In the News

LI stars use flashy plays, defense to dominate Empire Challenge

Originally published: June 18, 2013 10:15 PM
Updated: June 19, 2013 12:28 AM
By STEPHEN HAYNES  stephen.haynes@newsday.com

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island team running back William Stanback, center, and teammates celebrate a touchdown against the New York City team in the United Healthcare Empire Challenge high school all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 18, 2013)

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island team running back William Stanback, center, and teammates celebrate a touchdown against the New York City team in the United Healthcare Empire Challenge high school all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 18, 2013)

Sheer dominance, as Long Island exhibited in last year’s Empire Challenge, was perhaps too mundane for this game, with all its pageantry and pregame pomp and circumstance.

So how does this sound? Long Island won the coin toss Tuesday night and deferred . . . then tried an onside kick. Long Island recovered it, but the play was called back and it was forced to kick again. According to the rules…

NYC high school football all-stars get beat by Long Island stars, 40-8, in Empire Challenge game at Hofstra University

Erasmus Hall quarterback Matthew Domina suffers dislocated ankle in ugly loss.

By / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 12:22 AM
hs-all-star-football-game

New York City’s quarterbackMatthew Domina throws for a first down in the first quarter against LongIsland in the Empire Challenge High School Football All-Star Game atHofstra University on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Hempstead, N.Y. Dominaleft the game with a fractured ankle. (Kathy Kmonicek for the New YorkDaily News)

During the week of practiceleading up to Tuesday night’s Empire Challenge high school footballall-star charity game, Erasmus Hall quarterback Matthew Domina lookedbetter than he ever had, according to his head coach and the head coachof the New York City team, Danny Landberg. That’s saying a lot for thestarting quarterback of the PSAL city champions.

It made it all the more difficult to see Domina exit early with adislocated right ankle in Tuesday’s 40-8 loss to Long Island at HofstraUniversity’s James M. Shuart Stadium before a crowd of 9,869.

Midway through the first quarter, Domina, NYC’s starting quarterbackwas crunched on the rain-soaked turf by two Long Island defenders on arush up the middle and Domina remained on the ground after the play. Hewas tended to for several minutes before he was put on a stretcher.

Landberg confirmed the East Stroudsburg-bound Domina suffered adislocated right ankle on the play. There’s currently no timetable forhis recovery.

“He just tried to take off and make something out of nothing and justgot caught up there, twisted it and it got dislocated,” Landberg said.“I would assume he’s not going to have a great summer. Let that be theworst.”

With Tottenville quarterback Brandon Barnes out nursing a knee injury,Boys & Girls’ Keon Marsh took over and tossed four interceptionswhile going 12-for-23 for 139 yards.

William Stanback was the star for Long Island, earning MVP honors with12 rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, including an 87-yard burstfor a score with 12:40 left in the fourth quarter. The Uniondale HSproduct who will play for UCF next season also scored on ahook-and-ladder in the second quarter. Stanback is the first player inEmpire Challenge history with four overall touchdowns in a game.

NYC didn’t have much going offensively, mustering just 162 total yards.Tottenville’s Miami-bound running back Augustus Edwards scored on a5-yard run in the third quarter to get his team on the board. Hefinished with six carries for 26 yards.

Thomas Jefferson’s Kendall (Speedy) Thomas was the most impressiveplayer from the five boroughs, slashing and dashing for 49 yards on 10carries and returning a kickoff 75 yards in the third quarter that setup Edwards’ touchdown run.

Thomas earned Player of the Game honors for New York City, something he said he was hoping for.

“I tried to give my team a little spark,” said Thomas, who will playfor Nassau Community College next season. His brother Mark played therefor two seasons and will play for Kansas next season.

Landberg made it a priority to get Thomas the ball and has beenimpressed by him throughout his high school career, heaping very highpraise on him.

“I compare him to Darren Sproles,” Landberg said, “and I can’t imagineDarren Sproles’ high school highlight film being any better than his.”

