A Long Island championship. A perfect season. The Rutgers Trophy. If you want to know the team to beat in Suffolk IV, you need look no further than the record books. The Babylon Panthers return this year as strong as ever, featuring the top three skill position players from last season's 12-0 team: quarterback Nick Santorelli, wide receiver Jake Carlock, one of the best players on the Island, and running back Eric Schweitzer, who scored six touchdowns in the victory over Roosevelt in the Long Island Class IV championship game.
Can anyone upend the defending champs? It'll be tough, but Mount Sinai certainly has the talent to make a go at it, particularly behind big-time playmakers such as lineman Bryan Reed and running back Mike Cortese, who nonetheless has to make up the offensive production of the now-graduated Donadio twins.
Meanwhile, Shoreham-Wading River boasts Tyler Anderson, the gritty halfback who amassed over 1,000 yards in 10 games last year. He and Carlock go head-to-head as the biggest single offensive threats in the conference.
Glenn looks to burn a hole through the competition behind bruising lineman Matt Choinski, who will no doubt be a huge asset to senior quarterback Tom Balacki -- perhaps enough so to help the Knights return to the dominance of yesteryear. And, though Suffolk IV may be a bit top-heavy, it certainly boasts its fair share of dynamic talent across the board. East Hampton's Cortland Heneveld, a football, lacrosse and track star (going to Navy for lacrosse) is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the county. Mercy running back Reggie Archer is young, talented, and a huge part of a team that last year proved it's capable of being a serious threat.
2012 record: 12-0
Coach: Rick Punzone, 11th season
KEY PLAYERS: Jake Carlock, WR/DB, 6-2, 200, Sr.; Eric Schweitzer, RB/LB, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Nick Santorelli, QB/DB, 5-7, 180, Sr.; Ray Wardell, WR/DB, 6-5, 190, Sr.; Joe Cosby
OL/DL, 6-0, 285, Jr.
ABOUT THE PANTHERS: They return seven starters, most notably playoff standouts Jake Carlock (32 catches for 650 yards and 11 TDs) and Eric Schweitzer (110 carries for 707 yards and 24 TDs). QB Nick Santorelli leads spread offense. Defensive lineman Tyler Christianson bolsters the 4-3 defense.
2012 record: 9-2
Coach: Vin Ammirato, 15th season
KEY PLAYERS: Bryan Reed, OL/DL, 6-3, 295, Sr.; Mike Cortese, RB/LB, 5-10, 220, Sr.; Zach Wolfe, RB/DB, 5-10, 180, Sr.; Justin Berger, OL/DL, 6-2,235, Sr.; Brandon Drumgole, WR, 5-10, 165, Sr.
ABOUT THE MUSTANGS: After holding opposing teams to one touchdown or less six times last year, the defense continues to be key behind lineman Bryan Reed, who will be attending the University of Delaware. Mike Cortese and Zach Wolfe will be instrumental in the wing T offense.
2012 record: 7-3
Coach: Matt Millheiser, 4th year
KEY PLAYERS: Tyler Anderson, HB/LB, 6-3,210, Sr.; Israel Squires, WR/FS ,6-3, 175, Jr.; Mitch Idtensohn, TE/LB, 6-2, 210, Sr.; Brennan Gorman, OL/DL, 6-0, 235, Sr.; Danny Hughes; QB/SS, 6-3, 215, Jr.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Anderson, who rushed for 1,148 yards and 14 touchdowns on 128 carries last season, powers offense. Squires has big-play ability at receiver. Squires is a double threat, as the free safety had 46 tackles last season.
2012 record: 4-5
Coach: Dave Shanahan, 19th year
KEY PLAYERS: Matt Choinski, OL/DL, 6-4, 250, Sr.; Tom Balacki, QB, 6-1, 180, Sr.; Stephen Orkiszewski, WR/DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Anthony Pino, OL/DL, 5-11, 235, So.; Edwin Rubio, OL/DL, 6-0, 250, So.
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS: The school known for its quality air game hopes to bounce back from a middling season with its spread offense, anchored by their quarterback Balacki. Choinski, one of the best linemen in the county, is one to keep an eye on in his senior season.
2012 record: 6-3
Coach: Michael Oestreicher, 13th year
KEY PLAYERS: Taylor Catz, RB/CB, 6-1, 190, Sr.; Darrell Galicia, OT/DE, 6-1, 240, Sr.; Cody Nolan, RB/LB, 5-9, 195, Sr.; Ryan Cavanaugh, TE/LB, 5-11, 190, Sr.; Ryan Palazzolo
QB/DB, 5-8, 190, Sr.
ABOUT THE BAYMEN: After being ousted in the first round of the playoffs, they return on the shoulders of Taylor Catz, the RB/CB who rushed for 12 TDs last year and added three scores on punt returns. Galicia is a standout blocker who will clear the way for Catz and Nolan.
2012 record: 7-3
Coach: Jeff Doroski, 3rd year
KEY PLAYERS: Pat Marelli, MLB/C, 6-0, 240, Sr.; Reggie Archer, RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Jr.; Louis Cintron, RB/OLB, 5-10, 190, Sr.; Patrick Rossi; MLB/G, 5-10, 190, Sr.; Paul Annunziata, RB/DB. 5-8, 175, Sr.
ABOUT THE MONARCHS: After one of the most successful seasons in school history, including its first playoff win since 1991, they return Archer (166 carries for 1083 yards and 6 TDs), who leads a pro-style offense. Marelli (76 tackles, eight for a loss) is a key contributor as middle linebacker.
