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Comsewogue Warriors

Comsewogue’s Carson McCaffrey delivers in a home game against West Babylon. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

With the baseball season playoffs just around the corner, Comsewogue (9-6) hosted West Babylon (11-4) in the first game of a three-game series Tuesday, May 7. West Babylon struck first in the top of the fourth inning to take a one run lead, but the Warriors answered back in the bottom of the inning when Anthony Manetta drilled the ball straight away, plating Kevin Schnupp to make it a new game at 1-1.

Breaking the stalemate, West Babylon crossed the plate in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly to retake the lead, 2-1, but the Warriors were unable to answer for a final score. In a pitchers duel, Brandon Hancock just outpointed Comsewogue’s Carson McCaffrey.  

With two games remaining in their regular season, Comsewogue will look to improve their playoff ranking before postseason play begins May 14.

By Bill Landon

Comsewogue Warriors (No. 4) hosted Bellport (No. 5) in the opening round of the Suffolk County class AA basketball title chase, with both teams deadlocked at 21-21 at the halftime break. The Warriors led by one point after three quarters of play at 33-32, but Bellport exploded in the final eight minutes of play, defeating Comsewogue 51-39.

Comsewogue senior Vienna Guzman netted 11 points as did teammate Jalynn Kirschenhueter and senior Hannah Ellis banked eight in the Feb. 23 contest.

Comsewogue concludes the 2023-24 campaign with an impressive 11-3 league record, 13-7 overall.

The East Hampton Bonackers paid a visit to Comsewogue High School Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 3, with a score to settle having lost, 2-0, to the Warriors in early September. After a goalless first half, it was Comsewogue’s Dylan Raspanti’s header off a corner kick that broke the ice for a 1-0 lead after 25 minutes of second half play.

East Hampton seemed to have the better offensive press, clearly winning the time of possession in the final minutes of the game and testing Comsewogue goalie Ryan Worhle. The junior keeper, however, was able to stave off East Hampton’s late game surge to hold on for the 1-0 victory in the League VI matchup. Worhle had six saves in goal.

With the win, Comsewogue improves to 5-3-0 in league play with four games remaining before postseason play begins.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Comsewogue High School senior Matt Nowlan is named among Newsday’s top 100 high school football players of 2023. Photo courtesy CSD

Comsewogue High School senior Matt Nowlan has been recognized as one of Long Island’s fiercest contenders on the football field by Newsday, which recently named him among its top 100 high school football players of 2023.

“Matt Nowlan is a top leader of the gridiron, and being named a top 100 Newsday football player is a well-deserved accolade,” said Matteo DeVincenzo, Comsewogue School District director of health, physical education and athletics.

Nowlan, whose positions include offensive and defensive tackle, was highlighted by Newsday as being a top lineman in Suffolk County. He was also lauded for his strength and quickness.

Nowlan and his teammates led Comsewogue to a 43-35 victory in their season opener against Smithtown West on Sept. 1. In the latest game against Hauppauge Sept. 22, Comsewogue won 49-15 and is 2-1 on the season.

Nowlan is also a contender on the baseball field and has committed to play Division II baseball for the Molloy University Lions next year. 

For more information about the Comsewogue School District, please visit the district’s website at www.comsewogue.k12.ny.us. Happenings in the district can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/comsewoguesd.

After dropping the first three games of this early season, the Comsewogue boys volleyball team notched its first win defeating Central Islip a day earlier and looked to make it two in a row when hosting West Babylon Thursday, Sept. 14. 

Comsewogue led the first set from start to finish, but the team found itself trailing by five in the second set. 

Still, the Warriors managed to rally back to win it and take the match, sweeping the Eagles 25-21, 25-13, 25-16.

The win lifts the Warriors to 2-3 on the season. They will retake the court with another home game against Smithtown East Sept. 19. Game time is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.

– Photos by Bill Landon

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Northport celebrates winning its season opener against Comsewogue. All photos by Steven Zaitz

By Steven Zaitz

Students across Long Island squeezed one last day out of summer vacation Tuesday, Sept. 5, but the Northport Tiger boys volleyball team was certainly open for business.

The Tigers traveled to Port Jefferson Station and vanquished the Comsewogue Warriors in three straight games, barely breaking a sweat. The scores were 25-17, 25-17 and a final dominating game of 25-8 to close out the match.

It marked the debut of new head coach, Liz Capra — Northport Class of 2000, former lady Tiger volleyball star and University of Delaware graduate. She was the girls junior varsity coach last year and has now taken over from the departed Amanda DiPietro, who had piloted the team since 2008.

The Tigers dominated the match from wire to wire as senior middle hitters Brendan Fenlon and Peter Kucza imposed their size over the smaller front line of Comsewogue. Fenlon had eight kills and Kucza had six to go along with his seven blocks at the net. Setter Dylan Sofarelli had an eye-popping 23 assists as well as 6 digs.