Thomas has known Domina for a long time and it was tough for him to see Domina get injured.

“Me and Matt go way back, and that’s always gonna be my friend forlife,” Thomas said. “Seeing him on the ground, that made me want to turnit up.”

The lopsided loss was the second straight for New York City afterdropping last year’s game, 31-7. It’s worst loss came in 2005, a 44-7final. Since the game changed from Nassau-Suffolk to Long Island-NYC in1998, NYC is 6-10.

“It sucks,” Landberg said of losing big in two straight years.“Listen, I’m a football coach, I’m a competitor; you don’t want to be inthat situation ever. It definitely is an embarrassing feeling. For me,let’s get ready for Erasmus now.”

The Empire Challenge raises money for the Boomer Esiason Foundation inits fight against cystic fibrosis. Boomer’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosedwith the disease at 2 years old. Gunnar recently graduated from BostonCollege.

 

LI stars use flashy plays, defense to dominate Empire Challenge

Originally published: June 18, 2013 10:15 PM
Updated: June 19, 2013 12:28 AM
By STEPHEN HAYNES  stephen.haynes@newsday.com

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island team running back William Stanback, center, and teammates celebrate a touchdown against the New York City team in the United Healthcare Empire Challenge high school all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 18, 2013)

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island team running back William Stanback, center, and teammates celebrate a touchdown against the New York City team in the United Healthcare Empire Challenge high school all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 18, 2013)

Sheer dominance, as Long Island exhibited in last year’s Empire Challenge, was perhaps too mundane for this game, with all its pageantry and pregame pomp and circumstance.

So how does this sound? Long Island won the coin toss Tuesday night and deferred . . . then tried an onside kick. Long Island recovered it, but the play was called back and it was forced to kick again. According to the rules…

 

Gunnar Esiason is winning at the game of life

June 18, 2013 9:57 PM By BOB HERZOG bob.herzog@newsday.com

http://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.5515681.1371607537!/httpImage/image.JPG_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.JPG

Photo credit: Patrick E. McCarthy | Gunnar Esiason stands on the sidelines in first half of the 2009 Empire Challenge. (June 23, 2009)

 

For Gunnar Esiason, the clock is still running — and for Boomer Esiason’s kid, that means he is winning the game of life.

“When I was born, life expectancy was 17 or 18. Now it’s the late 30s and it’s going up and up,” Gunnar said, referring to cystic fibrosis, the disease he has had since birth and that has been the inspiration for the Boomer Esiason Foundation and Tuesday night’s annual Empire Challenge all-star football game.

“It’s very reassuring for me, especially because there are new drugs going on the market that are attacking the disease at the genetic level. We’re hoping that these will significantly impact every single CF patient’s life.”

Gunnar said that this year, the BEF went over the $100-million mark in money raised and the Empire Challenge, in its 18th season, went over the $2-million mark.

Gunnar played in this game four years ago, an inspirational gesture in which he appeared for the opening series. Before the ball was snapped, the entire New York City team crossed the line of scrimmage to tap him on the helmet or shoulder pads to acknowledge his courage. “It feels like it was yesterday,” Gunnar said. “That’s something that I’ll never forget. It’s burned into my memory.”

He graduated from Boston College in May with a degree in English. He intends to take a year off before law school. “My two big things are coaching football and hockey at Friends [Academy],” said Gunnar, who will be the quarterbacks coach next fall. “That’ll be fun . . . I’ll take the LSATS in October, apply to law schools in winter and we’ll see what happens.”

Undoubtedly, something special will happen. It always does for this kid who displays uncommon valor in the face of a debilitating disease that he refuses to let get the better of him. In fact, he discussed with Boomer taking an expanded role in the foundation. “I’ll continue my poster boy role. I’ve accepted that,” Gunnar said. “Who better to do it than me? I can see that being a career for me, living as the poster boy and making sure the disease is eventually cured.”

