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Bill Landon

Centereach's Annalie Buscarino makes a diving save off a penalty kick. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

With a 5-0 league record, Smithtown West hosted the Centereach girls’ soccer team, and on paper, it looked to be an easy matchup. But the 1-4 Cougars gave the team a run for its money.

In a raucous game that was stopped multiple times for players to receive yellow cards, leading to both fan and coach ejections, the Bulls’ lone goal came with 12 minutes left to play, as Smithtown West escaped with a 1-0 victory.

entereach’s Emily Tirado and Smithtown West’s Jillian Meaney leap up to head the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Centereach’s Emily Tirado and Smithtown West’s Jillian Meaney leap up to head the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

Although the Bulls spent most of the game on the Cougars half of the field, Centereach’s defense stood its ground and time and time again was able to clear the ball down field.

Play was stopped as the coaches questioned many calls made by the officials. There was a lengthy delay for an injured player with 27 minutes left, and a minute later play stopped as the officials ejected Smithtown West’s head coach Rob Schretzmayer.

With all the play stoppages, neither team could find a rhythm, and the game stretched beyond two hours in length.

On a penalty kick, Centereach senior goalkeeper Annalie Buscarino stood tall in the net, and dove to the right side of the net, deflecting the ball for the save to the astonishment of the Bulls’ kicker.

“They always come out hard and we were definitely expecting a lot, because they’re the No. 1 team in the league right now, but I think we did a really great job at stepping up and I was very happy with my team’s performance,” she said. “Defensively and offensively, we moved the ball and we have to keep up this momentum to bring in some wins this season.”

Smithtown West’s Jillian Meaney’s foot decided the game with 11:21 left to play, when the freshman’s shot found the right corner of the net for the lone goal of the afternoon.

“It was a short corner — we planned it before,” Meaney said. “I had a good angle to shoot and I just shot it.”

Centereach head coach Andrew Nardi said his team studied and prepared to take on the team atop the League III leaderboard.

Smithtown West's Sarah Harrington and battles Centereach’s Jessica Desena for the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Smithtown West’s Sarah Harrington battles Centereach’s Jessica Desena for the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

“Smithtown West — they’re undefeated, but we had a game-plan and we stuck with the game-plan,” he said. “And it helped us. We just got unlucky in that last 12 minutes.”

Centereach senior Lauren Buscarino, Annalie’s twin sister, was under no illusion that her team would have an easy time against Smithtown West.

“We were expecting a hard game, and we had to step up and we did that,” she said. “We kept our spirits up; we played up to their level. We’re both division [III] teams, so it’s easy to fall back a little, but today we played up to them.”

Meaney said she thought her team may have underestimated Centereach.

“I didn’t think they were going to be that strong,” she said. “We came in weak and we should’ve gone in stronger. I’m happy we were able to stay up, and we kept pushing through the game, even after all the crazy stuff that went on.”

Smithtown West assistant coach Steve Ianone said it was difficult for his team to gain any kind of traction during the contest.

“The game was stopped so many times during the course of play … neither team could get into any kind of groove, so we just couldn’t get a flow going,” Ianone said. “I was pleased with everyone’s overall performance on the field today, though, especially with the stop-and-go play.”

Kingsmen have won all six matchups, 3-0, this season

Carly Esterson opened the first set on a service tare, scoring 10 straight points. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

When you think of girls’ volleyball, you think Kings Park.

The Kingsmen have been a powerhouse for years, and despite losing strong seniors each year, the team continues its winning ways. In the still early season, Kings Park has managed to sweep all five of its opponents leading up to the Sept. 19 matchup against Comsewogue, which was no different.

The Kingsmen invaded Warrior territory, and although Comsewogue came close in the second set, the five-time Long Island champions prevailed, defeating their opponent 25-7, 25-17, 25-6.

Kings Park head coach Ed Manly was happy with the result the team put up despite its much different roster.

“We had a little bit of a different [mix] out there today, so that was an adjustment for our girls,” Manly said. “If you haven’t seen us play before, you wouldn’t know we’ve had a serious adjustment to our lineup.”

Sophomore Carly Esterson set the tone early with an unbroken service rally that put Kings Park out front 11-1. It was the setter’s first varsity start, but you wouldn’t know it, as she settled in scoring point after point.

Kings Park's Lauren Kloos tallies a kill. Photo by Bill Landon
Kings Park’s Lauren Kloos tallies a kill. Photo by Bill Landon

“I don’t really play much, but we were together mentally on the floor,” Esterson said. “We had good communication.”

