Coach Longo honored
The William Floyd High School varsity football team, led by legendary head coach Paul Longo, put together another fantastic season, going undefeated in the regular season and winning their first playoff game before being upset in a close game in the semifinals. The No. 1-seeded Colonials qualified for the playoffs for the 22nd-consecutive year and won many awards this season, including several major accolades, including: the Bob Zellner Award given to the best offensive lineman in Suffolk County, the Tom Cassese Award given to the best defensive back in Suffolk County, the inaugural Best Kicker in the county award, as well as Longo earning the Suffolk County Division I Coach of the Year award and having the best wide receiver in the county named in his honor. The team also received the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Team Award for having at least three quarters of their team roster achieving a great-point average of 90 or higher. Below is a recap of the awards.
Head coach Paul Longo has been named the Suffolk County Division I Coach of the Year for a remarkable 15th time, an award that is voted on by other head coaches in the division. Additionally, the Suffolk County Wide Receiver of the Year Award has been renamed the Paul Longo Wide Receiver Award for the county’s most outstanding wide receiver.
Coach Longo said that naming this countywide award after him is very special as “it is a nice recognition for all the hard work that we all put in here at Floyd.” He added, “I have been blessed with great coaches, great players, great parents, a supportive administration, and an awesome community. Even when I am done coaching, having this award forever named after me will always be a reminder of the great things we accomplished together.”
Longo is a member of both the William Floyd and Suffolk County Athletic Hall of Fames. He is the all-time winningest public high school coach in Suffolk County history. Through 28 seasons, he sports a 223-62 record, has made the playoffs in 23 seasons (including 22 consecutive), and had led his teams to 13 Suffolk County titles and five Long Island championships. His teams have won three Rutgers trophies as the top team in Suffolk and still holds the county’s longest winning streak—42 games between 2005 and 2008. Nineteen of Longo’s teams have ranked in the top 10 on Long Island; and 10 of those teams ranked in the top 10 in all of New York State. In 2007, Sports Illustrated ranked his team as one of the 25 best high school teams in the country.
Senior Ryan Amato was selected as this year’s Bob Zellner Award recipient as the best offensive lineman in Suffolk County. Amato is William Floyd’s first-ever four-year varsity starter on the offensive line and is considered by Coach Longo to be one of the best linemen he has ever coached. He also served as one of the team captains. He is the fourth William Floyd student-athlete to win this award, and the first since 2010 when a Colonial student-athlete won it for the third year in a row (Tom Lindley ‘08, Kevin Hauter ‘09 and James Walsh ‘10).
“Ryan is an excellent student and was so great to coach,” said Longo. “He never would miss anything that we do, in season and out of season. Ryan had that great combination any coach would love to have. He is a nice young man off the field and tough and tenacious on the field.” Longo added that Ryan has a steady stream of college coaches vying for him to attend their school including Division I and Division II schools.
Junior Caden Lesiewicz won two individual awards: the Tom Cassese Award as the best defensive back in Suffolk County along with the inaugural County Kicking Award for being the best kicker in Suffolk County. Longo said that winning two county awards is quite the feat considering that he is only a junior and described how he makes an impact in all facets of the game, while maintaining a grade point average over 100.
“Caden is an amazing safety and this award is well-deserved,” said Longo. “As far as kicking goes, I am sure he will be going to a big-time college to kick. I would not be at all surprised if he is kicking on Sunday afternoons after college. The amazing thing about Caden is he can do it all. He is tremendous on special teams; he is great on defense and is a serious weapon on offense.”
Dylan Harris (running back/linebacker) received the Division I Most Valuable Player award for his efforts on both sides of the ball.
LaDuke Harris (quarterback) was the runner-up for the Esiason Award (Suffolk County’s Best Quarterback).
Dylan Harris was the runner-up for the Joe Cipp Award (Suffolk County’s Best Running Back.)
All-County: Conner Taphouse, Dylan Harris, LaDuke Harris, Ryan Amato and Caden Lesiewicz
First Team All-Division: Ryan Amato, Dylan Harris, LaDuke Harris, Conner Taphouse, Caden Lesiewicz, Krishmar Powell, Aaron Fisher, Derek Amato, Wally Crane, Daved Richardson, Terrell Collum and Levar Rollerson
Second Team All-Division: Justin Tenes, Jake Yourison, Geovanni Alvarez, Javon Delaney and Wayne Street