It was a night when emotions pulled Nassau football coaches
in one direction, sensibilities tugged another and loyalties in still another.
All of which left the banquet room spinning for the final award presentation.
The Rutgers Club of Long Island awards the Rutgers Cup to Nassau's
outstanding football team. It's an honor as important as any county
championship. Each coach cast a vote at last night's Nassau Football Coaches
Association Gridiron Dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Garden City was awarded the Rutgers Cup, the Trojans' first since 1998.
Coaches found Garden City's three-year run as the Conference II champ too much
to overlook despite losing last year's Thorp Award winner Terence Hartigan.
Garden City received 19 first-place votes and totaled 98 points. Baldwin
took second with 81. Plainedge was third (73). Cold Spring Harbor, the Long
Island Class IV champ, earned 47.
"The kids have put in three hard years," Garden City coach Tom Flatley. "So
this is a beautiful thing."
Garden City (10-1) rolled through its third straight unbeaten regular
season, then lost to Suffolk champ Bellport, 8-0, in the Class II championship.
"We didn't have any award winners this year," Flatley said. "We just had a
motivated group of young men. This is a just reward for them for an outstanding
Baldwin (10-1) enjoyed its finest season since 1953 and captured the
Conference I title for the first time. An entire community rallied to raise
$575,000 needed to restore sports at Plainedge once summer budget cutting
forced the elimination of all extra curricular activities. But Plainedge, which
went 10-1 to win its first county title since 1988, was also a compelling
Cold Spring Harbor (10-1) avenged a regular-season loss to Roosevelt and
won the Long Island title for the first time since 2001 in convincing fashion
Baldwin enjoyed a memorable evening. Running back Ricky Manigat took home
the Thorp Award as Nassau's outstanding player and Aaron Weaver earned the
Dragon Award as the best wide receiver.
Plainedge walked out with its share of hardware. The Piner Award, given to
the best linebacker, went to Plainedge's Kurt Steubing and John Schaeffer won
the Don Snyder Award as top quarterback.