Oceanside quarterback Charlie McKee was a four-year captain of the football team. Let that sink in for a bit. A 14-year-old freshman was a captain of a team loaded with upperclassmen — that is unusual.
But not if you’re McKee and mature beyond your years and a high-quality leader.
"I made that decision when Charlie was a freshman because I saw those rare qualities to lead in him," Oceanside coach Rob Blount said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime player. His fire and drive became infectious throughout our program."
McKee, who earned the Thorp Award as Nassau’s top player as a junior, had an outstanding career for the Sailors. He set the all-time Nassau career mark with 8,930 passing yards and he totaled 94 touchdown passes.
His senior year was all about week-to-week consistency. McKee completed 168 of 227 passes for 2,183 yards and threw for 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. His completion rate was 74%. McKee also ran 105 times for 781 yards and 17 more scores.
For his outstanding performance, McKee earned the Don Snyder Award presented to Nassau’s best quarterback for the second year in a row. He led Nassau in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions and completion percentage for four years straight and finished with a career record of 31-9.
"He is a field general and takes command of the game from the most cerebral position on the field," Blount said. "He has been a household name in our community and in Nassau Conference I. Opposing coaches will be happy to see him graduate."
McKee, at 6-1, 195 pounds, opened his senior campaign with four touchdown strikes in a 34-7 win over Uniondale. Two weeks later, he threw for five touchdowns in a 34-20 win against Hempstead.
And when he wasn’t carving through a defense with his pinpoint passes, McKee was running all over opponents.
"You had to prepare for the run and the pass with McKee," Massapequa coach Kevin Shippos said. "He was so much more than a one-dimensional quarterback. He was a scoring threat on every possession."
McKee completed 31 of 43 passes for a season-high 347 yards in a 26-21 loss to Massapequa, the Long Island Class I champions. In the final two weeks of the regular season, he threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-14 win over East Meadow. He ran for four scores and 164 yards in a 48-16 win over Freeport.
"He was so diverse," Blount said. "One week he beat you with the pass and the next it was on the run."
The playoffs became a McKee showcase. He threw for six scores against East Meadow in a 41-7 quarterfinal win. He was nearly perfect, completing 13 of 15 passes for 254 yards. And then he rushed for five touchdowns in a 61-33 semifinal win over Syosset, where he totaled 374 all-purpose yards.
The curtain came down on a spectacular career with a 35-26 loss to Massapequa in the Nassau I final, where he had 356 all-purpose yards.
"Charlie was a great player with impeccable character," Blount said.