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Rocky Point Eagles

Senior captains of the 2023 Rocky Point High School football team. From left, Ryan Meyers, Jeremy Graham and A.J. Aschettino. Photo courtesy Rich Acritelli

The 2023 Rocky Point High School football team hopes for a promising season behind their main senior players, even after an indifferent 0-3 start.

A.J. Aschettino, a team captain, is also one of the finest baseball prospects on Long Island, who will be playing for Northeastern University after graduating from Rocky Point in June 2024.

He will be leading the football team as a safety, running back and possibly even quarterback. Always a quiet team leader, Aschettino leads by example on and off the field.

Last year, Aschettino played well against Islip, scoring a touchdown and rushing for 120 yards on the ground. Against East Hampton, he had four tackles and an interception to help his team to victory.

As the league’s most valuable player for baseball last season, batting an impressive .522, Aschettino will also establish a solid example of hard work and discipline for the younger players on the roster. Longtime head coach Anthony DiLorenzo indicated that Aschettino has “great football knowledge, with speed and agility.”

Jeremy Graham is a senior captain who has played varsity football for the last three seasons. He will be active on the field, leading the team as quarterback while playing cornerback on defense.

Graham had shown flashes of brilliance last season. Against East Hampton, he scored three touchdowns, passed for 60 yards and ran for another 130 yards on the ground. On the defensive side, he had four tackles in last year’s matchup against Eastport-South Manor.

DiLorenzo believes Graham is a “gritty and gutsy” player who fights for every yard. Like Aschettino, he is an exceptional baseball player, having hit .400 in the playoffs last season. He will be on the Hudson Valley Vikings squad after he graduates.

Another excellent football player is senior captain Ryan Meyers. One of the hardest hitting linebackers in the county, Meyers will make his presence felt on the defensive end of the field as well. He will show his versatility in running the ball, where he wants to help the offense gain points against the opposition.

DiLorenzo marvels at Meyers’ physicality, describing the senior linebacker as having the ability “to run through a wall” to help his team win. Last year against Eastport-South Manor, he had five tackles and two sacks to showcase his defensive prowess. After he graduates from Rocky Point, Meyers will play lacrosse at Binghamton University.

DiLorenzo believes that these three senior athletes will help the team attain its goal of establishing “an uncommon effort, with positive energy and a unit that always has support and love for each other.”

Rocky Point’s Ryan Meyers goes the distance. Photo by Bill Landon

It was a high scoring game when the Hauppauge Eagles swooped in for a road game against the Rocky Point Eagles in the season opener, but Hauppauge exploded in the second quarter and never looked back, securing a 61-22 victory in the League III matchup Friday, Sept. 1. 

John Margolies led the way for Hauppauge with three touchdowns along with a pick six for another score. Teammate Christian Russo had 185 yards rushing on 12 carries for three touchdowns of his own.

Rocky Point quarterback Jeremy Graham scored on a short yardage run and threw a pair of touchdown passes.

Hauppauge retakes the field Friday night, Sept. 8, when they’ll host Amityville at 6 p.m. Rocky Point travels to East Hampton the following day with a 2 p.m. start.

– Photos by Bill Landon

In a home game against Westhampton Beach Thursday night, May 11, the Rocky Point Eagles entered the halftime break tied 3-3. Rocky Point junior Sydney Woods opened the second half with a goal, putting her team out front by one.

But the Hurricanes rattled off four unanswered goals, retaking the lead and never looking back. Westhampton Beach grounded the Eagles in the Div. II matchup, winning 11-6.

Senior Leela Smith led the Eagles in scoring with three goals, while teammates Kylie Lamoureux, Fiona Vu and Mckenzie Moeller each scored. Goalie Brianna Henke had six stops in net.

The loss drops the Eagles to 9-5 in the division, 11-5 overall. The team will now focus on postseason play which begins Wednesday, May 17.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Saturday afternoon, May 6, marked the 3rd annual Mike Bowler Day, a day of remembrance for Rocky Point’s legendary head coach who had led the boys lacrosse program for 43 seasons.

Bowler, who established the boys lacrosse program in 1978, died in December 2019. During his tenure, he amassed more than 600 wins, leading his team to a state championship in 2008. In 2020, he was named New York State Coach of the Year by the National Federation of High School Sports, an award presented to those who have made the most profound impact on the lives of student-athletes in their respective sports.

The event was met with warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine, after which the Eagles took on Mattituck/Greenport/Southold in a Div. II contest.

Mattituck set the tone early, taking a 3-1 lead after the first quarter of play. The Tuckers extended their lead to five goals by halftime. Rocky Point struggled late in cutting into the deficit, falling to the Tuckers 12-6.

