Walt Whitman football earns Rutgers Trophy as Suffolk County’s top team


Capping off what was arguably the South Huntington school’s best-ever football season, Walt Whitman on Monday received the 2021 Rutgers Trophy as Suffolk’s top team.

The Wildcats ran roughshod over their Division I opponents this fall, including two blowout wins over perennial powerhouse William Floyd, en route to a Suffolk County title. Similarly, the team dominated at the Suffolk County Football Association’s annual awards banquet, earning a plethora of individual awards to go with the coveted best team award.

Whitman quarterback Nicholas Bottoni — who passed for nearly 2,400 yards and 28 touchdowns — earned the Boomer Esiason Award as Suffolk County’s top signal caller, while longtime head coach Robin Rosa received the award for Division I Coach of the Year.

Look below to see who else on the team was honored.

Whitman finished the regular season undefeated, and then steamrolled through the Suffolk County playoffs. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Walt Whitman’s historic season fell just a little short of perfect when the Wildcats lost 38-35 to Massapequa in the Long Island Class 1 football championship at Hofstra University.

It was the first time the football program had participated in a Long Island championship game. Whitman had not won a Suffolk football championship since 1984.

Here’s who won individual honors for Walt Whitman:

Nicholas Bottoni
Boomer Esiason Award (Best Quarterback-Suffolk County)

Robin Rosa
Division I Coach of the Year

Tyriek Mays-McKoy
Division I Player of the Year

AJ Evans
Offensive MVP

Diego Romero
Defensive MVP

Rasahn Thompson
Championship Team MVP

Liam Villanti
James LaBue Top Scholar Athlete Award

Photos: South Huntington Union Free School District