For the second time in three years, Shoreham-Wading River won the Rutgers Trophy as the outstanding football team in Suffolk County.
The journey was different this time, however. The Wildcats endured two early-season losses before winning their final seven games to finish 10-2, including a 20-10 victory over previously unbeaten Seaford on Nov. 27 to win the Long Island Class IV championship for a third straight season. They were Suffolk County’s only Long Island champion in 2016.
SWR, coached for a sixth season by Matt Millheiser, earned 107 points in the voting done by county coaches. Floyd finished second with 64 points and East Islip was third with 52. The announcement was made Monday night at the Suffolk football awards dinner in Hauppauge.
In their two previous championship years, the Wildcats went 12-0, including 2014, when they won the first Rutgers Trophy in school history.
Running back Chris Gray (2,234 yards, 37 touchdowns) and two-way lineman Ethan Wiederkehr both earned first-team Newsday All-Long Island honors and are among six players who were members of all three Long Island champions. The others were QB/defensive back Kevin Cutinella, fullback/linebacker Chris Sheehan, two-way tackle Dean Stalzer and wide recei ver/safety Daniel Cassidy.
Shoreham-Wading River had its 25-game winning streak stopped by Babylon in a 27-21 overtime loss in Week 2 and also fell to Glenn, 16-12, in Week 5. But the Wildcats reached the Suffolk IV final with one-sided victories over Hampton Bays and Miller Place before avenging their loss to Babylon with a 36-21 triumph in the county final.