Newsday’s All-Long Island teams 2016-17

Newsday reveals its All-Long Island teams for the 2016-17 spring sports season.

The photo shoot is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14 at Newsday’s Melville headquarters. Coaches will be notified of specifics on Monday night.

Search our database for every Newsday All-Long Island selection in history.

Winter 2017 All-Long Island teams

Search our database for every Newsday All-Long Island selection in history.

Fall 2016 All-Long Island teams




Search our database for every Newsday All-Long Island selection in history.

Newsday’s All-Long Island teams 2015-16

Watch the videos below as Newsday reveals its All-Long Island teams for sports in the Spring 2016 high school season.

Coaches will be contacted tonight regarding photo shoots for the teams as part of our All-Long Island special section in a later edition of Newsday. The photo shoots are scheduled for the afternoons of Wednesday, June 15 and Thursday, June 16.

Winter 2015-16 teams

Newsday’s All-Long Island teams for nine sports in the Winter 2015-16 season.

Fall 2015 sports

Newsday’s All-Long Island teams for nine sports in the Fall 2015 high school season.

‘If this was your son, which helmet would you want on his head?’

Port Jefferson athletic director Debra Ferry learned of the Virginia Tech helmet ratings after Shoreham-Wading River high school player Thomas Cutinella died as the result of a helmet-to-helmet hit during a game last season.

Ferry said she was spurred to take a closer look at her inventory. Any helmet that wasn’t rated five stars, she crossed off the list.

Ferry planned to replace those helmets with five-star helmets, but then she asked herself this question: “If this was your son, which helmet would you want on his head?” She said she struggled with the thought of giving a brand-new helmet to one student and an older — but still highly rated — helmet to another student.

She said she knew then the only option she was comfortable with was replacing Port Jefferson’s entire inventory with the best available helmets. Going that route is rare; schools typically buy about 10 new helmets per year at a cost of between $150 and $400 each.

“If you’re going to provide our kids with the top of the line, then provide all our kids with top of the line,” she said. “It’s a difficult battle to fight as an athletic director at a school district to say, ‘We’re going to implement this process slowly’ when it comes to a kid’s safety.”

She presented the information regarding the helmets, including pricing, to the Board of Education at a Dec. 9 meeting and was given the go-ahead.

The next day, records show, she bought 50 five-star helmets for $14,749.

At Oyster Bay, ‘a set of eyes that goes on every athlete’

The Oyster Bay Board of Education debated and then voted on whether to eliminate the football program at an open meeting last December.

Board member Michael Castellano, 54, a general surgeon, said his goal that day was to cancel the program because of the risk of significant injury.

Two months before the vote, Shoreham-Wading River high school football player Thomas Cutinella died after a helmet-to-helmet hit on the field.

“[Football is] a danger, with the injuries I see, the injuries I read about,” Castellano said. “I always thought it was hard to ethically pay for something that’s so dangerous to kids.”

The board voted 5-1 in favor of keeping football. Castellano was the lone dissenter.

“We listened to the community,” board member Jennifer Romeo said. “The community came forth and said they don’t want to stop football.”

Castellano said he was satisfied that he at least spurred a conversation in his community about football’s injury risk.

“I wanted to make sure everyone was aware how dangerous this sport is,” he said. “Some parents don’t realize how dangerous this sport is, what the long-term ramifications can be. I wanted to put it out there.”

Out of the discussion came a promise to spend whatever was necessary to upgrade the team’s equipment — notably the helmets.

The Riddell Insite is used to measure the impact of a hit during a game.

In June, Oyster Bay purchased 85 five-star helmets from Riddell that feature a bendable forehead that is intended to absorb more impact. Inside those helmets are sensors that send a signal to a handheld device when a player receives a hit above a certain threshold of force.

The total cost was $33,915, according to the purchase order obtained by Newsday through a Freedom of Information Law request. Riddell said Oyster Bay is the first school on Long Island outfitted with these sensors.

“To me this gives us and our trainer a chance to look at all 11 players [on the field] at a given time — or all 80 or so athletes that are in our program at a given time — because they’re all going to be hooked into the system and hooked right up to the trainer,” athletic director Kevin Trentowski said. “It’s a set of eyes that goes on every athlete.”

