Not to start trouble or anything, but my first question of the 2011 season on Thursday’s opening practice at Sachem North was this one to the Crossan brothers: “Who’s faster?”
After a little good-natured back-and-forth bickering, it was agreed that Dalton, the senior running back, is slightly faster in the 40-yard dash than Trent, the sophomore quarterback, according to their latest times.
Dalton (pictured above catching pass from Trent) said he was clocked in 4.52 at a summer camp at the University of Connecticut. Trent, who had faster times than his brother last year, said his most recent best is 4.55. Of course, as far as Suffolk Division I coaches are concerned, that’s just splitting hares. Simply put, these kids are rabbits, and they hope to carry North back to the county championship for a third straight season.
This time, they’d like to, finally, defeat their nemesis, Floyd. The Arrows won the regular-season meetings in 2009 and 2010, but lost to the Colonials in the county final both times. “A lot of the other seniors were a part of that,” said Dalton, who along with his brother transferred from Shoreham-Wading River before last season. “Everyone knows what it feels like and they don’t want it to happen again.”
Dalton, a 1,000-yard rusher as a junior, was part of a terrific three-pronged rushing attack that also featured the graduated Michael Andreassi and Jesse Scanna. “Those were huge losses,” coach Dave Falco said. “More than just their on-field play was their off-field leadership. We’ve got a lot of different kids starting this year. But expectations are high, and we want them to be. I tell the kids that we’re not Flaming Arrows yet – we’re just Darts.”
Crossan & Crossan, however, should form a pretty sharp tandem. Trent switches from running back to signal caller, which, as Falco noted, “In our system, the quarterback is another running back.” Dalton should challenge Floyd’s Stacey Bedell for the county lead in yardage, touchdowns and the Hansen Award throughout 2011.
“Trent is more explosive. Dalton is shiftier,” Falco said. “Dalton brings toughness, leadership and a work ethic. Trent has a high football IQ.”
Trent said he’s looking forward to the position switch. “I like having the ball in my hands all the time,” he said. “And I like having my brother back there.”
Dalton acknowledged that he hasn’t decided yet whether to accept a college scholarship for football or lacrosse, where he is also a standout. Falco said Crossan has been offered football scholarships to Stony Brook, Fordham and C.W. Post, with Syracuse, Delaware and Massachusetts among those who want to see video from his first two games before deciding whether they will offer.
In lacrosse, Crossan has received offers from Hofstra, Stony Brook, UMass and Michigan, a new Division I entry in the sport.
“My first love is football,” Dalton said. “But I want to be able to start and play right away in college. That will be a part of my decision.”
Expect Trent to make sure Dalton gets plenty of chances to show off his football talents in those first two games – and beyond.