Friday, 01 October 2010 00:00
The Syosset Youth Football and Cheerleading League continued their season on the weekend of Sept. 18 and 19, playing some great football. All of the teams faced tough competition and performed like champions. The weather cooperated and although it was warm, or more accurately, sweltering, the kids plowed on through, as they always do. The league only had one team play at home that weekend, which made the fields unusually quiet, but no doubt all of the neighboring towns were buzzing with excitement when the Braves showed up.
The 6-year-olds had their hands full with the Farmingdale A- team. The game was close until Farmingdale scored a touchdown on the next to last play of the game. Syosset got scoring runs from Luke Citron and Robert Trapeo. Their defense was anchored by linebackers Nicholas Macchia and Jason Pacelli. The defensive line had Ethan Hart, Kyle Joe, Avery Kurtzer, Jack LaBianca, Bryce Newman, David Wang, Ron Regev and Blake Weingarten, who played hard and tough against the bigger Farmingdale team.
While the football team was giving it their all, the cheerleaders, ages 5 and 6, were doing their best to not only cheer the team on, but they began performing stunts for the first time, much to the amazement of the fans. They also performed an impressive halftime dance. The cheerleaders worked just as hard as the football team to give the fans an exciting morning.
For the 7-year-olds, it was Braves vs. Braves. The team traveled to Bellmore to take on a very tough team. The offense was great, putting three touchdowns. The scoring was lead by Matt McGee, Jayson Singer, and Ari Chananya. They all had great long runs. The defense played tough all day with some great tackles by Ryan Lichtenstein, Derek Hammer and Cameron Halligan. But in the end the team “ran out of gas,” losing 25-19. However, the team feels confident they can “get them next time.”
On a beautiful sunny and warm Sunday on Sept. 26, the Syosset Youth Football and Cheerleading League hosted their second annual Homecoming celebration. All of the teams played their games at home on the turf field in Syosset-Woodbury Park.
The 5/6 year olds opened Homecoming Day with a hard-fought win over the Franklin Square Warriors. It was a seesaw battle, with Syosset prevailing three touchdowns to two. Franklin Square opened the scoring with a quick touchdown. After a long run by Luke Citron that ended just short of the goal line, Ari Regev scored on the next down to tie the game. Citron would not be denied a second time, scoring his own touchdown to give Syosset the lead.
After Franklin Square tied the game at two touchdowns, the cheerleaders and home fans clamored for a winning drive. Robert Trapeo answered the call, weaving through the Franklin Square defense for the game-winning touchdown as time winded down. Nicholas Macchia had a few big gains for Syosset, helped by the lead blocks of Jason Pacelli and play-calling of quarterback Tyler Joe. Linemen Ryan DeRiggi, Ethan Hart, Avery Kurtzer, Jack LaBianca, Bryce Newman, Ron Regev, Brad Shepard, Ryan Voight, David Wang and Blake Weingarten were tough on both sides of the ball, allowing Syosset to control the game. After a bye this weekend, the 5/6 year olds travel to Bellmore for a battle of the “Braves.”
The 7-year-olds played at home for the first time this year. The team was led out by team captains Daniel Greenfield, Cameron Halligan and Derek Hammer. Syosset started out a little nervous, playing in front of a full house of family and friends. The Baldwin Bombers scored first on a nice touchdown run. Syosset settled down and scored on a long run by #12 Ari Chananya, and an extra point made it 7-6. From there, the Syosset team never looked back, scoring again with a tough run by #3 Chris Harris.
Baldwin scored on a broken play before the half to make the score 14-13 at the half. Syosset came out in the second half and scored with another long run by #21 (speedy) Matt McPhee, and the extra point was good, making the score 21-13. On the next procession, Syosset scored when they called on Chananya with another great run, beating two defenders to the goal line. The defense was amazing in the second half when Syosset made the adjustments and put Harris on the line. He was in the backfield, disrupting the opponent’s offense all afternoon. #30 Joe Davis made a smart play to recover a fumble, essentially ending the game. The final score was Syosset 28, Baldwin 13.
The 8-year-olds beat Mineola 14-6. The game was riveting as each team tried their best to one up each other. But in the end, it was due to the incredible skills of John Harris and his teammates that the Braves were able to score two touchdowns to Mineola’s one. The team was lucky enough to have a halftime show performed by Syosset’s Competition cheer team. The team was greeted at the end of their game by the cheerleaders, with a victory run through a paper banner. It was a great game for all.
The 9-year-old Braves had a tough game against league powerhouse Mineola on Sunday. Mineola got on the board first with a long touchdown drive, eating up almost the entire first quarter, and taking a 7-0 lead. The Braves never got in a rhythm on offense, and despite some tough defense by linebackers Jack Rooney, Patrick Schnell, Richie Whigham and Joe Cawley, Mineola scored once more on the last play of the first half to take a 13-0 lead.