Two weeks into the regular season, Trentowski said the biggest impact of the sensors has been allowing the school’s athletic trainer to go to other sporting events as opposed to feeling obliged to be at all of the football practices. “When she returns back to the football site the helmets alert her to players worth checking on,” he said.

Trentowski said the sensor has gone off “only a handful of times” and none of them have led to a player being diagnosed with a concussion.

Hard Knocks: High school football helmets videos

About this project

On Long Island, there are 116 high schools with football programs.

Beginning in April 2015, Newsday obtained current helmet inventories from the 107 public schools through Freedom of Information Law requests. Newsday requested the same information from the nine private schools, which are not required by law to oblige. Only Long Island Lutheran provided the inventory.

Newsday also obtained concussion reporting from the 2014 football season from 102 public schools through FOIL requests. Five schools declined, citing student privacy laws. Newsday made the same request of the nine private schools. Only Long Island Lutheran and Bishop McGann-Mercy complied.

Newsday compared the helmet inventories with safety ratings that Virginia Tech researchers have been publishing since 2011.

This report is the result of a seven-month examination that included more than 80 interviews with neurologists, researchers, helmet manufacturers, Long Island superintendents, athletic directors, coaches, parents and players.

Hard Knocks: Long Island high school football helmets

WATCH THE NEWS 12 REPORT
Football tackle

a Newsday/News 12 special report

Hard Knocks Helmets and concussions on Long Island

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A typical high school football player takes roughly 650 hits to the head per season

According to researchers at Michigan and Purdue

At impacts equal to
car crashes of 15 to 35 MPH
According to Dr. Timothy Gay, University of Nebraska physics professor

“It was the scariest moment of my life.” – Pam O’Donnell, on seeing her son, Sachem North QB Michael O’Donnell, motionless on the field after suffering a concussion in a 2012 game.


Experts say the
football helmet is the last line of defense

to protect players from head injuries.


AIR FLOWHoles in the helmet’s shell allow for better air flow to allow for heat to escape.


SHELLA helmet’s shell is typically made of polycarbonate to best handle the force of an impact.


PADDINGPadding cushions the head on impact and decreases head acceleration. Each manufacturer uses different material.


CHINSTRAPKeeping the chinstrap tight is important for securing a helmet’s proper fit on the athlete’s head.


FACEMASKDifferent positions tend to use different style facemasks for better visibility.



CHIN CUPThe chin cup should be firmly placed on a player’s chin when it’s strapped to the helmet.


AIR FLOWHoles in the helmet’s shell allow for better air flow to allow for heat to escape.


SNAP BUCKLEThe chin strap is secured by a snap clip so players can easily get in and out of their helmet.


FACEMASK CLIPA facemask is screwed into the helmet so that it remains tight.


CHINSTRAPKeeping the chinstrap tight is important for securing a helmet’s proper fit on the athlete’s head.


SHELLA helmet’s shell is typically made of polycarbonate to best handle the force of an impact.


AIR FLOWHoles in the helmet’s shell allow for better air flow to allow for heat to escape.


SNAP BUCKLEThe chin strap is secured by a snap clip so players can easily get in and out of their helmet.


FACEMASK CLIPA facemask is screwed into the helmet so that it remains tight.


CHINSTRAPKeeping the chinstrap tight is important for securing a helmet’s proper fit on the athlete’s head.


SHELLA helmet’s shell is typically made of polycarbonate to best handle the force of an impact.


SHELLA helmet’s shell is typically made of polycarbonate to best handle the force of an impact.


AIR FLOWHoles in the helmet’s shell allow for better air flow to allow for heat to escape.

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    Virginia Tech helmet ratings

    Virginia Tech researchers
    have developed a
    5-star helmet rating system
    that has become the industry standard.

    A Newsday examination found Long Island high schools have at least 885 1-star and 2-star helmets in circulation.

    Experts call these “low performers” at reducing the risk of concussion.

    Search your school’s helmets

    ADD A SCHOOL




      5-star helmets are considered
      the best at reducing head acceleration within the helmet on impact.


      Riddell VSR4 helmet
      Riddell VSR4Riddell says this helmet, introduced in 1992, “was the most advanced helmet in the marketplace for many years.” With foam padding on the interior, this was the most common helmet worn in the NFL as recently as 2010. Riddell discontinued sales in May 2011, the same month Virginia Tech released its ratings. There are 343 in circulation on Long Island.


