Suffolk Division III football preview 2012

Sayville's John Haggart dives for extra yardage against

Sayville's John Haggart dives for extra yardage against Westhampton in the Suffolk Division III final. (Nov. 20, 2011) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Can anyone beat Sayville? That's the question when it comes to Suffolk III football. Sayville went 12-0 en route to winning the Long Island championship last season. The Golden Flashes have won five of the last eight titles, including four LICs. Quarterback Steven Ferreira, who finished first in Long Island history with 6,411 yards passing and 73 touchdown passes, graduated but the Golden Flashes are in good hands with Zach Sirico, who throws a good deep ball and is a threat on the ground, too. He was the MVP of the LIC last season in which Sayville scored 78 points.

Sayville will continue to run the spread offense. The Golden Flashes just might use the run more with Sirico and running back John Haggart, who rushed for 1,285 yards and 14 TDs last season. Sayville will be very good again on offense with the duo of Sirico and Haggart as linchpins and is an overwhelming favorite in the division.

Miller Place is seeded second, the highest it has ever been seeded. Islip, seeded third, is traditionally a strong team. Fourth-seeded Comsewogue brings back most of the team after making the postseason.


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SAYVILLE GOLDEN FLASHES (12-0)

Coach: Robert Hoss, 11th season

Key Players

John Haggart RB/DE 6-1, 213, Sr.

Zach Sirico QB/DB 6-0, 171, Sr.

Matthew Iovino OL/DL 6-0, 240, Sr.

Matthew Starr WR/DB5-11, 165, Sr.

Matthew Selts WR/LB 5-10, 160, Jr.

About the Golden Flashes: Sayville will try and repeat as Long Island champions. There is a lot of strength at the skill positions and the running attack will be more explosive. The senior class is strong to go along with a talented core of sophomores. The offensive line's play will be key. Sirico, who rushed for 1.043 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, including 224 yards and a record six touchdowns in the LIC, will run the spread offense.

MILLER PLACE PANTHERS (6-3)

Coach: Ron Petrie, 12th season

Key Players

Alex Greenidge RB/TE/LB 5-10, 210, Sr.

Adin Greenfield RB/WR/DB 5-10, 170, Sr.

Brett Osman RB/DB 5-11, 175, Jr.

Chris Buchalski OL/DL 6-5, 245, Jr.

Mitch Holsen OL/LB 6-0, 190, Jr.

About the Panthers: The Panthers will focus more on the running game. The defense returns eight starters and is anchored by Alex Greenidge, who has 257 tackles in three seasons. The team has good depth and there will be competition at every position. It hopes to improve after losing in the first round last season.

ISLIP BUCCANEERS (7-3)

Coach: Jamie Lynch, seventh season

Key Players

Patrick Sheppard OT/DT 6-0, 240, Jr.

Brian Pitt RB/LB 5-11, 185, Sr.

Nick Patch OL/LB6-1, 240, Sr.

Vinny Peluso OL/DE 6-0, 190, Sr.

Zach Sanders QB 6-2, 185, Sr.

About the Buccaneers: The strength of the team is the offensive and defensive lines, which are both anchored by Sheppard. The Buccaneers have a lot of speed and can be an aggressive defense and a big-play offense. Kicker Eric Rosenthal gives a boost on special teams.

COMSEWOGUE WARRIORS (4-5)

Coach: Sean Tremblay, second season

Key Players

Ryan Keefe QB/DB 6-1, 175, Sr.

Dan Infanzon WR/DB 5-9, 165, Sr.

Ade Nelson RB/DB 5-11, 185, Jr.

Carlos Acosta RB/LB 5-9, 190, Sr.

Andy Steck WR/QB/DB 6-0, 170, Jr.

About the Warriors: A lot of the team returns, so Comsewogue has high expectations for a team that qualified for the postseason last year. Keefe passed for 400 yards and rushed for 500 yards, Infanzon had 75 tackles, and Acosta had 58 tackles and seven sacks last season.

WESTHAMPTON HURRICANES (8-3)

Coach: Bill Parry, 16th season

Key Players

Brian Culhane LB/TE 6-1, 190, Sr.

Jack Murphy QB/DB 5-10, 170, Sr.

Brian Corrigan LB 6-0, 180, Sr.

Peter Broccoli FB/LB5-9, 160, Sr.

Liam Culhane OL/DT 5-10, 210, Jr.

About the Hurricanes: The Hurricanes lost in the Division final last year to Sayville. The entire offensive and defensive lines will be new, but the quarterback and most of the skill position players are back. The team should be competitive again and make a push for the playoffs.

KINGS PARK KINGSMEN (5-4)

Coach: Mark O'Brien, 18th season

Key Players

Luke Toscano OL/LB6-2, 225, Sr.

Joe Guercio QB/S6-2, 190, Sr.

Tom Milich RB/LB 5-7, 175, Sr.

Tom Venier WR/S 5-9, 160, Sr.

Henry DiBlasi OL/DT 5-9, 245, Sr.

About the Kingsmen: Guerico, the reason why the team is moving to the spread offense, and Milich, a shifty runner, will be key players on both sides of the ball. Toscano, a four-year player, will play tackle, and that will bolster the offensive line. The defensive line is solid.

BELLPORT CLIPPERS (4-5)

Coach: Joe Cipp III, second season

Key Players

Nate Chavious RB/DB 5-9, 170, Sr.

