11/01/13 1:00pm
11/01/2013 1:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy running back Reggie Archer carries the ball against Babylon Oct. 25, which turned out to be the final game of the season for the Monarchs.

The McGann-Mercy football team’s final game of the regular season tonight at Southampton was abruptly canceled this morning, according to Mercy athletic director John Lonardo and head coach Jeff Doroski.

It was Southampton’s decision to forfeit the game, which will go down as Mercy’s first win of the season.

Lonardo said he received a call last night from Southampton’s athletic director about the possibility of a forfeit. This morning, Mr. Lonardo said he received a call confirming that the game will not be played.

“As far as I know there are no plans to play game at a future date,” he said.

Southampton High School Principal Brian Zahn told The Southampton Press that “there was an incident reported to us that we are investigating and following up on. Because of the nature of our investigation we felt it best that we just forfeit that game.”

The news came as a shock to the Monarchs, who prepared all week to face the 1-6 Mariners and were excited over the prospects of ending the season with a win.

“I feel bad for all the kids involved,” Doroski said. “The seniors miss out on an opportunity to play their last high school football game.”

Word began to spread among the players this morning via text messages and phone calls, Doroski said. The team plans to meet at 3 p.m. today for a final meeting and to collect equipment. Doroski said they might take the players out for a night of bowling and pizza.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on over there.”

After a thrilling run to the Division IV semifinals last year in the playoffs, the Monarchs couldn’t catch a break this year as a difficult schedule and injuries paved the way to an 0-7 start. As practice began this week, Doroski told the players that nothing else matters from this point as they prepared to try to win their final game.

“For the seniors that would be something they remember,” Doroski said.

Instead, they’ll be packing their bags.

joew@timesreview.com

09/20/13 9:53pm
09/20/2013 9:53 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River quarterback Daniel Hughes scrambles for a first down in the fourth quarter Friday night against Babylon.

PANTHERS 36, WILDCATS 14

If the question for Shoreham-Wading River was whether the Wildcats had bridged the gap between themselves and the upper echelon of Division IV, the Babylon Panthers delivered a swift and emphatic answer Friday night: not yet.

The defending Long Island champions, who haven’t lost a regular season game since Oct. 1, 2011, quickly put an end to the Wildcats’ night by taking a 29-0 lead in the second quarter. The Panthers (2-0) scored touchdowns on each of their first four possessions and cruised to a 36-14 victory.

The silver lining for the Wildcats: they reached the end zone twice, something they hadn’t done at all in their previous two trips to Babylon.

The Shoreham touchdowns came on consecutive plays from scrimmage, both 80-yard runs. Senior Tyler Anderson scored the first, busting a run to the outside and up the sideline on the final play of the third quarter. After Babylon went three-and-out, the Wildcats struck again when junior Aaron Harley-Rey broke through the middle for an 80-yard score.

The two plays injected life back into the Wildcats’ sideline, but the score never got any closer.

At the very least, the Wildcats can leave Babylon knowing they played a tougher game than a year ago, when the Panthers dismantled Shoreham late in the season, 55-0.

Babylon’s offense Friday did most of its damage early on through the air behind quarterback Nick Santorelli. He threw 11-of-13 for 150 yards and three touchdowns. The Panthers played a lot of spread formations with four wide receivers, which also opened up some running lanes for Santorelli and halfback Eric Schweitzer.

On two passing touchdowns, the Wildcats had a defensive back in position. But both times the receiver simply went up and snatched the ball out of the air.

Ray Wardell, a 6-foot-5 receiver, easily came down with the first passing touchdown while matched up against the 5-foot-10 cornerback Mike Ingermi for Shorheam. The touchdown gave Babylon a 14-0 lead. Jake Carlock, who’s 6-2, scored the first of his two touchdowns by snagging a ball amid double coverage at the left corner of the end zone.

Wardell caught six passes to lead the receiving corps. In the second half, the Panthers abandoned the spread formations and stuck to a basic running attack.

Schweitzer scored two touchdowns on the ground to lead the rushing attack. Anderson still had a big day on the ground for Shoreham as he tallied 150 yards.

The loss dropped Shoreham to 1-14 all-time against Babylon. The Wildcats host The Stony Brook School next week.

joew@timesreview.com

08/21/13 5:00pm
08/21/2013 5:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River football team will begin the season as the No. 3 seed in Division IV.

There’s definite reason for enthusiasm at training camp this year for Shoreham-Wading River. After a 6-2 regular season last year, the Wildcats advanced into the semifinals of the Division IV playoffs.

They enter this year with the core of their skill position players back on offense, including quarterback, wide receiver and running back.

But Shoreham coach Matt Millheiser knows there’s another word that can replace enthusiasm: expectations.

“It’s a double-sided coin,” Millheiser said. “It’s nice to have expectations where people believe in you enough to say, ‘Hey, they’re capable of this and that.’ But it’s also a little more pressure.”

Under Millheiser’s tutelage, the Wildcats have gotten better and better each season since 2010. Two years ago they shocked everyone by making the playoffs. Last year, it wasn’t so much a surprise when the Wildcats finished as the No. 3 seed in the division and won a first-round playoff game against The Stony Brook School.

So what’s the next step this year?

“There’s excitement in terms of getting better and making strides against the better teams in the league,” Millheiser said.

The Wildcats will begin this season where they left off last year: third in Division IV. The preseason rankings list Shoreham behind Babylon and Mount Sinai, the two mainstays of D-IV. Babylon won the Class IV Long Island championship last year.

As the Wildcats begin their first official practices this week, one of the early question marks centers around the offensive line.

“It’s trying to find the right fit, making sure that we all find the best place to put them to help the team,” Millheiser said. “Obviously, there’s always competition and battles on the field but the main thing is settling that offensive line.”

However the line shapes up, it will undoubtedly have one of the top runners in the division behind it in senior Tyler Anderson. A four-year varsity player, Anderson put up huge numbers last year. He finished the season with 18 touchdowns.

Millheiser fully expects another huge season from Anderson, who also plays linebacker. Now he’s looking to see him as a bigger leader on the team.

“When times get tough and things get a little shaky on the field, I’m going to expect a little more leadership,” Millheiser said. “Not just from what he says, but how he acts in a role that people will get behind him and follow him.”

The Wildcats return junior quarterback Danny Hughes and wide receiver Isreal Squires, who teamed up for some highlight reel plays last year. While the Wildcats will still be a run-first team, Hughes should get plenty of chances to find the speedster Squires on passing routes.

“I would say you’re going to see us utilize Izzy and Danny’s skills a little bit more this year,” Millheiser said. “We have some known quantities in terms of weapons this year that we definitely weren’t aware we had at the start of last year.”

With a 29-man roster on the varsity to start the season, the Wildcats will face a challenging preseason schedule to prepare for the season. Their first scrimmage features Sachem East, Miller Place, Smithtown West and West Babylon. They’ll play a game scrimmage against Half Hollow Hills East.

Millheiser said one notable change to the coaching staff this year is the addition of Tom Fabian, who was the JV head coach last year. He’ll coach on the varsity this year as the defensive coordinator, while also coaching the receivers and defensive backs.

joew@timesreview.com