Some interesting matchups for the opening week of the 2011 season. It is the first football weekend Old Zog will miss since moving to the high school beat in 2008. Got a good reason, though. My son is getting married in an out-of-town ceremony. So good luck to everyone and I'll be back on the sidelines for Week 2.
Sachem North at Bay Shore, Saturday, 2 p.m. – Can the hosts’ dynamic linebacking duo of Josh Valentin and Ousmane Camara slow down the explosive speed of the Flaming Arrows, led by Dalton and Trent Crossan?
Patchogue-Medford at West Islip, Saturday, 2 p.m. –Two teams on the proverbial playoff bubble that would like to make an early statement. Pat-Med TE/DE Chris Makulik is a hitter.
North Babylon at West Babylon, Friday, 4 p.m. – Contrast in styles makes for an intriguing opener. It’s the traditional power running attack of “ground-and-pound” North Babylon, which lost 19 starters, against the blazing speed and finesse of West Babylon, led by WR Michael Richardson and RBs Reggie Robinson and Unique Ford.
Half Hollow Hills West at Smithtown West, Friday , 6 p.m. – Several of the top players in Suffolk will be on display, including Bulls’ DE Zack Naja, a sack machine, and interior line force Matt Morganelli and Colts’ Syracuse-bound speedster Devante McFarlane.
Islip at Kings Park, Saturday, 2 p.m. – Joe Sabbatino, one of the best linebackers in Suffolk, switches from tailback to quarterback for Islip. Good early test against the Kingsmen, who have veterans at the skill positions.
Bayport-Blue Point at Mount Sinai, Friday, 7 p.m. – Key matchup of the 4 and 5 seeds. Can the Phantoms continue the magic from last season’s playoff run after graduating many key starters? Mustangs QB Austin Kay is a three-year starter who completed 74% of his passes last year.