09/08/12 12:36am
09/08/2012 12:36 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Frank Sierra scored two of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s touchdowns against Stony Brook.


The high humidity was taking its toll, particularly on The Stony Brook School players, who were going down, one by one, their leg muscles cramping up as a long football game dragged on. But the press-box view through binoculars provided an especially disconcerting image with 3 minutes 15 seconds left in the third quarter. Don Liotine, who had been having a super game for the Bears, was lying on his back in obvious pain, and it clearly wasn’t cramps. No, it was something more serious than that.

After a while, Liotine made it to his feet and slowly hobbled off the field. It looked like his night was clearly over. What Liotine was dealing with — and has been since preseason practice started last month — was painful shin splints.

Imagine the surprise of some, then, when just a couple of plays later, Liotine was back on the field, making a tackle for no gain, no less. It takes a lot more than shin splints to keep a determined player like Liotine on the sideline.

“I only go down if I break something,” he said. “I got to stay out there. I got to keep the team up.”

Liotine gave Stony Brook a big boost with his inspired play. The senior played with shin splints, but it was Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island that felt the pain on opening night of the 2012 high school football season in Suffolk County.

Shin splints didn’t prevent Liotine from playing in the season opener or from running for four touchdowns and 243 yards in a 38-21 defeat of the visiting Porters on Friday night. It was quite a performance by the player who, aside from the work he did as a running back, made eight tackles and defended three passes as a free safety in addition to blocking a punt. He even kicked a couple of extra points, to boot.

“He’s a great high school football player, man, probably one of the best we’ve had at this school,” said Stony Brook coach Kris Ryan.

The Porters, seeded 11th in Conference IV, unveiled their brand new spread offense with mixed results. Under the direction of sophomore quarterback Matt Drinkwater, who made his first varsity start, the Porters totaled 315 yards of offense and gained 17 first downs. But the Porters completed only 10 of 33 passes for 147 yards. Their first nine passes were incomplete.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s Frank Sierra, left, and Willie Riggins, right, converged on Stony Brook running back Don Liotine.

“As the game went on it got better, and I think it will continue to improve,” Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island coach Jack Martilotta said. “It takes practice. It takes time.”

Meanwhile, No. 10 seed Stony Brook managed to overcome 15 penalties and three turnovers with 463 yards of offense. The Bears have quick-strike, big-play ability.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Liotine showed his vision, balance and speed on one play when he scored the game’s final touchdown on a dazzling 91-yard run with 2:41 left to play. He also had a pair of 38-yard touchdown runs and seven-yard score in the first half, when the Bears forged a 32-14 lead.

“He’s an amazing kid, and he works hard,” Ryan said. “He’s a workout warrior. His dream is to play college football, and I’m hoping that this season gets it going for him.”

Liotine’s first touchdown run came after he received a direct snap from the Wildcat formation, something Stony Brook turned to last year after losing its top two quarterbacks to injuries. “It’s a way to mix things up,” said Ryan.

Liotine didn’t run like he was hurting, but he was. “You feel it on every cut,” he said.

A passer, Marco Masakayan, and a receiver, Tyler Hoegsberg, also figured prominently in Stony Brook’s victory. Masakayan, the senior quarterback, had missed most of last season with an injury. Playing in his first game since Week 2 of last year, Masakayan accounted for 172 yards on 6-for-15 passing. He threw a pair of touchdown passes to Hoegsberg (three catches, 140 yards). Hoegsberg was wide open behind the Porters’ secondary for both of those scores, covering distances of 51 and 62 yards.

“We believe in our players,” Ryan said. “I learned that they are much better football players than they were last year. They worked hard in the offseason. They bought into what we’re doing here. They believe in the coaches, and they executed, and because of that they are head and shoulders above where they were last year.”

Stony Brook surged to a 25-0 lead before the Porters struck for two touchdowns within a span of 92 seconds late in the second quarter. Frank Sierra (30 carries, 135 yards) carried the ball in untouched from three yards out for the first score. Then, after Jack Volinski recovered a fumble, giving the Porters possession in Stony Brook territory, Drinkwater fired a 20-yard strike to Gene Allen in the end zone.

Sierra picked up a second touchdown for himself, thanks to some alert play on his part. When the ball was jarred loose from a teammate’s hands, Sierra scooped up the fumble and dashed 55 yards to the end zone in the fourth quarter. John Drinkwater’s extra point made it an 11-point game at 32-21, but that was as close as the Porters got. It wasn’t enough for the Porters to avoid losing their sixth straight game, a stretch that goes back to last season.

“There’s a lot of things that we can fix going forward, and we’re going to,” Martilotta said. “We’re going to be successful.”

Speaking of his players, the coach said: “I think they have a lot of heart. I thought that the effort was great. They fought to the very end. They kept their heads up. They have something to be proud of. They didn’t win today. You don’t win every game, but they came out and they played very hard.”

