The Half Hollow Hills West football team hadn’t spoken this summer about wins, but it has discussed W.I.N. Say what?
“We don’t talk about winning,” said Hills West coach Kyle Madden, looking at his wristband imprinted with W.I.N. “It stands for Wholeheartedly. Intentionally. Now.
“Wholeheartedly meaning you’re all in.
“Intentionally: you do everything with good intentions and on purpose.
“Now: you focus on what you can do now.”
Now, the Colts find themselves as the No. 1 seed in Suffolk II for a second straight season, and for good reason.
They have two of the top skilled players in the county, and maybe Long Island, in Syracuse-bound Cam Jordan, a senior wideout, and senior running back Alexander Filacouris.
Hills West — which is a combined 18-4 the last two seasons — would love to win a championship after back-to-back losses in the 2014 and 2015 county title games.
“It was an emotional moment at the end of last season,” said senior two-way lineman Tyler Manley. “I never want to feel that way again. We want to go back, and get to the LIC [Long Island championship].”
Second-seeded West Islip hasn’t won a Suffolk division title nor LIC since the 1994 season, when it captured both crowns.
“Being a two seed is just a number, and that does not determine our season,” said Lions coach Steve Mileti, whose team lost to Hills West in the 2015 county semifinal. “You have to go out and earn it.”
Third-seeded Newfield knows all about earning things. Last season, the Wolverines came from the No. 3 seed and won the Long Island Class II championship and Rutgers Trophy.
Fourth-seeded North Babylon has won the Rutgers Trophy twice in its storied history, most recently in 2002. The Bulldogs will be in the mix for a Suffolk II title, with upstarts No. 5 Hills East and No. 6 Deer Park looking to take the next steps to become great programs.