BOB LIEPA FILE PHOTO
Mike Mangiamele, the Porters’ first-string quarterback, has drawn raves from his coaches.
After sharing the quarterback position last season, Mike Mangiamele is the unquestioned starter this year for the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football team. The position is all his, and that’s just the way he likes it.
“Everything’s on me,” he said during an interview before Tuesday afternoon’s practice. “I like that, though.”
Mangiamele, a senior from Mattituck, split time behind center last season with Dan Letteriello, who has since graduated. That experience in his first varsity season enabled Mangiamele to ease into things and get a feel for the quickness of the varsity game.
Playing quarterback, though, is nothing new to him. Mangiamele has played the position ever since he started playing football for a Police Athletic League team, the Peconic Panthers, when he was 8 years old. His coaches rave about him.
“He’s got a strong arm, he moves well, and he’s an excellent leader on the field,” Porters Coach Jack Martilotta said. “We’re very, very lucky to have him.”
Martilotta said the Porters will be looking to pass more this year than they did in 2009. That kind of talk is just what Mangiamele likes to hear.
The Porters will utilize a spread set, and Mangiamele will have some capable targets to throw to, such as Tremayne Hansen, Yianni Rauseo and Taylor Lindsay in what looks to be a promising passing game.
“That’s the plan,” Martilotta said. “We have some good athletes out on the end. We have to get them the ball.”
Coaches described the 6-foot-2, 158-pound Mangiamele as having a good arm and being intelligent, with a sharp football mind. “He knows that playbook at least as well as we do,” said Martilotta.
In fact, Mangiamele said he might want to become a coach one day.
The strong arm came from training and weight lifting. One doesn’t have to look far to see where the football mind may have come from.
Mangiamele’s father, Tom Mangiamele, is the team’s offensive coordinator. He has coached his son for many years going back to those early PAL days.
“He has good feet, good speed,” Tom Mangiamele said of his son, who is backed up by James Finora, a junior. “He has a lot of good mechanics. The thing is he loves the game.”
Defensive coordinator Mike Miller said that if he has his way, Mike Mangiamele will play cornerback on defense. But it is as a quarterback that Mangiamele is likely to make the biggest impact.
Coaches say his arm strength is greater than it was last year, and that isn’t the only difference Martilotta has noticed.
“He’s looking pretty good,” Martilotta said. “He’s matured. He’s a senior in high school now. Now we’re giving him a leadership position. He’s making the most of the opportunities we’re giving him.”