This was a year of firsts for the Newfield football program.
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The Wolverines won 12 games and went undefeated for the first time in the 58-year history of the school.Past Rutgers Trophy winners
Senior halfback Elijah Riley became the first Newfield player to garner the Carl A. Hansen Award, presented to Suffolk’s top player. Riley also earned the school’s first Tom Cassese Award, presented to the top defensive back.
Senior Jelani Greene won the school’s first National Football Foundation Award, given to Suffolk’s top wide receiver.
And to top it all off, Newfield earned the most prestigious of all team awards. Newfield was voted the winner of the 69th Annual Rutgers Trophy, given to Suffolk’s best team, on Monday night at the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association banquet at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hauppauge.
“You work all year to win a Long Island championship,” Newfield coach Joe Piccininni said. “And all the individual awards are great and recognize all the super players in our program that stood out. But in the end, this is a team game, and there’s nothing better than being honored with the Rutgers Trophy.”
Newfield earned 27 first-place votes and totaled 120 points to edge runner-up Sayville, which had 19 first-place votes and 108 points. Shoreham-Wading River was third with 46 points.
“This is a beautiful way to cap our dream season,” Riley said. “We talked about it all week and we knew there were other deserving schools. It’s great to be recognized by the coaches.”
Newfield set the record for points scored in a season in Suffolk with 518. The Wolverines beat Half Hollow Hills West, 58-34, to capture the Suffolk Division II title. A week later, they earned the school’s second Long Island Class II championship with a 41-33 win over MacArthur.
Defensive end Dylan Ferrari earned the Rob Burnett Award, given to Suffolk’s top defensive player. The celebration of individual awards went on all evening. But when it was time for the Rutgers Trophy, they all shared in the glory.
“I’m really proud of our coaching staff and the players for this great achievement,” Piccininni said. “We all share this award.”