They scrimmage every year. And it’s so much more than a preseason workout. The football teams at Bellport and Longwood play that preseason contest for local bragging rights and the Bellwood Cup.
"It’s unofficial and a lot of fun as the coaching staffs at both schools are very close and have strong ties," Longwood coach Jeff Cipp said. "Football is family and it’s a great way to get the season started."
The schools are not only close in proximity but also in fan and family interest. And now they can call the Bellwood Cup official.
Longwood was on the bye week in Suffolk League I. Newfield from Suffolk League IV was put in quarantine, making Bellport available for a non-league game. Hence, the marriage of Longwood and Bellport and another non-league gem this week.
Jeff Cipp, the son of legendary coach Joe Cipp Jr., who has been retired for 11 years, locked in the game at the field named after his father for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Joe Cipp Jr., who started the program at Bellport in 1976 and won 211 games, 10 Suffolk titles and five Long Island Class II championships over 32 years, can still be found walking the sidelines at both schools on game day. The question will be where does Joe Cipp Jr. watch Saturday’s showdown.
"I’m going to have to hide out there," Joe Cipp Jr. said. "I’ve been going to one practice for each team every week and I always wear neutral clothes. But for this game I may need my purple Easter outfit."
The teams have only met only once before, with Bellport winning a non-league season opener, 50-8, in 1983.
Bellport quarterback Josh Halpin and halfback Ka’Shaun Parrish have the Clippers averaging 33 points per game and off to a 3-0 record. Longwood (1-1) was beaten in its last game at Floyd, 28-8.
St. Anthony’s (1-1) at Chaminade (1-1), Thursday, 1 p.m.: Both schools were throttled by Iona Prep, the defending CHSFL Class AAA champion. The Friars had an impressive 21-20 opening day win over Stepinac. Chaminade is coming off a 34-0 win over Holy Trinity where halfback Mario Fischetti rushed for 245 yards and four scores.
St. John the Baptist (2-0) at Kellenberg (1-1), Thursday, 11 a.m.: Can the Cougars' defense contain Kellenberg quarterback Thomas Sluka? And what can the Firebirds do to stop St. John’s dual threats, quarterback Kyle Chase and halfback Mark Anthony Scott?
Lindenhurst (1-0) at Ward Melville (1-2), Saturday, 6 p.m.: The Bulldogs get back on the field after two weeks of quarantine. Lindy and middle linebacker Jack Winey will have to slow down Ward Melville halfback Nick Gaffney, who had 189 yards and a score in last week’s 29-20 win over Bay Shore.
North Shore (3-0) at Cold Spring Harbor (3-0), 2 p.m.: This is the only game between 3-0 teams this week. North Shore is coming off a big defensive effort in its 26-12 win over Wantagh. CSH quarterback Nick Visconti keyed an 8-6 win over Carle Place/Wheatley last week.
Garden City (2-0) at Sewanhaka (2-0), 2 p.m.: Sewanhaka has only allowed one touchdown through the first two games, but they’ll have their hands full with a potent Garden City offense and halfback Pierce Archer.
Oceanside (3-0) at East Meadow (2-1) 2 p.m.: East Meadow needs to stop the Sailors' passing game and record-breaking quarterback Charlie McKee, who has a school-record 56 touchdown passes in three years.
Miller Place (1-1) at Bayport-Blue Point (2-0), noon: Quarterback Luke Schartner has the Phantoms averaging 38 points per game. He passed for one TD and ran for two scores in last week’s win over Amityville. It’s the first time these teams have played in four years.
GREGG SARRA (20-4)
ROGER RUBIN (20-4)