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Football, then fun, then back to football for North Babylon

The North Babylon High School football celebrates the end of two-a-day practices on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at Phelps Lane Park in North Babylon. (Credit: Newsday / Gregg Sarra)

Sean Perez walked alongside the Phelps Lane pool and stopped to speak with North Babylon football coach Terry Manning. The final day of two-a-day practices were finally over and the entire North Babylon football team was either poolside or in the water enjoying the final days of summer.

Perez, a senior, shared his thoughts about the upcoming season with Manning as teammates flew down the slide behind him laughing and crashing into the water.

"This is so much fun for all of us," Perez said late last month. "It's something to look forward to during the hard practices in the summer. This is great for the team and the coaches to just kick it back and relax for a little bit."

Manning, who manages the lifeguards in the Town of Babylon, arranged a morning at the pool for the North Babylon football team, with a team barbecue in the Phelps Lane picnic area for lunch.

"This is what we do man," said Manning, now in his 28th year. "We give these guys a day of fun and relaxation after a tough football camp. The reward is a day at the pool and a barbecue afterward. It's a tradition here in North Babylon."

With great weather and the North Babylon Touchdown Club cooking more than 200 hot dogs and hamburgers, the boys had the perfect day of fun in the sun.

"It's gets real very quickly for our boys," Maning said. "We open with Lindenhurst and the schedule is just brutal from there. But I'm proud of them, they've worked their tails off."

North Babylon opens at Lindenhurst, the defending Suffolk Division II champions Friday at 6 p.m.

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