The Thunderbirds season ended last Saturday with a playoff loss to Lindenhurst. Four players, all captains, had outstanding games in trying to get the team to the next round of the playoffs.
Mike Pellegrino was all over the place like a tazmanian devil. Defensively, he had a career-high 17 tackles, 9 solo, 2 for a loss, and broke up a pass. He, also, played a new position in the second half due to the injury suffered by Ryan Lanigan. He was unbelievable. Offensively he led the team with 87 yards rushing, had 31 receiving yards, and a total of 204 All-Purpose yards and a touchdown. Pellegrino, a junior, had a phenomenal year!
Kevin McHale was a real force at his defensive tackle/nose guard position playing his best game of the year. He was third on the team with 9 tackles, 6 solo, and had a tackle for loss. He dominated on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively he did a solid job at his center position, once again doing a great job of leadership from his offensive position. McHale, a senior, had an excellent year and will be missed tremendously.
Ryan Andersen, once again, provided some great, hard hits. He finished the game with 10 tackles, 5 solo, and had 2 tackles for loss. He had an outstanding season at safety and really helped make the Thunderbirds defense an excellent unit. Offensively he completed 9 of 17 passes for 126 yards and caught a terrific 20-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Jadick. Andersen, a three-year starter at QB and a force on defense, will be missed greatly.
Brian McIlvain had a real great game at his defensive line position making 8 tackles, 2 solo, and a tackle for loss. He really helped keep the game close in the second half, repeatedly making plays to stop the Lindenhurst ground game. He did a good job at his offensive line position, too. McIlvain, a senior, overcame a great deal of adversity with his knee injury the past two seasons and will be really missed.
The defending Long Island Champions did not meet the expectations set forth this past season but still had a great season. There were many positives, and some negatives, but the entire team learned many valuable lessons this past season, playing as a team and with tremendous effort in all of their games. Although they came up short in the first round of the playoffs, they should be proud of their accomplishments. Back-to-back Big Four Champions is a huge accomplishment in itself. Thank you for a terrific season! We will miss all of you tremendously. Until we meet again, T-Bird Nation....