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Massapequa's Mike Rollo wins Martone Award

Michael Rollo of Massapequa battles at the line

Michael Rollo of Massapequa battles at the line of scrimmage during a Nassau football game against host Freeport on Saturday, March 13, 2021.  Credit: James Escher

To say that Massapequa’s Mike Rollo is versatile would be an understatement.

The senior, who was already a standout guard on the offensive line and a solid defensive lineman, was asked to learn every offensive line position this season because of injuries and the uncertainty of COVID-19.

"I knew it was a lot on my shoulders," Rollo said. "The first time snapping [at center] I was thinking, ‘Suck it up. No excuses and work my butt off every time I snapped the ball.’ "

The three-year starter was a menace on both interior lines for Massapequa this season. He played every position on the offensive line and anchored a unit that averaged 39 points per game.

He was a nose guard and occasional defensive end and registered 42 tackles and eight sacks for a Massapequa ‘D’ that pitched two shutouts and allowed an average of 12.5 points per game. Massapequa captured its first Nassau I crown since 1998.

For his efforts Rollo was named the Martone Award winner as the county’s top lineman by the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association.

"We needed a guy to do everything, and Mike was one of those guys I knew I could trust at all positions," Massapequa coach Kevin Shippos said. "He’s a kid who takes the game of football very seriously, and he’s one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached. . . . He’s just the ultimate team guy."

Need even more evidence? Late in the season, the Massapequa coaching staff decided to put Rollo in the backfield as a fullback to utilize his outstanding blocking.

"I loved it," he said. "When my coaches told me [I would be a fullback], I said, ‘What is this April Fool’s [Day]?’ I was so surprised and my fellow linemen were so upset I was in the backfield."

The backfield could very well be Rollo’s new home. The 5-10, 250-pounder -- who can bench 400 pounds and squat 600 -- signed with Western Connecticut State, and could see time at fullback in college.

But for now, Rollo, who already started lifting for college, is also enjoying the memories of an incredible senior season capped with winning a prestigious award.

"It means a lot to me," he said. "I couldn’t have ended my season any better than winning a Nassau championship with my team, possibly, the best squad I’ve ever been a part of."

Now that’s some statement.

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