Stony Brook’s defense was bolstered by Ed Kim (11 tackles, one fumble recovery, two passes defended, one sack), Benjamin Fye (nine tackles) and David Jensen (five tackles, three sacks).

“We’re tough,” Liotine said. “We don’t have a lot of size, we don’t have a lot of depth, but we’ll fight. We’re fighters.”

Before the euphoria of victory had worn off, Liotine was asked how he felt and whether he could still feel the pain that comes with the game.

He said, “I’m so exhausted that everything hurts.”

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09/05/12 8:00pm
09/05/2012 8:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Sal Loverde is one of the quarterbacks being considered to run Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s new spread offense.

Jack Martilotta, the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island coach, loves this time of the year, when the football season is just about to kick off. “How can you not?” he asked. “It’s like pizza, you know. [Even if] it’s bad pizza, it’s still pizza.”

The football equivalent of bad pizza for the Porters might have been last season when they managed only one win from eight games, finishing the season with a five-game losing streak. They ended up in 12th place, two places from the bottom of Suffolk County Conference IV.

“We had some issues, and I think we worked through them,” said Martilotta, who brings a 6-11 record with him into his third season as the team’s coach.

Along with footballs, change is in the air these days at Greenport High School. The days of the power-I offense in Greenport are gone — at least for now. The Porters’ offense, under the direction of new offensive coordinator Dale Gross, has switched to the spread formation, which promises surprises and unpredictability. With it, the Porters hope, will come points.

“It’s been running smoothly in practice,” said Eugene Allen, who can play wide receiver, quarterback and defensive back. “I just can’t wait.”

Martilotta said: “So far, so good. There are still some growing pains, but we expect that. It’s impressive how much the kids have been able to pick up so far, it really is.”

The Porters, seeded 11th in the conference by the coaches, have eight returning starters to build around, including two all-league players, senior lineman Marc Proferes and senior linebacker Ray Thilberg. Senior linemen Ben Pileski and Tevin Parrish were also regulars last year along with junior wide receiver/defensive back Jack Volinski, junior offensive lineman/linebacker Connor Andersen, junior running back Frank Sierra and senior wide receiver/defensive back Ed Wright.

Other players offer varsity experience, too, players like running back/defensive back Christian Angelson, linebacker Sal Loverde, and linemen John Bakowski, Chris Manwaring and Codey Fisher.

New additions Eugene Allen and Timmy Stevens should help at wide receiver. Allen can also play defensive back.

“Last year was a tough season as far as wins and losses,” Martilotta said, “but we got a lot of younger kids experience, so a lot of these younger kids coming up as juniors have a full year under their belt so they know what to expect, and that’s really going to help us this year.”

Martilotta said the quarterback position hasn’t been settled, but Loverde was in the mix along with Allen and Jared Shenone.

Gross, who likes flash and excitement in his offense, said the version of the spread that the Porters will run hasn’t been seen on Long Island before. “You can’t pound the ball any more,” he said. “You got to find the way to outscheme teams. We’re going to try it.”

The 4-3 defense overseen by defensive coordinator Mike Miller has looked good, said Martilotta.

“We got some real big boys on that defensive line, and that’s going to be good,” Martilotta said. “Our linebackers have experience. That will be helpful. We’ll be a hard-hitting team, that’s to be sure.”

The Porters go from a brutal 2011 schedule to a more forgiving one that will start Sept. 7 at The Stony Brook School, the only team the Porters gained a win from last year.

Even a losing season like last year’s for the Porters can be a motivational took, Loverde said, “to look back on what happened and make sure that never happens again.” He said, “We’re aiming for a positive season.”

Martilotta said the players are improving, working hard and dedicated. “They’re all about making sure we get as many wins as we can,” he said. “They want to win. Kids always want to win. It’s only eight games [in the regular season]. We have to make the most out of every opportunity. As long as the kids can keep up their intensity and they keep their focus on the field, I think we’ll be O.K.”

It sounded like Martilotta was looking forward to the season, but then again, there is nothing unusual about that. He enjoys the arrival of September, and with it a new high school football season.

“This is an exciting time,” he said. “It’s one of the rare things in life where you get to start anew each year.”

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08/24/12 8:00pm
08/24/2012 8:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Codey Fisher looks likely to play one of the offensive tackle positions for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island.

With each preseason practice, the vision of what the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island football team will look like for the team’s Sept. 7 season-opener at The Stony Brook School becomes a little clearer. The question of what the offensive line will look by then remains fuzzy.

The offensive line was the subject of discussion for coach Jack Martilotta and his coaching staff following Thursday morning’s practice at Greenport High School. For good reason, too. As clichéd as it sounds, there is a great deal of truth in the belief that a football team will go only as far as its offensive line takes it. Certainly, no one has to tell Martilotta how vital the offensive line is.

“It can win or lose the game,” he said. “If there’s a breakdown up there, nothing else is going to function. If they’re not blocking, we’re not running. If they’re not blocking, we’re not passing. That’s as important, if not more important, than anything else we do.”

