Freeport Red Devils Football
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There is one common theme that runs through the Freeport varsity football program and that is they are good because of hard work.
“I believe we work harder than any team on Long Island and if we don’t than that is our goal,” Terrell Brown, senior starting offensive/defensive lineman said, “If we come out and lose a game then we are not working hard enough and we need to pick up the intensity and pick up the pace. That’s just what we are based on.”
Last year their hard work paid off and they are hoping to do the same thing this year. Freeport is the defending Long Island Champions and are entering the season ranked number three in Nassau County’s conference one, of which they are the two time defending champions.
“We always want to get to the Long Island Championship game,” Russ Cellan Freeport varsity head coach said. “We may not get there every year because things happen but it is always the goal.”  
Russ Cellan is entering his 24th year as Freeport’s varsity head coach. Cellan is known for being the first Long Island high school coach to use the spread offense. He started to experiment with the spread offense in 2001 and added it to his offensive plays in 2002. When he started to use it, the high school defenses did not know how to guard it and had to come up with a whole new defense just for the week they had to play them.  
“When we started the spread offense we were the only team using it,” Cellan said. “I got the idea from watching a Northwestern college football game. I was always looking for something different and now everyone is using it.”
Cellan has brought Freeport to the playoffs 16 times, gone to the Nassau County championship game nine times, won five times and coached them five times in the Long Island championship game and won three titles.
“It’s hard playing for Coach Cellan,” said Isaiah Barnes, junior starting quarterback. “He is going to criticize, he is going to get on your case a lot but you just have to take it because he knows what he is talking about.  He has been doing it for almost 30 years, so you just have to listen to coach and do your best.”
“It is wonderful playing for coach Cellan,” Cephas Knighton-Ward senior offensive guard/defensive lineman said. “He is a guy that everyone respects so you give your all to him.”
This year’s team is going to be significantly different than last year’s team. Last year Freeport relied on Kevin Allen to carry them. Allen had 2,000 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns.
“This year we have to do more by committee,” Cellan said. “We will have more play makers, which is what Freeport football is and not one guy like last year.”
Running the offense this year is junior quarterback Isaiah Barnes. This is his first year starting. He is 6’2” 190 pounds. He fits in with Cellan’s spread offense because he is able to throw the ball well and is able to run the ball.
“Barnes was a backup last year,” Cellan said. “He throws the ball well, he is a quick runner and that’s a plus in the spread offense.”
“My goals for the season are to be the best player I can be, leading my team and for us to end up with the championship,” Barnes said.
Another player that is going to make big plays for this team is senior Terrell Brown. Brown is 6’2” 285 pounds. He plays offensive and defensive lineman and has been starting since he was a sophomore.
“I believe Terrell is one of the better linemen on Long Island,” Cellan said.
Brown was All-County last year and is one of the three captains on the team this year. He is powerful and a leader on the field.
“I’m looking forward to just playing and getting after the ball,” Brown said.
Jeff Williams is also a senior and a captain for Freeport and has been starting since he was a sophomore. He is 6’2” 205 pounds and plays wide receiver and outside linebacker. He plays whatever position they need him to play and can do everything.
“He does so much for us… he runs, blocks,” Cellan said, “It is like having another coach on the field.”
The third captain is senior Cephas Knighton-Ward. Knighton-Ward is 6’0” 280 pounds. This is his second year starting as a defensive tackle and right guard. He is a powerful player. Knighton-Ward works hard every day and wants to continue to get stronger every game.
“I’m looking forward to just getting out there and being able to play,” Knighton-Ward said. “I love the game of football.”
This year replacing Kevin Allen at running back is senior Dan Olivea.

