A Hauppauge High School junior was among five students spotlighted statewide for their playwriting efforts in the New York State Theatre Education Association's annual contest.

Billy Recce, 16, and other participants were asked to write a script based on the saying, "Every dog has its day." The contest received about 30 entries statewide, he said.

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In Recce's 12-minute play titled "Max and Sparky," two elderly dogs bitterly discuss problems ranging from falling in love with a cat without their mother's approval to coming out as a "mutt."

For winning, Recce's play was performed by teens attending the association's conference in upstate Callicoon on Jan. 10-12.

"I was extremely proud," he said. "As a playwright, your goal is to get your work performed on a stage."

Recce said he's been writing plays since elementary school, including a musical comedy based on the 2009 hoax of the "balloon boy," a 6-year-old Fort Collins, Colo., boy who was said to have floated into the atmosphere inside of a helium-filled balloon.

Recce also is a member of his school's chamber choir and the National Honor Society.