Cortland football players vote in Sayville’s Llewellyn as a team captain


Sayville graduate Max Llewellyn (No. 51 in the photo above) has been named a team captain of Cortland’s football team for the upcoming season.

The junior defensive lineman is one of four captains elected by teammates, the Red Dragons program announced this week. A physical education major, Llewellyn earned third-team All-Empire 8 conference honors in 2022, recording 26 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

“It means the world that my boys were the ones who put me in this position,” Llewellyn told “Most of these guys are older than me and have played more football in their lives than I have, so it’s humbling to know they trust me to lead them.

“My teammates are the reason me and probably most of us play here at C-State,” he continued. “They’re my family, so it’s an honor to know I’ve earned their respect.”

Cortland, a perennial college football powerhouse, started 2022 with nine straight wins, before dropping its final regular season game, 34-17, to rival Ithaca in the annual Cortaca Jug game held at Yankee Stadium. The Red Dragons qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs, but lost in the first round to Randolph-Macon, 35-28.

With Sayville — during the spring 2021 football season — Llewellyn earned the Zellner Award, which recognizes the county’s Most Outstanding Lineman. That season, Llewellyn — a three-year start on defense in high school — helped lead the Golden Flashes to a 6-0 record, a Suffolk County championship and the Rutgers Cup.

Llewllyn also played varsity basketball for four years during high school, earning All-League honors three times and All-County once.

The other Cortland players voted in as captains are offensive lineman Ryan Bitka and quarterback Zac Boyes from the Buffalo area and linebacker Zack Thuesen from New Fairfield, Connecticut.

Cortland opens its season at home Sept. 2 against Delaware Valley University (Pennsylvania).

Top photo: Cortland football captain Max Llewellyn (No. 51) inspires his teammates during spring practice (Darl Zehr Photography).