Over the weekend, Back Of The CAGE caught up with the 37th ranked senior on Long Island and the returning leading goal scorer from Wantagh High School, Ethan Insinga.
The Binghamton University signee is a 3-year varsity starter who has been consistent throughout his career who earned All-Conference as a Sophomore after helping the Warriors' to the Nassau County Finals followed by a stellar Junior year finishing tied for 16th in points in Nassau County (64) and earning All County honors.
Adversity is something Insinga has faced and wants to utilize his role as one of the captains to share his experiences, especially helping the underclassmen to push forward when the going gets tough because he knows anything can happen. This years Warriors team has a special core group of college bound seniors and Ethan has his eyes set on going out with a bang, bringing back some hardware to a perennial powered program to finish with a fairy tail ending and why you should "never give up." With Insinga quarterbacking the Attack, Wantagh is in good hands.
Q&A w/ Ethan InsingaBack Of The CAGE (BOTC): Two years ago, your Wantagh Warriors were the Nassau Class C Runner-Ups but then last year, the team was plagued by injuries resulting in an early exit in the playoffs. You have lost some key contributors last season but are returning a solid senior group who have played together for several years now with whom 3 seniors are ranked in the Top 50. Do you think your team has the personnel and depth to make a run like you did in 2018 and if the 2020 season had a slogan, what would it be? Ethan Insinga (EI):
I think this year's team has the tools to take the next step. Personnel wise I think we have playmakers in every position and ultimately the experience that is needed to win games late in the season. Our core senior group has been through 2 seasons that included a county final appearance and a disappointing semi-final loss last season. We are trying to use this experience to help push the team to make that next step and finally complete the job. If the 2020 season had a slogan it would have to be “never give up
.” After struggling with injuries last season team moral did not stay as high as it needed to be. This season we as a team have to push forward, no matter what happens.BOTC: During your sophomore year when you put up 34 points in which you played a vital role in helping the team to a Class C Championship appearance when you turned it up and went off with 11 points in the 3 playoff games, you credited the seniors to allow you and the underclassmen to blossom in your roles with a quote in Newsday saying “The seniors have been with us all the way, knowing we’re a big part of this and they want us to a be a big part of this. They’ve helped us and guided us and it’s worked out great.” With having the experience of playing as a sophomore, playing for an open culture and now taking on a leadership role as a captain, how will you embrace the underclassmen and what advice will you give them that maybe you didn’t receive? EI
: My biggest goal this season is to be the leadership figure that I was lucky enough to have in my sophomore year. I was fortunate enough to have leaders like Tommy Rohan and Pat Walsh that guided me through the season and made me feel as if I were not an underclassman, but a key member of the team. This season we are going to have a lot of underclassmen who are going to play a vital role for us. In order for us to be as successful as we want to be, we need them to be playing at their best. Part of my role as a captain this year is going to be making sure that the underclassmen know that they are much needed in our team's success this year, just like the captains were to me my sophomore year. The advice I would give them is to take one game at a time. Enjoy every opportunity you get and make sure to make every practice and game count. Next thing you know it's all going to come to an end quicker than you could imagine.BOTC: What personal goals do you have for yourself for the 2020 season? EI:
This season, my personal goal is to get us back to the county championship. Playing in that game was an experience I will never forget and would like for the rest of the team to experience. More than anything else, I would like to see us finish my senior season on top. BOTC: What is your most memorable moment thus far? EI:
My most memorable moment thus far was easily our team trip to Arizona during my sophomore year. Taking a team trip across the country and playing teams from that area was an experience I will never forget and is something I am extremely grateful that I was apart of. That trip gave me friends and memories that I will take throughout the rest of high school and into college. BOTC: Why did you choose Binghamton University and what do you plan on majoring in? EI:
Binghamton was an easy choice for me and my family. Coach Mckeown and the rest of the staff have created an image for the program that I really want to be apart of. At Binghamton, there is a family atmosphere that really caught my attention. The stress on family stood out and made Binghamton the place that I could truly see myself succeeding. Both the quality of academics and athletics made Binghamton the place I knew I wanted to go. I plan on majoring in engineering, which is another major reason I chose Binghamton. BOTC: Are you superstitious and do you have any pregame rituals?EI:
I’m not too much of a superstitious person, but I am picky about the gear I wear. If the team is on a winning streak I try to wear the same shooting shirt for all of those games and change it at a loss. Before every game, I get a text from my mom wishing me luck for the game, usually with a motivational quote of some kind. Something we started doing as a team last year was putting a piece of tape over our hearts with the initials of who we were playing for that game. It was a constant reminder to play hard for the person over your heart. After every game, I would take the tape and put it on my locker so I could see it before every practice. I plan on doing this next season as well.BOTC: What’s on your playlist before games? EI:
My pre-game playlist is pretty simple, and whatever music is popular during the season. Lil Uzi Vert is my favorite artist and is usually what I listen to right before leaving the locker room. As for the team playlist, Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill is required and is something that we bump on the field before every game.
Check back to meet Syosset High School All American, Kendall Halpern.