Sayville's Matthew Selts rushes against Westhampton in the Suffolk Division...

Sayville's Matthew Selts rushes against Westhampton in the Suffolk Division III football final at LaValle Stadium. (Nov. 25, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Matthew Selts learned last year that nothing is guaranteed. You have to earn it.

It's great that his Sayville team is ranked No. 1, Selts said. It's great that the Golden Flashes return seven of 11 starters on offense and nine of 11 on defense.t wasn't great to Selts is that Sayville lost in the Suffolk title game a year ago. That has to change and the Golden Flashes' go-to senior running back is determined to make it happen.

"We've talked about not winning anything in a while," Selts said. "Nothing is going to be given to us. We still have to earn the No. 1 seed. We can't get too top-headed about that."

Sayville coach Robert Hoss agreed, saying his tema is "embracing" the top seed.

"They have something to prove," Hoss said. "Our goal is to play in that [county] title game. The expectation isn't any different."

Hopes are high with the return of sophomore quarterback Jack Coan, whom Selts called "a great player that improved a lot from last year."

But "so did everybody," Selts said. "We have a very special group coming back."

So special that Selts isn't too concerned with the Golden Flashes' game plan.

"I don't care what we do," Selts said. "As long as we get the win at the end of the day."

Huntington, which beat Sayville in last year's title game, returns two of its top skill players in Infinite Tucker and Devonte Evans. Blue Devils coach Steve Muller said it's going to be an uphill battle for his young club, which is seeded second.

"It's extremely difficult to repeat, even with the same team," Muller said. "With a new team, it's extremely harder. This year, we have a new team."

To Muller, it's all about playing your best ball at the right time.

"Get better as you go, stay healthy, and get into the playoffs," Muller said. "By then, it's a new season. You want to be playing your best football then and anything can happen."

Miller Place, the third seed, and Amityville, the fourth seed, want to be saying the same thing come November. The Panthers are banking on tailbacks Jake Buonaiuto and Andrew Bailey to shine, while the Warriors like what they have in tight end/linebacker Gary Looney and wide receiver/cornerback Brendan Paula.


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