Connor Cipp FB/LB6-0, 200, Jr.

Artie LeBranche OL/DL 6-0, 275, Sr.

Jake Saur OL/DL 5-11 5-11, 260, Sr.

Nick Kantor TE/DE6-4, 205, Jr.

About the Clippers: Although the Clippers lost seven starters on each side of the ball, they return a solid core of Chavious, Cipp, LeBranche and Saur. After winning the Long Island championship in 2010, the Clippers lost in the quarterfinals last year. With some promising underclassmen, the Clippers hope to be back in contention for the championship.

DEER PARK FALCONS (5-4)

Coach: Ron Langella, eighth season

Key Players

Zack Lugo, QB/DB 5-9, 170, Jr.

Sebastien Leonard FB/LB5-8, 175, Sr.

Skylure Pannell RB/DB 5-10, 165, Jr.

Thomas Reed WR/DE 6-3, 230, Jr.

Jonathan Binoso OL/DT 6-1, 260, So.

About the Falcons: Deer Park moves to a new division after playing in Suffolk II last season and losing in the first round of the postseason to North Babylon. The defense should be pretty good. The offensive line has to play well in order for the Falcons to be successful. The goal is to be in the top eight and make the playoffs again.

HARBORFIELDS TORNADOES (5-5)

Coach: Mike Potter, 10th season

Key Players

Jack Doyle OL/DL 6-0, 240, Sr.

Dylan Piscitelli RB/LB5-10, 175, Sr.

Charlie Fellmeth TE/DE 6-0, 185, Sr.

Andrew Walsh OL/DE 5-8, 205, Sr.

Anthony Fresolo QB/RB/LB 5-11, 195, Sr.

About the Tornadoes: Harborfields, the sixth seed, upset No. 3 Miller Place in the postseason, 22-0, and hopes to make the playoffs again. Piscitelli will be the pillar of the offense at running back and run behind Doyle, a dominant blocker, who anchors an offensive line with four starters back. Harborfields has depth and relies on quickness and intelligence on defense.

HAUPPAUGE EAGLES (3-5)

Coach: Joe Patrovich, fifth season

Key Players

Cory Wood QB/DB5-10, 185, Sr.

Dom Confredo RB/DB 5-10, 200, Sr.

Cory McCarthy OL/DL 6-1, 295, Sr.

Joe Calabrese OL/DL 5-10, 275, Sr.

C.J. Ciserano RB/DB 5-10, 165, Jr.

About the Eagles: Injuries derailed the Eagles last season, but it gave other players experience. The Eagles will pass more with Wood at quarterback, who is also a threat as a runner. If the team can stay healthy, it should be in the playoff hunt.

AMITYVILLE WARRIORS (9-2)

Coach: Chris Taylor, eighth season

Key Players

Sean Walters QB/DB 5-9, 165, Jr.

Eric Willis RB/LB 5-11, 190, Sr.

Deon Richards WR/DB 5-10, 175, Sr.

Robert Stafford OL/DL 5-10, 170, Sr.

Aasin Thomas OL/DL 5-9, 225, Jr.

About the Warriors: The passing game will be improved as Walters has two years of experience as a starter. He passed for 1,625 yards and 21 TDs and rushed for 902 yards and 12 scores in 2011. The Warriors also have good team speed. The key will be developing chemistry with nine new starters on each side of the ball.

HUNTINGTON BLUE DEVILS (1-8)

Coach: Steve Muller, 17th season

Key Players

Shaheem Lewis OL/DL 6-7, 265, Sr.

Ben Kocis QB 6-1, 165, Jr.

Tyler Greenhill WR/DB 5-10, 160, Sr.

Davon Nelson RB/LB 6-1, 230, Sr.

Troy Greene RB/LB 6-0, 190, So.

About the Blue Devils

Huntington made the playoffs last season and lost in the first round. There are a lot of new and inexperienced players, but they are talented and athletic. A nucleus of Lewis, Kocis, Greenhill and Nelson along with the new players could make this an exciting team.

EASTPORT-SOUTH MANOR SHARKS (3-5)

Coach: Paul Mastronardi, third season

Key Players

Matt Prokesch, QB/DB6-0, 185, Sr.

Niko Bedell, OL/DL 5-9, 265, Sr.

Mike Bianco, OL/LB 5-11, 215, Jr.

Dave LaGuerra, RB/DB 5-9, 160, Sr.

Austin Macchi QB/DB 5-10, 170, Jr.

About the Sharks: The Sharks are looking to build the program. The three-win season was its second best in the eight-year program. There is experience on the offensive line and in the secondary with three starters back. Prokesch and Bedell are three-year starters and along with Bianco, are the pillars.

ROCKY POINT EAGLES (1-7)

Coach: Craig Perrino, first season

Key Players

Matthew Amoscato OL/LB 5-10, 180, Sr.

Vincent Bua FB/DL 6-1, 240, Sr.

Nick LaSalla RB/LB 5-10, 185, Sr.

Zachary Yazak TE/LB 6-0, 190, Sr.

Alex Borja WR/DB 5-8, 145, So.

About the Eagles: The Eagles spent a lot of time in the weight room in the offseason and hope the toughness translates into wins. They will open up the offense more. The key for the Eagles will be being more productive on offense. A new coach tries to get the program on the upswing after a total of five wins over the last three seasons.

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