“It felt like nobody could stop us out there tonight,” said Sofarelli. “There is no better feeling than that, and it was awesome.”

Capra was pleased about the way  the way the Tigers played as a team, considering that the season is in its infancy.

“It was a total team effort tonight,” Capra said. “We served very well, got the ball deep, and that kept them from easily setting up their offense.”

The Tigers took advantage by taking shallow returns and bombing away from every angle, spiking the ball almost at will against the outgunned Warriors.

Above, middle hitter Peter Kucza with one of his six kills. Photo by Steven Zaitz

“It’s a great way to kick off the year,” Kucza said. “Coach Capra had us prepared, she’s very knowledgeable about the game. We really had a good plan and once we started to get warmed up, we played really well.”

Getting warmed up was not exactly difficult for either team on this day, as it was 90 degrees outside at the start of the match and probably an extra 10 degrees inside the Comsewogue gym. In fact, the volleyball itself had to be switched out several times due to moisture accumulation and the floor had to be mopped frequently between points. None of these factors slowed down Northport.

“Coach DiPietro did such an amazing job of building a strong foundation for this program,” said Capra, who as a middle hitter won two Long Island championships and three league championships as a Lady Tiger. “It’s a privilege to get the opportunity to carry on the excellence of Northport volleyball as a former player to now, 23 years later, as a coach. It feels great to start off with this win.”

If Tuesday’s match result is any indication, it will be the first of many for Capra. When asked if she’s ready for perhaps a 15-year run of her own as coach, she displayed that she has already mastered yet another aspect of coaching — handling the media.

“We got to take them one match at a time,” she said.

That next match will be at West Babylon Sept. 7. Capra will make her home debut as coach against Patchogue-Medford on Sept. 13.

The Comsewogue Warriors hosted the Newfield in their home opener but struggled to gain traction in the nonleague matchup falling to the Wolverines 4-0 Friday Sept 1. 

Newfield’s Jaidyn Schuman led the way for the Wolverines with a pair of goals along with teammates Audrianna Scott and Emily Wall who each scored a goal apiece. Adrianna Francese had six saves for the Wolverines and Comsewogue’s Grace Peyton stopped 10.

– Photos by Bill Landon

West Babylon came knocking on Comsewogue’s door Thursday night, April 27, in a Div. II contest in which both teams held matching records at 3-6. The Warriors relentlessly pursued victory, though it would take five overtime periods to determine them the victor.

West Babylon scored back-to-back goals in the opening minutes of the second half, edging ahead 7-4. But the Warriors’ offense came thundering back, rattling off three unanswered goals of their own and tying the game at 7-7 with two minutes left in regulation.

Neither team could find the cage as the time on the clock expired, forcing overtime. Scoreless through the first four three-minute overtime periods, Comsewogue freshman Vienna Guzman’s stick would be the difference maker, breaking the stalemate and winning the game 8-7.

Comsewogue’s Gianna McNulty scored and had two assists. Teammates Gabby Constant and Kamryn McCrary scored two goals apiece. Freshman goalie Isabella Borruso had seven saves on the night.

The win lifts the Warriors to 4-6 in their division with four games remaining before postseason play begins.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River, at 5-0, took on the 3-1 Comsewogue Warriors at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field on April 19 in what’s always been a bitter Div. II rivalry.

Shoreham-Wading River struck first with a pair of goals in the opening quarter, but the Warriors rattled off five unanswered goals to surge ahead 5-2 before the Wildcats could counter. Liam Kershis’ stick retied the game at 5-all as both teams traded goals before the halftime break. 

Comsewogue attack Brayden Arias split the pipes to put his team out front 8-7 with four minutes left in the third quarter. Kershis then struck again with nine minutes left, retaking the lead 9-8 before teammates Ryan Wilson split the uprights and Alec Gregorek scored his fourth goal of the game as insurance goals. 

Kershis found the net again with less than two minutes, putting his team out front 12-9 for the final score.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Comsewogue bats spoke loudly in the bottom of the second inning when Laurel Chiaino, with bases loaded, drove in three runs with a stand-up double, followed by Emma Shorts driving in two more to put the Warriors out front 9-2. This lead, however, wouldn’t last long.

The visiting Sharks of Eastport-South Manor rallied in the top of the third with seven runs of their own to make it a new game at 9-all. Comsewogue showed discipline at the plate, laying off several pitches and drawing the walks to inch ahead to lead by five runs in the bottom of the third, but ESM wouldn’t go quietly, mustering another surge in the closing innings to retie the game at 16-all.

The youngest player on the Comsewogue roster made the difference when seventh grader Adrianna Napolitano, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, ripped a single and drove in the winning run, securing the Warriors the 17-16 victory in this League VII contest on April 3.

Comsewogue will hit the road with a pair of away games before returning home Wednesday, April 12, to face the Rocky Point Eagles. The first pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon