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Oceanside thinks it can be county champs

Oceanside quarterback Vincent Guarino looks to pass during

Oceanside quarterback Vincent Guarino looks to pass during the first quarter against Massapequa. (Nov. 16, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Jump the hump.

That's the buzz phrase going around the locker room of No. 2 Oceanside. Coach Rob Blount used it. Starting quarterback Vinny Guarino used it. It's a reference to the Sailors' inability, despite several recent outstanding seasons, to reach the county championship game. "This is the year to jump the hump," Guarino said. "We've got a lot of guys returning."

But so does top seed and two-time defending county champion Farmingdale. The Dalers have their own hump to jump. On their notorious Green Monster -- the wall that lists the school's numerous Big 4, county and Long Island championships as well as Rutgers Cups -- their hasn't been a new addition to the LIC box since 2001.

"We're definitely motivated to fill that box," two-way lineman Jack Keller said.

It's unfinished family business according to senior running back/defensive end Keyshawn Petit-Frere. His brother Kevin starred on the 2012 team that lost in the LIC to Floyd, and he was a member of last year's team that lost a tense LIC to Sachem North.

"My brother and I both lost in the LIC, so I'm very motivated to finally win it," said Petit-Frere, a disruptive force as an edge rusher.

Nassau I should be very competitive. In close games, give the edge to Farmingdale because of place-kicker Zach Kolodny, a possible Division I recruit whose field goal on the last play of the game ousted Massapequa in the county final. Oceanside's spread offense, piloted by Guarino, often overshadows a defense led by returning all-county defensive end Kyone Murphy. "Everyone talks about our offense. They do score a lot, but our defense can get to the quarterback and make him uncomfortable," Murphy said.

No. 3 Syosset returns most of its defensive front seven, led by end David Reiter and linebacker E.J. Aronson. No. 4 Freeport should be dangerous because of explosive running back D'Monte Woody. No. 5 Massapequa will rely on Piner Award runner-up Paul Dilena, a powerful running back/linebacker and team leader. No. 6 MacArthur, which moves up from Nassau II, features junior quarterback Jimmy Kelleher and a deep receiving corps.

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