The opening day kickoff is still about many months away, but Section XI recently released tentative 2022 varsity football schedules.
The Huntington football team will play an exciting set of home and away games. The first day of high school football practice in Suffolk County will be Monday, August 22. Game play will begin on Saturday, September 10. Huntington is seeded No. 11 in the 14-team Suffolk Division II.
The Blue Devil’s tentative schedule features: (date and seed indicated)
Saturday, September 10: Huntington at No. 10 North Babylon
Saturday, September 17: No. 7 West Babylon at Huntington
Friday, September 23: Huntington at No. 3 Lindenhurst
Friday, September 30: Huntington at No. 12 Centereach
Saturday, October 8: No. 13 Smithtown East at Huntington
Friday, October 14: Huntington at No. No. 5 West Islip
Saturday, October 22: No. 9 Connetquot at Huntington
Saturday, October 29: No. 14 Copiague at Huntington
The Blue Devils are not scheduled to play No. 1 Bellport, No. 2 Northport, No. 4 Half Hollow Hills East, No. 6 Newfield or No. 8 Smithtown West during the regular season next fall.
Huntington head coach Steve Muller. (Darin Reed photo.)
The first round of the playoffs will be held on Friday/Saturday, November 4/5 with the semifinals set for Friday/Saturday, November 11/12 and the county championship game scheduled for Friday, November 18 at Stony Brook University at 7:30 p.m. The Long Island championship game will be played at Hofstra University on Friday, November 25 at 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils cobbled together a good team last fall, winning five games and reaching 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, the team lacked extensive varsity level experience.
Next fall’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. Yet 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 making football a priority.
The Blue Devil JV compiled a 7-1 mark, raising hopes for future varsity success. Many JV players will be due a promotion to the varsity level. That will be determined many months from now.
Eight varsity players captured post-season honors, including Anthony Annunziata, John Chirico, Jahiem Hawkins, Kaleef Riley, Lucas Petrizzi, Josiah Melendez, Liam McDonald and Robbie Smith, who 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.
Muller is the Blue Devil football program’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 139-97 in 26 seasons.
The Huntington football program traces its roots to 1895 when a local team was formed. It included players from around the town and was not sponsored by the high school.
Plans to start a school team in 1918 were interrupted by the worldwide influenza pandemic and a later attempt was stopped when the teacher slated to coach the team moved back to Michigan. A Huntington High School team comprised of current students was finally formed in 1924.
Huntington played its first varsity football game on October 4, 1924 at Far Rockaway. The first Huntington football victory came on October 31, 1925 when the blue and white shutout Hicksville, 33-0.
The Blue Devils have a rich football tradition. The Huntington football team’s longest winning streak is 10 games, having been compiled over parts of the 1947 and 1948 seasons.
The Blue Devils won the Rutgers Trophy in 1948, 1949 and 1952 signifying county dominance. Two Huntington football players have won the Hansen Award, presented to Suffolk’s best player. Darren Ward captured the Hansen in 1987 and John Paci won the 1989 Hansen Award
In 98 seasons the Huntington football program has compiled a record of 432-319-30. Joe Lucey served as head coach longer than anyone else, clocking 27 seasons with a record of 125-95 between 1961-1987.