All three Mineola football teams closed out their seasons with the programs' annual football dinner. The dinner, catered by Massaro's, was held at the Mineola Knights of Columbus and over 200 people attended. All of the coaches spoke very highly of their teams' effort and determination.
The evening began with the middle school coaches, Matt Antoniou, Mike Perro, and Mario Villa (all former Mineola football players), presenting awards. Coach Antoniou did an excellent job speaking highly of every player on the team. A film highlighting this year's season was then shown as some of the year's best plays were seen and enjoyed.
After an excellent dinner, junior varsity coaches Mark Miller, Bob Redmond and Chris Grimm (also all former Mineola football players) made their presentation. Coach Miller did a great job introducing all the players and recapping the season. The JV team finished with an excellent record of 5-3. The football program staff is optimistic for the future of the program since members of the JV team move up to the varsity team in the years to come.
Everyone then enjoyed a highlight film of their season as the night moved on to coffee and cake.
Varsity coaches Dan Guido, Helms Bohringer, and John Tortora made the final presentation (coach Guido and coach Bohringer are also former Mineola players). The varsity team finished the regular season with a 4-4 record. After playing for the championship in 2002 and making it to the semifinals in 2003, followed by another playoff appearance in 2004, the Mustangs were back in the playoffs.
Although they did not defeat top seeded and returning champion Seaford High School, it was a very successful season.
Junior quarterback Mike Escobar did a good job running the option and completed 44 of 88 passes for 450 yards and 7 TDs. Derrick Cole led the ground game with 57 carries for 400 yards and 6 TDs. The rest of the ground game came from Billy Gerstner (175 yards), Bob Port (175yards), and Juan Lopez (305 yards on 49 carries). Gerstner also did a great job on kickoff and punt returns, returning a kickoff 90 yards against Cold Spring
Harbor to help with the victory. John Vega, Miko Hammon and Paul Krumholz also added offense to the running game. Krumholz helped the team in many ways, playing running back, linebacker, defensive tackle, returning punts and kicking off. Matt Lanfair led the receivers with17 catches for 180 yards and 3 TDs, followed by Rocco Redmond with 10 catches for 110 yards and 2 TDs. All that offense was made possible by the starting offensive line of Joe Hill, Dan Lopez, Paul Chung, Brian Langone, Arnold Gomez, and Tom Bayne.
The defense was lea by a strong core of linebackers. Juan Lopez led the way (62 tackles, 5 special teams, and 3 QB sacks) followed by Paul Chung (51 tackles, 5 special teams, 3 QB sacks and a recovered fumble). Langone made some great plays with 42 tackles including 7 during special teams, which led the team, a blocked punt, 3 QB sacks, and a recovered fumble return for a TD. Redmond completed the linebacker crew and also had an excellent defensive year (42 tackles, 2 QB sacks, a recovered fumble, and caused two fumbles). Dan Lopez led all defensive linemen (defensive end and defensive tackle) with 42 tackles, four on special teams, and four QB sacks, which led the team. The rest of the defensive line (Joe Hill, Mike Ianelli, Pat Martorella, Tom Bayne, D'Andre Ellerbe, and Arnold Gomez) also had a great year, as they really played tough up front so the linebackers could make those tackles. The defensive backs also had a fine year led by Billy Gerstner's team-leading four interceptions. Starting cornerback Steven Gaffney had three interceptions and he played the whole year with a cast on his hand. Matt Lanfair, Rijo Maracheril, and Bob Port each had one interception. Bobby, who played strong and free safety, along with inside and outside linebacker, led all defensive backs with 35 tackles. Brendan Maloney and Derrick Cole also made some key plays while playing the defensive back position. The defense was rounded out by linebackers John Vega and Farhan Hossain.
At the conclusion of the season, senior linebacker and center Paul Chung was voted on to the All-County team. Dan Lopez and Brian Langone made All-Conference and all three boys were members of the Academic All-Conference team. Rocco Redmond and Steven Gaffney were selected for the National Football Foundation Award, which is an academic award for an All-Conference caliber player. Finally, the teams "Unsung Hero" award went to defensive tackle Pat Martorella. It was a fun dinner and a good year. With a little hard work by the boys in the off-season, they can have a better one next year.