Zabala; WR/OLB 6-1, 175, Sr.

ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: Senior center Joe Stanco (6-3, 240) will also play on the defensive line, where he figures to lay a prominent role. Bonsignore said he expects big contributions on the both sides of the ball from Joe Piscopio (RB/WR/LB) and Tom Doran (RB/OLB), a pair of talented seniors.

8. CLARKE RAMS

2012 record: 4-4

Coach: John Boyle, 27th season

KEY PLAYERS: Peter Falgiano, QB/FS 5-8, 170, Sr.; Nestor Haddo, WR/CB 5-11, 170, Sr.; Kevin McGowan, OL/LB 5-9, 200, Sr.; Joe Truono, HB/LB 5-10, 175, Sr.

ABOUT THE RAMS: On board to help McGowan run the wing T offense is senior offensive lineman Mike Perez, who will also play in the team's 3-5 defensive formation, alongside linebackers Austin Ceris and Alex Brillantino, and defensive lineman Nick Clappi. Expect sophomore OL/LB Phil Kandel to play an integral role.

9. VALLEY STREAM NORTH SPARTANS

2012 record: 7-4

Coach: Tom Schiavo, 16th season

KEY PLAYERS: Pat Brady, OL/DL 6-2, 180, Sr.; Joe Abruzzino, RB/LB 5-5, 150, Sr.; Mike DiRico, RB/LB 5-10, 185, Sr.; Tim Sarro, OL/DL 6-2, 210, Sr.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS: Following a loss in the Nassau IV title game last season, they hope to get a boost from newcomers Shawn Supreme and Shomari Jackson. The junior linemen will power the team's slot I formation for backs Brian Carroll, Abruzzino and DiRico, and also help the 4-4 defense alongside Brady, Sarro and Emmanuel Petit-Frere.

10. COLD SPRING HARBOR SEAHAWKS

2012 record: 2-6

Coach: Dennis Bonn, 10th season

KEY PLAYERS: Frankie Stubbolo, RB/OLB 5-9, 170, Sr.; Robert Incorvaia, OT/DT 6-0, 220, Sr.; Owen Love, WR/DB 5-10, 150, Sr.; Chase Brown, WR/DB 6-1, 180, Sr.

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS: They're returning four offensive and four defensive starters. Junior quarterback Wes Szjagna will run the spread offense. Brown gives Szjagna a big target with big hands to throw to. Incorvaia will help run a 5-3 defensive set.

11. MALVERNE MULES

2012 record: 0-8

Coach Kito Lockwood, 5th season

KEY PLAYERS: Jamal Aaron Hill, QB/FS 5-9, 175, Sr.; Tyler Zimmerman, OL/LB 5-9, 185, Sr.; Michael Salamone, OL/DL 6-1, 245, Sr.; Maxon Jean, WR/DB 5-9, 170, Jr.

ABOUT THE MULES: Hill, who finished with 1,000 yards combined rushing and passing with seven touchdowns last season, returns to run the spread offense. He is counting on Jean to be a main option. In a 4-4 defense, expect Zimmerman, a third-year starting linebacker, to be the key cog in stopping the run.

12. EAST ROCKAWAY ROCKS

2012 record: 2-6

Coach Russ Pajer, 19th season

KEY PLAYERS: Kevin Blessington, TE/LB 6-5, 175, Sr.; Matt Barbaro, RB/LB 5-10, 145, Sr.; Ricardo Kinzer, OL/DL 5-9, 245, Sr.; Michael Del Gais, QB/DB 5-8, 145, So.

ABOUT THE ROCKS: Two starters on offense and two starters on defense return, led by Blessington and Barbaro. Del Gais is counting on Ricardo to help in the passing game. Playing mistake-free football and being competitive throughout are keys to a team that is rebuilding. Pajer said he expects his club to improve each week.

13. CARLE PLACE / WHEATLEY FROGS

2012 record: 0-8

Coach Tim Moran, 8th season

KEY PLAYERS: Lucas Golon, FB/LB 6-0, 195, Jr.; Andrew Hastings, RB/QB/FS 6-1, 190, Jr.; Walter Hernandez, OT/DT 6-3, 240, Sr.; Josh Jacobs, OT/DE 6-3, 230, Jr.

ABOUT THE FROGS: Golon moves to fullback and is one of many skill players. Expect big things from junior Andrew Hastings in the option formation. Kevin Kelly will see time at QB, WR and/or DB. They’ll rely on Matthew Pasquerella (C/LB), Eric McClosky (RB/DB) and Luis Costa (RB/DB).

14. OYSTER BAY BAYMEN

2012 record: 1-7

Coach Joe Knoll, 3rd season

KEY PLAYERS: Xavier Mabina, OL/DL 5-10, 220, Sr.; Mikey Schuler, RB/LB 5-6, 135, Sr.; Stephen Vlavianos, QB/TE/DE 5-10, 165, Sr.; Matt LoRusso, RB/DB 5-8, 140, Sr.

ABOUT THE BAYMEN: By running a power I formation, Mabina will be the primary blocker up front for LoRusso and O'Neill. Knoll wants to pound the ground with the running game to keep possession and take a lot of time off the clock. The defense centers around a 5-2 formation, featuring five defensive linemen and two linebackers.

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