Written by Ed Rotondo, email@example.com Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:00
Considering that last year was a rebuilding year and the Garden City football team came away with a Long Island championship, I’m not sure what Coach Flatley has up his sleeve this year. Not unlike last season when the Trojans graduated a number of their starters on both offense and defense, Flatley and his staff will have to retool again this year as they lost several key members to graduation.
Flatley, in his 29th year coaching, didn’t just get inducted into the Hall of Fame because of his bright smile, it’s more his ability to mold the group of young men he gets each year into a cohesive team. He and his staff will be able to build upon several cornerstones of last year’s championship team, namely quarterback Brett Stewart, running backs James Sullivan and Tim McDonagh and linemen Ryan Blair and Nick Giannone.
With Stewart, a preseason pick for All County, at quarterback the Trojans will have an edge on teams in both the passing and rushing games as Stewart will look to build on his school records from last year in passing yards and touchdowns.
With the tandem of McDonagh and Sullivan providing the power running to support a young receiving corps led by Tom Wright Brian Colamussi and Pat Finneran, Flatley’s offense should be able to put up enough points to make them a favorite for a Nassau County repeat.
Although the offense is in terrific hands, the Garden City coaching staff will have their work cut out for them on defense, where they will look for key two way players to step up to the challenge.
Special teams will once again be a strength for the team with a good mix of speed and power, as well as the strong leg of Gerard Smith. In the mix for the Trojans will be youngster Brian Haefner on returns and in the backfield, as well as Tim Schmelzinger who will look to continue the hard work of brother Matt with the team.
Garden City’s top challenge will come from neighboring Carey, the team the Trojans defeated in last year’s Nassau semifinal and a team that has more firepower than most teams on Long Island in a long time. Another preseason All County player, Carey’s quarterback Ray Catapano, will be looking for revenge and trying to knock the Trojans from the top spot.
Other tough games will come from Wantagh, last year’s conference finalist, and MacArthur, the team that dealt the Trojans their only loss last season.
The Trojans home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 21 against MacArthur.