Thus the talk about who will be on the line and who will be playing where. A week since the official start of preseason practice, the Porters are in the process of sorting things out. It seems likely that senior Marc Proferes, an all-league offensive tackle last year, will be moved to guard, junior Codey Fisher and senior Ben Pileski will man the offensive tackle spots, and junior Conner Andersen will play center. Also in the mix are senior Mike Partridge, senior Tevin Parrish, sophomore John Bakowski and sophomore Willie Riggins.

Then again, Martilotta said nothing is set in stone.

One offensive lineman, Joe O’Brien, has been lost temporarily. O’Brien, a junior who participated in the team’s first few practices, has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. He will be out four weeks at the most, said Martilotta.

The offensive line was on the green side last season when the Porters went 1-7.

“Last year we had a lot of younger kids on the offensive line and they made a lot of younger-kid mistakes, so there is room for improvement from last year,” said Martilotta, who expects better things from linemen who have grown wiser and bigger since last year. “They’re all strong, and they spent a lot of time in the weight room in the offseason.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Aches and pains are part of preseason training camp. Offensive linemen Marc Proferes, left, and Mike Partridge icing ailing shoulders during Thursday morning’s practice.

Fisher has been impressed by what he has seen so far from the offensive linemen. “I think it’s awesome because we’re always on the ball, keep on going, keep on going, wearing down that defense, and they have no time to make a play,” said the third-year varsity player.

The Porters’ transition to the spread offense this year isn’t expected to have too much of an impact on the linemen, aside from not huddling between plays and doing more pass blocking. “Other than that, everything is pretty straightforward,” said Proferes.

Then again, perhaps the more frequent pass blocking shouldn’t be glossed over. “That’s a hard thing for high school kids to do, and we’re going to be spending a lot of time making sure we know how to do it,” said Martilotta.

The line is built around Proferes, who was valued for his run blocking last season. “He’s a very good run blocker,” Martilotta said. “The kids look up to him. He’s also an honor student. He’s a big, strong kid, and he can move people around, and that’s really important to have.”

Proferes, Fisher and perhaps some of their fellow linemen also have something else: bumps and bruises. Proferes, who has been on the varsity team since he was a freshman, said he is dealing with a bad shoulder. “It hurts every once in a while, but I can get through it,” he said. Fisher has eight staples in his knee from a collision he had with a set of bleachers in December. “So far, so good,” Fisher said. “I have no complaints. It’s been fun exercising and getting back with my friends, my fellow teammates I haven’t seen in a while.”

Like their teammates, the linemen are doing a lot of conditioning work under the guidance of the team’s new line coach, Joe Dellaposta, as they prepare for the rigors that come with hitting in a 48-minute game. The school of hard knocks has opened.

“It’s great. I love it. There’s nothing better,” Proferes said of training camp. “This is when it all counts.”

Proferes said work on technique is equally as important as conditioning, though, especially for the younger linemen. “We need to get the little things right before we move on,” he said. “We definitely need some work. We have a lot of young kids. They got to learn from the ground up.”

While their teammates at the skilled positions may look at scoring a touchdown as their biggest thrill in a game, offensive linemen see things differently.

“I like laying a good hit into someone,” said Proferes.

What does Fisher get a charge out of from playing on the line?

“When we make our blocks and the whole crowd is screaming and the running back is just going, it makes me proud,” he said. “It just puts a smile on my face to see him go.”

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08/21/12 8:00am
08/21/2012 8:00 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Sal Loverde is a key player in Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s new spread offense.

Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football fans will see something this fall that they have never seen before. At least not from the Porters.

The trendy spread offense has come to Greenport.

A new offensive coordinator, Dale Gross, brings with him a new offense that the Porters hope will light up the scoreboard. High school teams such as Amityville, Elwood/John Glenn, Sayville and William Floyd have made effective use of the spread. The Porters are hoping for similar results.

“It’s fun, exciting, fast-paced football,” Gross said. “It takes advantage of mismatches and you need athletes to use it.”

He added: “This version of it, I don’t think anybody on Long Island has really seen yet. It will be exciting. It will be something new.”

This isn’t your grandfather’s offense. In Greenport, where fans are more accustomed to watching a run-first approach from the power I, the Porters see the spread as the best way to make use of their athleticism and keep opponents guessing.

“It’s the element of surprise,” Gross said. “You really don’t know where the ball is going to go at any time.”

Coaches and players say the spread provides the team with a variety of options from various formations. Because the system is so drastically different than what the Porters have used in the past, they might be unrecognizable, if not for their uniforms.

“We’re going to come out, and people are going to be like, ‘Who is this?’ ” said Eugene Allen, a junior who plays quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback.

In the spread, the quarterback stands in shotgun formation most of the time. A no-huddle approach is often used, and as many as five wide receivers may be on the field. Also, the offensive linemen may be separated by wide splits.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Fast, sure-handed players like Eugene Allen prompted Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s conversion to the spread offense.

