Ryan Amato of Floyd receives the Bob Zellner Award during...

Ryan Amato of Floyd receives the Bob Zellner Award during the Suffolk County High School Football Awards dinner on Monday in Hauppauge. Credit: Dawn McCormick

The Floyd football team had four different ball carriers this season who did significant damage. All had one thing in common: right guard Ryan Amato paving the way for them.

Quarterback LeDuke Harris and running backs Dylan Harris, Jason Pratt and Caden Lesiewicz combined this season to gain nearly 2,000 yards and score 29 touchdowns over 10 games as the Colonials (9-1) reached the Suffolk I semifinals.

“When it was a short-yardage situation there was no doubt we were going right,” Floyd coach Paul Longo said. “[Amato] is tenacious and strong and he gets into people and drives them.”

Amato, who also plays defensive tackle, is the 2022 winner of the Bob Zellner Award and received it at the county awards dinner Monday night at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. He is the fourth player from Floyd to win the Zellner and the first since James Walsh in 2010.

Amato’s considerable talents were clear to Longo from the day he arrived.

“He is a four-year starter, the only one we’ve ever had,” Longo said. “He’s one of the best linemen I’ve ever coached.”

Floyd amassed a 33-6 record over the past four seasons with the 6-foot, 295-pound Amato in the starting lineup.

Described by Longo as “nice off the field, but tough on it,” Amato’s personality really showed through on one particular play in an early-season win over Sachem East.

On an offensive snap the ball was fumbled and Amato came up with it. He used a Heisman-esque stiff-arm move on one would-be tackler and then dragged several others to complete a 13-yard run for a first down.

“I am sure he enjoyed himself on that one,” Longo said.

A quick first step has made Amato exceptional on plays where he is asked to pull and he has been equally adept whether blocking on rushing plays or passing plays. When playing defense, he’s been at his best when helping to stop opponents’ ground games.

Preparation is one of the cornerstones of Amato’s game. He leads by example, works diligently in the weight room and applies himself to building the chemistry with fellow linemen that is the hallmark of a good unit.

“Every year we have players who get called up late in the season from the JV,” Longo said. “I always tell them to watch the way [Amato] does things. He sets an excellent example. I’d love to have a bunch of Ryan Amato's.”

More on this topic
Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months