Tayeh, Barbarino, Macri, and Matelle represent MSIT at the annual Fugazzi Bowl
By Ian MacDonald
Every year, Staten Island’s best football players take on the best of Bronx-Manhattan in the annual game known as the Fugazzi Bowl. The venue this year was Port Richmond High School and kicked off at noon on Saturday, December 12. This year, MSIT had 4 players make the game, all from Tech. Free Safety Ibrahim Tayeh, Middle Linebacker Joe Barbarino, Running back Joe Macri, and Defensive Tackle Carmine Matelle. While 4 players made the game, only 2 players suited up, as Carmine (Broken Tibia) and Joe Macri (Butt Ailment) were nursing injuries. Tayeh and Barbarino both had a good day, as the Staten Island All-stars dominated the visiting Bronx-Manhattan team. All the players that made it have been 3 year varsity starters, and had great years leading to their addition to the all star game.
For Free Safety/Halfback Ibrahim Tayeh, the question was never the production on the field, but rather staying on the field. After missing most of spring practices with a hamstring injury, he seemed to have cleared his health up just in time for camp, only to injure his kidney before the start of the season. He missed week 1 of the season along with another week due to a toe injury. However, when healthy, he proved to be a vital playmaker for MSIT as both a halfback and safety. After a junior year where he recorded 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, he slowed down in the stat sheets this year with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. However, he still had a good year which earned him a berth in the all star game. Tayeh turned in a good performance for MSIT, playing a large amount of snaps. He had 3 tackles and almost had a pick-6, which glanced off his hand and fell incomplete.
Middle Linebacker Joe Barbarino had a great year for MSIT, playing just about every defensive snap. While he played mostly middle linebacker, injuries forced him into roles as both strongside and weakside outside linebacker. He had 43 tackles to go with 2 sacks and a pass deflection with his helmet. Brought up to varsity halfway through his sophomore year, he started the first week he was brought up, under the lights at Farrell High School against James Madison. He was made a captain the very last game of the season as well, and it was a fitting ending for him to end his career in the all star game. He performed well in the all star game with a solid 2 tackles, 1 for a loss.
Running Back/Defensive End Joe “Biceps” Macri ran for 700 yards and 9 touchdowns, while also adding 4 sacks and a fumble recovery for a td on defense. His best performance of the season came in the first game on Tech’s new field, where he ran for 180 yards and 4 touchdowns. Temper management was never his strong suit, as the hotheaded Macri got thrown out on the opening kickoff of the game against Petrides,, leading to him missing the remainder of that game as well as the season finale against Columbus. He was also pulled from the game against John Adams for mocking a referee. Had it not been for those blunders, Macri could have tacked on a few more yards and touchdowns. However, his production in the games he wasn’t thrown out of earned him an appearance in the all star game. However, a buttocks injury suffered in practice ended Macri’s season, and he never got a chance to suit up for the all star game.
Defensive tackle and captain Carmine Matelle also failed to suit up for the all star game, as a broken tibia suffered in the last playoff game ended his season. He had a great year however, with 61 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries. He was a disruptive force on the d-line, and out defensive coordinator never let us forget that, consistently calling him “the best dt in the city”. He was made a captain midway through the season, and fully embraced his captainship. He has been a leader at MSIT since day 1 and showed no signs of stopping his senior year.
All in all, MSIT had a great year, and 4 of the best players deservedly made the all star game. While only two suited up, 4 players made it, which was an improvement on last year’s total of 3. With more and more players making plays for MSIT and putting us on the map, the future for MSIT football is looking bright.