Lex Colato turned in a splendid season for the Huntington High School junior varsity football team, rushing for 748 yards and 12 touchdowns as the Blue Devils finished the fall campaign with a 3-4-1 mark.
Coached by James Byrnes and Billy Harris, the 30 player squad was captained by sophomores Joey Ramos, Joe Garetano, Tom Peer and Ever Ramirez-Quintanilla. The team included 21 first year high school players.
Huntington opened the season by tying Newfield, 8-8. The Blue Devils then dropped three straight games to Half Hollow Hills West (33-14), Smithtown West (20-16) and Centereach (57-40).
The second half of the season saw Huntington topple Half Hollow Hills East (56-30) and Copiague (52-13) before falling to West Islip (20-16) in a hard fought game. The Blue Devils closed out the campaign with a 34-0 shutout of Smithtown East.
“These were hardworking players, eager to learn and play in our program,” said Byrnes about the Huntington JV gridiron squad. “We averaged 27 kids a day at practice. They are all very determined to make themselves better.”
The Huntington JV football team went 3-1 in its final four games. (Darin Reed photo.)
The hard-hitting Ramos led the Blue Devils in tackles. Colato was hard to contain offensively, routinely gobbling up huge chunks of yardage. Pat Durand was inserted at quarterback halfway through the season and led the team to three wins.
“Joey is a captain who leads by hard work and example and he has the respect of all his teammates,” said Brynes about Ramos.
The coach also praised Colato. “He never missed a practice, worked hard every day and was a great player on both sides of the ball,” Byrnes said.
Durand shined calling signals after he was given the starting quarterback position, helping Huntington outscore its last four opponents by a 158-63 margin.
“This was a young team with most of the players being freshmen,” Byrnes said. “I’m not sure how many returning players there will be [and how many will go up to the varsity], but the goal is the same: Teach Blue Devil football and prepare them for varsity.”