Add one more accolade to Shoreham-Wading River’s stunning football season.
Coach Matt Millheiser has been named “Coach of the Year” by the New York Giants, earning the program $4,000 in donations, according to the organization.
Millheiser — who was previously honored as “Coach of the Week” by the Giants — was chosen Tuesday after guiding the team to an undefeated season and the program’s first Long Island Championship.
The Giants said Millheiser was chosen due to the team’s “astounding” record.
Giants community and fan relations manager Alyssa Agrifolio said Millheiser “completely embodied” the commitment to football and the team and community spirit the Giants wanted to honor.
“I know they had a tough year,” Agrifolio said. “To come through undefeated … They really rallied together and pulled off this amazing season.”
The program will now receive a $2,000 donation from the Giants organization, as well as a matching donation from Chase Bank.
Millheiser will be honored at a dinner hosted by the team next year.
The announcement comes as an ESPN sportswriter is working on a story about Tom Cutinella, the SWR football player who died this fall after an on-field injury during the team’s Oct. 1 game at John Glenn.
Gene Wojciechowski — an analyst and columnist for the network — was in the district Tuesday gathering material and doing interviews for the piece to run during College Game Day on Saturday, said SWR athletic director Mark Passamonte at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
Mr. Passamonte said the story will run on Saturday morning between 9 and 11 a.m.
The Shoreham-Wading River team will also be attending that Army-Navy game due to the generosity of one total stranger.
After reading about West Point offering Cutinella a posthumous scholarship, Dr. Michael Masciello — a 65-year-old cardiologist and 1971 graduate of Army — purchased tickets for the entire team to attend the game, which is 3 p.m. Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Masciello, who has no connection to the SWR program or the Cutinellas, reached out to the family and the team. He also bought special jerseys for the team that bear Cutinella’s No. 54.
During the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association all-county dinner Dec. 1, Newsday writer Bob Herzog told the story of Dr. Masciello as he presented the inaugural Tom Cutinella Memorial Leadership Award, which went to Shoreham senior Aaron Harley-Rey.
Masciello told Cutinella’s parents, “your son inspires me every day to be a better person,” Herzog said.
The team will attend the game, and also appear live on ESPN after the Cutinella piece airs, Passamonte said.
WITH JOE WERKMEISTER