There’s a lot to be gained from wearing the Garden City football jersey this season. As always, the player became part of a rich and illustrious tradition and, as always, he carried the responsibility and expectation of competing and winning. There were also whispers that the Trojan finally became vulnerable after many top players graduated from.
Stevie Finnell heard the whisper.
The 6-2, 195-pound senior running back played an exceptional season as he and his Garden City teammates swept away the naysayers and had a perfect season. The Trojans, whose Finnell is the team’s heavyweight maker, extended the program’s winning streak to his 30th game with a 12-0 record, achieving his seventh consecutive title at Nassau II and repeating as Long Island’s Class II champions. I was.
“Hearing these things motivates me,” says Finnell. “I don’t want to be in a class that puts people down… For us, it was the only goal for him anymore to win one of his championships on Long Island.”
Finnell had the best result in the biggest game of the season. He tallied his 122 yards and his two touchdowns and returned a 21-yard interception to score another in Garden City’s 38–7 victory over Mepham to clinch the county title. won. The Trojans won his 28–0 win over Bellport and overcame four fumbles to Island in his championship, where he scored his 346 yards and his scored all four touchdowns in rushing.
Garden City manager Dave Ettinger said, “As we got closer to the award, the enthusiasm from all the players increased, and as the game got bigger, so did Stevie’s level of play.” was struggling [by] He turned the ball over and took over the game.”
On Tuesday night, Finnell capped off a sensational senior season by being named the 81st recipient of the prestigious Thorpe Award at the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association’s banquet at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. rice field. Every year, Newsday gives soap to Nassau’s best players.
He was named ahead of two other finalists: Farmingdale Senior Running Back Tommaso Ramos, who led the Dahls to the Nassau and Long Island Class I Championships, and the Red Devils to the Nassau III title.
Finnell is the third Garden City player to win a Thorp Award. Terrence Hartigan won in 2004 and Jack Cascaden won last season.
Finnell stood out as a top performer on both offense and defense. He rushed for 1,520 yards and 21 touchdowns on 141 carries and caught 12 passes for 220 yards and four more to score. He also created big plays when lined up as a linebacker or defensive end, recording the loss with six sacks and five tackles, forcing two fumbles and being returned for a touchdown. made his two interceptions.
“All I knew was that I was going to play [running back]but I don’t know if I envisioned myself having this good season,” Finnell said. We had a great offensive line.”
“We wouldn’t have won this year without Stevie,” Ettinger said. “We graduated all influential players He kept us afloat under all the pressures of the world to succeed. ”
Finnell was also a key player in Garden City’s state class B men’s lacrosse champion and accepted a scholarship offer to play lacrosse at Duke University.
It’s not just soccer and lacrosse fields where Finnell stands out. He is a strong classroom performer with his 91.4 weighted GPA. Ettinger praised Garden City Youth for volunteering to help young people in his football and lacrosse programs.
Finnell’s father, Steve, is also an accomplished athlete for Garden City and Duke and has been an assistant football coach for many years.
Ettinger said of Stevie Finnell, “He’s been at every Garden City football game for as long as he can remember.” to get and then do it at the level he did?
NEWSDAY Soap Award Winners
2022 — Stevie Finnell, Garden City
2021 — Jack Kascaden, Garden City
Spring 2021 — Charlie Mackie, Oceanside
2019 — Dan Villari, Plain Edge
2018 — Kevon Hall, Roosevelt
2017 — Tommy Hoyer, Oceanside
2016 — Jordan McLoon, Farmingdale
2015 — Davien Quinlan, Plain Edge
2014 — Jordan Fredericks, Lawrence
2013 — Ray Catapano, Carey
2012 — Billy Andre, East Meadow
2011 — Robbie Healy, East Meadow
2010 – Tom Joyce, MacArthur
2009 — Anthony Brunetti, Holy Trinity
2008 — Terrell Williams, Hempstead
2007 — Alex Rivas, East Meadow
2006 — Chris Edmund, Freeport
2005 — Ricky Manigat, Baldwin
2004 — Terrence Hartigan, Garden City
2003 — Rich Aumberger, East Meadow
2002 — Jean Vilante, MacArthur
2001 — D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Freeport
2000 — Chris Richez, Freeport
1999 — Jason Hamm of Port Washington and Jerone Pettus of Roosevelt
1998 — Clifton Smith, Freeport
1997 — Kevin Pearce, Clark
1996 — Eric Wedin, Division
1995 — Vaughan Sanders, Lawrence
1994 — Amos Zelehue, Mepham
1993 — Amos Zelehue, Mepham
1992 — Dan Penego, Syosset
1991 — Eugene Calbreth, Baldwin
1990 — Louis D’Agostino, Lawrence
1989 — Stephen Boyd, VS Central
1988 — Lamont Huff, Hempstead
1987 — Erwin Brown, Sewanhaka
1986 — Dennis Goodwin, Lynnbrook
1985 — Robert Lee, Roosevelt
1984 — Ken Randolph, Sewanhaka
1983 — Anthony Cappellino, New Hyde Park
1982 — Don McPherson, West Hempstead
1981 — Larry Galizia, Limbrook
1980 — John Rodney, Hicksville
1979 — Ron Heller, Farmingdale
1978 — Herbert Batzke, New Hyde Park
1977 — John Logan, Chaminade
1976 — Henry Feil, Barneys
1975 — Tony Capozzuoli, St. Dominic
1974 — Matt Coupek, Syosset
1973 — Joe Diange, Farmingdale
1972 — Larry Esposito, Clark
1971 — Mike Duffy, Massapequa
1970 — Mark Cody, Carl Place
1969 — Phil LaPorta, VS Central
1968 — Dennis McColtz, Bethpage
1967 — Phil Barbascia, East Meadow
1966 — Warren Kogel, Seaford
1965 — Charles Drimal, VS South
1964 — Ed Kane, Levittown
1963 — Guy Riccardi, Freeport
1962 — Jim Littrell, Minneola
1961 — Salt Champi, Lawrence
1960 — Laurie Stitchway, Minneola
1959 — Matt Snell, Carl Place
1958 — John Mackie, Hempstead
1957 — Dave Hayes, Mepham
1956 — Don Cornlamp, Hempstead
1955 — Paul Rochester, Sewanhaka
1954 — Bob Rifesnyder, Baldwin
1953 — Bill Sandy, Mepham
1952 — Jim Brown, Manhassett
1951 — Dick Martin, Hempstead
1950 — Ed Nicula, Mepham
1949 — Lou Britt, Glenn Cove
1948 — Al Kohanowicz, Hempstead
1947 — Mike Kinney, VS Central
1946 — John Fasano, Port Washington
1944 — Bob Casey, Baldwin
1943 — Billy Wilson, Lawrence
1942 —- Fred Miller, Chaminade