Bethpage’s Thomas Galgano is on a new team. No, he didn’t move, and this isn’t the NFL, so he wasn’t traded.
Even though it might be a bit of an extreme case, Galgano is living through what high school coaches go through every few years - a complete turnover.
The senior quarterback is the only returning starter from the Golden Eagles team that went 7-3 and lost to Glen Cove in the Nassau Conference III semifinals last year.
“It’s going to be a little different,” Galgano said. “I had a lot of guys older than me and people to look up to. Now, the roles are reversed a little bit. Hopefully, some guys are looking up to me and I’m real excited to get them going and see what they can do.”
“He’s definitely the leader of the team,” running back and linebacker Matt Collins said. “We all look up to him for leadership.”
“He’s a very smart kid,” coach Erwin J. Dill said of Galgano. “He’s aggressive. He’s a very good athlete and a very good lacrosse player as well. He has a winning attitude.”
On top of having to lead a group that spent last year as backups or junior varsity standouts, the season represents a return to the quarterback position for the 6-foot-1 Galgano.
Although he was primarily a running back last season, life under center is not entirely new to him. He played the position in middle school and backed up last season. Galgano believes his experience at running back will help him adjust to the quarterback position in the wishbone offense.
“It will definitely help me with the running game, maybe some options,” he said. “I’m used to getting hit. It’s a little bit different than being a typical quarterback. It’s going to be fun.”
So, to recap: only returning starter on a team coming off a playoff berth and transitioning to quarterback. Pretty full plate.
Oh, and there’s that thing with the knee.
Galgano tore his ACL in his right knee in the final game of the regular season last year. He was back in time to play lacrosse in the spring but will be returning to football game action for the first time.
“I feel great, 100 percent,” he said. “I put in the time, effort, and work, and I feel better than I did last year.”
“Is it a lot to put on a kid? Yes,” Dill said. “ But I think he wants to accept that challenge and is ready for it.”