      Schutt Air Advantage helmet
      Schutt Air AdvantageIntroduced in 2001, it was designed to be lighter and had a smaller outer shell than most helmets. Helmet designs since have become larger, often with more room for padding on the inside, to better manage energy. Schutt says it discontinued this helmet in 2011. There are 542 in circulation on Long Island.



      Schutt DNA Pro+This helmet’s shell is slightly smaller and therefore does not manage energy on low-impact hits as well as its others in Virginia Tech’s testing, Schutt says. This helmet is the third generation of a model released in 2003. Schutt stopped manufacturing this model last month. There are 666 in circulation on Long Island.



      Riddell RevolutionRiddell says this was the first helmet designed to reduce concussions. Introduced in 2002, its polycarbonate shell is wider and extended further along the jaw line than its predecessors. Riddell said last month it will no longer manufacture this helmet. There are 3,028 in circulation on Long Island.



      Riddell SpeedFlexIntroduced last year, the SpeedFlex features flexibility in certain portions of the helmet’s shell and facemask, which Riddell says reduces impact force transfer to the athlete. There are 154 in circulation on Long Island.

      Flip helmets

      All major helmet manufacturers make 4-star and 5-star helmets.

      “The difference between the top and the bottom is dramatic…” – Stefan Duma, Virginia Tech

      There was a 54% reduction in concussions

      among players wearing a 4-star helmet compared with those wearing a 1-star helmet, a separate six-year study found.




        In 2014, a Shoreham-Wading River junior died after a helmet-to-helmet hit.

        In response, Port Jefferson replaced its helmets by buying
        50 new 5-star helmets for $14,749

        “If this was your son, which helmet would you want on his head?” – Port Jefferson athletic director Debra Ferry

        Schools typically purchase about 10 new helmets per year ranging in cost from $150 to $400.

        Oyster Bay bought 85 5-star helmets equipped with sensors for $33,915

        Oyster Bay is the first school on Long Island to wear these helmets that signal when a player receives a hit above a certain threshold.


        Regardless of which helmet a player is wearing, concussions remain a part of the game.

        “I don’t know if a different helmet would have done anything.” – Pam O’Donnell

        But many experts believe better helmets can help.

        “I would not put my kid in one of those 1-star helmets.” – Kevin Guskiewicz, a member of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee

        Just as safety testing changed how the auto industry made cars, Virginia Tech researchers changed how football helmets are made.

        1-star and 2-star helmets have not been manufactured since 2011.

        Another 408
        of the 9,502 helmets are not rated.

        Unrated helmets are more than 5 years old and no longer being manufactured.

        On Long Island, 60 schools have 1-star and/or 2-star helmets in inventory.

        27 schools only have
        4-star and 5-star helmets.

        Expand Chart

        On Long Island, there were 364 reported concussions

        in football among districts covering 90 high schools in 2014.

        “It felt like my brain was rebooting…” – Yusuf Young, former Roosevelt linebacker

        14
        high schools reported no concussions in football.


        “Statistically it would be pretty unusual to have 14 schools not report any concussions over one season.” – Kenneth Perrine, a neuropsychologist

        While better helmets can help, they do not guarantee a player won’t suffer a concussion.

        No helmet system can protect you from serious brain and/or neck injuries including paralysis or death. To avoid these risks, do not engage in the sport football.

        “If you want to avoid the possibility of a concussion, you probably shouldn’t be playing the game of football.” – Robert Erb, Schutt CEO

        REPORTER: Jim Baumbach PROJECT EDITOR: Hank Winnicki DESIGN: Anthony Carrozzo, Matthew Cassella DEVELOPER: TC McCarthy VIDEO: Jeffrey Basinger, Robert Cassidy, Chuck Fadely, Mario Gonzalez, Greg Inserillo, Arnold Miller, Jessica Rotkiewicz, Chris Ware PHOTO EDITOR: John Keating PHOTOGRAPHERS: Thomas A. Ferrara, J. Conrad Williams Jr. INTERACTIVE EDITORS: Saba Ali, Mark La Monica ADDITIONAL REPORTING: Laura Albanese, Ann Choi, Timothy Healy