Westhampton Beach has had quite a run of football awards over the past three years. When Jaden AlfanoStJohn won the Hansen Award, given to Suffolk's top player, this past season it marked the third straight year that a Hurricanes player took home the coveted award (halfback Dylan Laube won it in 2017 and middle linebacker Liam McIntyre in 2018).
They’ll add more hardware to the school showcase — only this one comes in the form of the highest of academics. Christopher Daleo on Sunday earned the James C. Metzger Award as the top scholar athlete for the Suffolk Chapter of the National Football Foundation at a brunch held at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.
The Metzger Award and the Golden Eleven are selected by the NFF and a committee of Suffolk football coaches.
“It’s another great honor and recognition for our program in Westhampton Beach,” said Daleo, a senior who scored a 1,360 SAT and a 34 on the ACT. “We’ve had the perfect combination of success on the field and in the classroom. The program focuses on the importance of academics and the balance with athletics. This is awesome.”
Daleo excelled on the football field, where he worked himself into a starting role at center and at defensive end as a captain for the young Hurricanes in his senior season. In his two years on varsity the team was 18-3.
“I worked hard through the offseason to gain 30 pounds and get stronger,” said the 6-1, 200-pound Daleo, who earned All-Suffolk. “I took a lot of pride in leading a young offensive line, with three juniors, and opening holes for Jaden AlfanoStJohn, our Hansen Award winner, who is a special talent.”
Daleo is also very involved in his school and the community. He is the historian for the school’s National Honor Society, the founder of the Church Youth Leadership Ministry which has grown from three to 30 students and he’s a Peer Tutor for younger students.
The other honorees for the James C. Metzger Chapter of the National Football Foundation Golden Eleven included Matthew Robbert of Centereach, a Newsday first team All-LI selection, who scored a 1,400 SAT and Thomas Verga of Floyd, a Newsday second team All-Long Island pick, who had an SAT score of 1,300 and led the Colonials to the Suffolk Division I title.
They were joined by Nick Baldino of East Islip; Jonathan Koumas of Huntington; Matthew Schreiber of Mt. Sinai; Dean Shaffer of Smithtown East; Ryan Bosak of Kings Park; Kieran McGinley of Ward Melville; Michael Scoleri of Sayville; William Singleton of Babylon and Joseph Montiglio of West Islip.