Being a football official can be stressful, but having your children in your crew makes the job easier.
Marc Negrin took the field Saturday at Stony Brook University for the Long Island Class III championship game between Sayville and Plainedge with his two sons, Bailey and Marc Jr.
When his sons were younger, Marc was their PAL football coach. When they stopped playing in 2009, he became an official, and he’s been doing it ever since.
“After they were done with school, I had nothing to do,” Marc said. “I became an official because I love the game so much.”
Bailey and Marc Jr. have been officials for eight years and have been in Marc’s crew for the past five years.
“As a father, you always want your children to be better than you at anything in life,” Marc said. “To be out here every week and hear coaches and fans compliment them, I couldn’t be more proud of them and what they’ve accomplished.”
The Negrins are a football family. They talk about it when they leave the field and watch film each week to prepare for the teams they’re officiating.
“Nothing’s more fun than being out there with these two and calling the game we love to call,” Marc Jr. said.
“We’re blessed to come out every week and be together and that we were able to stay together for this game,” Bailey added.
With the use of split officiating crews between Nassau and Suffolk for this year’s Long Island Championships, there was a chance that the Negrins wouldn’t all be in the same crew. But the three of them were able to stay together and were joined by Jimmy O’Brien and Tommy Sheehan.
Marc was the referee, Bailey the back judge, Marc Jr. the line judge, O’Brien the linesman and Sheehan the umpire.
“The Nassau officials were an asset to our crew,” Bailey said. “We were able to communicate even though we met each other for the first time this week.”
The Negrins were vocal about the shortage of officials, and while they understand why that is, they encourage people to get involved with the sports they love.
“It’s not an easy job, but if you want to stay involved in sports without playing, this is the way to do it,” Marc Jr. said. “People who love basketball officiate basketball. We love football, so that’s why we’re here.”
Start them young
If you want to peek into the future of the Sayville football program, just look at the team’s sideline. You will find a bunch of water boys who look up to the varsity players and dream about one day being in uniform on the same sideline.
One of them is 10-year-old James Coan. He wears number 17 because his cousin Jack Coan wore it and his brother, freshman Patrick, currently wears it.
“It’s my dream to play for Sayville,” Coan said. “I love our town and I just really love football.”
Who was that guy?
North Shore coach Dan Agovino has led the Vikings into the LI Class IV championship game for two straight years.
The Vikings earned the school’s first Long Island title in 2021 when they upended Shoreham-Wading River, 7-0.
This year North Shore came up against a very physical Bayport-Blue Point team that slowed the Vikings’ running game. The lost to Bayport, 35-7 — and one lineman left quite the impression on Agovino.
“I was very impressed by him, but I don’t know his name, No. 77, the sophomore lineman,” Agovino said. “He did a great job. He did a hell of a job. I was very, very impressed by that young man.”
Agovino was a stand-up guy after a tough loss. If the teams meet again, he’ll know that No. 77 is Dylan Spano.
With Gregg Sarra