2012 record: 3-5
Coach: Eric Iberger, 10th year
KEY PLAYERS: Matt McKinnon, RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Christian Engle, OL/DL, 6-0, 195, Sr.; Dan Percival, TE/LB, 6-0, 180, Sr.; Brendan Bateman, QB/DB, 6-1, 180, Jr.; Beau Kraft, OL/DL, 6-4, 220, Sr.
ABOUT THE PHANTOMS: Won two of their last three games in '12 and hope to build on that behind McKinnon. Eddie Somerville, the receiver who also tied a school record with five picks at defensive back in last year’s finale, and Bateman lead spread offense.
2012 record: 3-6
Coach: Steven Redlus, 1st season
KEY PLAYERS: Cortland Heneveld, QB/LB, 6-3, 215, Sr.; Thomas Nelson, WR/DB, 6-3, 185, Sr.; Brendan Hughes, RB/LB, 6-2, 200, Sr.; Bryan Gamble, C/DE, 6-0, 230, Sr.; Colton Kalbacher, SS/RB, 5-8, 160, Jr.
ABOUT THE BONACKERS: Heneveld (786 passing yards and 7 TDs; 593 rushing yards and 6 TDs) is the main attraction in the flexbone offense. His main target is Nelson (254 yards, 4 TDs and 4 interceptions at defensive back). Hughes anchors the multiple 50 defense.
2012 record: 2-6
Coach: Andrew Cosci, 1st season
KEY PLAYERS: Ryan Woodward, G/LB, 5-10, 180, Sr.; Paul Cavanagh, RB/LB, 5-8, 170, Sr.; Tyler D'Accordo, RB/LB, 5-8, 170, Sr.; Hunter Reiter, FB/LB, 5-10, 175, Sr.; Dylan Wennerod, TE/DE, 6-1, 19-0, Jr.
ABOUT THE ROYALS: Their 4-4 defense will be a strength, as they return Woodward (95 tackles), Cavanagh (76 tackles), D'Accordo (72 tackles), and Reiter (55 tackles). Cavanagh, who had eight touchdowns, leads the wing T offense at running back.
2012 record: 1-7
Coach: Steve Failla, 7th season
KEY PLAYERS: Matt Flood, OL, 6-4, 235, Sr.; Dominic Venturino, OL/DL, 5-11, 225, Sr.; Mike Castellano, OL/DL, 6-0, 220, Sr.; Tyrell Thomas, QB/FS, 6-0, 210, Jr.; Charlie Prott, RB/LB, 6-0, 195, Jr.
ABOUT THE RED DEVILS: Flood, Venturino and Castellano will give Thomas plenty of time to navigate the pistol offense. Thomas also makes an impact at free safety. Prott is strong at running back and linebacker.
2012 record: 5-4
Coach: Kris Ryan, 4th season
KEY PLAYERS: Tyler Hoegsberg, WR/DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Ben Walter, RB/DB, 5-9, 180, Jr.; Erik Holvik, QB/DB, 5-10, 170, Jr.; Jackson Painter, QB/RB/LB, 6-0, 180, Jr.; Hunter Skorobohaty, TE/LB, 5-11, 180, Jr.
ABOUT THE BEARS: Graduated plenty of talent from the team that earned its first playoff berth in 15 years, but will open up the passing game more behind Hergsberg at receiver. The team will run a pistol offense behind Walter and either QBs Erik Holvik and Jackson Painter.
2012 record: 3-5
Coach: Edgar Franklin, 2nd year
KEY PLAYERS: Lyle Smith, FB/LB, 6-1, 220, Sr.; Shaundell Fishburne, RB/CB, 6-2, 185, Sr.; Taylor Sanders, QB/S, 6-4, 190, Sr.; Tyler Sanders, OL/DL, 6-0, 220, Sr.; Chris Batista
OL/DL, 5-7, 170, Sr.
ABOUT THE MARINERS: Showed massive improvement from a winless season two years ago and return a capable offense with maturity at the skill positions. Fishburne (705 rushing yards and 5 TDs plus 4 receiving TDs) also had 28 tackles and an interception while playing cornerback.
2012 record: 0-8
Coach: Jack Martilotta, 4th year
KEY PLAYERS: Gene Allen, WB/DB, 6-1, 190, Sr.; Franky Sierra, RB/LB, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Conner Anderson, FB/LB, 5-10, 210, Sr.; Cody Fisher, OL/DL, 6-3, 260, Sr.; Willie Riggins, OL/DL, 5-11, 230, Sr.
ABOUT THE PORTERS: Allen leads the spread offense at receiver while Sierra, who tallied 530 yards and 8 TDs last year, is a good ground threat. Anderson will give opposing offenses a different look at fullback. Owen Finnegan, a transfer from Mercy, looks to make an impact on the O-line.
2012 record: 2-7
Coach: Ed Gay, 2nd year
KEY PLAYERS: Taquan Brooks, QB, 6-4, 190, So.; Matthew Rosa, RB, 5-11,175, So.; Justice Broughton, DE/TE, 6-0, 195, Jr.; Raphael Sorreano, QB/WR, 5-11, 180, Jr.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: The young team will build behind first-year quarterback Brooks and Rosa, a sophomore running back, who had impact last year. Gay expects a big contribution from Christian Flowers, only a freshman, who turned heads as a running back/middle linebacker in the junior Warriors' PAL program.