Reece Ramos bounced up and down the field, smiling wide and waving emphatically and shouting "goose egg!" into the clear Stony Brook sky.
The junior defensive lineman was a champion.
Ramos was at the heart of North Shore’s 7-0 win over Shoreham-Wading River in the Long Island Class IV championship game on Saturday at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. He had six tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and blocked a punt as the Vikings silenced a Wildcats offense that had averaged 46.3 points per game in its three playoff wins.
"Our game plan was to get more physical than them, and that’s exactly what we did," Ramos said after North Shore’s first appearance in the Long Island Championships. "We all did our jobs and we just dominated them."
On a night in which North Shore’s defense came up with big play after big play, Ramos delivered two of the biggest.
His punt block in the first quarter set up North Shore (10-2) at the Shoreham-Wading River 32-yard line and led to the game’s only score.
"I just love to get after the ball," said Ramos, a team captain.
On a fourth-and-1 for the Wildcats (10-2) midway through the third quarter, Ramos had the run-stuffing tackle that forced a turnover on downs.
"I felt like I had to lead this team to a big play," he said.
It wasn’t just the big plays. Ramos’ nonstop energy for 48 minutes set a tone for the defense.
"He gets the team going," senior quarterback and linebacker Daniel Quigley said. "We all just follow his lead."
Added North Shore coach Dan Agovino: "Today he just played out of his mind. The whole team did, but he set the tone."
Never mind the 27-degree wind chill or piercing wind gusts.
"Our defense loves the cold," Ramos said. "We love the wind. We’ll play in any condition. There could be 12 feet of snow out here, we’d still be out here trying to dominate our competition."
Spoken like a champion.