The purpose of it all is to try to stretch the defense and open up seams.

“You don’t know what’s coming,” said Sal Loverde, a junior who plays quarterback, wide receiver and linebacker. “It’s crazy.”

The spread seems to be popular with players. It may be fun to employ, some say, but it can also be effective.

“I think it’s going to help in a big way because we’ve never done something so complex as this,” Loverde said. “We’re going to come out and do these plays, and teams are just going to be in shock. They’re not going to know how to defend it.”

Gross played for Sayville’s Rutgers Trophy-winning team in 2004 and later at Averett University (Va.). He became a student assistant coach at Averett, working with the offensive linemen and tight ends. Last year he was an assistant at The Apprentice School (Va.). Gross said he has been working on the spread for about two years. He said the spread was tinkered with at The Apprentice School, but not used much because the team didn’t have the sort of athletes needed to make it work.

Porters coaches, on the other hand, say they have the athletes and the time is right for adopting the spread. In addition to having players who can throw and catch the ball, the Porters possess speed in the form of players like Jack Volinski, Eddie Wright, Christian Angelson and Allen.

“It seemed like such a great fit,” head coach Jack Martilotta said. “I feel like with the offense we have we’ll be able to involve a lot more kids in it because there’s a part for everybody in the offense. I think it allows us to play to the kids’ strengths. It’s flexible enough that we can make adjustments. We can pass the ball. We can put kids in a position to be successful.”

That must sound like music to the ears of a team that went 1-7 last year.

“Skill-wise you need athletes,” Gross said. “You need guys who are going to go up and get the ball and be able to make quick cuts, and you need a good, conditioned line. You need a good, conditioned team. You need to be in top shape to be able to run this. If you’re not, it’s not going to work.”

For the players, turning to the spread means studying a new playbook and receiving chalkboard instruction.

“It’s been running smoothly in practice,” Allen said. “Everyone’s comfortable with it already.”

The first big test will come Aug. 31 when the Porters will scrimmage Huntington.

Following Monday morning’s practice, Gross said about half of the playbook had been installed. “We’re taking our time because it’s new to everybody here,” he said. “We’ll take our time and make sure it’s done right.”

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08/17/12 8:00pm
08/17/2012 8:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Junior running back Frank Sierra carrying the ball during Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island’s first practice on Friday morning.

The summer routine for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football players took a different turn on Thursday morning with the start of preseason practice. It meant rising out of bed at 5 a.m. for a 7 a.m. practice. That, of course, meant something else.

“It means summer’s over,” said Eugene Allen, a junior who plays quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback.

The sight of the Porters practicing again may herald the end of summer to some, but it also marks a new beginning. At least that is what the Porters hope.

Coming off a rough 1-7 season, the Porters are planning on better days ahead. For one thing, they have a more forgiving schedule than the brutal one they played last year. For another, they lost only four seniors from last year’s team (one of whom, Ryan Malone, now plays cornerback for Sacred Heart University in Connecticut).

To help get back on the winning track, the Porters, in keeping with the trend, are turning to the spread offense under the watchful eyes of head coach Jack Martilotta and his new offensive coordinator, Dale Gross.

“I think we’re going to see some positives out of that,” said Martilotta, who is in his third year as the team’s head coach. “He’s very, very good.”

The question now is: How good will the Porters be?

“I think we’re looking good,” Martilotta said. “We look pretty solid at pretty much every position. We’re going to have to find some more depth, and we will. We’ll see who lines up well where, but we seem to pretty much have all the boxes checked. I’m pretty happy about that.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mike Partridge is a lineman for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island.

The Porters played Malone out of position last year because they needed him at quarterback. “That was the piece that was missing,” Martilotta said. “That was a big piece.”

Now the team has three quarterback candidates: sophomore Jared Shenone, junior Sal Loverde and Allen. Martilotta said Shenone’s wrist has been hurting him.

The first practice had been scheduled for Thursday morning, but because of administrative details, equipment was handed out that day instead, and the first practice was actually pushed back to Friday morning.

A notable absence was Tomasz Filipkowski. Filipkowski, a senior who played running back and linebacker, was arguably the team’s most productive player last year. Martilotta declined to discuss Filipkowski’s absence.

Thirty-three players were counted on the Greenport High School field, but Martilotta said he expects to have about 45 players for the varsity and junior varsity teams.

It’s a relatively young group. By Martilotta’s count, eight of the players are seniors.

“There are a lot of young guys,” Loverde, a third-year varsity player, said after the first practice. “They’re going to step up, for sure, if we want to be successful this year. For some kids, this is a first taste of what football is like.”

All the conditioning drills and hitting of preseason is preparation for the kickoff to the Porters’ season on Sept. 7 at The Stony Brook School.

If lessons can be taken from losses, perhaps some positives can come out of the Porters’ 2011 season. If nothing else, the experience could have made them a more determined group.

