Blue Devil coaches John Walsh and Vinny Tannazzo flank the award recipients.

Blue Devil Sports News

Blue Devil coaches John Walsh and Vinny Tannazzo flank the award recipients.

November 22, 2017

Huntington senior Nicole Abbondandelo picked up All-League, All-Conference and All-County honors at the Suffolk Girls’ Soccer Coaches Association awards dinner at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge on Monday night.

Senior Katie Seccafico and magnificent freshman goalkeeper Ashley Lumpe were named to the All-League and All-Conference teams. Sophomore Marissa Stafford garnered All-League recognition.

The four star players, their parents and coaches John Walsh and Vincent Tannazzo dined on field green salad and Chicken Francaise served with mashed potatoes and green beans and brownies and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Huntington alum and current USC freshman Camille Stafford joined the team at the dinner, supporting her sister, who turned in a splendid season.

The Blue Devils also captured the Section XI League III team Sportsmanship Award.

Trish Arceri Captures All-State Diving Honors

Huntington diving star Tricia Arceri
Huntington diving star Tricia Arceri. (Darin Reed photo)

Huntington senior Trish Arceri earned All-State honors at the New York State swimming and diving championships at Ithaca College last weekend.

The Blue Devil great placed ninth in a field of 50 divers to garner a spot on the victory platform. Ms. Arceri finished higher than any other competitor from Long Island. One of her dives was scored the highest of the entire championships.

“I was doing well until my second to last dive in the finals,” Arceri said. “It went short and I got really low scores. However, I pulled myself together. I knew I had to throw down one last dive and my last one scored 62 points, one of the highest scoring dives of the championship. It was a great way to end my high school career. I look forward to college.

Blue Devils Sportsmanship Award

The Huntington Blue Devil varsity girls’ soccer team won the Section XI League III Sportsmanship Award this fall. Coaches rank their counterparts as well as the opposing players and fans following every game.

The Blue Devils were captained by Nicole Abbondandelo and Katie Seccafico and coached by John Walsh and Vincent Tannazzo.

Robbie Smith Stars for Finley Football

Finley eighth grader Robbie Smith enjoyed a sensational football season.
Finley eighth grader Robbie Smith enjoyed a sensational football season.

Finley eighth grader Robbie Smith starred at running back and linebacker on the Falcon’s undefeated football team this fall.

“Robbie is your blue collar worker that works hard in games and in practice,” head coach Ron Wilson said. “He hits like a freight train on defense and runs you over on offense. He played every game with a lot of courage and heart. The most devoted athlete on the team!”

Smith rushed 37 times for 351 yards, three touchdowns and two extra points. He caught six passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded 42 solo tackles, including 11 for a loss, two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovered.

Smith is also a great placekicker. He converted 10 of 19 extra point attempts.

Blue Devil Wrestling’s Roots Traced to 1933

Huntington High School's boxing and wrestling club in 1934.
Huntington High School's boxing and wrestling club in 1934.

The Huntington High School wrestling team traces its roots back to 1933 when the school sponsored a boxing and wrestling club. The club led to the creation of an interscholastic team for the 1937 and 1938 seasons before the sport disappeared again until 1951/52. It has been offered ever since then.

The 1934 high school yearbook states “Boxing and wrestling, a club long desired by the students of H.H.S. was, for the first time, taken up seriously and successfully this year. Under expert supervision, great strides were taken in the development of individual talents. The boys, realizing the importance of healthy bodies, endeavored to include in their organization such means as would prove directly beneficial to their physical developments.”

At one time, boxing was growing in popularity in New York schools. Reportedly, it was eventually banned following the death of a student participant somewhere in the state. However, in Depression-era Huntington, a group of boys took a liking to it.

“Regular meetings were held in the gymnasium during which some groups followed a training schedule while others participated in an interesting elimination tournament,” according to The Huntingtonian. “Mr. Roscoe Baker, who acted as faculty advisor, was of great assistance in promoting interest both within the club and in stimulating a desire for interschool competition.”

Senior James Sposato was the founder and president of the club. He is described in the high school yearbook as “an accomplished boxer.” The yearbook states that Mr. Sposato “gave valuable instruction in the art of self-defense and refereed the bouts in the tournament. The boys expect that interest in the boxing and wrestling club will mount to new heights and that in years to come the benefits of this club will be enjoyed by a greater number of high school students.”

The club led to the establishment of a wrestling team, which was coached by William Class. Following the 1938 season, so many team members graduated and there was such a lack of interest in the sport that the team was discontinued until the early 1950’s when math teacher Frank Kubisa helped bring it back to life as its coach.

Three Special Finley Football Players

Three very special players were among the great athletes that helped the J. Taylor Finley Middle School football team compile a 6-0 record this fall.

Bryce Robinson, Max McCarthy and John Chirico all starred on both sides of the ball. “They are an exceptional group of athletes with superb abilities and great, sure hands,” head coach Ron Wilson said. “These young men made quarterback Kevin Drake look awesome. They caught just about every ball that was thrown at them at key points in games.”

Robinson had five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded 18 tackles, including four for a loss, deflected a pass, recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass.

McCarthy caught seven passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns. He also made 14 tackles, including four for loss and intercepted a pass.

Chirico rushed 34 times for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored on four extra point runs and had three receptions for 109 yards. Defensively, he made 17 tackles, including one that went for a loss, deflected three passes and recovered a fumble.

Blue Devil Girls’ Basketball Opens

Alexandra Heuwetter has the ball for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
Alexandra Heuwetter has the ball for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)

The Huntington varsity girls’ basketball team will participate in a multi-school scrimmage at St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay on Saturday. The Blue Devils will open the season next Tuesday (November 28) at home with a non-league game against Bellport at 4:30 p.m. Another multi-team scrimmage is set for the following Saturday (December 2) at Northport.

The Huntington varsity is coached by Michael Kaplan and Marissa Bergmann.

Lou R. Giani Wrestling Era Debuts

A new era is dawning for the Huntington High School wrestling program. Lou R. Giani has assumed the varsity head coaching position. The Blue Devils will make their season debut at 47th annual holiday tournament Louis D. Giani Gymnasium on Saturday, December 2.

The all-day event will feature wrestlers from Huntington, Port Jefferson, Farmingdale, Comsewogue, Kings Park, Patchogue-Medford and Grand Street Campus in New York City.

Giani is joined on the staff by assistants Omar Santiago and Kieran Mock and Finley coaches Travis Smith and Mike Marinello.

Huntington Boys’ Basketball Preps

Huntington's Mike Abbondandelo races past the defense. (Darin Reed photo.)
Huntington's Mike Abbondandelo races past the defense. (Darin Reed photo.)

The Blue Devil varsity boys’ basketball team is continuing to prepare for the start of the competitive season. Huntington will open on Friday, December 1 at a tournament in the Kings Park High School gym. The Blue Devils will face Commack at 5 p.m. and then play again the following day at 5 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.

Huntington will host East Hampton in a scrimmage on Monday, December 4 and then play William Floyd on Saturday, December 9 at 3:15 p.m. in a tournament game at Sachem East.

The Blue Devils home opener is Saturday, December 16 at 2 p.m. against Northport. The league opener is on Tuesday, December 19 against Smithtown West at 5:45 p.m. at home.

The Huntington varsity is coached by Brian Carey and Kevin Thorbourne.