Comsewogue struggled at the net — having a hard time finding a rhythm — as Kings Park demonstrated why they’ve gone to the New York State quarterfinals four out of the last five years.

Momentum shifted in the next, as Comsewogue closed within three points midway through the second set, trailing 17-14. It would be as close as the team would come though, as Kings Park slammed the door, taking the set 25-17.

Manly pushed deep into his roster throughout the game, and each player on the team saw action.

“Everyone from the first kid on the floor to the last kid on the bench got after it tonight,” he said. “They played hard, they were loud and vocal, so there’s a real sense of family on the court. They feed off of that.”

The Kingsmen turned up the heat in the third set, jumping out to a 13-3 advantage, forcing Comsewogue to call a time out. Looking for the first win of the season, Comsewogue head coach Kevin Parker did not doubt Kings Parks’ power.

Comsewogue's Georgia Alexiou battles at the net. Photo by Bill Landon
Comsewogue’s Georgia Alexiou battles at the net. Photo by Bill Landon

“We knew Kings Park was going to be good — we know their reputation,” Parker said. “But our girls have been putting in a lot of work this year. We’re building, and the hope is to turn this program around.”

Senior outside hitter Lauren Kloos said her teams’ preparation was no different from any other game, and Kings Park put the matter to bed, and dominated the final set, claiming a 25-6 set to sweep the match.

“We faced Comsewogue like we prepare for any [team],” she said. “We put in our practice and we get ready. Our sophomore setter [Carly Esterson] — the way she stepped up — she completely killed it, so to be able to communicate and adapt to a new setter on the court, we did it really well. I don’t think we could’ve done it any better.”

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Kaitlin Thornton takes a shot at Commack's cage. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Ward Melville’s field hockey team has outscored its opponents 14-1 through three games of the early season. Monday afternoon was no different, as the defending Long Island champions blanked Commack 5-0 on the road.

Last season, the Patriots picked off Massapequa for the Long Island title, downed Shenendehowa in the semifinals and took on Mamaroneck in a game that went to double overtime for the state title. It was a heartbreaking loss, which the team looks to avenge this year.

“It was a horrible loss, so obviously we have a chip on our shoulder,” junior Kate Mulham said. “We want to get back there and we want to win it this year, so every game we’re preparing for that — mentally and physically.”

Kate Mulham passes the ball to the front of the box. Photo by Bill Landon
Kate Mulham passes the ball to the front of the box. Photo by Bill Landon

Sophomore Jillian Bove got things going when she passed to Mulham, who rocked the box for the score in a game barely three minutes old.

Commack was able to keep Ward Melville at bay for the next 18 minutes of play until junior Kerri Thornton made her presence known with a shot that blasted into the cage to put her team out front 2-0.

“We came out flat and our coach took a time out,” Thornton said. “She spoke to us about that and we came out strong and played like the team that went to the states last year.”

It was the fewest amount of first-half goals the Patriots were held to so far this season.

“Respect to them, they’re a feisty group,” Ward Melville head coach Shannon Watson said of Commack. “But I think we were smart with our options today.”

The Patriots seemed more relaxed in the opening minutes of the second half, moving the ball with confidence as they waited patiently for an opening. Mulham saw that opening, and her shot hit its mark for her second goal of the game.

“We weren’t communicating in the first half, and because of that, we hesitated passing the ball,” Mulham said. “But in the second half everyone came out talking — we knew where the ball was, we knew where each other was.”

From there, the Patriots began to wear down the Cougars, as the team beat out its opponent to the sidelines and pressured Commack’s goalie through most of the second half. Then, Thornton’s stick spoke again. This time, the junior knocked in a rebound for her second score of the afternoon for the team’s four-goal advantage.

Kassidy Rogers-Healion drives up the field. Photo by Bill Landon
Kassidy Rogers-Healion drives up the field. Photo by Bill Landon

Watson said her team’s ability to move the ball gives the Patriots the upper hand.

“One of our strengths is our passing game, and when we’re passing well that’s hard to defend, and it catches other teams off guard a little bit,” she said. “We don’t waste as much energy when we’re passing like that and it works to our advantage.”

The Patriots’ defensive line showed why the team has allowed only one goal this season, and kept the Cougars off their side of the field — leaving them with zero shots on goal.

“We have a great defensive line,” senior Kassidy Rogers-Healion said. “[Commack] had several fast breaks, but we’ve got a great back line.”

