The 18th Annual United HealthCare Empire challenge was a success for all, including the Boomer Esiason Foundation in its fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Boomer Esiason started this game by paying respect to his son, Gunnar, who lives with Cystic Fibrosis. Boomer has used his popularity to help raise funds and awareness about CF.
On the field, Long Island had won nine out of the last 15 contests, including the last three. Heading into this year’s game, New York City was hoping to get its first win since 2010. There was no lack of talent on the field, as many players had already signed their letters of intent to play football in college. And after a great game and experience for all fans and players at Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University, Long Island prevailed once again, this time by a score of 40-8.
William Stanback out of Uniondale High School won MVP honors as he rushed for four touchdowns and 136 yards. AJ Otranto and Brian McKean led the Long Island offense as the first and second string quarterbacks, respectively. The Long Island defense was also far from disappointing. Manginelli, Grigorakos, Perrone, Stengel, Camara and Ross helped limit the city to 162 yards of total offense.
University of Miami-bound running back Augustus Edwards scored the only touchdown for NYC, with a five-yard rushing score in the third quarter.
The Oceanside Sailors had two great players representing them in the game—linebacker Vassilli Grigorakos and wideout Anthony Pintabona. Each had a spectacular senior season, leading the Sailors to the Big 4. Grigorakos had 103 tackles and led the Sailor defense all season. Pintabona was Oceanside’s main weapon on offense at wide receiver. He had 12 touchdown catches and more than 1,000 receiving yards. He nearly shattered all of Oceanside’s receiving records. They were both very “excited and honored” to be playing in the game.
Grigorakos will be playing at the University of Maine in the fall and Pintabona will be a Cortland Dragon.
Also, some Oceanside broadcasters and journalists got an up close chance to see and do everything MSG Varsity does. Personally, I had the opportunity to interview Boomer Esiason and Marty Lyons. It was a great experience because I also live with Cystic Fibrosis, so it was great connecting with Boomer and Marty. You can see my interview with Boomer, by clicking HERE!
My classmates Nick Vaiano and Erin Regan got to interview MSG Varsity announcers Mike Quick, Carl Reuter, Gregg Sarra and more. Everyone had a great time and each of us learned something new and met great people.
Overall, the Boomer Esiason Foundation was awe-inspiring night for all in attendance despite the weather. Long Island dominated the game and all of the seniors were sent off with a bang.
CLICK HERE TO SEE COMPLETE COVERAGE BY OCEANSIDE STUDENT REPORTERS!