His sister Sydney, who just finished her junior year at BC, said, “At the end of the day, I needed him more than he needed me. He’s still my big brother. I got to see him grow more than my parents did. College is when you become who you really are and that was really cool for me to experience that with him.”

They had one particularly memorable moment during an intramural co-ed flag football game. “He played QB and I played wide receiver. He threw me a game-winning touchdown in the first round of the playoffs,” she said, beaming. “It was a pretty awesome moment for us. It’s one of those experiences that I’ll really cherish when I look back at those college years. We called my dad right after and he was thrilled about it.”

Sydney was equally proud. “He’s definitely my role model and hero. I look up to him. I’ve always looked up to him,” she said. ” . . . When I wake up and I’m not feeling well or if I just don’t want to start my day, I think about him and I know he’s feeling 10 times worse than I am and he’s always upbeat and doing all the things everyone else is doing or should be doing.”

He’s living life.

High school football all-stars on display in Empire Challenge at Hofstra University

Originally published: June 18, 2013 6:21 PM
Updated: June 18, 2013 11:36 PM

video

Click here for original article

HEMPSTEAD – The Empire Challenge pitted Long Island against New York City in a climactic end to the high school sports season.

The Long Island All Stars became the first team in Empire Challenge history to three-peat with a 40-8 victory over the New York City All-Stars Tuesday night at Hofstra University.

The annual event, sponsored by United Healthcare, is held in support of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which targets cystic fibrosis.

Floyd’s A.J. Otranto captains LI team in Empire Challenge

Published: June 17, 2013 9:06 PM
By BOB HERZOG  bob.herzog@newsday.com

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island quarterback AJ Otranto looks on during practice for the Empire Challenge all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 17, 2013)

Photo credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke | Long Island quarterback AJ Otranto looks on during practice for the Empire Challenge all-star football game at Hofstra University. (June 17, 2013)

From the first day of practice for the Empire Challenge All-Star football game, one player, Floyd quarterback A.J. Otranto, stood out on the Long Island team. Not for his command of the spread offense — which is outstanding — but for his commanding presence in and out of the huddle. “When A.J. opens his mouth, the kids fall in line,” Long Island head coach Joe Martillotti (Lawrence)…

UCONN FOOTBALL: Signee Jordan Fuchs to enroll at Milford Academy

Jim Fuller, Register staff jfuller@nhregister.com, writer
Published 4:05 pm, Monday, June 17, 2013

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — In a perfect world, Jordan Fuchs would be making plans to join his fellow Empire Challenge New York all-star teammates Foley Fatukasi and Cameron Stapleton at UConn later this month.

However, realizing that his lack of football experience and need to pack pounds of muscle on his 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame to play tight end at the next level, Fuchs will be hitting the gridiron at Milford Academy this fall.

“Obviously I want to go to school (at UConn), but it is benefitting me that I get this experience because I only played two years so I get more experience,” Fuchs said after New York’s practice on Sunday at Hofstra. “I need to get to bigger, faster and stronger (before) I come in in January and get started.”

Fuchs intends to enroll at UConn in January and will be able to take part in spring drills.

Fuchs was a dynamic two-sport star at Christ the King. There are those who think he is talented enough to be a Division I basketball player, but Fuchs decided to go the football route. He is aware that the top two tight ends on the 2012 UConn football team are currently in professional training camps. Ryan Griffin was taken by the Houston Texans in the sixth round of April’s NFL draft and John Delahunt made his pro debut by making an eight-yard reception in the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ preseason opener. Fuchs believes if he can add on the necessary weight he has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Griffin and Delahunt.

“Over the past few months I have been training really hard,” Fuchs said. “I have been watching a lot of football and talking to my trainer, and I have been picking up things pretty fast.”

He could have company in Milford as fellow UConn commit Jamar Summers may follow the same path.

Summers, a defensive back from Orange, N.J., never signed with UConn after dealing with NCAA clearinghouse issues. He recently attained the SAT score he needed to become eligible to play at UConn as a freshman. However, according to his high school football coach, UConn is still in a wait and see pattern.