Rocky Point’s Kyle Moore and Ryan Meyers each scored twice, while teammates Colton Feinberg and Ryan Negus both scored. Freshman goalie DJ Xavier had eight stops in net.

The loss drops the Eagles to 5-6 with two games remaining before postseason play begins.

— Photos by Bill Landon

From left, wrestling coach Ted DiPasquale, Rocky Point High School’s Alexandra Viera and head wrestling coach Darren Goldstein. Photo courtesy RPSD

Rocky Point High School’s Ava Capogna and Alexandra Viera each claimed All-State honors while competing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s inaugural New York State Girls Wrestling Invitational held on Jan. 27. 

The two student-athletes were selected to participate out of more than 500 female wrestlers from across New York State in the event that took place at the SRC Arena in Syracuse. 

Ava reached All-State status with a fourth-place finish at 120 lbs. Alexandra pinned her way to a New York State Championship, becoming Rocky Point’s seventh state wrestling champion.

The Rocky Point Eagles had their hands full, facing a stout defense in a road game against Comsewogue.

In this Div. IV matchup on Thursday, Dec. 15, the Warriors broke out early, taking a 22-point lead going into the halftime break. The Eagles managed to outscore Comsewogue in the third quarter, but the Warriors slammed the door in the fourth, putting the game away, 49-29. 

Leela Smith led the Eagles with 13 points, Julia Koprowski scored six and teammate McKenzie Moeller netted five.

Danielle McGuire topped the scoring chart for the Warriors with four triples and a field goal for 14 points. Hannah Ellis notched 11 and Lalynn Kirschenheuter banked 10.

The win lifts the Warriors to 3-1 in their division. They return to action on Monday, Dec. 19, with a road game against Westhampton. The Eagles travel to Port Jefferson Tuesday, Dec. 20. Game times are 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

After dropping their season opener to Bayport, the Cougars of Centereach looked to get into the win column during a road game against Rocky Point. They did just that, winning 46-28 in the non-league contest Wednesday, Dec. 7. 

The Eagles, fresh off their win over Babylon the day before, struggled against the Centereach defensive press. 

The underclassmen led the way for the Cougars, with sophomore Meaghan Grieco hitting five field goals and a free throw. Freshman Hayley Torres nailed three triples and a pair of free throws. Grieco and Torres matched one another in scoring, with 11 points apiece. 

Rocky Point senior Leela Smith scored seven points for the Eagles. Sarah May added five and McKenzie Moeller netted four points.

Centereach had another non-league contest before beginning league play with a road game against Smithtown East on Dec. 12.

The Eagles retook the court on Dec. 13 with a road game against Westhampton, opening their league season play.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was all Rocky Point in the team’s homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Eagles dominated the line of scrimmage with a 42-0 win over Eastport South Manor.
Quarterback Jeremy Graham punched in from short yardage for the opening score, then split the uprights for the point after kick to put the Eagles out to an early lead.
Later, Graham threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Viggiano four minutes into the second half and kicked the point after, giving Rocky Point a two-touchdown cushion.
Outside linebacker Dominic Viggiano, Anthony’s twin brother, blocked an ESM punt, recovered the ball, and jetted 29 yards for the score. Graham’s foot made it 21-0.
Eagles defensive back Liam Resinger scored on a punt return, covering 42 yards. The extra point gave the Eagles a four-score lead.
Rocky Point running back Joe Cecere ripped a 38-yard run for the score to end the third quarter to make it 35-0.
Cecere struck again midway through the fourth quarter with a 21-yard run. Graham, who didn’t miss the point after attempt all day, put the game away 42-0.
The win lifts Rocky Point to 3-1 at the midway point of their season. The Eagles will retake the field on Saturday, Oct. 8, when they travel to Half Hollow Hills West (4-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

In a League IV showdown between the Comsewogue Warriors and the Rocky Point Eagles on Saturday, Sept. 24, Eagles’ striker Emely Velazquez would be the difference maker.

The senior scored off a rebound, putting Rocky Point on the scoreboard with 11 minutes left in the opening half. Comsewogue had several scoring opportunities midway through the second half but failed to convert these into points.

Rocky Point goalie Marykate Abernethy had a busy day in net, notching eight saves on the day. The win lifts the Eagles to 3-4 while the loss drops Comsewogue 4-2-1.

Both teams retake the field Thursday, Sept. 29. Comsewogue will travel to Shoreham-Wading River, and the Eagles have a road game against East Hampton. Start times are 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

— Photos by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

It took extra innings to decide game one of the Suffolk A championship series between Rocky Point, the No. 1 seed, and visiting Mt. Sinai, the No. 3 seed May 28. 

With bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th inning, Rocky Point junior Dominick Carbone was hit by a pitch forcing in the winning run for the 5-4 final.

Photos by Bill Landon