2011 Top Sports Story No. 10 : Former Riverhead football player sentenced to prison

12/23/2011 5:00 PM |

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | In his final high school football game, Malcolm Cater represented Long Island in an all-star game.

A story that began in December 2010 reached its sad conclusion in October when former Riverhead football star Malcolm Cater was sentenced to one to three years in an upstate prison after pleading guilty to burglarizing three apartments on the Syracuse University campus.

Cater, a co-winner of the Hansen Award as the top football player in Suffolk County during his senior season with Riverhead, saw his career as a Syracuse football player come to a halt after his arrest in December 2010.

Cater pleaded guilty in September to three counts of third-degree burglary involving three separate break-ins at apartments on campus.

As a freshman Cater played in all 12 games for the Orange and recorded 13 tackles with one sack. The coaches hoped as a sophomore Cater would take over as a middle linebacker on the defense, the position he played so well during his years as a ferocious hitter for the Blue Waves.

But he brought upon his own demise after Syracuse Police discovered property taken in burglaries — including a 42-inch TV — to be in his apartment. After his arrest Cater was dismissed from the football program.

Cater, formerly of Wyandanch, had a troubled childhood before a stray bullet hit him in the back of his leg during a fight at a house party there in 2007. He was then sent to live at Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead while he went to high school in Riverhead. That’s where his fortunes seemed to turn, culminating in the announcement of a full scholarship to the prestigious Syracuse University in the spring.