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Best lineman in Nassau Brendan Staub claims Martone Award

Brendan Staub of Garden City watches his teammates

Brendan Staub of Garden City watches his teammates from the sidelines during a Nassau Conference II football game against MacArthur in Garden City on Oct. 23. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Brendan Staub’s path to senior year success started in the kitchen.

The Garden City two-way lineman was tired of getting pushed around. It was his turn to do the pushing. To do that, he made a summer commitment to hit the weight room five or six days a week and eat a lot of food — all with the express goal of putting on pounds and getting stronger.

"I'd have a lot of Chipotle burritos, double meat, try to load it up with as much stuff as possible," said Staub, who played left tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker for the Trojans.

Even though the offseason was shorter than usual (football was played in the spring after the fall 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic), Staub was able to achieve his goal of bulking up. After playing his junior season at 190 pounds, he was at 215 this fall, he said.

Dominance followed. Staub made 52 tackles, including 11 for a loss, and had six sacks during Garden City’s march toward a 12-0 season and a Long Island Class II Championship. Staub was named the Martone Award winner as the county’s top lineman by the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association.

Staub, who will play lacrosse at Cornell and got a perfect score on the ACTs on his first try, also won the Jay Fiedler Award as the top scholar athlete in Nassau.

"He could play any position on the field," Garden City coach David Ettinger said. "I mean, he's a lineman for us because of his tenacity and his strength, but he could really be a running back, tight end, fullback, or a wide receiver. He really could do anything."

Staub said he immediately felt the impact the extra weight had on his ability to control defenders.

"In the first game, I think on the first drive, I hit two or three pancake blocks, where I was taking guys downfield and jumping on top of them a little bit," he said. "That was something that I had never really been able to do. I was a decent lineman. I was able to move people and try to open holes, but I was never able to physically dominate people. I think being able to toss guys around a little more is something that I saw early on and I was able to continue throughout the season."

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