“We lost Kevin Allen… that’s a great loss but we have running backs here now that work just as hard,” Brown said. “Olivea is coming back and working hard and I feel he will fill his shoes perfectly.”
Olivea is 5’11” 225 pounds.  He is going to get the bulk of the carries this year. Olivea has quick feet and is strong which makes him hard to take down or stop.
“All the Alumni keep coming back and telling me I have to be like Allen and get my shoulders low,” Olivea said. “But I think I can do alright.”
Freeport’s first game is coming against their longtime rival Baldwin on September 11th. The Freeport-Baldwin game is considered their backyard brawl because the schools are so close to each other.
“The kids from Baldwin and Freeport grow up playing together and then have to play against each other in high school,” Cellan said.
Another big rivalry is Farmingdale. These two teams have met in the playoffs countless times. Last year Farmingdale beat Freeport during the season, and then in the playoffs Freeport won.
“Red and green do not mix… only at Christmas time,” Cellan said.
Massapequa is also a rival of Freeport.
“This season is not going to be easy.  There are a lot of good teams in the conference,” Cellan said, “We are just going to try and be as good as we can be.  Every game is a big game so we will take it week by week.”
During the offseason Cellan tries to convince his players to play another sport and if they do not play another sport he has them lifting weights. He wants them to be out competing and keeping active. At the end of May they start the seven on seven and passing scrimmages.
“I’m a big believer in playing another sport,” Cellan said. “I’d rather that my players be competing then just lifting weights, the weights don’t fight back.”
Freeport’s program prides itself on tradition and has a list of alumni that have carried on that tradition to the NFL. Freeport’s alumni include: D’Brickashaw Ferguson who is currently the starting left tackle for the New York Jets, Marlon Greenwood a seven year starting linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans, Clifton Smith Cleveland Browns linebacker, Jerry Mackey linebacker for the Jets practice squad and Aaron Valentin wide receiver that was picked up by the Cleveland Browns.
“Everything makes me proud to play for Freeport; the tradition, the legacy, the players that played before us like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Clifton Smith, and Jerry Mackey these guys paved the way for this program to be top notch,” Terrell Brown said. “Anyone who plays for Freeport should be proud because this is where it is at.”   



FREEPORT SIDEBAR
Russ Cellan
Russ Cellan is entering 24th season as Freeport’s head coach. Cellan is known for being the first coach to use the spread offense. He has been in the playoffs 16 times, in the Nassau County championship 9 times, won 5 times, in the Long Island championship game 5 times and won 3 times.
“It’s great working with coach Cellan he is like a father to us,” Jeff Williams said. “Sometimes he is a little intense and gets a little crazy but it’s great playing for him.”

Isaiah Barnes junior
Isaiah Barnes is the junior starting quarterback for Freeport. He was the back up last year and this is his first year starting at quarterback. He is 6’2” 190 pounds. He throws the ball well and is a quick runner which fits in perfectly with Cellan’s spread offense.
“I love playing for Freeport,” Barnes said. “I’m so ready for the season.”

Terrell Brown senior
Terrell Brown has been the starting offensive and defensive lineman for Freeport since he was a sophomore. Brown is 6’2” 285 pounds. He was All-County last year. He is one of the three captains on the team this year. Brown is a powerful lineman that is hard to get around and he is a great leader on this team.
“I just want to work hard every day and end up better at the end then I was at the beginning,” Brown said.

Cephas Knighton-Ward senior
Cephas Knighton-Ward is entering his second year starting as a defensive tackle and a right guard. Knighton-Ward is 6’0 280 pounds. He is another captain for this Freeport team. Knighton-Ward is a hard worker and a powerful player.
“I just want to get better every day and help my team to try and bring home another championship,” Knighton-Ward said.

Jeff Williams senior
Jeff Williams has been starting since he was a sophomore at the wide receiver and outside linebacker positions. Williams is 6’2” 205 pounds. Williams is an asset to this team because he plays any position the team asks him to play. Williams can run and block. He is a leader and an athletic player.
“We play Freeport football, nobody else can,” Williams said. “Nobody else can match us and if you are lined up against us I feel sorry for you.”

Dan Olivea senior
Dan Olivea is replacing Kevin Allen and will take over the bulk of the carries for this team. Olivea is 5’11” 225 pounds. He has quick feet and is powerful which makes it hard to stop him. He plays both starting running back and linebacker.
“Guys want me to be like Kevin Allen but I have to be Danny Olivea,” Olivea said.

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