Peter Sansiviero is a thoroughly Huntington guy. He graduated from high school here, taught physical education at J. Taylor Finley Middle School for 34 years and coached in the Blue Devil football program for 18 seasons.
Now long retired, Mr. Sansiviero has never been forgotten. He still attends football games and wrestling meets and was in the bleachers all winter watching his granddaughter, Reagan play basketball for the Blue Devil JV.
An award was recently created in Mr. Sansiviero’s honor to recognize the Blue Devil varsity football team’s outstanding lineman. The award was presented for the first time last week at the Huntington football program’s annual banquet. Hard-hitting junior Aidan Mrotzek garnered the inaugural award after a great gridiron season.
The teenager plays guard and defensive nose. “Aidan is a great kid and a two year starter for us,” said Steve Muller, Huntington’s varsity head coach. “He’s a quiet, but tough leader. He’s all in always.”
Prior to the award presentation, Mr. Sansiviero regaled a crowd of 250 with stories of long ago Huntington football and told the current players how proud they should be for their association with the Blue Devil football family. “It is something you will always be a part of; a fraternity,” he said.
During this long career on the sidelines for Huntington, Mr. Sansiviero coached the blue Devil offensive and defensive linemen. “He always contended that tackles and guards deserved greater recognition for the work they do,” said Ron Wilson, who served as master of ceremonies
A member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1956 the colorful Mr. Sansiviero went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Ithaca College in 1960. He earned a Master of Arts in 1968 from Columbia University in physical education and health.
A star football player for the Blue Devils, Sansiviero was a team captain in 1954 and earned All-Suffolk and All-Conference I first team honors under head coach Al Donofrio. Huntington finished 6-2 that season with Sansiviero standing out as part of a “power packed” Blue Devil “forward wall,” according to The Huntingtonian yearbook.
Following college, he was hired by the district to teach physical education and assigned to Robert K. Toaz Junior High School (now Touro Law School) in September 1961. He was on leave from the district almost immediately, serving in the military during parts of 1961 and 1962. He returned to Toaz in September 1962 and stayed there through June 1965. He joined the founding faculty of J. Taylor Finley Junior High School for its opening in September 1965. He remained at Finley until his retirement in June 1995.
Sansiviero served as a junior varsity wrestling coach for several seasons, but he left his real mark in football, coaching the junior varsity team and serving as a varsity assistant for many years. The longtime resident sent a daughter and three sons through the Huntington School District and they all remain proud alumni and community members.