Division Avenue High School participates in the Newsday Marching Band...

Division Avenue High School participates in the Newsday Marching Band Festival at Mitchel Field on Oct. 19, 2022. Credit: Daniel Goodrich

MUST-SEE GAMES

Oct. 28, Bethpage at Wantagh, 2 p.m.: Two of the top five seeds play a rivalry game early this fall. Bethpage’s John Pelcher and Wantagh’s Jake Martini, two running backs in Newsday's Top 100, will look to establish the run game.

Sept. 23, Plainedge at Wantagh, 2.p.m.: Wantagh gets a chance to prove it’s a team to beat this season against the Red Devils, who handed Wantagh its only two losses last year.

Oct. 20, South Side at Plainedge, 6:30 p.m.: Playoff seeding figures to  be on the line when Nassau Conference III’s perennial powerhouse hosts a confident and experienced South Side team late in the season.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Jerone Pettus, who graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2000 and won the Thorp Award his senior year, devotes his time to the kids. Pettus set a Long Island rushing record at Roosevelt before playing three seasons at Wisconsin (310 yards, two TDs). After college, he coached Roosevelt’s junior varsity football team for nearly 10 years. He now teaches physical education at Alden Terrace School in the Elmont school district.

GOOD VENUE

Fans at Mineola’s red and black turf facility watched the Mustangs claim three of their seven wins at home last season. A mural of mustangs behind the visiting sideline provides fans with a warm reminder of the school’s graceful mascot.

SOUND OF MUSIC

The Division marching band won first at the New York State Field Band Conference Championships among schools in the Small School III division. The school’s cheerleading team also is one of the best on Long Island and finished second in Nassau last season among Small Varsity Division II schools.

WHAT A CHARACTER

The Floral Park’s Knight mascot is a staple for the team’s home games, which this year include  Glen Cove, Clarke, Roosevelt and South Side.

COACHING SPOTLIGHT

Rob Shaver has built the standard for Nassau Conference III football over the last 27 years. Shaver’s Red Devils teams have won the last four Nassau championships, two of the last three Long Island Championships and gone 54-4 over the last five years.

Shaver graduated from Island Trees in 1987 and started his coaching career there  in 1992. In high school, he wrestled and  finished second in the county at 167 pounds. He was also an All-Conference tight end.

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