Orange (N.J.) High coach Randy Daniel said the UConn staff wants to see his final grades before making a decision. Final exams are starting this week so a decision could be made one way or the other by the end of the month.

UCONN FOOTBALL: Future Husky Foley Fatukasi remains upbeat

Jim Fuller jfuller@nhregister.com @NHRJimFuller on Twitter, writer
Published 10:22 pm, Monday, June 17, 2013

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. >> One by one members of the New York squad, eager to end a losing streak to their rivals from Long Island in the Empire Challenge, made their way off the playing surface at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. The imposing figure cut by Foley Fatukasi was the last to make his way to the showers.

After chatting it up with some of the New York coaches and taking care of media responsibilities, the UConn football signee was greeted by one of the staff embers: “You only have eight minutes to finish up before it gets shut down” by one of the staff members.

Fatukasi politely shook his head in agreement, but considering everything he has had to endure since late October, having eight minutes to shower and pack up was not anything that would trouble him.

When Fatukasi began his senior year, the only football player in Beach Channel High School history to receive a scholarship to a BCS program figured that his greatest challenge would be dealing with the constant double and triple teams from opponents. However, the relentless battering of the area by Hurricane Sandy in late October managed to throw Fatukasi’s seemingly normal life into a state of disarray.

His family was ordered to evacuate before the hurricane hit. Fatukasi and his family decided to stay with a friend in Brooklyn before relocating to a hotel. He was transfixed by the sheer magnitude of the storm. Even miles away from the center of the destruction, Fatukasi watched the rain fall in steady, relentless fashion and wondered if it would ever end.

“We went to a family friend’s house and I pretty much witnessed the whole entire storm,” Fatukasi said. “I had never seen anything like that, it just came and water was up to your neck. I don’t even know what to call it, it was a different experience. Even when I saw the house, I realized that we could have lost our lives. In New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina hit, it was really bad, it was a lot worse for them. I was trying to be as thankful as I could because it could have been a lot worse.”

A few days later the Fatukasis were able to return home to check out the damage. Their house was deemed to be uninhabitable, the high school that he was planning to graduate from was closed down and the football field where he emerged into a major-college prospect was used as a landing strip for emergency helicopters.

Football suddenly was the furthest thing from Fatukasi’s mind. The gregarious 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive linemen displayed his compassionate side in the days that followed. He began checking in on fellow Beach Channel students to make sure everybody was OK. He took the time to check in on his high school coach and countless others as well.

“During that time everything is hard because if you close your eyes that would be night time when all the power was out,” Fatukasi said. “People were struggling. FEMA was trying their hardest; they were doing their best to make everything more comfortable and trying to get everything together.

“It was hard for me and my family because we had to stay in hotels. After (staying in) the hotel we said we couldn’t do that anymore so we stayed with a family friend and she has been amazing helping us out. Now we are getting back together. I try not to ask too many questions of what is going on with bills and stuff like that because they are already stressed out as it is because they still have to pay the mortgage for a house that is broken down. We are trying to get it back up together. By God’s grace, by God’s power we will get there. As long as we keep praying and ask for His support we will get through it.”

While he was still dealing with the enormity of it all, Fatukasi found himself taking a daily 20-25 minute bus ride to Brooklyn as Franklin D. Lane High School would be used as classrooms for Beach Channel students for the remainder of the academic year.

Beach Channel’s final regular-season football game was canceled but New York’s Public School Athletic League decided that the playoffs would be played and if Beach Channel was unable to get its team back together in time then the Dolphins would forfeit their first-round game.

“Me and some of my teammates said ‘Coach, I don’t want to go out like this,’” said Fatukasi, who had 78 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior. “Should we forfeit? That is not right. We said ‘let’s try, let’s make this a game to remember. For those four quarters we weren’t thinking about what was going on and even on the bus ride back home it was a great reliever at that time.”

