By the time the playoffs roll around, Ward Melville is usually well prepared. That's not surprising considering they play in a competitive Suffolk League I with three-time defending Suffolk Class AA Brentwood and perennial contender Commack.
Ward Melville is hoping this is its year. The Patriots return 16 players, including eight starters.
"We have been in the playoffs for 14 years straight," Ward Melville coach Jon Stecker said. "We need to win a big game. They feel like they haven't accomplished anything yet. They want to show what they can do."
The Patriots have a physical team that is very fit. They usually don't have much size, but do this season.
The defense is anchored by senior Shane Dineen, who is 6-3. He has a great presence in the air and rarely loses a 50-50 ball. Senior defender Alex Wolfe is in his third year on varsity and reads the game well.
Junior defender Mike Zerbo and senior midfielder Andrew DeGrassi, who missed most of last season with an injury, will also play key roles. Senior forward Steven Nwojih has a lot of speed and a nose for the goal.