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Big Daddy Football Camp Hits Home

Last week at Mitchel Field, Richard “Big Daddy” Salgado brought his two communities together for an unforgettable week of football, fun, and memories with the help of local high school coaches from Floral Park Memorial and Sewanhaka high schools.

Salgado’s first community is his hometown. Raised in New Hyde Park, the 48-year-old former pro said he wanted to “give back to the kids from the same neighborhoods that we grew up in.” After his football career ended, Salgado became an insurance advisor, and is now the founder and CEO of Coastal Advisors LLC.

His second community is his work. With a list of clients that resembles an All-Star team, Salgado had no problem bringing talent and celebrity to the First Annual Big Daddy Youth Football Camp.  

More than 80 local youths attended, led by local high school coaches, including Mike Spina, head coach at Floral Park Memorial High School, alongside the pros.

“I want [the kids] to experience every aspect of the football game,” he said. All of the campers learned football fundamentals, from tackling to kicking and receiving. Like the campers, he enjoyed working with the professional players and coaches. “It’s a great experience. I can learn a lot from these guys,” he said.

One professional coach Salgado worked with is New York Jets special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. McGaughey was teaching the campers how to properly get a foot on the ball for a kick. He wanted campers to, “start with the basics, build that foundation ... so as they get older they can build on that foundation,” he said. “It’s a matter of (coaches) coming together for a common cause and helping these kids.”

While the camp focused on football, lessons in life were also on the agenda. Boxing Champion Chris Algeri, a Huntington native, was on hand with his championship belt. His talk focused on being a champion, and what it takes to become one.

“You always have to believe in yourself and believe and understand what it is that you want,” he said. “I always wanted to be a football player, but my mom wouldn’t let me, so I ended up being a boxer,” he said jokingly.

For the campers whose moms let them play, the day was a memorable one. The campers were split up into small groups, and rotated through stations with different coaches.

For Big Daddy himself, it was as good as he hoped it would be. “You can’t buy the experience that we are giving back to these kids,” he said. “The goal of the camp is to educate and show these kids how to play football properly and also learn that hard work pays off.”

New York Giants safety Stevie Brown, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, former Giants Sean Landeta and Howard Cross, former New York Jets quarterback Neil O’Donnell, former Bengals tight end Marco Battaglia, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter are just some of the other big names that attended the camp.  

Big Daddy intends to host another camp next year, with more campers and more big names expected to attend.

News

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, residents and community members joined with the Floral Park American Legion to honor veterans at the annual Veteran’s Day ceremonies at Memorial Park, following a march down Tulip Avenue to the park with the members of the veterans of the Legion post, American Legion Auxiliary members, Sons of the American Legion, Boy and Cub Scouts from Troops 482 and 678 and local officials.

During the ceremony, a plaque was dedicated in memory of General Kazimierz Pulaski and others of Polish heritage who have served in the U.S. military. The plaque dedication was led by members of the Polish American Congress, Long Island Division, President Grzegorz Worma and Honorary President Richard Brzozowski. An invocation was delivered by Father Peter Rozek of St. Hedwig Church, followed by a POW-MIA ceremony by Post 334 Vice Commander Matthew Cacciatore.

While parking around Long Island Rail Road train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Calendar

Chris Deeks Memorial Alumni Game

Friday, November 28

Floral Park AARP Christmas Luncheon

Monday, December 1

Stewart Manor Board of Trustees Meeting

Monday, December 1



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