Congratulations to Chris Shea, Doug Smiroldo, and James Tripodi for making the Suffolk County Division I All-Star Team. They will be playing at Stony Brook on Thursday morning, Thanksgiving, November 22 at 10 AM when the Division I and II All-Stars from Suffolk take on the Conference I and II All-Stars from Nassau. Shea will be playing Offensive Tackle, Smiroldo will be playing Strong side Linebacker, and Tripodi will be playing Weak side Linebacker.
Chris Shea, a three-year Varsity player, has been an excellent player for the T-Birds in his three seasons. As a sophomore, he saw time on the offensive line, and worked hard throughout the season. As a junior, he displayed terrific improvement throughout the season, starting all eight games as Center. This past season, Shea had his best season as the starting Center. He started all eight games and due to his consistent and solid play earned Second-Team All-Division. Shea, also, provided terrific leadership to his teammates, anchored a very good line, and will be greatly missed.
Doug Smiroldo, a three-year Varsity starter, has been an outstanding player for the T-Birds in his three seasons. As a sophomore, he started as an Outside Linebacker, and was fourth on the team with 55 tackles. During this season he led the team with four fumble recoveries. As a junior, he started as an Inside Linebacker, and was second on the team with 68 tackles. He, also, saw his role expand on offense running for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He was named a Captain and earned First Team All-Division. This past season, Smiroldo had his best season. He had a career-high with 71 tackles, 8 tackles for losses (both good for third on the team). He, also, led the team in scoring with 26 points (4 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion), and was third on the team with 251 rushing yards. He was named First-Team All-Division, just missing an All-County selection. For his career, Smiroldo started all 25 games he played in, never missing a game, and finished with 194 tackles, 19 tackles for losses, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 quarterback sacks, 429 rushing yards on 72 carries, a 6.0 average, 58 yards receiving on 8 catches, and a total of 6 touchdowns. Doug, a two-year Captain, will be missed greatly.
James Tripodi, a three-year Varsity starter, has been an awesome player for the T-Birds in his three seasons. As a sophomore, he started as an Inside Linebacker, and was third on the team with 62 tackles. During this season he led the team with 5 quarterback sacks and was second with 9 tackles for losses. As a junior, he was the team-leader with 80 tackles, 16 tackles for losses, and 417 rushing yards. He was named First-Team All-Division, just barely missing out on All-County. This past season, Tripodi would not be denied All-County. He was named a Captain and was second on the team with 78 tackles, led the team with 6 quarterback sacks and 12 tackles for losses. He, also, led the team with 363 rushing yards and was named an All-County player. For his career, Tripodi, too, started all 25 games he played in, never missing a game, and finished with 220 tackles, 37 tackles for losses, 14 quarterback sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 780 rushing yards on 169 carries, a 4.6 average, and a total of 6 touchdowns. Each year, Tripodi displayed terrific improvement as a player and matured into an excellent leader. He, too, will be greatly missed.
Best of luck to Shea, Smiroldo, and Tripodi in the All-Star game. All three players have put a lot into the Connetquot Football Program. As 10th graders they came up to Varsity and always gave more than what was expected of them. They should be very proud of themselves.
If the past is any indication, these players will have great games. In 2004, QB Zach Shagi, a former Thunderbird, was the Offensive MVP in a winning effort over Nassau. Zach led his team down the field for a game-winning touchdown with no time left. In 2005, LB Mark Leggiero, a former Thunderbird, was the Defensive MVP in a winning effort over Nassau. Mark had a terrific game and was making plays all over the field. Go out there and play with Thunderbird Pride!