The Braves did not give up and with the offensive line of Ryan Ditkoff, Jacob Katz, Matt Majoy, Andrew Giovinco, Albert Shabaev and Cawley blocking better in the second half, the Braves went on a scoring drive. Michael Mesbah and Ryan Lebson had some tough runs before Rooney ripped off a 50-yard pass down to the one yard line, where he eventually ran in for a touchdown. The coaches praised the effort of defensive lineman Steven Fanelli, Nicky Carchietta, Daniel Shapiro, Ethan Hammer, Anthony Nacaratto, Jason Yacavone, Andrew Bonapace, Anthony Iraggi, Max Inoff, and Moiz Zaidi, Hamza Malik, Anthony Celauro, Alex DeRiggi, Kevin Paek, Luke Sacco, Skylar Chananya, Dylan Hein, Michael Koestner, and Ian Samide.
In Sunday’s “Battle of the Braves”, Syosset’s Braves came out on top over the Braves of Bellmore in an entertaining 25-7 win that made a great Homecoming even better.
After having his 70-plus yard touchdown kickoff return on the game’s opening play called back on a penalty, Dominick Speranza would not be denied as he motored around the corner and sped his way down the sidelines for a 50-plus yard touchdown on Syosset’s first drive of the day. He gave his team a lead that they would not relinquish.
The defense, led by tackles Daniel Morales and Andrew Harris and nose tackle Matthew Conforti along with ends Tyler Parlo and Brendon Moran, completely dominated the Bellmore offensive line, which allowed linebackers Tommy Rooney, Steven Conte, Christopher Belmonte and Speranza to neutralize the Bellmore ground game. Cornerbacks Michael Andre, Dean Marx and Bobby Kidd held the Bellmore passing game at bay by blanketing their receivers and preventing them from getting open.
The Syosset defense also forced two turnovers as Belmonte recovered a fumble and first-year player Tristan Singer, showing a nose for the ball, intercepted a Bellmore pass with a sure-handed catch and determined return that put to rest the hope of any Bellmore comeback.
The day also belonged to the Syosset offensive line, which completely controlled the line of scrimmage, producing the highest scoring output by the Braves in two seasons. Standout lineman Harris and Morales opened running lanes seemingly at will; Center Zach Trakas kept the Bellmore team from disrupting the running game. Linemen Shawn Connell, Niklas Brancato and Ethan Greenfield made life easy for the Syosset running backs by not allowing a single defender from touching them at the line of scrimmage. First-year player James Nelson rewarded the coaching staff in his first start, by driving lineman off the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball.
Parlo once again provided some amazing runs that had the crowd wondering “how’d he do that?”, and capped a long Syosset drive with an impressive 10-yard touchdown run. Running back Michael Andre also found the end zone with a slicing 25-yard jaunt that showed his speed and elusiveness. The scoring was capped by a bruising 20-yard touchddown run from Belmonte.
Running backs Stephen Conte and Tommy Rooney showed that the Syosset running game is dangerous no matter who has the ball, with each ripping off runs of 30-plus yards throughout the afternoon while leaving defenders in their wake.
The progression continues for first-year players Patrick Conklin, Ricky Danyko, Zach Elichs and Walter Henry who each played the entire second half on the defensive side of the ball. Conklin flew to the ball making several stops in the backfield, Danyko was a force at his nose tackle position and put a stop to numerous plays, Elichs was everywhere and was in on tackle after tackle. Speaking of tackles, Walter Henry had the tackle of the day, making a textbook stop preventing a score, and pumping up the crowd and his team.
The Braves also welcomed back Max Izakson, who returned from injury to give the Braves a huge boost to their kicking game. The team looks forward to getting him more involved.
Dean Marx played his most complete game of the year. He quarterbacked the defense from both the cornerback and linebacker position, providing steady leadership for the rookies. He also pulled double duty by making his season debut in the backfield and pulling off the Braves first reverse, keeping the Bellmore defense on their heels while moving forward and picking up positive yardage.
Much preparation went into hosting this event and the league would like to thank Jay Morales and Upbeat Entertainment for providing the DJ and play by play commentary during the games, the I School of Music for providing the most spectacular singer for the National Anthem, Park Supervisor Frank Pancetta and his team in the park for getting the field in tip top shape and maintaining it throughout the day, Ray McCauley from MyPhotoPix.com for taking actions shots of each game, Anthony Castelli from La Parma Restaurant for manning the barbeque and feeding everyone all the best burgers and sausage and peppers on the planet, Debbie Altman and Christa LaRock for working the concession stand, returning mascot Michael Castrogiovanni for his entertainment and good spirit, the DiMaggio and Nocella families and all of the other families and friends of the league that helped out with set-up, decorating and many other chores. The day was a great success and it couldn’t have been done without the help of all of these individuals.