With a senior-laden squad, Commack football coach Jeff DiLorenzo and his players believe they could do something special this season.
Quarterback Ryan Sheridan and wide receiver Ronnie Beard have worked in the offseason on their timing. Running backs Kevin Snyder and Mike Gallo create a dangerous backfield tandem with fullback Mike Tringali clearing the way for them. Tringali and Gallo also man the middle of the defense as linebackers and serve as emotional leaders.
The pieces are there for Commack – entering the year as the No. 7 seed after a 5-4 season in a tough Suffolk Division I. The question will be how the Cougars put everything together.
“It’s really about keeping everybody’s head in the game,” said Gallo as a defensive leader. “Not letting anybody daze off or slack off. Always staying on their case if they do something wrong. As long as you give them motivation and keep leading, they’ll step up and make a difference.”
DiLorenzo is excited about having Sheridan at quarterback after he started the final three games — including the playoffs — last season. DiLorenzo called Sheridan “one of the better quarterbacks we’ve had here in a while.”
“He’s a great quarterback,” Beard said. “Some passes he does, I don’t even know how he does it. I’m like ‘How do you mathematically do that?’”
Beard spent his offseason working with the team but also with a strength and conditioning coach on the side. Reporting to camp at 6-2, 180 pounds, Beard has big plans for himself this season.
“My goal is to be the best wide receiver and safety in Suffolk County,” he said.
Commack also returns seniors Matt Flood and Mike Giamundo on the line. Vincent DiFrancisco could be an impact player on the line as well.
Snyder and Gallo will get the bulk of the carries in the backfield, but Tringali takes great pride at fullback making those runs possible.
“The running back has to count on me to open up the hole so he can run past and break through that line,” Tringali said. “We have a really good line this year, so we really have to take a big part in blocking this year.”
Snyder, who at 5-9, 200 pounds also plays defensive end, can’t wait for the season to start. He has faith the Cougars can do something special by working together.
“Believing in the person next to us,” he said. “I grew up with all these kids, played with them all my life, and I believe in them so that’s all you got to do.”