Josiah Melendez with the ball for the Blue Devils. (Darin Reed photo)

Blue Devil Football Looks Toward 2022

Josiah Melendez with the ball for the Blue Devils. (Darin Reed photo)

December 15, 2021

While there are some possible awards still outstanding, the Huntington High School varsity football team is starting to turn its collective eyes ahead toward the 2022 fall campaign.

The Blue Devils cobbled together a good team this past season. A squad that won five games and reached the playoffs. A one point opening week loss to West Islip stung. Had the result gone the other way, Huntington would have been in a more advantageous playoff round position.

Head coach Steve Muller led a staff that included James Byrnes, Kevin Graham, Ron Wilson and Andrew White. While there were many seniors among the 37 players that completed the season, 23 Blue Devils were first year varsity letter winners and nine others garnered their second varsity letter. To put it in clearer perspective, this year’s team lacked extensive varsity level experience.

Next year’s team might be equally young; or even younger. But no one ever can count the Blue Devils out. Huntington always seems to find a way to put a competitive team on the field. But Muller and his staff want to be more than competitive. They want to win a championship. To do that will require players to commit to working hard in the off-season and to making football a priority.

The Blue Devil JV compiled a 7-1 mark, raising hopes for future varsity success. Many JV players are due a promotion to the varsity level. That will be determined many months from now.

Eight Huntington players captured post-season honors, including Anthony Annunziata, John Chirico, Jahiem Hawkins, Kaleef Riley, Lucas Petrizzi, Josiah Melendez, Liam McDonald and Robbie Smith were all named to the All-Division team. McDonald and Smith were also picked as All-County.

Smith, Petrizzi, McDonald and Melendez captained the team. The Blue Devil coaches believe team members gave their best efforts during the long season, which began with practices in August. Huntington played some close games and even when the team lost, it drew compliments from opposing coaches.

When asked his goals for 2022, Muller responded in a concise way. “Have my players work and play to the best of their ability,” he said.

While everything in the world is now dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic and whether or not it’s under control, the Blue Devils hope to be able to celebrate the season at an awards dinner in the late winter. If that isn’t possible, an awards ceremony will be held.