There’s a new sheriff in town and it’s name is Miller Place.
Shoreham-Wading River has owned the Suffolk IV football conference for three seasons, but the road to a historic four-peat will not be easy.
The Wildcats, 34-2 with three Long Island championships since 2014, will have to contend with a deep division loaded with talent and headed by Miller Place’s No. 1-seeded Panthers.
“The top of the division is very tough and the league is strong,” SWR coach Matt Millheiser said. “Miller Place has a host of players back from a very good team last year, and you can never count out Babylon and Glenn. They’ve been right there with us.”
Miller Place is led by dynamic back Tyler Ammirato, who rushed for 1,394 yards and scored 29 touchdowns last season. He will be joined in the backfield by quarterback Anthony Seymour, while Matt McNulty is one of three returning starters on the offensive line.
The defense features seven returning starters, including defensive end Alex Herbst (35 tackles, eight sacks in 2016).
Shoreham-Wading River looks to be strong up front on both sides of the ball. Defensive tackle Daniel Curtin had 62 tackles and a pair of sacks last year while defensive end Liam Mahoney had 56 tackles and three sacks. They will play in front of linebacker Ethan Baumback (60 tackles), a three-year varsity player who Millheiser said is like a coach on the field.
Curtin and Mahoney will also start at guard on offense and will block for athletic quarterback Xavier Arline and running back Kyle Boden.
Babylon, the 2016 county runner-up, is banking on a strong offensive line, featuring seniors Taylor Tanner, Charlie DiPalma and juniors Saiquan Kneeland and Eric Marsden.
Glenn will be led by the rushing tandem of Nathaniel Larkins and Brett Ryans, who combined for over 1,100 yards last season.