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Panthers' Carlock Named Top Defensive Player in Suffolk

Panthers' defensive back pulled down game-ending interception at last week's Long Island Championship.

Jake Carlock, shown here after a pass at wide receiver during the Suffolk Championship, was named the top defensive player in Suffolk County. Credit: Scott Moore.
Jake Carlock, shown here after a pass at wide receiver during the Suffolk Championship, was named the top defensive player in Suffolk County. Credit: Scott Moore.
Add another one to the trophy case – the Babylon Panthers' Jake Carlock took home the award for the top defensive football player in the county at the annual Suffolk County Football Coaches Association dinner.

Carlock, a defensive back who also starred as the Panthers' top wide receiver, punt and kick returner, punter and long snapper, picked off a ton of quarterbacks throughout Division IV this past season, intercepting many passes and taking them the other way for touchdowns.

His biggest interception of the 2013 season came with 1:36 left on Friday at Hofstra University in the Long Island Championship game, pulling in a weak pass to effectively end the game and clinch the win for Babylon.

"I thought I was going to drop it, it was in the air so long,'' Carlock told reporters after the LIC game. "But it felt good to get that pick.''

During the awards dinner on Monday night, Carlock was presented with two awards: the Tom Cassese Award, given to the most outstanding defensive back, and the Rob Burnett Award, given to the most outstanding defensive player in Suffolk.

Carlock could be credited, along with a core of stellar seniors including Eric Schweitzer, Nick Santorelli and Ray Wardell, for the Panthers' record-setting 24th straight win in two seasons and back-to-back Long Island Championship wins. The team itself was rewarded with the Rutgers Trophy on Monday night as well, given to the top team in the county.

"We've never had a player like this at Babylon,'' Panthers coach Rick Punzone told Newsday. "In all my years of coaching, I've never seen a player who was as good an all-around athlete as him.''

Carlock will take his talents to college next year, but don't fret, Panthers fans – he will be attending our local Stony Brook University joining the island's only Division I football program. The newest Seawolf is expected to play outside linebacker for the Colonial Athletic Association team.

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