Authors Posts by Bill Landon

Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Smithtown East girls volleyball squad entered the Class AA finals as the only undefeated team in Suffolk County at 16-0 when they squared off against Eastport-South Manor (12-4) with home court advantage Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The Sharks made it close staying within striking distance, but the Bulls played mistake-free ball and swept the match in three sets 25-23, 25-21, 25-19.

Sarah Moyer and Karson Catalanotto combined for 21 kills, while Mia Sullivan delivered five service aces in the win.

The win propels the Bulls to the championship final Friday, Nov. 3, at Center Moriches High School where they will face No.2 Hauppauge.

Game time is slated for 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at:                     

— Photos by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Ward Melville girl’s volleyball finished the regular season atop the League I leaderboard with a 13-1 record to open the Patriots postseason play with a home game against seventh-seed Connetquot in the Suffolk AAA quarterfinal round Thursday night, Oct. 26. 

Ward Melville made short work of the Thunderbirds in the opening set, winning it 25-16 but Connetquot returned the favor in the second set with a 25-17 win to even the match to make it a new game. The Patriots found their stride in the 3rd set winning 25-20 and finished it in the 4th 25-21 for the 3-1 victory to advance to the semifinal round. 

Ward Melville senior Paige Carroll anchored the team with 53 assists. Delaney Hart the senior paired with Alexa Gandolfo a junior and knocked down 32 kills.

The Patriots hosted the No. 3 Raiders of Patchogue-Medford Monday, Oct. 30, but lost a tight semifinals game 3-2 (24-26, 25-16, 25-9, 22-25, 8-15).

By Bill Landon

The Patriots of Ward Melville, the Suffolk Class AAA top seed, hosted Connetquot (No.4) Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, in the semifinal round, a game that was met by warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine. 

The game was scoreless through 39 minutes of play. Then Aliyah Leonard lobbed a ball in front of the goal where Adriana Victoriano headed the ball to the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead with 0:36 seconds left in the opening half. Victoriano struck again in the opening minute of the second half following a rebound for the easy goal to put the Patriots out-front 2-0. The Thunderbirds struggled to gain traction the rest of the way when forward Maddy Costello’s shot on goal found its mark to give the Patriots a 3-0 lead that prevailed at the final buzzer.

Goalkeeper Kate Ronzoni had five saves for the Patriots.

Ward Melville triumphed in the Suffolk Class AAA championship final Tuesday, Oct. 31, by beating No. 6 seed Smithtown East 3-0 with two goals by Breena Harrigan and another by Samantha Ruffini.

The Patriots advance to the Long Island championship round where they will face Massapequa at Shoreham-Wading River High School Saturday, Nov. 4. Game time is scheduled at 4 p.m.  

— Photos by Bill Landon

Brilliant sunshine bathed the 8th annual Thomas Cutinella Memorial Patriot Run that featured more the 700 runners Sunday morning, Oct. 22, at Wildwood State Park in Wading River sponsored by the Wildcat Athletic Club. Proceeds for the event benefit the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Foundation whose mission is threefold by funding scholarships to those area students who best exemplify Thomas’ ideals, promoting organ donation awareness and creating football safety protocols and their implementation statewide under the Tommy Tough initiative.

Thomas succumbed to his injuries sustained on the football field in a Shoreham-Wading River varsity football game at John Glenn High School Oct. 1, 2014. Thomas was a big believer in giving life through organ donation and then the next day, he did just that. 

Nine years ago, Karen Crowell, a Bronx woman in her early 20s, was gravely ill on a transplant waiting list desperately needing a new heart. Crowell got a second chance receiving Thomas’ transplanted heart for a new lease on life. A few years after receiving the gift of life, Crowell and the Cutinella family became acquainted and have remained in touch to this day. 

Two years ago, Crowell was blessed with the birth of her first child, something she thought she would never live to see but because of Thomas’ gift of life, she and her husband Cameron are now the proud parents of a baby girl, Colette.

For more information on the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Foundation visit

Photos by Bill Landon

Senior running back Liam Kershis bolts through an opening. Photo by Bill Landon

It was Shoreham-Wading River’s Homecoming weekend and the Wildcats, at 4-2, looked for a win on their special day, and a convincing win is what they got. 

Southampton arrived with only 16 players dressed for action as injuries have plagued the 0-6 Mariners.

Senior running back Liam Kershis set the tone early with a 60-yard touchdown run on the Wildcats’ opening possession. Kershis struck again on the Wildcats next offensive effort with an 18-yard run for the score. Sean Casey joined the fray with an 11-yard touchdown run followed by Chris Johnson’s short yardage run to put the Wildcats in the lead by 27-0 after 12 minutes of play.