“I feel like that’s definitely going to push us to go harder this year because I know [the] coaches and all of us on the team don’t want the same thing that happened to us last year,” said Frank Sierra, a junior running back/linebacker.

“No one wants to go back that route,” Allen agreed. “Everyone wants to go upwards.”

To help towards that end, the Porters have 15 returning varsity players, including two all-league players in lineman Mark Proferes and linebacker Ray Thilberg.

“Last year was a tough season as far as wins and losses, but we got a lot of younger kids experience, so a lot of these younger kids coming up as a juniors have a full year under their belt so they know what to expect, and that’s really going to help us this year,” Martilotta said. “There’s going to be some down years, and last year was a down year. Some positives came from it. Like anything else, it kind of reveals character, a year like that, and it really showed us a lot. Some of the kids didn’t want to be there last year and we allowed them not to be there. This year we have a group of kids that really just want to be here.”

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10/28/11 11:01pm
10/28/2011 11:01 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy's freshman running back, Reggie Archer, slipped past a Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island player during Friday night's game.


Amid the jubilation on Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School’s soft, muddy Harold T. Murray Memorial Field, Keith Schroeher received a piece of advice from one of the Monarchs’ assistant coaches. That coach, who also happens to be Schroeher’s father and goes by the same first name, urged his son to look at the scoreboard, look at the field, and take in the scene.

It was a lot for the younger Schroeher to commit to his memory bank, a lot of good stuff.

Schroeher saved his best for last. His final high school football game was his best, he said, and who could argue the point?

Because of a troublesome ankle, the Monarchs didn’t have Pat Stepnoski, who is generally regarded as the team’s best player, so they turned to Schroeher in their final game of the season. Schroeher, one of the team’s 10 seniors who were recognized in a ceremony before the game, responded in a big way. He was involved in four touchdowns, throwing three touchdown passes within a span of 2 minutes 4 seconds late in the second quarter of a 28-23 defeat of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island on Friday night.

“It’s nice to see him have a game like that on Senior Night in a big rivalry type game against Greenport,” said Jeff Doroski, whose first season as the McGann-Mercy coach ended with a 3-5 record in Suffolk County Division IV. “To make that the last memory he’s going to have of Mercy football, you can’t ask for much more than that.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski ran for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island's first touchdown.

On a night when the Monarchs needed to go to the air, Schroeher was the difference-maker. He did much of his damage during that 124-second span in the second quarter when the game changed.

Schroeher connected on touchdown passes of 35 yards to Reggie Archer and 30 yards to Mario Burriesci within 26 seconds of each other, giving McGann-Mercy a 22-16 lead. In between those scores was an onside kick by Schroeher that Bernard Schrage collected for the Monarchs.

Then, after a Greenport punt hit the back of a lineman and was recovered by Christian Lynch at the Greenport 35-yard line, Schroeher found a streaking Schrage down the middle for a scoring play of that distance with 6.9 seconds left in the half, making the score 28-16.

“He really kind of carried us offensively, delivering the ball to guys and putting the ball in places where they could make plays,” said Doroski,

Earlier, Schroeher had scrambled six yards for McGann-Mercy’s first touchdown. He also ran in a pair of two-point conversions.

Schroeher was 8 of 16 passing for 165 yards and no interceptions. (By contrast, Greenport did not complete a single pass in eight attempts.)

It was Schroeher’s inspired play that helped the Monarchs overcome 11 penalties that cost them 109 yards.

“Every team has more than one weapon,” Greenport senior Ryan Malone said. “As you can see, they have more than one weapon.”

Malone ran for two touchdowns and gathered 236 yards from 39 carries. The Porters (1-7) totaled 287 yards worth of offense.

Tomasz Filipkowski ran in Greenport’s first touchdown.

Malone said he was trying to make the most of his final high school game “because this is never going to happen again. This is it, so [try] taking every single memory of every single moment. I think I did.”

Malone ran for his second touchdown of the game 3:02 into the third quarter. Greg Fedun’s extra point made it a five-point game. But that was as close as Greenport got as the McGann-Mercy defense held tough. That defense was spearheaded by Jack Strnad, who had 11 tackles and a sack.

“He’s great,” Schroeher said. “You tell him to run through a brick wall, he’ll do it for you — if he likes you.”

Despite the fact that both teams didn’t have playoffs to play for, they brought intensity. That was evidenced by a fight on the field that led to the ejections of Greenport’s Ray Thilberg and McGann-Mercy’s Paolo Foscolo with 3:14 left in the first quarter.

“You never like to see anything like that, but it is intense,” Doroski said. “Those guys are fighting to improve themselves. We’re fighting to get better. Sometimes your emotions get the best of you out there, and unfortunately situations like that happen.”

Being that it is a rivalry game may have played into it, too. In addition, there is a connection between the two programs in Ken Marelli. The McGann-Mercy assistant coach is a former Greenport head coach.

A fumble recovery by Codey Fisher gave Greenport the ball at its own 42 with 2:06 remaining in the game. But the Porters lost yards on that series before McGann-Mercy’s Rudfil Paul Jr.’s interception with 57.1 seconds left allowed the Monarchs to run out the clock.

“We didn’t get as may wins as we wanted, to be certain, but I think just watching the game anyone could see we’ve come a long way,” said Greenport coach Jack Martilotta, who says goodbye to four seniors with multiple years of varsity experience in Zach Apleskog, Connor Guditus, Fedun and Malone. “The kids are playing much better football. It’s going to hurt to lose those four kids, but we’ve got a real good nucleus of kids coming back next year. I’m expecting big things.”

Schroeher will not be around next year to see how the Monarchs progress. That thought had not really sunk in for him a half-hour after the game. The excitement of victory hadn’t had a chance to wear off.

“I’m going to miss it,” he said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet because I’m all amped up, but once I get in the car and I feel all the bumps and bruises, I’m going be like, ‘Damn, it’s over.’ ”

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10/22/11 6:08pm
10/22/2011 6:08 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ryan Malone scored one of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island's two touchdowns in Amityville on Saturday.


When a high school football team plays powerhouse Amityville, it plays hard and hopes for the best. The Warriors have speedy, elusive runners and an offense that can explode for points just like that.

When Elijah Kelly ran under a 35-yard pass from Sean Walters for a touchdown on Amityville’s second offensive play from scrimmage on Saturday, Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island must have thought it was in for a long day.

Then, in a span of 3 minutes 5 seconds later in the first quarter, Ryan Malone and Tomasz Filipkowski ran for touchdowns, helping the Porters to 7-6 and 13-12 leads over the Suffolk County Division IV leaders.

Maybe, just maybe.

Sure, it was a longshot, but the thought of an upset might have crossed the minds of some of the Porters.

Ray Thilberg, who played right outside linebacker and fullback for Greenport, said, “That’s what we were going for, throwing an upset in, but …”

He need not have finished the sentence because Amityville finished the game, a 49-13 result on its Lou Howard Field. Walters, Amityville’s sophomore quarterback, passed for three touchdowns, going 7 of 10 passing for 118 yards.

Walters, who is in his second year as a varsity starter, can also run. The young quarterback covered 117 yards from five carries. Walters’ first run of the day was his longest. After slipping out of a tackle, he darted 41 yards for another score.

Although the final score might suggest otherwise, it wasn’t really an Amityville horror for the Porters, who played hard and did not seem intimidated by the division’s No. 1 seed.

“I expect nothing less,” said Greenport coach Jack Martilotta.

Martilotta applauded his players for their effort. “We always come out to win the game, and the kids played really, really well,” he said. “They’re the number one team for a reason. They have some really good players.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski, who was involved in 18 tackles for Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island, dragged down Amityville's twisting Willie White.

Amityville (6-1), which was a playoff team last year in Division III, is difficult to defend against. The Warriors can run and throw. They ran up 298 rushing yards and totaled 416 yards in offense against Greenport (1-6).

It’s the sort of offense that gives coach Chris Taylor a multitude of options.

“Previous years you had a couple of guys, and now you’re always thinking, ‘What should I call here?’ ” he said. “Sometimes any play isn’t a bad play, you know?”

Amityville didn’t have many bad plays. Six Warriors scored touchdowns. Among them were Willie White and Deion Richards, who caught touchdown tosses from Walters, and Da’rell Hatcher, who broke free on a 38-yard sprint to the end zone.

After taking a 36-13 halftime lead, Amityville added two more touchdowns from a two-yard Damian Palmer run and an 85-yard interception return by Kelly.

Malone picked up 122 yards on 26 carries for the Porters (1-6). Filipkowski had a tremendous defensive game. The junior linebacker was involved in a game-high 18 tackles.

“We came out ready to fight, I guess, ready to play,” Thilberg said. “The score didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to be, but we played hard and left it all out on the field, so that’s all we can ask for.”

Amityville’s 22 seniors were announced prior to the game as part of the team’s Senior Day ceremony.

“It’s a good group of seniors,” Walters said. “I don’t want them to go, but they have to.”

Before they do, though, the Warriors could add a title or two to their proud history. Amityville has fielded championship football teams going back to the first half of the last century.

“There are so many great teams that come through,” said Taylor, who is in his seventh year as Amityville’s coach. “This team has a chance to be right up there with some of the better teams.”

Amityville is only two years removed from the last Warriors team to win county and Long Island championships. It’s a double the Warriors would like to duplicate.

Said Taylor, “Hopefully we can put together a good run and go from a good season to a special season.”

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10/14/11 10:11pm
10/14/2011 10:11 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Hampton Bays' Alex Lane (20) blocked an extra-point attempt by Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island's John Drinkwater.


