As Glenn seeks a third straight trip to the county title game, the Knights will look to their dual threat quarterback and strength upfront on both sides of the ball.
Wayne White returns under center after throwing for 940 yards and rushing for another 875 last season as the Knights went 9-2, falling to eventual Class IV Long Island champion Shoreham-Wading River in the county championship. Offensive lineman Dareus Smith, Edwin Rubio, and Scott Kurtan will block for White, while Smith and Rubio join edge rusher Shihan Rudyk on a versatile defensive line.
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"If we work really hard and continue to push each other, we can make it back again and hopefully win it this time," White said.
If the Knights do return to the county finals, White's arms and legs will be a big reason why.
"Wayne White's a dynamic player. He can make things happen," said Dave Shanahan, who is entering his 21st season as Glenn's coach. "He's got an excellent arm. He's worked on his passing game all summer. He can really run, he's one of the best running quarterbacks on Long Island. Now he can match it with the throwing game. He's really developed into a heck of a passer."
"Right after last season ended, I started working," White said. "We've been working all season on my accuracy and arm strength." White threw for 940 yards and ran for 875 last season, combining for 17 touchdowns on the air and ground.
"Wayne's a great quarterback," said 6-3 receiver Walter Casey, who said the improved passing game can be a difference-maker for Glenn, whose spread offense averaged over 34 points per game last season.
Smith, a 6-3, 280-pound tackle, is one of the lineman that will create holes and protect White.
"This is going to be a great line. We have a lot of great guys up front," said Smith.
Rubio, who is 6-0 and 250 pounds, will start at guard and join Kurtan on the interior line.
Running back Chris Forsberg, who rushed for 533 yards and seven touchdowns on 65 carries last season, will be another beneficiary of the big offensive front.
"It's great knowing I can get the ball, put my hand on their back and know they're going to clear the biggest hole for me to run through," Forsberg said. "They do all the hard work."
Forsberg, who Shanahan praised for his "speed and strength," will be tasked with replacing TJ Tiernan, who rushed for 1,073 yards last season.
"Knowing you have a good back behind you motivates you to just blow everyone in front of you out of the way," Rubio said of Forsberg.
Rubio and Smith have also excelled at creating space for players behind them on defense, bullying opponents at defensive tackle in the Knights' 4-4 defense.
"Edwin and Dareus are great guys getting push on the ball," said Kurtan, who also plays linebacker and made 30 tackles last season.
"It's a lot easier when I have a running back coming at me versus a 250-pound lineman," linebacker John Foley said of his teammates' ability to control opponents' offensive lines.
Shihan Rudyk, who made 35 tackles last season, will start at defensive end, complementing the power of the interior line with his explosiveness.
"Speed and power? That equals dominance," Rudyk said.
"This defense has been together since middle school and our chemistry is great," said Michael Szokoli, who will join White and Forsberg in the defensive backfield. "I hope to go far."
"This is one of the best teams John Glenn's ever had," Rubio said. "If everything goes well, we could go all the way."