Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 17 September 2010 00:00
The Carle Place/Wheatley Frogs, now entering the team’s fourth season as a joint program, is looking for senior leadership and a strong junior class to yield success as the team kicks off its inaugural season in Conference 3.
Head Coach Tim Moran, who once sported the kelly green and white before heading south to play for Towson University (MD), returns with the same coaching staff he’s had for five years, and hopes the system they’ve put in place will pay dividends in an unfamiliar and deeper conference.
“We’ve all been together now for five years. There’s been no turnover and [with] the continuity in the staff, kids know that we’re open in the weight room and coaches are invested,” said Moran, adding, “We did a seven-on-seven passing league this summer, for the first time in 10 years, and the kids are invested, too.”
Carle Place coaches Dan Macnamara, Paul Schaefer and Joe Macchia join Wheatley’s Richie Donovan and Paul Selhorn as assistant coaches alongside Moran – all of whom are aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
“We’re playing some Nassau County powerhouses in Conference 3. They’ve got some bigger rosters and bigger kids so it’s definitely a change from Conference 4, but there are definitely some schools we can play within this conference,” said Moran.
The Frogs opened the 2010 season on Sept. 7 and recovered from a slow start with a 28-12 win over Great Neck North.
“It’s always nice to open up with a win … the kids worked hard in the summer and in the spring and we got off on the right foot beating Great Neck North,” said Moran.
Four years ago when Carle Place absorbed the Wheatley program, which had been dissolved since the early ’90s, parents, coaches and administrators from both sides weren’t sure how the athletes – who had otherwise been rivals in prior years – would adjust to the switch.
“That has been a blessing in disguise. The first year it was a little uncomfortable because no one knew what to expect … this is our fourth year, it’s been really good for both schools.
“The kids socialize well, they interact together, they’re hanging out on weekends together. Both sets of parents have stepped up and both sets of superintendents and athletic directors work really well together – it’s a good thing all around,” said Moran.
And for the first time in nearly two decades, Wheatley High School will host a football game.
“Sept. 24 will be the first time, since either ’90 or ’91, and they’re getting lights and they’ve made an investment to get hybrid goal posts to double as soccer nets, that’s all due to [Wheatley Athletic Director] Tom Fitzpatrick,” said Moran.
The Frogs’ roster, which features 25 players from Carle Place and 18 from Wheatley, will be the largest one to fill the gridiron in recent memory. And now that momentum and support from both schools is in full swing, the Frogs will have a chance to show their new conference that two may in fact be better than one.