St. Anthony’s wide receiver Korey Duff Jr. and East Islip defensive lineman Sebastian Regis were named recipients of the second Gregg Sarra Trophy, presented by the Suffolk chapter of the National Football Foundation, honors Long Island’s top offensive player and top defensive player. Credit: Newsday

St. Anthony’s wide receiver Korey Duff Jr. and East Islip defensive lineman Sebastian Regis have collected plenty of hardware since the end of the 2023 high school football season. Their latest accolade may be the most special.

Duff and Regis were named recipients of the second Gregg Sarra Trophy, which honors Long Island’s top offensive player and top defensive player, at Sunday’s annual Scholar Athlete Awards Brunch of the National Football Foundation’s James C. Metzger Suffolk County chapter at the Melville Marriott.

Duff enrolled at Rutgers in January, and with a day off from spring practice, he made the trip home on Sunday. Regis is signed to play for Stony Brook this fall.

“The second-ever Gregg Sarra award, it does, it means a lot,” Duff said. “Just to see the criteria and who’s gotten it before me, it definitely means a lot.”

“Obviously, winning awards is a great thing, but it just shows that our team put in a great enough effort to make me look good,” Regis said. “To be able to get those looks and get those awards, it means a lot to me.”

The NFF created the award last season and named it after Sarra, Newsday’s high school sports editor, who has dedicated nearly four decades to covering high school football on Long Island. Former Farmingdale middle linebacker Trevor Gayron and former St. Anthony’s quarterback Dante Torres, Duff’s former teammate, were the first recipients of the honor a year ago.

“Look at their resumes and that’s all you need to know,” Metzger said. “Both of those players are at the highest level of football on not only Long Island, but New York state, and can compete anywhere in the country.

“It’s very fitting that they are named after Gregg Sarra, who’s really the godfather of high school sports and sports on Long Island.”

Duff received Newsday’s fourth annual Rich Reichert Award in December as Long Island’s best player in the CHSFL. He had 51 receptions for 879 yards and nine touchdowns in 2023, capping a four-year varsity career in which he became St. Anthony’s all-time leader in receptions, total yards and touchdown catches. He was the offensive MVP of the 2022 Friars team that won the CHSFL Class AAA state title.

By enrolling early at Rutgers, Duff got a head start on his development. Spring football did not officially start until March 26, but Duff took advantage of the conditioning and gained about 10 pounds of muscle. The 6-5 Duff is listed as a four-star prospect, the No. 296 player in the country and the No. 1 player in the state in the 247Sports Composite’s class of 2024 rankings.

“Seeing the transition just from my body the past few months,” Duff said. “Just about lifting every day, getting the conditioning. It really did a lot, and I’m happy I went early and got to be a part of it.”

Duff spoke highly of his first couple of months under coach Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights’ staff. He praised the chemistry of the “almost 20” people in the receiver room, which includes fellow Friar and rising sophomore Ian Strong. It is too early to tell what Duff’s role this fall could be, but he feels good about how he is competing in spring ball.

Regis made history in December, claiming Newsday’s Carl A. Hansen Award as Suffolk’s top football player, the Rob Burnett Award (given to Suffolk’s top defensive player) and the Bob Zellner Award (given to the county’s top lineman). He became the first Suffolk football player to garner all three honors.

“This really makes a statement for me, I believe,” Regis said. “Just because people doubt me because of my height. I’m 6-1 but people doubt me just because of that. I think it doesn’t really matter. If you can play football, you can play football.”

Regis led East Islip to the 2023 Long Island Class III title. He totaled 101 total tackles (26 tackles for loss), 11 sacks, four forced fumbles and five blocked extra points. Regis also was a key cog on East Islip’s offensive line, which earned the inaugural NFF Offensive Line Award for Suffolk Division III on Sunday.

Regis, who won the 285-pound state wrestling title in 2023 but did not wrestle this past season, can be found on the lacrosse field this spring. He is a reserve faceoff specialist, a “very gritty position,” he said. Regis wanted to play one more season, albeit in a new sport, with several of his football teammates.

He will officially arrive at Stony Brook, led by first-year coach Billy Cosh, in July.

“As long as I’m able to do what I believe I can do, I think I can end up on the field later in my career or even maybe in the middle,” Regis said. “Hopefully I can just develop.”


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