A brilliant green, yellow and orange rainbow hung in the sky beyond Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field following a pregame rain shower. If there was a playoff berth instead of a pot of gold to be found at the end of that rainbow, it would have been found by the Hampton Bays Baymen.

In a Suffolk County Division IV football game that boosted Hampton Bays’ playoff chances as much as it damaged those of the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island Porters, the Baymen pulled themselves to within one win of making school history. Andrew Morris ran for two first-quarter touchdowns, helping Hampton Bays to a 25-13 victory on Friday night. Hampton Bays coach Mike Oestreicher said the result brought his team to within one win of a playoff berth. If the Baymen (3-3) beat either The Stony Brook School Bears or the Amityville Warriors in their final two regular-season games, they would reach the playoffs for the third straight year, something the team had never done before.

“We’re one away,” said Oestreicher, whose team started the season 1-3.

Meanwhile, the loss may have sabotaged the 1-5 Porters’ chances of returning to the postseason. Their last two regular-season games are against tough Amityville and the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ryan Malone of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island looked for a way to get around Alejandro Castro of Hampton Bays.

Asked if he had just seen the postseason slip from his team’s grasp, Porters coach Jack Martilotta replied: “I don’t know. That’s possible.”

It was the final home game of the regular season for the Porters. Several members of the undefeated 1958 Porters team that won the Rutgers Trophy were recognized during a halftime ceremony.

Martilotta may have wished he had those players in their prime playing for him. As it was, the current Porters had their hands full with the determined Baymen. Morris’ two touchdowns (giving him six in two games), followed by a 22-yard scoring run in which Juan Ramirez slipped through three tacklers, helped the Baymen take an 18-0 lead by the time the second quarter was 3 minutes 43 seconds old.

“Back to back weeks we’ve come out in the first quarter and we put it on people,” Oestreicher said, “and it puts the pressure on the opponent to play catchup the rest of the game.”

The Porters did have Tomasz Filipkowski, who had sat out last week’s game against the Elwood/John Glenn Knights with an ankle injury, back in action.

“When you have another athlete of his caliber,” teammate Ryan Malone said, “it just helps an unmeasurable amount.”

Filipkowski scored the Porters’ first touchdown on Friday night on a fourth-down play from the Hampton Bays’ 1-yard line with 1:59 left in the second quarter, but the Porters were unable to get much momentum from it. Tracey Kennedy took the ensuing kickoff, found a seam and exploded through it, racing 80 yards for a touchdown. It was his third kickoff return for a touchdown in as many games. Justin Carbone’s point after made it 25-6.

Malone, a senior playing in his final regular-season home game, had a one-yard touchdown run for the Porters with 6:24 remaining in the game.

After Malone’s score, Chris Manwaring successfully executed an onside kick that teammate Connor Malone fell on, keeping the Porters’ slim hopes alive. But the Porters were unable to pick up a first down on the next series and Hampton Bays ran off nine plays before the Porters got the ball again with only 1:01 to go.

“We’ve all grown,” said Morris, who might have had the dirtiest jersey of any player after the game. “We’ve gotten better and we’re all working together a lot better.”

The Hampton Bays defense was fortified by Michael Ponesse and Morris, who were both involved in 11 tackles.

Malone made 11 tackles for the Porters. Filipkowski had seven tackles to go with his 77 rushing yards.

“As good as they are on offense, I think they’re both better on defense, to be honest with you,” Martilotta said. “Tom is an exceptional linebacker. Ryan just makes things happen out there.”

The Porters got a look at one of their young players, Jared Schenone, a sophomore who started at quarterback in his varsity debut. He alternated at the position with Ryan Malone, who also played running back.

Ryan Malone knew this game was different since it was almost certainly the last time he played on this field, the same field where he made his varsity debut as a sophomore against Hampton Bays. He said he normally isn’t nervous before games, but this time he was.

“We were looking to get a win,” Ryan Malone, with disappointment written on his face, said in a nearly deserted locker room.

Martilotta said, “This is their last home game, and that’s always an emotional thing for kids.”

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10/06/11 6:54pm
10/06/2011 6:54 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island quarterback Ryan Malone was taken down by Elwood/John Glenn's Ken Massa (15) and Anton Swain (82).

It’s not always easy being a Long Island champion. For one thing, it puts a target on a team’s back.

The Elwood/John Glenn Knights, who won their first Long Island Class IV football championship last year, know the feeling well.

“Everyone wants to knock you off,” John Glenn Coach Dave Shanahan said. “We have a saying over up by us: The wind blows a little harder at the top of the hill because everybody’s after you.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Frank Sierra, a sophomore, ran for 62 yards on nine carries.

What may be tougher, though, is to have to play a team like the Knights. The Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island Porters could talk about what that’s like.

Rich Czeczotka passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more as John Glenn won its 17th straight game at the expense of the Porters, 42-7, on Thursday at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field. The senior quarterback went 7 of 9 passing for 131 yards in the first half before he was replaced by Matt Shanerman in the second half, with the Knights holding a comfortable 35-7 lead.

