As summer creeps its way around the corner, football will be in full bloom in Suffolk County . . . for one day in May, anyway. The Suffolk County Football Coaches Association, in conjunction with the Long Island-based recruiting service, Blue Chip Prospects, will hold a combine on Sunday at Sachem North High School.
The combine, which costs $115 per player, is designed to test the strength, speed and athletic ability of players interested in playing college football. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Thomas Cutinella Memorial Fund.
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Athletic tests include the 40-yard dash, 185-pound bench press, vertical jump, standing broad jump and 20-yard shuttle drill.
Players can choose to attend one of two sessions. The first begins at 9 a.m. and the second starts at 1:30 p.m. About 130-150 players are expected to attend, Suffolk High School Football Coaches Association president Hans Wiederkehr said.
"When players leave [the combine] and are being recruited, and a coach asks what their times are, they will have something on paper from something that is run by people who know what they're doing," Wiederkehr said.
Additionally, the top 80 performers, separated by position, will receive an invitation to compete at June's NY State Elite Combine in Syracuse.
The Suffolk combine also will feature a coaching clinic that incorporates positional drills simulating football activities, such as running pass patterns, catching and throwing.
"You could have a great 40-yard dash time, but if you can't catch a football, it's not good for anyone," Wiederkehr said. "This takes your strength and applies it to the actual skills."
Longwood junior Matthew Weiss, who won the Zellner Award last season, given to the most outstanding lineman in Suffolk, plans to attend the combine. Weiss said he went last season.
"It lets me show my skills and lets me know where I'm at against other players," said Weiss, who has been recruited by numerous Division I schools. "If I'm not up to par against some of these kids, I just have to work harder in the offseason."
Although Weiss works in the weight room three times a week and throws the shot put and discus for the Longwood track team, the combine acts as a way for him, as well as the other participants, to get back in a "football mindset" before summer begins.
"If you look at all the other sports, they all go 365 days a year," Wiederkehr said. "Football, because of the nature of the sport, can't do that. They're no travel teams. I think that's great, because it protects the sport from people abusing and overusing it. [The combine] is something different. This gets the blood flowing for football season . . . It gets people hungry."
Elmont wide receiver Ashton Brown, Locust Valley lineman Spencer Matthaei, Half Hollow Hills West quarterback Alex Filacouris and Bayport-Blue Point lineman Dylan Ingber also are scheduled to attend, Blue Chips director of operations Jim Clark said.
Online registration is ongoing through Thursday at bluechipprospects.com. There also will be a walk-up registration option for Sunday.