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Trojans Bringing It All Back Home

Brett Stewart leads Garden City to yet another

Long Island Championship

Fresh off defeating the Wantagh Warriors for the Nassau County Conference II Championship, the Garden City Trojans won Island-wide bragging rights by overcoming Riverhead High School’s Blue Waves on Saturday, Dec. 1. With Riverhead’s only hopes lying on a defensive stand on third-and-four with zero timeouts remaining, Garden City’s QB Brett Stewart took the snap and scampered to the left, shoulder charging a defender to narrowly gain the first down. The clutch run from the junior QB effectively ended the game as the Trojans of Garden City were able to run out the clock to the 29-16 victory to win their first Long Island Championship since 2009.

The Trojan defense— led by Scott D’Antonio—played a phenomenal second half, shutting out the powerful Riverhead offense, with RB Jeremiah Cheatom leading the charge as he rushed for 224 yards on the day—only 26 of which came in the second half.

“We made some adjustments,” said Garden City Head Coach Tom Flatley. “We felt it was better to shift to a 50 defense against some things. Fortunately they didn’t pass the ball as well as we saw on film.”

Those adjustments by the Garden City coaching staff helped turn a 16-7 halftime deficit into a relatively easy 29-16 victory.

After forcing a punt to open the second half, the Trojans had a rapid two-play scoring drive which was capped by a 24-yard touchdown from Stewart to Ed Blatz, who recorded eight catches for a total of 142 yards, to cut the deficit to 16-14.

The Trojan defense became airtight from that point on forcing another punt on a three-and-out. Stewart rushed for 19 yards on the next drive but was ended by a missed 35-yard field goal.

The defense hung tough, getting the ball back to the offense at midfield. At that point, Stewart displayed his superior competitiveness by turning a bad snap into a fantastic 26-yard hookup with Blatz to put the ball inside the 10-yard line.

After RB Scott D’Antoni ran for a short gain, Stewart took the snap, faked a handoff and ran to the left, beating three defenders to the end zone to give Garden City the lead.

Rather than kicking the extra point, Flatley called for a fake that was executed perfectly and caught by Kyle Shramko in the end zone to give the Trojans a six-point lead.

The Blue Wave came back and appeared to have the Trojans on their heels, until the defense forced a fumble and recovered it to kill the drive and the momentum.

They capitalized by putting together a 10-play drive that was capped with Stewart’s fourth TD of the day to essentially put the game out of reach.

Stewart put on a clinic in the game, rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 199 yards passing and two touchdowns.

“He’s just an athlete, he loves to play,” said Flatley regarding his star QB. “He’s a throwback to the kids of the older days. He practices the way he plays. He never gets up slow, there’s some kind of gene in his body.”

High praise from a coach who has become synonymous with dominating  Nassau County Conference-II. Flatley has now won five Long Island Championships, appearing in 13 since its inception in 1992.

For Garden City, it has nearly been a rite of passage to appear in championship football games. They were coming off back-to-back losses in the Long Island Championship, however, as they were upset by the surprising Suffolk County champions of 2011, Newfield, in a 14-7 stunner.

They faced the tough task of replacing the production and leadership of 21 graduating seniors from that year. In typical fashion, they filled in their spots and ran through Nassau County. The Trojans, 11-1, had their only loss handed to them by MacArthur on October 27. Since that time, the Trojans reeled off four consecutive games, surprising most prognosticators along the way.

“This one was probably the most unexpected,” said Flatley regarding their previous Long Island Championships.

The Trojans have proven that they can never be counted out regardless of what type of obstacle they face along the way. Flatley’s boys continue to win football game no matter how many times they are counted out.

News

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted budget.  


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com