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Success After Big Injury

Playing in the most competitive basketball conference in Nassau County, the Massapequa varsity boys team faces a tough task every year, having to go up against against county powerhouses Hempstead, Uniondale, Farmingdale and Freeport. This season, the task became monumental when one of the team’s best players, William Schlich, tore his ACL in practice before the season. It was a devastating loss for a team that already faced an uphill battle, but the Massapequa varsity boys team pressed on,  and made their coach quite proud by having a successful season,

“Their work effort was phenomenal,” said Marty Voigt, who has coached at Massapequa for 22 years. “One of the best teams I have ever been around.”

Despite playing a brutally tough schedule without a star player, the Chiefs still finished the season with a 6-6 record in conference games, including victories over Hempstead, Uniondale and Freeport, and a 4-1 record in non-league games.

“We overachieved,” said Voigt. “They [the players] put every ounce of their being into this year.”

Leading the way was junior Dylan Balducci, who averaged 21 points per game for the Chiefs. Senior Michael Delaney and junior Alex Cosenza each averaged about 10 points per game. Senior captain and point guard Brian Flecker was the team’s leader on the court, while also contributing an average of seven points and 10 assists per game.

“He never came off the floor,” the coach said of Balducci. “He was a tremendous player.”

In addition to those players, Voigt said that every player on the team had to contribute because of the competitiveness of the league. He said the players worked hard in practice, paid close attention to detail, and were very diligent about reading scouting reports and using the information to their advantage.

“They truly played for each other,” he said.

And while the team’s hard work, dedication and success despite the bad fortune of losing a top player is something Voigt is proud of, he also hopes that the team will be able to use this experience next year. Both Balducci and Cosenza will be starters next season, as will Griffin Sullivan and Sean Nealis. With a bit of better luck, the team’s work ethic, dedication and commitment to each could result in another successful season, which could carry the Chiefs deeper into the playoffs.

“They’ll play hard,” Voigt said of next year’s players.