All-Star football players from Long Island and New York City will be facing off in the 16th Annual Empire Challenge All-Star game tonight at Hofstra University.
Along with displaying the top talent from the area — attracting a number of college recruiters to witness the action — the game supports former National Football League player Boomer Esiason's charity to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research.
will be represented by three players: Travis Lock, Paul Magloire and Mike Kozlakowski. Only Bellport has more representatives (four) on the 50-player roster than Lynbrook, with William Floyd, Sachem North, Freeport and Farmingdale also representing three players.
“It is great experience for these guys to play in a game of this magnitude,” said Lynbrook head coach Steve LoCicero, who was selected as the Nassau County Coach of the Year. “It is not easy to make the roster and to have three players selected from one team is a wonderful honor.”
LoCicero was also selected as one of the Long Island team coaches, but was unable to participate due to unrelated reasons.
Lock was the key element in a dominant Owls running game that led them to the Long Island title over Sayville back in the fall. The senior running back racked up over 1,900 yards on the ground, including 253 total yards and five touchdowns against Plainedge in the county semifinals, 269 yards and three touchdowns against Lawrence to claim the county title, and 174 yards and two touchdowns against Sayville for the Long Island crown. His notable performance earned him All-County and second team Long Island accolades this past season.
Magloire served as Lynbrook’s quarterback, but was well-known mostly for his added rushing attack along with Lock and company. The senior ran for 10 touchdowns in Lynbrook’s four playoff wins and recorded his season-high 236 yards rushing in a win over Division while scoring three touchdowns, as well. In total, Magloire ran for over 1,500 yards and passed for 680 yards to earn All-County accolades.
When Lynbrook needed tough yardage on the ground, Kozlakowski was the top option. The bruising senior fullback rushed for over 700 yards, including a season-high 133 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Hewlett. Kozlakowski made his name on the defensive side, though, recording 58 solo tackles along with multiple assisted tackles en route to earning All-Long Island and All-State accolades as a defensive end this past season.
Kozlakowski and senior teammate Brandon Cheney recently competed in the Empower Challenge in Syracuse, also known as the Upstate/Downstate Football Classic. The two Lynbrook representatives and the Downstate team won, 41-7. Cheney, along with Lynbrook senior Connor Daly — who both earned All-County status in the fall — were chosen as alternate players for the Long Island roster.
“All of these players were terrific leaders on and off of the field for Lynbrook and were team-oriented people even though they won all of these individual achievements,” LoCicero added.
Long Island and New York City will play in the highly anticipated Empire Challenge on Tuesday night. The New York City side won the 2010 game, 15-10, but Long Island won the annual match-up three of the five years prior.
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