Quarterback Steven Ferreira of Sayville knows getting hit is part of the job description. “A hit here and there wakes me up a little bit,” the standout junior said at Tuesday morning’s practice, where there was no hitting but plenty of spirited drills.
Being forced to lead the Golden Flashes in both running and passing as a sophomore in 2009 resulted in more than just getting hit ‘here and there.’ This season should be different and Ferreira (in above photo) should be upright more often.
“Last year, we had a deficiency at running back,” said Sayville coach Rob Hoss, whose team is the coaches’ No. 1 seed in Suffolk Division III. “Steven had to do everything. For a 10th grader to lead the team in running [629 yards] and passing [1,873] yards showed us that not only could he take it, but he mastered it.”
Sayville’s potent spread offense was the ‘it’ to which Hoss was referring. If all goes as planned, Ferreira shouldn’t have to carry the ball nearly as often in 2010. “I think we can run the ball pretty well,” the coach said, citing sophomore running backs John Haggart and Tom Dieckoff.
The new additions should make life a lot easier for Ferreira, who sat the bench as a freshman on varsity, but learned the nuances of the complex spread by watching All-Long Island quarterback Dillon Boos lead Sayville to the Long Island Championship in 2008. “We have some good runners this year who are fast and quick, so I can just throw the ball and not worry,” said Ferreira, a tough kid who excels as a defenseman in lacrosse and won’t shy away from the occasional keeper or scramble when the situation arises. “It takes a little bit off my shoulders. The less hits on me the better.”
Hoss said he never doubted Ferreira’s All-Long Island caliber talent. “We knew he was a special player, but we just wondered whether, as a sophomore, could he step right in?” Hoss said.
Now, as a junior, the bar is raised even higher for Ferreira and the Golden Flashes, who envision returning to the LIC in 2010. “We’re a No. 1 seed, but we try to play hard all the time, like we’re the lowest seed,” Ferreira said. “We know we’re the target for everyone else.”