The same competitive spirit that drove Nicole Farese of Sayville and Livingstone Harriott of Central Islip to success on various high school playing fields is what they both hope will propel them to continue that success on the next level.
College competition will undoubtedly be fiercer, but Farese and Harriott, who Sunday were named the 16th set of winners of the 2016 Dellecave Award at the West Lake Inn in Patchogue, are hardly fearful.
“Challenge is part of life. I really want to play Division I football all four years.” said Harriott, who was an All-County football player and All-State track star and will play football at Brown as a wide receiver and plans to study computer engineering.
“I’ll be trying for someplace on the infield, maybe second base,” said Farese, a standout shortstop who will play at Division III Gettysburg where she intends to major in communications. “I know it’ll be more competitive, but I enjoy that.”
Both received their plaques as well as $1,000 scholarships from Guy and Mark Dellecave, sons of the late Butch Dellecave, for whom the award is named. Butch Dellecave was an educator in the Connetquot district for 30 years, an esteemed basketball official and one of the founders of the Suffolk Hall of Fame. The award has been presented annually since 2001 by the Butch Dellecave Foundation in conjunction with the Economic Counsel of Suffolk, Inc., and Newsday. It recognizes the top male and female student-athlete for outstanding achievement in three areas — athletic prowess, academics and community service. Each Suffolk high school nominates an extraordinary male and female athlete who is superior in the classroom and a difference-maker in the community.
This year’s other male finalists were Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson), Cabel McCandless (Lindenhurst), Sean Rausch (Longwood) and Joe Tardif (Mattituck). The other female finalists were Alexis Fotopoulos (Hampton Bays), Aviana Goode (Bay Shore), Caroline Hoeg (Mount Sinai) and Kerrigan Miller (Bayport-Blue Point).
“This is a huge award for me,” Harriott said. “It’s a perfect example of what a good athlete should be. Take all the lessons you learned in sports and put them to use in the classroom and the community. As long as you have perfect balance in your life, success will follow you.”
Farese, who will join her brother Mike at Gettysburg where he just completed his sophomore year as a soccer and baseball player, said, “This award means so much. It exemplifies what I stand for and everything that I’ve worked for my whole life.”
She was an outstanding soccer player early in her high school career before tearing her ACL in 2012 and taking two years away from that sport. She returned to the soccer pitch last fall but in college she’ll be a one-sport student-athlete.
Harriott just concluded his stellar track career by finishing fourth in the state in the triple jump, but also said that one sport is more than enough for him in college. However, he has one more high school athletic contest before he leaves for Brown in August to start early conditioning for football.
He’ll participate in the annual Empire Challenge on June 21 at Hofstra, which matches the best football players from Long Island against the best from New York City. He’ll play safety in that game, and Harriott is OK with playing a different position.
Adapting to change is also part of the college experience.