The National Football Foundation announced that it will host the inaugural Long Island Girls Quarterback Challenge July 16 at Kings Park High School. The event comes a year after the first Long Island Boys Quarterback Challenge held last summer.
An open tryout for all girls and boys wishing to compete for a spot in the respective challenges will be held Sunday, June 4, at Kings Park High School. The boys’ tryout is at 8:30 a.m.; the girls’ at 10 a.m.
To register, players can go to nffsuffolkcounty.org and complete the registration form.
“It’s time to have the Girls Challenge,” said Len Genova, the president of the Suffolk Chapter of the National Football Foundation. “If you’re a rising quarterback in grades 9 through 12 in the fall of 2023 this is a great opportunity for you. Girls flag football has exploded across Long Island. We know we can bring together the top girls on Long Island and let them show off their skills. We’re really excited about the event.”
There were 12 participants invited to the boys event, which was livestreamed last year. Two of the 2022 participants, Brady Clark of Bayport-Blue Point and Dante Torres of St. Anthony’s, went on to have record-setting seasons and led their respective teams to championships. Clark earned the 63rd Carl A. Hansen Award presented to Suffolk’s top player and the Boomer Esiason Award as the best quarterback in Suffolk. Clark threw for 1,585 yards, 22 scores and only one interception in leading the Phantoms to the school’s first Long Island Class IV title.
Torres earned Newsday’s fifth annual Rich Reichert Award as the top player in the Catholic High School Football League and the National Football Foundation’s Gregg Sarra Trophy as the best offensive player on Long Island. Torres passed for 3,364 yards and 35 touchdowns and led the Friars to Long Island’s first-ever state championship in Buffalo. He was named the New York State Class AA Player of the Year by Gatorade, MaxPreps and the New York State Sportswriters Association.
The boys Quarterback Challenge is scheduled for July 23 at Kings Park High School.
“We had an immense amount of talent at the challenge last year,” said Ray Nelson, the vice president of the Suffolk chapter of the NFF. “It was a preview to the greatness the season would bring. And now we open it up to the girls and see all of those great athletes.”
Commack junior Jeremy Weiss earned the Orlin & Cohen overall skills champion in last year’s event and will return to defend his title. The challenge events will measure several skill categories including football intelligence, accuracy and anticipation. A winner is selected from each category as well as an overall champion.