Dominic Rutigliano definitely has the arm to play quarterback, but Carey’s new starter knows he still needs to hone his leadership skills.
Rutigliano learned as the backup quarterback last season on a Carey team that lost to Garden City in the Nassau Conference II title game. With an obvious motivation fueling all the Seahawks’ summer workouts, it’s their big-armed senior who could be a difference maker.
“I obviously think we’re the best team in the whole conference,” Rutigliano said of Carey’s No. 2 preseason seed. “No. 2 or No. 1 doesn’t really matter; we just have to prove that we’re the No. 1 team.
“We just think that we should’ve had that game, that was our season. We’re lucky enough to have another year to try and do this.”
An All-County pitcher at Carey, Rutigliano said he throws a baseball 87 miles per hour and is hoping to pursue that sport in college. The zip he gets on the football makes it clear that Carey has itself a weapon if coach Mike Stanley chooses to air the ball out consistently.
“You’re still controlling the game,” Rutigliano said when comparing pitching to playing quarterback. “I guess that’s why I like it.”
Rutigliano commanded huddles Monday night at Carey with an understanding of the playbook and with good anticipation on routes. He still wants more, though.
“I just feel like I need to be more of a leader now, and it’s kind of like my team,” he said. “I just feel like I need to keep doing that.
“I just hope that I’m more of a leader toward the end of the season.”
Part of what Rutigliano said will help his progression in all aspects will be a defensive line that combines power with a speed rarely seen in high school football.
Frank Porcasi, a three-year starter entering his senior year, could be a force at defensive end. He’s tall and agile, and he displayed his athleticism while performing footwork drills with the rest of the line.
“Since I played as a sophomore on varsity, that’s always the goal,” he said. “We always emphasize speed. Usually other teams aren’t as fast, and that’s something we’ve always taken pride in.”
“They’re athletes,” Rutigliano said. “It’s going to be great practicing against them, but we probably aren’t going to see anything like it in the games. They’re intense, too.”