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Knights Sports

2018 Season opener vs. Center Moriches

Varsity vs Center Moriches HS on 9/23/2017 1:30:00 PM
Posted Friday, September 07, 2018 by Mitch Scott


                    By Mitchell Scott, Knights’ Scribe


Elwood, NY, September 5, 2018: Summer has come and gone, and mighty quickly too. Today and some might say, all too soon, school buses rumbled down Elwood streets. For the Knights Nation, however, the end of summer is an eagerly awaited invitation to gather on Saturdays at the Glenn Academic and Athletic Campus (the beloved “GAAC”) to cheer on the Mighty Knights of Elwood. This year’s team is more than a group of excellent high school student-athletes. They are the Knights Football Program’s latest edition, a team that is simultaneously the culmination of years of effort and the foundation for bright futures. Glenn football standards are high and are not limited to performing on game-day. Work in the class room, work in the weight room, and more is required for the privilege of wearing a Knights jersey. Knights of Yore include supremely talented and hardworking athletes that have donned NFL jerseys and others that have won accolades in the NCAA (including NCAA All-Americans in lacrosse and wrestling), but what makes today’s player a future Knight of Yore, i.e., a success on and off the field, is the strong work ethic needed for success anywhere. The Knights Football Program is not only about winning seasons and championships, although that is the expectation every year, the Knights Football Program focuses on producing individuals of character, ready to succeed in all of life’s endeavors, working as a team. This past August, the 2018 Knights took their first steps, meeting at the Glenn High School parking lot, packing the bus, and travelling together to Fishkill football camp. Here, like generations of Knights of Yore, they ran Mount Misery every morning, put on pads and strapped on helmets for two-a-day practices, and did more push-ups than they ever imagined.


Coaches:  The Knights’ brain trust is experienced, innovative, and committed to meeting the Program’s standards. Head Coach Dave (the “Champion”) Shanahan remains at the helm with T.J. Brocking, an Elwood treasure (for those not-in-the-know, google “Blue Wave Wrestling”), donning the head-set as offensive coordinator. Dwight Singleton, former Wyandanch Head Coach, is the special teams’ coordinator and Chris Lafferty is line-coach. Especially exciting, alum Nick (“Guts”) Wagner will serve as Head JV Coach and lend assistance on the varsity side-lines. Providing unmatched depth, Fred (the “Legend”) Fusaro, one of the most respected coaches in Long Island football history (with Sachem North High School’s football field named for him), continues to serve Coach Emeritus. As always, the Knight coaches are all and only about producing student-athletes ready for competition on the field, in college classrooms, and in leadership roles thereafter.  From the coaches’ perspective, a player being heads-up and working hard are givens. For those that wish to put on a Knights jersey and take the manicured GAAC field when the whistle blows, more is required.


Linemen:  The axiom holds true every year, a football team’s success depends on controlling the scrimmage line on both sides of the ball. In the trenches, the battle rages to determine a game’s outcome. The exquisite ballet of brawn, foot-work, and determination is mixed with answers to the questions of who prepared and who wants it more.  This year Ryan Mantione, a returning senior on the O-line with good feet, and Jordan Curiale, a part-time starter on the O-line last year, have the opportunity to be the foundation of success. Andrew Raymond, senior, should be garnering ample playing time while Gregson (the “Size”) Pigott, is slotted to play both ways and Jordan Orlando, junior, has high aspirations. Robert Claffey is expected to provide an O-line anchor. Eddie (“Vroom”) Fatscher is leaving the race car oval and hitting the field, looking to force the coaches to make time for him. Ken Guardado, a junior, is also competing for playing time on both sides of the ball.  Gabe Womsley, a two-way starter in jay vee last year, has shown the determination needed to avoid time on the bench. Nick DiDiego has also looked strong in practice and scrimmages. New to Knights Nation is Mike Addaizo, 6’5, 240 lbs., who is stirring up excitement that he can deliver the type of pancake blocks not seen since John (“Latke”) McDermott of the 2010 Knights.


The Scorers: Senior Kyle Szokoli, quarterback, sees the field well, “throws a nice ball,” and has plenty of big-game experience. (Junior Tom Giaramita backs up the senior and is a stellar athlete.) Senior Justin (the “Time”) Tiernan will line up in the backfield and in the slot. He is aptly named and a clutch player. A recruiter’s dream, Nick Ford, is 6’5, experienced, has good hands, and should be lining up out wide.  Senior Daysean (“Mr. DJ”) Johnson combines incredible leaping ability, an innate talent to make hard catches, and is being watched closely by the colleges. He is the embodiment of a wide-receiver. Senior Jonathan Petit continues to distinguish himself running routes with precision that endears him to the coaches while Giovani (“Oh, Gi-O!!”) Rinali’s sure hands should earn him ample playing time. Rocco (the “Throwback”) Fratarcangelli, likely to be coming out of the backfield, is an archetype Knight, a great student, a hard worker, and has both size and skills


The Hitters and The Ball Hawks:  For the Coaches, there is just one sound to hear when the Knights are on defense: the sweet symphony of popping pads. When the 2018 Knights are on defense, containment and swarm tackling efforts will feature: junior Tom Giaramita at line-backer Justin (the “Time”) Tiernan, Rocco (the “Throwback”) Fratarcangelli, Daysean (“Mr. DJ”) Johnson, Gregson (the “Size”) Pigott, Justin Vega, and Michael Pennoyer who is on a mission to make his mark this year. For the 2018 secondary, playing time is expected to be allocated based on performance. For now, the coaching staff is allowing the competition to continue but expect to see Gio (“Oh, Gio!!”) Rinali and Jonathon Petit among those in defensive back positions.


Magic Feet:  Over the years, Elwood kickers and punters have proven to be offensive weapons. The 2018 boomers are punter Andrew Raymond and place kickers Chris Spalding and Jordan Curiale plus special secret weapons. All are expected to be weapons in the battle for field position and points.


The Knights Bottom Line:


The Knights open the season on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Center Moriches High School. A close game is predicted. The season home-opening game is the latest iteration of the annual Battle of Route 231, when the Babylon Panthers visit the GAAC on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. As in every year of memory, this rivalry showcases high school football at its best. The game is long sold out and many are clamoring for StubHub to make a re-sale market.


The Cheerleaders’ Coach, Ashley Betts, reports that the squad enjoyed their training in Monte Carlo, Air-France treated the cheerleaders very well, and the squad is ready to rock the GAAC.  The Elwood Athletic Director refuses to answer questions about the cheerleaders’ annual boondoggle while the football team takes the bus to Fishkill, New York. Coach Shanahan is rumored to be livid.  



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