Newsday ranks the top 11 public high school football teams in the Elite 11, regardless of classification or county.
1. GARDEN CITY (8-0)
Senior halfback Jack Cascadden, a Thorp Award finalist, will lead the Trojans' run at the Long Island Class II championship. Senior two-way lineman Brendan Staub and senior quarterback Luke Schmitt are key contributors. Garden City beat MacArthur, 14-7, in the Nassau Conference II title game in the spring.
2. OCEANSIDE (7-1)
Oceanside returns nine of 11 starters on offense and eight of 11 starters on defense. Charlie McKee, one of the top quarterbacks in the state, is the returning Thorp Award winner as Nassau’s top player. The Sailors are loaded and look for another shot at an LIC crown.
3. FLOYD (5-1)
Junior quarterback LaDuke Harris is an explosive runner with a strong arm. The O-line is an athletic one and the defense is keyed by All-Long Island selection Brian Benson. The Colonials won their 13th playoff title in the last 21 years in the spring and haven’t lost to a Suffolk Division I opponent in the three seasons.
4. SAYVILLE (6-0)
The Golden Flashes feature a heavy-hitting defense led by senior end Tom Cea, linebacker Charlie Sands and backs Matt Bonfanti and Mack Murtha. Quarterback Jack Smalley steps in for graduated Hansen Award winner Jack Cheshire.
5. MASSAPEQUA (7-1)
The defending Nassau Conference I champions are coming off a terrific spring title run. They averaged 39 points per game in the spring; can the offense, with senior HB Michael D’Alessandro and senior WR Jake Ciolino, match that number?
6. PLAINEDGE (6-2)
Plainedge won the 2019 LIC Class III title and had a 23-1 record over two years before the spring season of 2021, where they came up short in the title game. A senior core led by quarterback Travis Shaver and two-way linemen Anthony Morello lead 17 returning starters.
7. WEST ISLIP (5-0)
The mantra is, "Tradition never graduates," and the Lions prove that year in and year out. They won their first division playoff title since 1994 in the spring. Another deep playoff run is probable with a lot of new faces.
8. LINDENHURST (3-2)
The Bulldogs won three consecutive division playoff titles and two Long Island crowns from 2017-2019. One of Long Island’s most consistent winning programs.
9. WANTAGH (6-2)
They bounce back up into Nassau Conference III and will challenge Plainedge for a title. Wantagh has made the playoffs 23 of the past 24 years and senior middle linebacker Liam Casey will get them there this fall.
10. MACARTHUR (6-2)
A powerhouse program that gives Garden City a run for the Nassau Conference II title every year. The Generals will be there in the postseason again.
11. WHITMAN (4-2)
They were thisclose to taking out Floyd in overtime in the playoffs last spring. This Wildcats team is loaded with skill position players and will challenge for the title behind senior quarterback Nicholas Bottoni and senior wideout Brandon Ivy.