2002-11-09 / Sports

Rockaway Products Scale Football Heights

Rockaway Products Scale Football Heights

It has been assumed that New York City only produced basketball players. Well last Saturday, some local talent was on display in nationally televised football games. In the Indiana- Northwestern match, Staten Island’s John Penozzo, fullback was pitted against Brooklyn’s Kunle Patrick, wide receiver Marcus Wilson, Staten Island/tailback of Notre Dame, literally butted heads with Boston College’s Brian Flores, safety/Brooklyn.

What do these four football have in common? They are all graduates of Poly Prep High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Poly, a small school of 500 students, last year cracked the U.S.A. Today’s top ten nationally ranked high schools and over the last seven years, has only lost two games while playing an independent schedule that includes the powerhouse schools in the eastern region.

Contributing to this success are three Rockawayites who cut their teeth in the now defunct Rockaway Fighting Irish Football program. Defensive end Danny Corrigan, tackle Paul Nolan and linebacker Kirk Deligiannis, oftentimes find themselves manning the same half of the baunted Poly defense. Nolan and Deligiannis each received gameballs for their play while Corrigan twice received the hammer award for delivering the hardest hit of the game.

With their season over, seniors Nolan and Deligiannis will consider opportunities at the next level, while Corrigan will return to Poly to lead a team that will once again challenge the nation’s elite.

Mention should be made of Fort Hamilton’s head coach, Vince Laino, who resides here in Belle Harbor. Concluding the regular season, his Tigers had the highest number of power points in the P.S.A.L. and thus received a number one seed in the upcoming playoffs. Coaches like him who do a good job placing players at the college level insure that other locals represent a sport other than basketball.

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