It’s bigger than football, but these 11 young men were no slouch on the gridiron.
The Coach Dennis Barrett Leadership Service Award, aptly titled in honor of the late coach and educator Monsignor Farrell, is given to the HS football player who best exemplifies “football ability, leadership and community service”. These characteristics are certainly not lacking among the 11 student-athletes who have been named.
Each of Staten Island’s 11 high schools with a football program has nominated a nominee, and nominees will be judged on their overall work during their high school career.
The inaugural Dennis Barrett Award was presented to Justin Cohen of McKee/Staten Island Tech in 2020, following the 2019 season.
Unfortunately, the three-man committee that selects the Barrett Award winner – John Iasparro, Bill D’Ambrosio and Vin DiForte – had to skip a season (2020) after an abbreviated schedule was played due to the coronavirus pandemic. . A new winner will however be announced soon and Advance/SILive.com will list the 2021 candidates.
The Barrett Award winner, along with award winners Al Fabbri, Sal Somma and Andy Barberi, will be recognized at a ceremony at the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame at a date and time to be announced.
Winners receive a silver cup on a two-tiered mahogany base. The recipient’s school also receives a trophy, which it can keep for the following year.
Each of the 11 nominees also receives a nominee trophy.
For an overview of the 2021 applicants from each school, please scroll down. The names are listed in alphabetical order.
Elijah Campbell (St. Peter) … The junior is a two-year-old two-way starter at wide receiver and cornerback who has 16 catches for 287 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. In defense, he was the No. 1 corner for a side whose strength was his secondary. A solid road runner and blocker, Campbell did some of the little things that don’t show up in a box score. He was elected captain unanimously.
Bobby Capolongo (Monsignor Farrell) … The senior offensive lineman, a three-year college starter, was a key cog in the Lions’ journey to the CHSAA AA title game last season. In addition to his success on the pitch as a team captain, Capolongo has also been an important member of the community – helping with beach cleanups, special needs programs and other charities.
Michel Cattagio (Tottenville) … The senior center linebacker led the Pirates with 82 tackles and added three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown. Nonetheless, his academic average of 101.34 is the most impressive stat of all. Cattagio is also president of the Tottenville dental club, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. He is also a member of the NYPD Explorers Program.
Muhammad Chaudhry (McKee/Staten Island Tech)… The eldest was a two-way player at linebacker and played in multiple positions along the Seagulls offensive line … and he did it all with a separate shoulder for much of the season. Chaudhry is part of the AP Scholars program and is a member of the National Honor Society. A team captain, he was also president of the Tech’s Coding Club.
Jake Ficken (Port Richmond) … The senior Raiders quarterback missed early games through injury but rallied to return to the field for the second half of the season. A leader in caucus, Ficken was also a leader off the court as a mentor to young student-athletes.
Robert Garbarino (Petrides) … The senior offensive lineman was undersized, but that hasn’t stopped him from starting every game the past two seasons. The senior captain was also a math tutor for young players and was a driving force in the school’s blood and food drives.
Justin Garcia (Curtis)… The senior linebacker was named Friends of Staten Island Football/Coaches All Star after racking up 55 tackles this season. Garcia’s high motor skills and relentless effort also showed up on offense as a tight end. A varsity player for three years, he has also maintained an average above 90 each of the past two years and has volunteered at youth sporting events.
Devin Malvasio (St. Joseph-by-the-Sea) … The senior linebacker/running back rarely missed a down on either side of the ball and was named the FSIFC All Star for his prowess as an all-around player. He rushed for 923 yards and added 174 through the air in addition to 10 touchdowns. He also led the defense with 80 tackles and 5 sacks. He also volunteers at St. Edwards Food Pantry and Toys for Tots.
John Michalski (Moore Catholic) … The junior quarterback was a CHSFL All-League selection after throwing for 1,826 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Additionally, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound flagman also rushed the ball 70 times for 522 yards and six other scores. Michalski was also a peer tutor and school volunteer.
Dominick Peterson (New Dorp) … The senior linebacker led the Cougars with 57 tackles en route to reaching the PSAL Bowl championship game. The team captain also started at tight end, was a March of Dimes volunteer and contributed time to the Feed the Heroes Foundation.
Fathi Rashed (Susan Wagner) … After missing the entire spring season with a foot injury, the elder returned to the field as a two-way starter at linebacker and running back in the fall. Even when he was sidelined, Rashed never missed a practice or game and was one of the team’s vocal leaders. He also contributes to school food drives and holds a 92 GPA.