FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Robert Saleh conducts his end-of-the-week media conferences in a shirt honoring an area high school football team or player. The Jets’ coach on Friday wore one in honor of the most famous female high school football player currently on Long Island.
The black T-shirt had "MEPHAM" emblazoned across the front, with "FOOTBALL" under it, and the Pirates’ logo below that. This all had to do with Mepham’s Sofia LaSpina, named as the Jets' High School Player of the Week.
That award was for a very good reason. LaSpina became the first female to score a touchdown in Long Island history. The junior wide receiver did it on a reception last Saturday when the Pirates beat Roslyn, 49-21.
"Cool, right?" Saleh said when asked about her history-making play.
It was part of an impressive three-catch, 45-yard effort, all in the second half. LaSpina has been receiving lots of acclaim for the 4-yard TD pass that Peter Mayo threw to her. NBC showed a clip at halftime of its Chiefs-Ravens telecast Sunday night. The Player of the Week award came Monday.
LaSpina also got to play catch with the most famous Jets player in franchise history, Hall of Famer Joe Namath, at a charity event Wednesday on Long Island.
And then Saleh wore the Mepham shirt and mentioned her name, school and achievement.
"So I thought that was pretty cool," Saleh said of the feat. "The organization is going to be inviting her to our next game. So hopefully she’s there screaming."
The next home game is scheduled for Oct. 3 against the Titans at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Gatorade also are teaming to donate $1,000 in LaSpina’s name to the Mepham football program.