There would be no fairy-tale ending as heavily-favored Port Richmond won the game 38-6. Following the game, tears were flowing as the team gathered for the final time. The emotions were not due to the final score but a result of the arduous journey just to be able to play in a football game.

A couple of weeks ago many of those teammates gathered again but not on a football field. Beach Channel held its prom and the chance to celebrate and let loose was something that Fatukasi wanted.

“After all we had been through I had no choice but to have fun that night,” Fatukasi said. “I am not a dancer but I just danced, I had a blast.”

Now Fatukasi has one last high school football game to play in when he suits up along with fellow UConn commits Cameron Stapleton and Jordan Fuchs in the Empire Challenge, which will be hosted by Hofstra tonight at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s an all-star game, we are all competitive and we all want to win,” Fatukasi said. “Being here with two of my future teammates, it is great seeing them and we are bonding. It is great, it is a great experience.”

While Fuchs will enroll at Milford Academy in the fall before arriving at UConn in January, Fatukasi and Stapleton will arrive at UConn on June 25. They will not only be teammates but roommates as well.

“He is a clown,” Fatukasi said with a laugh. “He knows when to get serious and when to play around. I know he is very intelligent so if I need help with my studies I have a roommate that will help me out.”

Stapleton, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end, had nine sacks as a senior at Poly Prep Country Day and recorded 20 sacks over his final three seasons. He has enjoyed getting to know Fuchs and Fatukasi over the last several days and looking to continue to bond with his soon to be roommate.

“It is so much fun, especially to know we are going to be together for the next four or five years,” Stapleton said.

“Everything is going to work out great. He is a real good guy, a cool kid, he doesn’t ever do anything wrong so I really appreciate having him as a roommate, he is a hard worker and he loves football. I love the game too so I know we are going to work hard on and off the field.”

UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge to Showcase Top Local Football Talent

Posted: Jun 17, 2013 12:11 PM EST

This article was originally distributed via PRWeb. PRWeb, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

SOURCE:

Stars from Long Island and NYC to Meet in 18th Annual All-Star Game in Honor of Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis

Hempstead, NY (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

In its eighteenth consecutive year, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will highlight the brightest football talent from New York City and Long Island in an effort to raise money and awareness to fight cystic fibrosis and support youth football in the New York metropolitan area. Boomer Esiason, former NFL quarterback, CBS analyst, and chairman for the Boomer Esiason Foundation today announced the details of the event, which will be held on June 18th at the James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. Highlights of the dayâ??s event include:

  •     UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge Sports Expo – dedicated to showcasing all of the newest and hottest sports equipment across all sports properties
  •     FanFest with Generation Jets â?? featuring the Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets’ interactive theme park, including inflatable rides, giveaways, field goal and passing test setups, obstacle courses
  •     Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party â?? marquee pre-game party to kick off the day’s football fun with tailgate food and music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance and include admission to the game (additional info below)
  •     Game Day Raffle â?? with prizes including signed memorabilia, Under Armor performance gear, and tickets to local sporting events

Created in 1996 by Boomer Esiason, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge acts as a fundraising benefit for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Gunnar H. Esiason Endowment Scholarship Fund at Hofstra University, as well as local youth football programs, and has grown to become a crowning achievement for high school football players throughout the New York metropolitan area.

A number of local and international companies have teamed up with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, including UnitedHealthcare, USA Football, the New York Jets and many others, and they aim to raise significant funds via the event. â??UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping improve the health of our communities so we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Boomer Esiason and his foundation,â? said Bill Golden, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of New York. â??While the Empire Challenge recognizes the best area high school football players, the funds raised not only help fund cystic fibrosis research but also support local youth sports programs to help kids get active â?? and start them on a path to a lifetime of physical activity and wellness.â?

The Boomer Esiason Foundation, which boasts a long tradition of fund raising in conjunction with these trusted companies, to date has raised $100 million. â??The support these companies have provided to the Boomer Esiason Foundation is a great example of how corporate America can make an impact in bettering the communities where employees work and live,â? said Esiason. â??Their support for the Foundation will be used to improve the lives of all those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.â?

