Despite missing a chunk of the 2022 football season, Northport’s Owen Johansen was recognized for his outstanding play.
The senior linebacker had 46 total tackles, including seven for a loss, three sacks and two interceptions in five games to earn the Bob Collotta Award for Suffolk’s top linebacker.
“He knows how to do things at a different level than other kids I’ve coached in the past,” Northport coach Patrick Campbell said. “I’m not surprised that he won despite only playing five games.”
Johansen suffered a broken ankle on his first defensive series against Bellport in Week 6. Injuries have held Johansen back throughout his high school career, as he suffered a torn meniscus in both his sophomore and junior years.
He kept a positive attitude following the injury and was there to support Northport (8-3) during its road to a Suffolk Division II final appearance.
“Even when he was hurt and his season was over, he didn’t sit around and sulk or pout about it,” Campbell said.
When Johansen is on the field, he’s a force to be reckoned with. The 6-3, 215-pound linebacker is fast, physical and fundamentally sound.
“He’s a knockout artist, but his hits are clean,” Campbell said. “He doesn’t miss tackles and he knows how to finish because he’s such a good tracker and he understands leverage so well that when he gets there, he doesn’t have to slow down and lose any momentum to make contact.”
Johansen, who was also Northport’s starting quarterback, threw for 519 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 221 yards and six scores.
Campbell said Johansen garnered attention as one of the top quarterbacks in Suffolk County entering the season.
“The truth is that he’s a better linebacker than he is a quarterback and his ceiling is much higher as a linebacker. He’s just that good,” Campbell said.
Johansen will play linebacker for Williams College.
“I’ve felt like he’s been this good since his sophomore year,” Campbell said. “For him to get rewarded for being the player that we always knew him to be is just incredibly fulfilling.”
Other awards were given out at the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association dinner Monday night in Hauppauge.
Floyd junior Caden Lesiewicz took home the Tom Cassese Award for the top defensive back, as well as the Outstanding Place Kicker Award.
Bellport senior Donte Phillips was named the most outstanding running back with the Joe Cipp Award (1,519 yards, 24 touchdowns).
The Longo Award for outstanding receiver went to Lindenhurst senior Chris Carson (25 catches, 550 yards, four touchdowns).
The Tom Cutinella Memorial Leadership Award went to senior wide receiver/defensive back Patrick Shanahan of Bayport-Blue Point, which won its first Long Island Class IV championship.
Senior Ward Melville quarterback Andrew Belli won the LaBue Award for academic excellence.