Kershis had three carries for 104 yards, and sophomore George Greene had two touchdowns on five carries for 89 yards in the 48-0 victory in the Division IV matchup Saturday afternoon, Oct. 21.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 5-2 on the season with one game remaining before postseason play begins Friday, Nov. 3.

Photos by Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River scores the insurance goal. Photo by Bill Landon

It was the quarterfinal round of field hockey playoffs when the Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River (No.3 seed) hosted sixth-seeded Harborfields in a Class B matchup Tuesday night, and the Tornadoes would have their hands full at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field.

Jocelyn Kavanaugh broke the ice for Shoreham-Wading River off an assist by Haylie Abrams at the 4:27 mark of the second quarter to put the Wildcats out front. Harborfields had several opportunities to even the score from penalty corner shots, but the Wildcats defense was able keep the Tornadoes at bay. 

Sophia Minnion would provide the insurance goal for the Wildcats off an assist by Ellie Arena to take a 2-0 advantage three minutes into the third quarter. The Tornadoes wouldn’t go quietly, with Wildcats goalie Maggie Andersen stopping nine in the box. Harborfields keeper Lily Viscusi had eight saves on the night.

The 2-0 win sends the Wildcats to Eastport-South Manor (No. 2 seed) Saturday, Oct. 28, for a 10 a.m. semifinal matchup.

 – Photos by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Patriots of Ward Melville (5-1), sitting in second place on the Division I leaderboard, were looking to win their final two games of the regular season in a quest to displace top-seeded William Floyd, starting with a home game against Longwood Friday night, Oct 20. It had rained most of the day on the grass field at Ward Melville High School, but the weather cleared in time for the 7 p.m. kickoff. 

The Lions would strike first on a 30-yard pass play four minutes in for the early lead before Ward Melville senior running back Griffin Kramer answered the call with a 17-yard run to the end zone and with the point after tied the game at 7-7 all with five minutes left in the opening quarter. Four minutes into the 2nd quarter Longwood struck again with a quarterback keeper to put the Lions ahead, 14-7. 

Ward Melville quarterback Ethan Burgos rolled out of the pocket and threw to the end zone finding wide receiver Brody Morgan for the touchdown. Both seniors finished the job when Burgos took the snap for the point after, and Morgan split the uprights to make it a new game at 14-14 with five minutes left in the half. 

Longwood coughed up the ball on their ensuing offensive drive and the Patriots pounced when Burgos threw 20 yards downfield again to Morgan for a first and goal. Again, it was Kramer on the carry for the score, and the Burgos-Morgan duo put the Patriots out in front, 21-14, at the halftime break. 

The Patriots never looked back when Burgos, on a keeper, punched in from 10 yards out for the score and followed it with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Morgan to take command of the game. Longwood found the end zone one last time midway through the final 12 minutes of play, but it was too little, too late as the Patriots prevailed 35-21.

Ward Melville will travel to Sachem East on Oct. 27 looking for another win in the regular season finale before postseason play begins Friday Nov. 3.

— Photos by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

It was senior night at Hauppauge High School on Oct. 17, and the seven seniors looked to make it a win at home against Ward Melville. The win lifts the Patriots to 7-6 in the division, as the loss drops the Eagles also to 7-6 with one game remaining for both teams before postseason play begins Oct. 25.

— Photos by Bill Landon 

It rained on Port Jefferson’s Homecoming football game Saturday afternoon in more ways than one, as a steady downpour fell on the grass field in the matchup against Center Moriches. 

The visitors broke the ice in the opening quarter, finding the end zone on short yardage and finishing it with a 2-point conversion for the early lead. Port Jeff quarterback Ryan Filippi answered back when he punched into the end zone on a keeper from 7 yards out, but the point after kick struck the left upright. Center Moriches found the end zone again with two minutes left in the half to make it a two-score game. 

Neither team was able to gain traction in the second half as Port Jeff fell 16-6 as time ran out in the Oct. 14 Division IV clash.

The Royals (2-4) will look to put another “W” in the win column with a road game against Mattituck/Greenport/Southold Friday Oct. 20. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

It is often said that one play decides the outcome of the game and that’s just what happened when Shoreham-Wading River came calling on the Islip Buccaneers in a Division III soccer matchup Thursday Oct. 5.

Islip scored on a rebound from a penalty kick halfway through the first half to take the 1-0 advantage. The Wildcats mounted a late-game surge, getting off several shots on goal in the closing minutes of the game but failed to find the back of the net as time expired.

Shoreham-Wading River goalie Morgan Lesiewicz had five saves.

The loss drops the Wildcats to 8-2-1 (8-3-2 overall) for third place in the division, trailing Kings Park and Bayport-Blue Point.

The Wildcats have three more regular season games before postseason play begins Saturday, Oct. 21.

— Photos by Bill Landon