Kickoff for the event is set for 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m. A series of pre-game ceremony activities are also planned. Tickets are $15 per person and are available at the James M. Shuart Stadium ticket booth on game day, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation
The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure. For more information, please visit http://www.esiason.org

June 18 Game Day Events

UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo
This year, the game and its surrounding events will keep the same traditions but will feature an exciting new twist . UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo will include a wide range of activities sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Time: 4:00 pm â?? 10:00 pm
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium concourse
Admission: Free

Fanfest with Generation Jets Fest
Fans of all ages will be able to participate in Fan Fest which features Generation
Jets Fest. Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets’ interactive theme park includes inflatable rides, giveaways and fun for the whole family. Come out and kick a field goal, race through the obstacle challenge and test your passing skills.

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: Free

Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party
This pre-game party is a great way to kick off the day’s football fun. Food will be provided while you enjoy music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance; admission to the game is included with your tailgate ticket purchase. To buy tickets, please call 516.746.0077.

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: $100 per person (children 3 and under are free)

Pre-Game

  •     Madison Rising to honor America with the National Anthem
  •     Color Guard: The NY Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, FS

Gabreski Air National Guard Base Westhampton Beach, NY

  •     Flyover by the Geico Sky Typers

Halftime
New York City Department of Sanitation Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band

PostGame
The Timothy M. Oâ??Brien Most Valuable Player, the Player of the Game Award, and the UnitedHealthcare Cup will be presented immediately following the conclusion of the game.

MSG Networks Coverage
The UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will air on the MSG Plus+ Network, MSG Network and MSG Varsity.

MSG Varsity Network: Tuesday, June 18 (Live) at 7:30pm
Friday, June 21 at 7 pm
Sunday, June 23 at 9 am
Friday, July 26 at 7 pm
Sunday July 28 at 9 am
Sunday, August 25 at 9 am
Friday, August 30 at 7 pm

MSG Network: Saturday, July 6 at 2:00pm and Sunday, July 14 at 6:00pm
MSG+ Network: and Sunday, July 14 at 3:00pm
Game Day Media Credentials

Media interested in attending the game must formally submit a credential request via the Empire Challenge Web site (http://www.empirechallenge.com/media-credentials.aspx) no later than Thursday, June 13. Each media personnel attending the game must submit an individual credential request via the web site. Media credentials will be available at the Will Call Window at the ticket booth at the southwest corner of the stadiumâ??s main entrance on game day. Please present photo identification at the ticket booth. Will Call will be staffed from 3:00-8:00 p.m. General Admission ticket gates will open at 6:30 p.m.

 

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2013/6/prweb10839921.htm

UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge to Showcase Top Local Football Talent

Posted: Jun 17, 2013 12:11 PM EST

This article was originally distributed via PRWeb. PRWeb, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

SOURCE:

Stars from Long Island and NYC to Meet in 18th Annual All-Star Game in Honor of Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis

Hempstead, NY (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

In its eighteenth consecutive year, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will highlight the brightest football talent from New York City and Long Island in an effort to raise money and awareness to fight cystic fibrosis and support youth football in the New York metropolitan area. Boomer Esiason, former NFL quarterback, CBS analyst, and chairman for the Boomer Esiason Foundation today announced the details of the event, which will be held on June 18th at the James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. Highlights of the dayâ??s event include:

  •     UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge Sports Expo – dedicated to showcasing all of the newest and hottest sports equipment across all sports properties
  •     FanFest with Generation Jets â?? featuring the Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets’ interactive theme park, including inflatable rides, giveaways, field goal and passing test setups, obstacle courses
  •     Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party â?? marquee pre-game party to kick off the day’s football fun with tailgate food and music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance and include admission to the game (additional info below)
  •     Game Day Raffle â?? with prizes including signed memorabilia, Under Armor performance gear, and tickets to local sporting events

Created in 1996 by Boomer Esiason, the UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge acts as a fundraising benefit for the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Gunnar H. Esiason Endowment Scholarship Fund at Hofstra University, as well as local youth football programs, and has grown to become a crowning achievement for high school football players throughout the New York metropolitan area.