She sealed the deal with 19 minutes left when senior Kiera Alventosa spotted her unmarked, and Rogers-Healion flicked in the pass for the 5-0 win.

Watson said although the team is focusing on taking it one game at a time, especially being a different team with some new members, the goal for this season is to aspire to the level of success Ward Melville achieved last year.

“They’re definitely hungry,” she said of her Patriots making it back to the state finals. “And they’re on a mission to redeem themselves.”

Centereach's Tom Robbert and Smithtown East's Matthew Selman fight for possession of the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

After 80 minutes of regulation, it was the overtime period that decided the League III boys’ soccer game Saturday afternoon between Centereach and visiting Smithtown East. Both teams were hungry for the first win of the season, but it was Centereach who prevailed, scoring nine minutes into the first overtime period to win the game, 2-1.

Centereach's Ryan Lauer blocks a pass intended for Smithtown East's Vincent DiStasi. Photo by Bill Landon
Centereach’s Ryan Lauer blocks a pass intended for Smithtown East’s Vincent DiStasi. Photo by Bill Landon

Centereach, accustomed to playing on grass, scored first when senior co-captain Ryan Lauer, a midfielder, dished the ball to sophomore midfielder Matt Gorski, who drove his shot to the right corner of the net for the lead with 3:56 remaining in the first half.

“We played well today, and I was pleased with our performance,” Gorski said. “I didn’t expect that it would go to overtime, but it was a good battle and I’m glad we came out with the victory.”

Fresh off a loss from crosstown rival Smithtown West, the Bulls looked to even their record when Luke Eschbach answered the call. The senior forward drilled one past the goalkeeper off a feed from junior defenseman Matthew Selman, to make it a new game eight minutes into the second half.

The Bulls, more comfortable on turf, showed no difficulty on grass as both teams moved the ball up and down the field with ease, but with few shots on goal.

As time expired in regulation play, both teams prepared for a new game in the first 10-minute overtime period.

Smithtown East head coach Mike Menendez said he expected to have his hands full with today’s game.

“Centereach is always a tough team,” he said. “Their boys play hard, they play well on their field and they were the team that came out on top. They were able to get the win so hats off to them.”

Centereach's Elmer Alfaro heads the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Centereach’s Elmer Alfaro heads the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

Centereach senior midfielder Elmer Alfaro charged up the left sideline out-dribbling his opponents, when he spotted teammate Ivis Trejo, who managed to find and open space in front of the cage. The co-captain dished the ball off to Trejo, and the junior midfielder blasted his shot passed the keeper to win the game.

“Smithtown’s a tough team — we came out a little flat but we played better in the second half,” Trejo said. “We had good possession today and we had good defense.”

Centereach head coach Jon Galfano said he was impressed with Alfaro’s play, especially leading up to the game-winning goal.

“Elmer Alfaro — just that run down the sideline at the end and then for him to have the wherewithall to pass it to a wide open Ivis [Trejo] was just beautiful to watch,” he said. “Elmer is one of those kids that I can put him anywhere on the field and he just knows what to do. Nobody works harder and he’s just a great kid.”

The head coach said he saw a much-improved team from the one that lost to West Islip, 2-1, two days prior.

“I felt that we lacked effort … in that first game of the season, but today we bounced back — these kids fought and fought hard and never gave up,” Galfano said. “As a coach, that’s all you can ask for. I’m very proud of them.”

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By Bill Landon

As senior quarterback Kevin Cutinella walked onto his home field, his heart weighed heavy.

Although his Shoreham-Wading River football team picked it back up where the Wildcats left off last season, extending their winning streak to 25 games with a 56-0 win over Center Moriches, things looked a bit different this time.

Down the field, between the 35-yard lines on both sides of the field, read “Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field.”

On the evening of Sept. 9, in front of a standing room only crowd, the field was dedicated to the former Wildcat who died in October 2014 from a head injury sustained during a game at John Glenn.

“A lot was going through my mind,” Cutinella said. “It’s extremely sentimental that this field, in a football game, is officially dedicated to Tom. This is a team sport and we leaned on everyone to make a contribution, and that’s what Tom would do and that’s what Tom would want.”

