The superlatives flowed from Elmont coach Jay Hegi and never stopped. When you ask the long-time Spartans coach about senior quarterback Aaron Ruthman, he just glows.
“Aaron Ruthman is a true leader in every sense of the word, the first one to the practice field and the last one to leave,” Hegi said. “He’s a role model on and off the field and never lets his teammates get down. He made this season exciting for me to coach. I enjoyed going to work every day knowing he was our quarterback.”
The senior passed for a school-record 2,764 yards and 31 touchdowns in leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the Nassau II semifinal.
For his accomplishments, Ruthman was presented the Don Snyder Award as Nassau’s top quarterback Wednesday night at the Nassau County Football Coaches Association Gridiron Banquet at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Perhaps, his biggest game came in week two of the regular season when he threw for six touchdowns and 350 yards in an upset win over Carey.
“That may have been when he served notice on the rest of the conference that we were going to be a tough opponent for everyone,” Hegi said. “He found his rhythm early and was spot on with his passes. The win over an upper echelon team did wonders for our team morale and confidence throughout the season.”
Ruthman completed more than 60 percent of his passes in his senior season.
“He had such great touch,” Hegi said. “And it could have been a short pass or a deep pass – the touch was amazing.”
Ruthman completed 297 of his 523 passes in two years for a school record 4,894 yards and 55 touchdown passes.
Junior Chester Anderson benefited from the pinpoint accuracy of the Spartans senior. Anderson caught 49 passes for 891 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. He finished was second on Long Island in receiving yardage.
“We had a great chemistry and he had the confidence in me to put it up there,” Anderson said. “We put in a lot of time working on our timing and our routes. He had unbelievable composure and nothing ever bothered him.”
Despite heavy winds and rain, Ruthman exhibited those traits in a wild 35-33 win over Mepham.
“It was going to be a shootout and I really never let the weather bother me or change the way we play,” Ruthman said. “I just go out and run the offense and make the throws.”
He made plenty of good throws all season.