Former Royal footballer named co-defensive player of the year

Former Royal footballer named co-defensive player of the year

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Port Jefferson grad Philip Lanieri III grabs an interception for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Photo from RPI Athletics

Philip Lanieri, a former Port Jefferson Royal and third-year starter at defensive back for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was named a co-defensive player of the year, after helping the Engineers to a 9-2 overall record, a share of the Liberty League Championship and a victory in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Asa S. Bushnell Bowl Championship.

He had a team-high five interceptions with 19 return yards in 11 games. He also broke up nine passes and registered 42 tackles, including 23 unassisted and two for lost yards. He had multiple tackles in 10 games and at least one interception in four contests.

He finished third in the Liberty League in interceptions per game (0.45) and fourth in passes defended (1.27 per game) on his way to earning All-Liberty League First Team, AFCA National All-America and AP Little All-America honors.

The Engineers, who are coached by Ralph Isernia, finished the season ranked eighth in the ECAC Lambert Trophy Poll.