The Knights (4-0 in Suffolk County Division IV) are for real. Their record over the past four years is 36-2. Their last lost was in November — of 2009. They have reached the county final the past three years. They were recognized as the top team in Suffolk last year with the awarding of the Rutgers Trophy.

“Everyone really worked hard for it,” Czeczotka said. “When we finally achieved it, that was probably the greatest feeling all of us ever experienced, and we want to do it again this year.”

They appear to have the ability to do so. Despite the loss of 17 players from last season’s team, the Knights are still loaded with talent.

“We’re definitely on a great run,” Shanahan said. “It’s all about having great kids.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island's Ryan Malone tried to escape the grasp of Elwood/John Glenn's Lameek Jarvis.

The Porters (1-4) played without their first-string halfback, Tomasz Filipkowski, who stood on the sideline in street clothes with a sprained ankle he sustained in the previous game against the Mount Sinai Mustangs. Connor Malone started in his place.

More bad news for the Porters came on the opening kickoff. Jarvis Lameek caught Chris Manwaring’s kick and ran it back 81 yards for a touchdown.

A fumble recovery by Kevin Dixon two plays later gave the Knights the ball at the Porters’ 18-yard line, setting up Czeczotka’s eight-yard pass to Nick Wagner for the second touchdown.

Czeczotka then ran in two touchdowns himself before throwing a screen pass to Mike Tufano, who turned it into a 33-yard touchdown connection. Greg Orkiszewski’s extra point after Tufano’s touchdown made it 35-0 with 4 minutes 20 seconds left in the first half.

The Porters received a one-yard run for a touchdown by Ryan Malone on a quarterback sneak 47 seconds before halftime.

A one-yard touchdown run by Nick Princiotta 3:24 into the third quarter, and Orkiszewski’s extra point finalized the scoring.

The Knights were efficient. They needed only 29 offensive plays to put up all their points. Their punter, Jake Toth, wasn’t called upon to punt until there were about 10 minutes left to play.

Four turnovers by the Porters helped. Wagner and Nick LaLota had interceptions; Dixon and Shanerman (eight tackles) each recovered a fumble.

Despite Filipkowski’s absence, the Porters’ running game didn’t do badly, consuming 165 yards. Malone had 66 rushing yards and sophomore Frank Sierra picked up 62 from a career-high nine carries.

“I had no idea about how good the [Glenn] team was,” Sierra admitted in what he said was his first interview. “I don’t know much about the teams. I just kind of play and do what Coach tells me. I saw they hit hard, but I hit just as hard.”

Porters Coach Jack Martilotta, noting that his team had at least six sophomores on the field during the game, applauded the effort of his players. “I thought they played well,” he said. “I mean, you line a sophomore up against a senior on a team that’s that good, that’s asking a lot. We know we’re asking a lot of them right now, but again, we’re building a program.”

And the Knights are trying to build a path to another Long Island championship. Shanahan said his current seniors were instrumental pieces of last year’s team, and they now want to make their own mark as 12th-graders. “They saw what the previous senior group had,” he said, “and they want to go down in John Glenn history as being another great team that won a county and a Long Island championship, so it sets the bar real high.”

With the titles comes a target. As they say at John Glenn, it gets windy at the top.

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10/06/11 10:00am

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski leads Greenport against the defending Long Island champion John Glenn Knights this afternoon.

It’s been a long time since the John Glenn football team lost a game. Nearly two years in fact.

Already 4-0 this season with impressive wins over Babylon and Mount Sinai, the Knights have won 16 straight. They went 12-0 last year to win the Class IV Long Island Championship. Their last loss came in November of 2009.

That’s the challenge that awaits the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island football team this afternoon at 4 p.m.

The Porters, 1-3 after last Saturday’s loss at home against Mount Sinai, will try their best to contend against the mighty Knights.

The schedule hasn’t been easy for the Porters, who were seeded sixth coming into the season in Division IV, forcing them to play the elite of the division.

Check back tonight for a full recap on the Greenport-John Glenn game.

The rest of Thursday’s schedule is as follows:


Mattituck & Southold at Westhampton Beach Invitational (Indian Island), 4 p.m.


Mattituck & Southold at Westhampton Beach Invitational (Indian Island), 4 p.m.


Hampton Bays (1-7) at Greenport/Southold (2-5) (Islands End), 4 p.m.

Mattituck (7-0) at McGann-Mercy (2-5) (Olde Vine), 4 p.m.


Babylon (3-4-1) at Mattituck (4-2-1), 4:30 p.m.

Pierson (1-4) at Southold/Greenport (2-4), 4:30 p.m.


Rocky Point (2-8) at Mattituck (10-0), 4 p.m.

Eastport-South Manor (7-3) at Southold/Greenport (4-6) (Peconic Town Courts), 4 p.m.


Bayport-Blue Point (4-2) at Mattituck (3-6), 4 p.m.