Kevin Cutinella sprints through an opening on a keeper play during the home opener against Center Moriches on Sept. 9 on the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Photo by Bill Landon
Kevin Cutinella sprints through an opening on a keeper play during the home opener against Center Moriches on Sept. 9 on the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Photo by Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River senior running back Chris Gray struck first on a muffed punt by Center Moriches, scooping up the ball and going the distance. Three plays later, freshman cornerback Xavier Arline intercepted a pass and took the ball to the end zone for the Wildcats’ second score. Unable to move the chains, the Red Devils punted the ball away, and again mishandled the kick. Shoreham-Wading River senior fullback Chris Sheehan scooped up the live ball and zig zagged across the field until he too reached the end zone. Kyle Boden, a junior running back, answered next on a handoff, bouncing outside and racing toward the finish line. The point-after attempt by junior kicker Tyler McAuley was good in three our of the four attempts, to make it a 27-0 game just eight minutes into the contest.

Senior quarterback and captain, Cutinella, struck next on a keeper play. He scored on a 54-yard run, his brother’s jersey number, along the left sideline, and McAuley’s kick put the Wildcats out in front 34-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter..

“I had no expectations, but we practiced hard all week and we came out flying,” Cutinella said. “Because we came out playing 150 percent, the score was a result of that.”

“It’s extremely sentimental that this field, in a football game, is officially dedicated to Tom. This is a team sport and we leaned on everyone to make a contribution, and that’s what Tom would do and that’s what Tom would want.”

—Kevin Cutinella

Gray scored again 90 seconds into the second when he shot through a hole up the middle and strode into the end zone untouched. He said despite big losses from last season, his new team, including the players who didn’t know Tom, have been dedicated to keeping their winning ways and “Tommy Tough” motto alive.

“We came out hard and maintained that momentum the whole game, and that really helped us,” he said. “Yeah, we lost 18 seniors to graduation — [Chris] Rosati, [Dean] Stalzer [Jimmy] Puckey [and Jon] Constant — but we have players that’ve been waiting their turn and they work hard in practice and that shows on the field.”

The Red Devils’ running game was extinguished by the Wildcats’ swarming defense. As a result, Center Moriches endured multiple three-and-out situations, and Shoreham-Wading River head coach Matt Millheiser leaned on his bench the rest of the way.

“With tonight’s atmosphere, the kids just came out ready to play and this team wasn’t going to let anyone stand in their way on this field tonight,” he said. “The breaks went our way early with the blocked kick and the good field position, and Xavier with that interception and took it back to the house, and after that, the kids relaxed a little bit and they played very loose, so it was a perfect storm for us.”

After a touchdown from senior running back Christian Aliperi, the Wildcats took a 47-0 lead into the halftime break.

Unable to mount any kind of a running game, the Red Devils were forced to throw deep, and Shoreham-Wading River junior cornerback Kyle Lutz intercepted a second-half pass. There was buzz along the sideline that another touchdown and extra-point kick would bring the Wildcats’ lead to 54, but a bad snap by Center Moriches left the quarterback chasing the loose ball into the end zone, where he was tackled for a safety that put Shoreham-Wading River out in front 49-0.

A memorial plaque rests in front of the extrance to the gate of the new Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Photo by Bill Landon
A memorial plaque rests in front of the extrance to the gate of the new Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Photo by Bill Landon

Sheehan fielded a free kick cleanly and plowed his way to the goal post for six more points, McAuley’s foot made it seven, for the 56-0 win.

Shoreham-Wading River hasn’t lost a game since November 2013, when the team fell to Babylon in the second round of the playoffs. Last season, the Wildcats claimed their second consecutive Long Island championship title.

Although it’s a new season with a new field, the expectations within the team remain the same.

“We’ve talked about ‘Tommy Tough’ for years now — what it means by how we play and how we carry ourselves,” Millheiser said. “So I think it was important, especially tonight, to play with that intensity and play with that execution and play with heart — and they did that from the opening play.”

For Kelli Cutinella, Thomas and Kevin’s mother, she felt both exhilarated and heartbroken during the first game on the newly-dedicated field.

“Emotionally I felt excitement for them, but it makes me sad that the field is named after my son,” she said. ”I wish that he was here with us, but Kevin is an amazing person — he made us feel excited for tonight — he has that kind of influence on us. I’m humbled by how the community came out, supported us and supported the football team and for the beautiful tribute to my son.”

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Northport’s Joseph Malico moves the ball while Huntington’s Kevin Gulizio attempts to steal. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Huntington’s Freddy Amador led the way for the Blue Devils Tuesday afternoon with a hat-trick performance that helped his team shut out visiting Northport, 6-0, in the final nonleague game of the season before both teams’ league openers today, Thursday.

