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Nassau Conference I football team previews

Oceanside's Nick Ebel (23) celebrates his second touchdown

Oceanside's Nick Ebel (23) celebrates his second touchdown of the game with Michael Mecca during a Nassau Conference I football game against Massapequa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

1. OCEANSIDE (7-1)

Coach: Rob Blount

Five key players: Charlie McKee, QB, Sr.; Michael Mecca, WR/DB, Sr.; Logan Lyson, TE/WR/LB, Jr.; Ronnie Kraemer, WR/DB, Sr.; Joey Broderick, OL/LB, Sr.

The Sailors: Oceanside returns nine of 11 starters on offense and eight of 11 starters on defense. McKee, one of the top quarterbacks in the state, completed 126 of 196 passes (65.6 percent) for 1,459 yards and 16 touchdowns compared to two interceptions. He also rushed for 288 yards and 12 touchdowns on 74 carries.

2. MASSAPEQUA (7-1)

Coach: Kevin Shippos

Five key players: Michael D’Alessandro, RB/LB, Sr.; Jake Ciolino, WR/DB, Sr.; Jakob Menichini, OL/DL, Sr.; Ryan Fountain, WR/DB, Jr.; Anthony Matturro, OL/LB, Sr.

Massapequa: The defending Nassau Conference I champions graduated a strong core but will rely on skill position players like D’Alessandro and Ciolino. Menichini was a key lineman on an offensive averaging 39 points per game last year.

3. SYOSSET (3-4)

Coach: Paul Rorke

Five key players: Luca Cutolo, WR/DB, Sr.; Robert Trapeo, WR/DB, Sr.; Quinn Broggy, OL/DL, Sr.; Gaige Ciccotto, RB/DB, Sr.; Nicholas Macchia, RB/LB, Sr.

Syosset: Cutolo is the type of player defenses must account for at all times. He had 11 total touchdowns (nine receiving), including four scores of at least 70 yards. He and Trapeo form a strong 1-2 combination at receiver and defensive back.

4. FARMINGDALE (2-3)

Coach: Buddy Krumenacker

Five key players: Anthony Bilello, OL/DE, Sr.; Brandon Bush, OL/DT, Sr.; Jordan Smikle, WR/DB, Sr.; Aiden Steinheimer, OL/DT, Sr.; Kyle Wilson, QB, Sr.

The Dalers: Smikle, at 6-3, 175 pounds, will be the focal point in Farmingdale’s offense with the ability to score any time he has the ball. Biello, Bush and Steinheimer lead the way upfront on both sides of the ball.

5. FREEPORT (1-4)

Coach: Russ Cellan

Five key players: D’Angelo Gordon, QB/DB, Soph.; Martese Davenport, RB/DB, Jr.; Kobe Valdez, OL/LB, Sr.; Andre Wilkes, WR/LB, Sr.; Angel Arroyo, RB/LB, Sr.

The Red Devils: Freeport will rely on young talent this fall, including Gordon at quarterback and Davenport in the backfield. Both will also be key players at defensive back.

6. PORT WASHINGTON (1-2)

Coach: Kevin Cloghessy

Five key players: Henry Haberman, RB/S, Sr.; Sahej Walia, C/DT, Sr.; Matt Freeman, OL/LB, Sr.; Jett Reiter, QB/DB, Sr.; John McCarthy, QB/DB, Jr.

The Vikings: After battling multiple shutdowns due to COVID-19 last season, Port Washington relies on a strong returning set of skill players. Haberman and Walia will be key fixtures on both sides of the ball.

7. HEMPSTEAD (3-1)

Coach: Sylas Pratt

Five key players: Jakkai Stith, QB, Jr.; Dwayne Meadors, RB/LB, Soph.; Jamir Andrews, RB/DB, Jr.; Jaeden Samuels, OL/DL, Sr.; Justin Goodson, WR/DB, Sr.

The Tigers: Stith looks to take the next step as Hempstead’s offensive leader after leading the Tigers to three wins in four games in a COVID-19 shortened season last year.

8. EAST MEADOW (4-3)

Coach: Frank Baglivo

Five key players: Patrick Spinola, QB/DB, Sr.; Shane McIntyre, RB/S, Sr.; Joe Arbitello, OL/DL, Soph.; Brian Terino, RB/LB, Jr.; Jake Barker, TE/LB, Sr.

The Jets: Spinola takes over the helm at offense for an East Meadow team that graduated 25 seniors and return two starters from last year. McIntyre and Terino lead the rushing attack.

9. UNIONDALE (1-4)

Coach: Philip Coppola

Five key players: Joshua Smalls, QB, Jr.; RKelly Trajean, RB/CB, Sr.; Matt Jackson, OL/DL, Sr.; Deomiee Scales-Melvin, OL/DL, Sr.; Jordyn Davis, OL/DL, Jr.

The Knights: Uniondale returns its entire starting line from last season. Smalls looks to progress at quarterback to lead the offense.

10. PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE JFK/JERICHO (3-3)

Coach: Chris Rogler and Brendan Lahti

Five key players: Evan Gordon, QB, Sr.; Sal Vazquez WR/CB, Sr.; Cooper Dorf, RB/CB, Jr.; Jesse Scharf, WR/CB, Jr.; Xavier Lemus, FB/LB, Jr.

The Hawks: The combined program looks to take advantage of a versatile set of skill position players with Gordon distributing the ball.

11. HICKSVILLE (1-5)

Coach: Ron Modik

Five key players: Max Shapiro, QB, Sr.; Gus DeJesus, WR/DB, Sr.; Dan Ulloa, RB/LB, Jr.; Jayden Jagmohan, OL/DL, Soph.; Griffin Ward, WR/DB, Sr.

The Comets: Shapiro and DeJesus have formed nice chemistry on the gridiron. Shapiro completed 50 of 91 passes for 521 yards and four touchdowns in five games and DeJesus had 23 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns last season.

12. WESTBURY (0-5)

Coach: Savalis Charles

Five key players: Leonard Edouard, OL/DL, Sr.; Jason Ferguson, QB/DB, Sr.; Kaden Gibson, WR/DB, Sr.; Anderson Louis, WR/DB, Sr.; Jason Velasquez, OL/DL, Jr.

The Green Dragons: Edouard, at 6-0 and 315 pounds, in an imposing force at the line of scrimmage. Ferguson leads the offense at quarterback with Gibson and Louis as playmakers on the outside.

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