A number of local and international companies have teamed up with the Boomer Esiason Foundation, including UnitedHealthcare, USA Football, the New York Jets and many others, and they aim to raise significant funds via the event. â??UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping improve the health of our communities so we are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Boomer Esiason and his foundation,â? said Bill Golden, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of New York. â??While the Empire Challenge recognizes the best area high school football players, the funds raised not only help fund cystic fibrosis research but also support local youth sports programs to help kids get active â?? and start them on a path to a lifetime of physical activity and wellness.â?

The Boomer Esiason Foundation, which boasts a long tradition of fund raising in conjunction with these trusted companies, to date has raised $100 million. â??The support these companies have provided to the Boomer Esiason Foundation is a great example of how corporate America can make an impact in bettering the communities where employees work and live,â? said Esiason. â??Their support for the Foundation will be used to improve the lives of all those afflicted with cystic fibrosis.â?

Kickoff for the event is set for 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m. A series of pre-game ceremony activities are also planned. Tickets are $15 per person and are available at the James M. Shuart Stadium ticket booth on game day, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation
The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure. For more information, please visit http://www.esiason.org

June 18 Game Day Events

UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo
This year, the game and its surrounding events will keep the same traditions but will feature an exciting new twist . UnitedHealthcare Sports Expo will include a wide range of activities sure to keep the whole family entertained.

Time: 4:00 pm â?? 10:00 pm
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium concourse
Admission: Free

Fanfest with Generation Jets Fest
Fans of all ages will be able to participate in Fan Fest which features Generation
Jets Fest. Generation Jets Fest, the New York Jets’ interactive theme park includes inflatable rides, giveaways and fun for the whole family. Come out and kick a field goal, race through the obstacle challenge and test your passing skills.

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: Free

Buffalo Wild Wings VIP Tailgate Party
This pre-game party is a great way to kick off the day’s football fun. Food will be provided while you enjoy music. Tailgate tickets are available for purchase in advance; admission to the game is included with your tailgate ticket purchase. To buy tickets, please call 516.746.0077.

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: James M. Shuart Stadium
Parking Lot at Hofstra University
Admission: $100 per person (children 3 and under are free)

Pre-Game

  •     Madison Rising to honor America with the National Anthem
  •     Color Guard: The NY Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, FS

Gabreski Air National Guard Base Westhampton Beach, NY

  •     Flyover by the Geico Sky Typers

Halftime
New York City Department of Sanitation Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band

PostGame
The Timothy M. Oâ??Brien Most Valuable Player, the Player of the Game Award, and the UnitedHealthcare Cup will be presented immediately following the conclusion of the game.

MSG Networks Coverage
The UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge will air on the MSG Plus+ Network, MSG Network and MSG Varsity.

MSG Varsity Network: Tuesday, June 18 (Live) at 7:30pm
Friday, June 21 at 7 pm
Sunday, June 23 at 9 am
Friday, July 26 at 7 pm
Sunday July 28 at 9 am
Sunday, August 25 at 9 am
Friday, August 30 at 7 pm

MSG Network: Saturday, July 6 at 2:00pm and Sunday, July 14 at 6:00pm
MSG+ Network: and Sunday, July 14 at 3:00pm
Game Day Media Credentials

Media interested in attending the game must formally submit a credential request via the Empire Challenge Web site (http://www.empirechallenge.com/media-credentials.aspx) no later than Thursday, June 13. Each media personnel attending the game must submit an individual credential request via the web site. Media credentials will be available at the Will Call Window at the ticket booth at the southwest corner of the stadiumâ??s main entrance on game day. Please present photo identification at the ticket booth. Will Call will be staffed from 3:00-8:00 p.m. General Admission ticket gates will open at 6:30 p.m.

 

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2013/6/prweb10839921.htm