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2009 Island Trees Varsity Football

The Island Trees Varsity Football team had a successful 2009 season. The Bulldogs compiled a record of 5-3, earning them a top-four playoff seed. For the first time since the 1960s, the football team would host a first round playoff game against the Floral Park Knights. Although the Bulldogs lost in overtime, 27-24, the players never gave up and left everything they had on the field. As coaches, we could not ask for anything more. The players were disappointed, especially the seniors, but this year’s team helped put Island Trees Football back on the map.

With team success comes individual recognition. Senior Anthony Wrightington earned All-County honors while also being a top 10 finalist for the Thorp Award given each year to the top football player in Nassau County. Seniors Anthony Ciaramitaro, Bryan Peterson, James Vesely and junior Dave Grecsek were nominated as All-Conference players. Anthony Wrightington and James Vesely represented Island Trees in the Nassau/Suffolk All-Star game played at C.W. Post on Thanksgiving morning. Anthony started at running back, scoring a touchdown while James started at defensive end to help Nassau beat Suffolk. Senior Chris Nickel was honored and recognized for his hard work and dedication on the field as well as in the classroom. Chris earned the scholar-athlete award given to a player from each high school by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Our last award winner was senior Mike Guerrini who earned the title of “Unsung Hero” which is given to a player who displays great character, team spirit and is the ultimate team player, never once asking “what is in it for me.”

The coaching staff would like to thank the parents who volunteered their time and energy in various capacities throughout the season. We would also like to thank the teachers, administrators, grounds crew, custodians, maintenance staff and students for supporting our team this season. A special thanks goes to all members of the Island Trees Cardinals youth football organization for their endless hard work and dedication to the future of Island Trees Football.

To this year’s team; thanks for putting in the time and effort on and off the field. We asked a lot from all of you and although we were a step away from our goal, our program is going in the right direction. To the seniors; good luck and best wishes next year and in the future. Remember, once a Dawg, always a Dawg. Never forget that!