Northport's Justin Carrano and Huntington's Kevin Gulizio leap up to head the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Northport’s Justin Carrano and Huntington’s Kevin Gulizio leap up to head the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

The junior midfielder hit the net first off an assist from senior midfielder Kevin Gulizio three minutes into the contest, and the duo paired up again six minutes later but this time Amador fed Gulizio for the 2-0 lead.

“The weather was a factor, it helped us,” Gulizio said. “We played hard, we came out strong and we finished well, but the key was how we started the first 10 minutes of the game.”

With rain that came down in sheets, along with gusty winds, the conditions on the field proved challenging for both teams. Throw-ins from the sideline blew out of bounds, long kicks stalled in the wind and both teams had trouble finding the net for much of the first half.

Despite the weather, Huntington head coach John Pagano expected it to be a tough matchup.

“We knocked them out of the quarterfinals in the playoffs last year, so we figured it would be a tough game,” he said. “But in fairness to Northport, everybody’s trying to see what they have, so you’re mixing and matching and you coach it a little different than you would in a league game.”

Gulizio’s foot gave his team a three-goal lead as the co-captain’s solo shot found the upper left corner of the goal less than 10 minutes into the second half.

Northport struggled to clear the ball and spent little time near Huntington’s goalkeeper, as the Blue Devils amped up the pressure.

“We didn’t come out here expecting to win 6-0,” Gulizio said. “We expected a hard game — they’re a good team — but we got some early goals and that made it hard for them the rest of the game.”

Huntington sophomore defender Edwin Garcia answered next off a cross from senior co-captain and defender Matt Gelb, to extend the Blue Devils’ advantage to 4-0 lead with 26 minutes left in the game.

Huntington's Josh Yanuck redirects the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Huntington’s Josh Yanuck redirects the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

Amador drilled a shot unassisted past the keeper for his second goal of the evening, and then scored his hat-trick goal to put the game out of reach.

Unable to score a goal, Northport head coach Don Strasser wasn’t impressed by what he saw of his team.

“We just did not play our best soccer,” he said. “We had an off day — it’s the first time we’ve played on turf this season, but you don’t want to make excuses. And that’s what’s nice about nonleague games, you find your kinks, find what didn’t go right and you try to fix them for the league opener.”

Huntington senior co-captain Mark Rafuse, a defender, said he was surprised by the margin of victory.

“They’re a good team and they came out strong, but they didn’t have a set goalie,” the sweeper said. “So they struggled at that position,” which the Tigers capitalized on.

Northport will travel to Connetquot today, Thursday, for a 4:30 p.m. matchup, and Huntington will host North Babylon at 4 p.m.

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Junior running back Jason Guevara rushes up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River hasn’t lost a football game since November 2013 when the Wildcats fell to their then-nemesis Babylon. Now, the team begins the 2016 campaign protecting a 24-game winning streak. The Wildcats’ winning ways will be tested after losing 18 seniors to graduation, and will have to lean on some unproven talent to keep the streak alive.

Junior quarterback Noah Block hurls the ball up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Junior quarterback Noah Block hurls the ball up the field during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

Matt Millheiser is entering his seventh year as the head coach of the Wildcats, which have amassed a 44-17 record through six seasons of play, even despite his first season at the helm resulting in an 0-8 finish. In his second year, Millheiser turned his team around, posting a winning 6-3 season and helping send his team to the playoffs the very next year.

“From the beginning, the idea was to just play good football and not worry about wins and losses, but we as coaches go out and coach, teach the kids to love the game,” Millheiser said. “That caught on and that bled over into the offseason by [the kids] working out and coming into summer practices. The more they enjoyed the game, the more they played the game and got better.”

From there, he led the Wildcats to consecutive winning seasons with 7-3 records in 2012 and 2013 before his team ran the table with a pair undefeated seasons, as well as back-to-back Long Island championships, making history along the way.

The Wildcats will lean on senior Kevin Cutinella, the returning starting quarterback, who will have to survey the field to see who will be stepping up to fill the void left by the 18 departed players.

“There’s a lot more team bonding that has to be done this season because we lost so many seniors who were big impact players,” Cutinella said. “We have to get the chemistry to where it was last year with those players.”

Dean Stalzer, a senior tackle on both sides of the line of scrimmage, said the preparation was not all that different from last season.

Junior running back and defensive back Kyle Boden breaks up a play during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Junior running back and defensive back Kyle Boden breaks up a play during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

“We’re putting in the same amount of work as we did last year; the new seniors this year have got to step it up and to be the captains that they were,” Stalzer said regarding this season’s and last year’s leadership. “It’s early yet, and we’re not coming out like a championship team, but I like what I see. I think we’re looking good.”

