The Spirit of '98 coursed through the veins of the 2008 Covers. Trailing 27 to 24 with two minutes to go, the Big Red marched 66 yards on 10 plays and scored with 10 seconds left on the clock. This win, coupled with last week's 21-0 shutout of Floral Park, places the Covers solidly in the Conference 3 playoff hunt.
The story of the game was the Big Red defense. Bethpage entered the game undefeated (5-0) and was grinding teams up with its vaunted Wishbone Offense. The Cove defense led by Brendan Huggins, Jesse Martino and Dan Belfiore played inspired and on fire. The front three jammed up the meat grinder as backers Phil Voegtlen, Doug Tripp, Pat Cook, Ryan Zupa, Andrew Brown, Eric Tripp and Kevin Gardrvits swooped in for tackles. No individual sacrifice went undone as an inspired team defense caught the Golden Eagles off guard.
However, being the champions that they are, Bethpage fought back valiantly. Behind 18-6 at halftime they came out and took the lead 20 to 18. In the fourth quarter, taking a page from the '98 game, Eric Tripp intercepted a Bethpage pass and ran it back for a TD reminiscent of Dave Graziosi's 1998 interception in the semifinals. The Golden Eagles were not done, retaking the lead 27- 24 with two minutes to go in the game.
Unveiling what is known in football circles as the two-minute drill, the Big Red started its victory drive on its own 34. Mixing passes to receivers Beatty, D. Tripp and Fiorino, the Covers found themselves with third-and-goal on the 6-yard line with 10 seconds to go. The Big Red had a timeout in reserve to attempt a tying field goal if a fourth down was to occur. QB Eric Tripp took the direct snap from center Pete Cappiello, rolled right, looked at the double-covered Fiorino and threw back to a crossing Doug Tripp in the endzone for the go ahead touchdown. Chris Haran added the extra point to make the score GC 31, Bethpage 27.
On the ensuing kickoff, the kickoff team led by a flying Hector Paez pinned the Eagles inside their 10-yard line with six seconds remaining. Bethpage dropped back to pass on their last play, only to be sacked by Doug Tripp in the endzone for a safety, ending the game. Final score: Glen Cove 33, Bethpage 27.
The season however, rolls on and next Saturday the Big Red varsity travels to Sewanhaka High School in another must-win game. Both the Indians and the Big Red need a victory to remain in contention of the Conference 3 title. Game time is 1:30 p.m.; spectators and supporters are needed and encouraged. Go, Big Red!
The Glen Cove JV girls tennis team finished off the second half of the season with an impressive four wins and two losses, making its final record 5 wins and 5 losses. Toward the end of the season, the team's hard work started to pay off. After impressive wins against Bethpage and Valley Stream South, the JV girls had to play a tough Farmingdale team, to whom they lost earlier in the season. With only eight girls, Glen Cove found a way to win every match and get the win. All the matches were very close.
At first singles: Kellie Williams won 8-5; second singles: Sarah Farnan won 8-4; first doubles: Suzenne Morales and Catherine Liang won 8-7; second doubles: Emily Natale and Amber Solomito won 8-4; third doubles: Dynaah Letelier and Christine Ashley Howard won 8-7. Irma Chavez and Christine Adams also greatly contributed to the late-season success. The Glen Cove JV girls tennis team is proud of the progress they made throughout the season.
It was with great pride that the players and coaches of the 2008 Big Red football team, the Glen Cove School District and the entire City of Glen Cove celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Glen Cove's 1998 Nassau County Championship football team on Saturday, Oct 18.
The '98 season was a true Hollywood story. The team was known for its desire to dream big. The 10th-seeded Big Red finished the season at 6 and 2 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time under Head Coach Pete Kopecky.
The Big Red's opponent in the semi-finals was the undefeated Bethpage Golden Eagles. In one of the most exciting games of the playoffs, the Big Red came out on top, 27-26, when a Bethpage pass was broken up in the endzone on a two-point conversion.
As Glen Cove fans turned Hofstra Stadium into Big Red country, the team took the field against Floral Park in the championship game. Behind a raucous crowd, the best band and kickline in the county, and the best cheerleaders in the world, the Big Red went on to a 17-13 victory and Glen Cove's first championship since 1949.
The county championship team of 1998 was recognized at halftime. Representing the team were former coaches Vince Chopard, Mark Checola, Craig Johanson, Steve Kocienda, Gui Martinez and Nat Morton. Honored players were Andre Devone, Guido Penafiel, Jason Watson, Paul Graziosi, Alex Gratsias, Dave Graziosi, Jon Torres, Sean Basdavanos, and captains Dustin Grosso and Matt Capobiano.