For as long as Michael Bradley can remember, he’s been a part of the William Floyd football program, whether it be in his current role as senior middle linebacker or back in the day as an adoring young fan.
When Bradley moved to Mastic Beach as a 6-year-old, he started a tradition of attending Floyd home games, as well as postseason games, with either his mother, Marion Hill, or his father, Michael Sr.
“Seeing familiar faces in the crowd,” Bradley said, “and knowing that you’re a part of something special felt cool.”
Ever since Bradley started playing football at the age of 5, he has played only one position on defense: linebacker.
“At the linebacker position, you get a mix of it all,” Bradley said. “You have an opportunity to drop back in coverage, or fly up and make a hard hit, or go sideline to sideline to show off your speed. It’s a special position.”
Special would be a great way to describe how Bradley played linebacker the last three years, but especially this season, when he had 125 tackles, including nine for a loss, and three interceptions, including one for a touchdown, for Floyd (10-2).
For his efforts, Bradley earned the Bob Collotta Award as Suffolk’s top linebacker. Comsewogue’s Kai Cochrane and Bay Shore’s Lashawn Creekmore also were finalists.
Bradley is the fourth Floyd player to win the award. The others were Rob Fiese (1993), Casey Terruso (2006) and Dashawn Morton (2013).
“We’ve had a tradition of really great linebackers at William Floyd,” coach Paul Longo said. “Michael keeps it going.”
Even though Floyd’s season ended with a loss to Freeport in the Long Island Class I championship game, Longo was pleased that Bradley had the opportunity to perform on the big stage late in the season.
“I’m happy for him because he had a chance to showcase his talent in both the county and Long Island championships this year,” Longo said. “He’ll be hard to replace.”
Other awards also were given out at the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association dinner Monday night in Hauppauge.
Hard-hitting Northport senior Frankie Stola won the Tom Cassese Award for most outstanding defensive back.
The Joe Cipp Award for most outstanding running back went to Westhampton’s Dylan Laube (2,152 yards, 40 touchdowns).
The National Football Foundation most outstanding receiver award was given to Lindenhurst junior Jeremy Ruckert (57 catches, 794 yards and six touchdowns).
The 12th Man Award as Suffolk’s most courageous football player went to the community of Huntington in the name of Eli Mollineaux. The Huntington sophomore and honorary member of the football team had Pearson syndrome and died Oct. 31.
The Tom Cutinella Memorial Leadership Award went to his brother Kevin, a senior quarterback/defensive back for Shoreham-Wading River, which won its third straight Long Island Class IV championship.