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Sayville still a threat in Suffolk III

Sayville's Matthew Selts gains yards against Westhampton in

Sayville's Matthew Selts gains yards against Westhampton in the Suffolk Division III football final at LaValle Stadium. (Nov. 25, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Suddenly, Bobby Boos is quite literally the center of attention.

That’s what happens when you shift from right guard to center on the offensive line and take over what Sayville football coach Rob Hoss calls the team’s most important position.

“I’ve never snapped the ball before so I’m going to have to learn how to do that,” Boos said at practice Thursday. “It’s definitely a learnable position and it’s going to be an important role. It makes me feel like I’m an important player to the team. I feel like I’m ready for it.”

At 6-1 and 270 pounds, Boos has the strength of a lineman but the feet of a skill player, forming a combination of size and speed that will be heavily relied upon in blocking schemes. As one of only three returning starters on the entire team, he will be the anchor on the line for Sayville, which has captured three straight Suffolk III championships.

One of those returnees is Tim Fraccalvieri, who started at left guard last season. Some consideration was given to shifting the 6-foot, 255 pound Fraccalvieri to bring some experience to the right side. But for now he’ll play alongside left tackle Joe Depompeo to help ensure that the quarterback’s back side is fully protected.

“I feel like we have to set the bar for the other guys and help them out,” he said of being one of only two returning lineman. “They seem to be picking it up pretty quick.”

They’ll be responsible for opening holes for Matthew Selts. The junior running back returns to his natural position full time after lining up mostly in the slot last season because of a logjam in the backfield that was led by John Haggart. Now back in his comfort zone, Selts has been showing off his explosiveness at practice, making cuts and changing directions without losing speed.

“This kid can stick it in the ground and go the opposite direction at top speed,” Hoss said. “He has vision that allows him to see things that I don’t see.”

Added Selts: “The line has been making it easy for me. That puts a lot less pressure on me.”

That line will also be responsible for keeping a first-year starting quarterback on his feet. With the quarterback competition still playing out, the frontrunner to succeed Zach Sirico under center in the Golden Flashes' highly successful spread formation could be 6-2 freshman Jack Coan.

“It’s a pretty big responsibility but we have a lot of good players on this team,“ he said of potentially starting as a freshman. “You have to block all the pressure out.”

He already has the size to see over the line, the smarts to understand a read, the arm to find targets such as Chris Rupp or Kevin Murphy downfield, and the mobility to scramble when flushed from the pocket.

“He has a competitive edge that is not seen at that age,” Hoss said. “He should have a deer-in-headlights look. He should be intimidated. But he isn’t. I know he’s young, I know he’s going to make mistakes, I know things are going to come his way that he didn’t see on JV. But he’s one of those kids where you don’t have to tell him anything twice. To know that I’m going to have him for four years is incredible.”

But with so much change on both sides of the ball, including a completely revamped 4-3 defense with no returning starters, Sayville opens as the three seed in Suffolk III, behind Miller Place and Huntington.

Unfamiliar territory for a team accustomed to being at the top. But the guy who will be at the center of it all this season isn’t ready to see the Golden Flashes' dynasty come to an end just yet.

“A lot of people don’t see us as a threat this year and I don’t think they’re right,” Boos said. “It motivates me. It makes me want to show them that we are always a threat.”

Tags: football , sayville , bobby boos , Tim Fraccalvieri , Matthew Selts , Jack Coan

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