The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior


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Football Reaches Final Four Seventh Year in a Row


The football team looked as good as ever this year, as the experienced Coach Sachs led Wantagh to a 7-3 record and a spot in the playoffs.

This was the seventh straight year the team has reached Hofstra in the Nassau County Final Four. The Warriors played a great county semifinal game against Garden City, unfortunately losing 14-12. After Chris Burke ripped the ball out of Garden City’s running back’s hands, Wantagh had a first down inside Garden City terrority with just under six minutes to go, trailing by 2 points. But a fumble on third down gave Garden City the ball back.

Ralph Sommer got a huge interception to get Wantagh back into it late and Pete Brasile had a brilliant 8-yard TD run to get it to 14-12. The first touchdown was thrown by Stephen Killard on the fade to senior 6-6 receiver Dan Devine.

Wantagh created five turnovers and came so close in its final game of the year. Garden City goes for its fifth straight county championship, vs. favored Carey, only the second time in last five years the final is not Wantagh vs. GC.

Wantagh defeated Elmont 24-21 to start post-season in an intensely close game. That win set up a semi-final clash with rival Garden City.

“So far our season’s been a success,” said Brasile, a three-year starter, going into the GC game. “Our goal was to make it to Hofstra (site of the Nassau County Final Four) and we are there.”

In the Elmont playoff victory, with less than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Elmont started a drive down the field in a sudden comeback. Then Warrior junior linebacker Ralph Sommer made a game-changing interception, securing the Wantagh victory.

In their regular season, the Warriors defeated Mepham, 30-20, Elmont, 14-7 (which made for a fantastic Homecoming game), Calhoun, 49-17 MacArthur, 35-13, and Long Beach. The 35-16 win over the Marines was key towards helping them get seeded in the No. 3 spot. The Warriors lost to first-place Carey, 42-7 and Garden City, 21-13. The Warriors defeated Kennedy 39-14 to end the regular season.

The offense was particularly impressive this season. Quarterback Stephen Killard passed for 123 yards and threw 2 TDs against Mepham, and passed for 104 yards and threw 2 TDs against MacArthur. Michael Ferraro rushed for 171 yards and scored 2 TDs against MacArthur, and rushed for 161 yards and scored 1 TD against Calhoun. Peter Brasile made a mark this season, by rushing for 151 yards against Mepham and intercepting the ball twice on defense. Also on defense is Nick English, who was able to get a sack and recover a fumble against Elmont.

The offensive line had a great year. “We had a good year with our traps and pulling guard plays,” said Bongiorni, a three year starter. “Our practices are intense.”

The starting line is composed of tackles Tom Korwan and George Potts, guards English (a four-year starter) and Bongiorni, center Bobby Beshlian and tight ends Andrew Martorella and Corey Sachs. Those linemen also make up most of the defensive line. The only exceptions are Sharif Mansour, who plays nose tackle and Chris Burke, who will sometimes line up at end.

Burke was an unsung hero. “Chris one of the best players on the team,” said Brasile. “He can play anywhere. He knows how to play all of the positions. He’s one of the smartest players on the team.” Burke proved that true with his huge takeaway late in the playoff game against Garden City.

Another player who made a big contribution was Pat Foley. “Pat never takes off a play in practice,” said Bongiorni. Kicker Andrew Martorella was very consistent throughout the year.