The team’s 24 consecutive victories is not openly discussed, according to senior running back and defense back Chris Gray.

“The coaches aren’t talking to us about this win streak, but it’s definitely in the backs of our minds so we want to keep it going as long as we can,” he said, “Preparing for this season there’s a lot of stress on doing the little things correctly. We’re putting 100 percent effort into everything we do — that’s what the coaches have been stressing throughout practice.”

Cutinella said he’s looking forward to the league season opener at home on Sept. 9 under the lights on the new field that bears his brother’s name — the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field. Kickoff for that game against Center Moriches is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “Two weeks from now we’ll be on the new field, and it’ll be great to play with all of the players that I’ve played with since I was 4 years old.”

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Senior wide receiver Frankie Stola makes a catch during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

With five key starters returning, Northport’s varsity football team looks to mix experience with a young rookie quarterback with the hope of making a deeper playoff run this season.

Head coach Kip Lukralle is entering his 31st season with the Tigers, and will lean on key seniors to set the example and to provide the leadership it takes to make another run at the postseason. Last year, the team made it to the semifinal round of the Suffolk County championship.

Senior running back Ryan Elliott rushes up the field with the ball during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Senior running back Ryan Elliott rushes up the field with the ball during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

Returning starter Frankie Stola, a wide receiver, is an All-Division player who will threaten deep down the field. Ryan Elliott, also an All-Division returnee, will handle the running back duties and follow the holes opened by returning lineman Johnny Milanesi.

The trio of seniors will set the tone for the Tigers this season.

“We have strength from the quarterback position and in our skill positions — we’re set [there],” Elliott said. “But we’ll have to work on discipline — staying on sides and our offensive line will be our strength.”

Returning starter Sam Gozelski, a junior, along with senior center and defensive tackle Dylan Keller-Adelman will add balance on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

Junior Ryan Walsh will have big shoes to fill in his first year on varsity at the starting quarterback position, but Lukralle likes what he’s seen so far.

“Ryan Walsh has the potential to be very, very good,” he coach. “You’ve got to see this kid throw the ball.”

The 6-foot, 2-inch the 180-pound rookie will be put to the test when the team hits the road to take on Ward Melville in the season opener on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re a senior-dominated team so we have the leadership and this team has been to the playoffs,” Walsh said. “I’ve been working with these guys in the offseason to build chemistry and get the timing down, and I feel very comfortable.”

Junior quarterback Ryan Walsh passes the ball during practice. Photo by Bill Landon
Junior quarterback Ryan Walsh passes the ball during practice. Photo by Bill Landon

Lukralle said he’s concerned about the rash of injuries in the last three or four practices, as he pointed to half a dozen wounded players watching practice from the sidelines, some of whom were on crutches, but said he was hopeful they’d be ready for the opener.

“We’re returning five starters from last year,” the head coach said. “We lost some key people [to graduation], but we have kids who have stepped up. We have decent depth [if we’re healthy].”

Stola said he is also confident in the retuning Tigers.

“Our team has really come together in the last week — you can see it,” he said. “On offense and defense we have a lot of guys coming back so we have experience. We were in the county semifinals last year so we know how to win, and we know what to do in the playoffs.”

Milanesi said he’s happy with the progress made this early in the season, but was most excited about his team’s offensive weapons.

“I’m happy with our quarterback,” he said. “He’s young and he’s gotta cannon.”

Mount Sinai held its Class of 2016 commencement ceremony on Saturday evening, June 25.

The bleachers were filled to capacity as Superintendent Gordon Brosdal congratulated the students and offered some advice.

Mount Sinai staff members and members of the school board handed out diplomas and cheered on the students, while valedictorian Patrick Hanaj and salutatorian Justine Quan gave poignant speeches. The band and choir performed to add to the festivities, and students were all smiles as they walked up on stage to receive their diplomas. The now former Mustangs then tossed their caps toward the sky in celebration.


Shoreham-Wading River high school held its Class of 2016 commencement ceremony Saturday morning, June 25.

After listening to speeches from valedictorian Kelvin Ma and salutatorian Nicholas Maritato, students were all smiles as they walked up onto the stage and received their diplomas.

Doves were released in honor of Thomas Cutinella after all the graduates’ names were called, and as the ceremony commenced, students turned their tassels before tossing their caps into the air.