Jordan Fredericks was a linchpin in the Lawrence football program for four years. The electric halfback/defensive back, who gained more than 7,500 all-purpose yards and scored a Nassau- record 98 touchdowns, sparked an offense that set the Long Island season record for points (581) in 2012.
The playmaker burst into Lawrence's lineup as a freshman and punctuated his career with his third straight Long Island Class III championship when the Golden Tornadoes beat Sayville, 40-35, in a spectacular finale.
The Lawrence program and its community will miss him dearly. No one else in Class III Long Island football will miss him. They'll hold the door and be happy to see him on his way.
Fredericks led Lawrence to four consecutive Nassau Conference III titles. For his efforts, he earned the 73rd annual Tom Thorp Award, presented to Nassau's top football player, Wednesday night at the Nassau County Football Coaches Association banquet in Woodbury.
"It's an incredible honor to win this award," said Fredericks, who told Newsday Wednesday night that he had committed to Syracuse. "I'd like to thank my coaches and teammates for making this possible. Without them, this award wouldn't have happened. They all put in the time to help make us a great team and give me opportunities to win championships."
Fredericks had a hand in all five of Lawrence's five offensive touchdowns in the Class III title game. He threw a 26-yard TD pass just before halftime to a leaping Tevine Johnson, and he scored on runs of 1, 1, 65 and 57 yards while finishing with 227 yards rushing.
"When he's out there, we're always one handoff away from a score," coach Joe Martillotti said. "He's the guy that can turn a game around in one play. We've had great talent in this program, but none better than this kid. I'm so happy for him to be recognized as Nassau's top player because he definitely deserved it."
The 5-11, 200-pound Fredericks not only was the face of a dominant program but also was the face of hope in his community. He was a volunteer in the at-risk program for youths at the local community center. He was a leader and walked in the ALS Ride for Life to help raise funds to find a cure. He mentored all the young athletes in school.
"He is a quality young man of high character," Martillotti said. "He developed into quite the leader from the weight room to the field. I don't know how we replace such a gifted kid."
Fredericks will be remembered as an athlete who adapted to the situation. When Lawrence needed a touchdown, he provided one. When Lawrence needed a big defensive play, he made one. He was Jordy on the spot for the Golden Tornadoes.
"He made an immediate difference when we moved him to quarterback and he got to touch the ball on every play," Martillotti said. "And when people saw him throw and the kind of velocity he had on his passes, they were shocked. He was just an unbelievable athlete."
Fredericks scored on 12 plays of more than 50 yards this fall. In a 55-15 win over Valley Stream North, he had TD runs of 89, 60 and 71 yards. Teams refused to kick off in his direction, and offensive coordinators steered clear of him in the secondary.
"He really enjoyed the game, the competition," Martillotti said. "And we enjoyed having him."