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Aug 25, 2015 10:21 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hurricane Football Expects Another Strong Season

This was a common scene last season: Dylan Laube leaving opposing defenses behind. Laube will be entering just his sophomore season this fall. DREW BUDD
Aug 25, 2015 2:54 PM

The Westhampton Beach football team has been one of the top East End programs for some time now—and look for that trend to continue this fall.

With a steady coaching staff that very rarely changes—head coach Bill Parry is entering his 19th season on the sidelines—the question each year isn’t “Are the Hurricanes going to make the playoffs?” Instead, it’s usually “What seed will the Hurricanes earn this season?”

Westhampton Beach has only missed the playoffs once since 2006, and that was two seasons ago, when a brawl between Comsewogue and Amityville ended a season-finale game early. The ripple effect on the playoff hopes of teams throughout the division was significant—and Westhampton Beach was left on the outside, looking in.

The Hurricanes lost a close game to crosstown rival Eastport South Manor in the first round of the playoffs last year. The playoffs are not only expected again this season, but a home playoff game would be preferred.

“Every year, we compete,” Parry said after a steamy Monday morning practice. “Our goal is to make the playoffs, and once we get in, we’ll see what happens. The division is definitely tougher than it was last year.”

Division III is, year in and year out, very competitive, and that couldn’t be more true this season. East Islip won the Division II championship last season, but due to enrollment numbers, the Redmen have been bumped down to Division III and were pre-ranked first. That’s ahead of annual powerhouse Sayville, which still boasts one of the top quarterbacks in the region, junior Jack Coan, who has been heavily recruited by some of the nation’s top universities, including Miami and Nebraska. And before it was known that East Islip was going to move down a division, Miller Place had a legitimate shot at being the top-ranked team coming into this season.

“Those three teams expect to be better than everyone else, but after them, it’s pretty even,” Parry said.

Westhampton Beach was pre-ranked fifth, which would get them into the postseason, since the top eight teams in each division qualify.

The Hurricanes lost a total of nine players to graduation, including Ben Bruzga, Patrick Dean and Henry Moreta. Parry said the team lost good players, but he’s confident in what he has coming back. Dylan Laube burst onto the season last season a freshman and will return to his starting running back role this season. Seniors Devin Laube and Bryce Phillips are also returning and will take on major, multiple roles.

Phillips was a special teams phenom last season, returning kicks and punts, and will continue to do so this fall. He’ll also be a starting safety on defense, the team’s punter, and he’s got a viable shot at being the team’s starting quarterback as well. He’s competing with last year’s junior varsity starting quarterback, junior Tristan Hogan, for the starting gig, along with junior Griffin Schulz, who moved back into the district after playing at Babylon last season. Parry said the starting quarterback will be decided after this Saturday’s scrimmage.

Devin Laube will continue to be an offensive lineman, but he’ll move from defensive lineman to inside linebacker this season. “Devin and Bryce will have started for two years already, so they’re pretty seasoned,” Parry said.

Backing up Dylan Laube at running back could be juniors Zach Arrasate and Ross Cange. Seniors Brian Haley and Shawn Meduski look to get some work at fullback.

Parry explained that not much will change on the offensive side of the ball. “We usually try and throw the football 15 to 17 times a game. If we’re throwing it more than that we’re in trouble,” he said. “If we’re throwing less than that, we’re beating someone up.

“Defensively, we’ve got a few little twists that we’re putting in, because we’re seeing more spread teams,” Parry added.

Joining Devin Laube on the starting defense could be seniors Max O’Henry, Eric Caldwell and Dan McClure. Junior Ryan Wagner, who will continue to be the team’s kicker, should find himself a spot on the defensive line. Senior Emmanuel Clarke hasn’t played football the past few seasons but is on the team this season, and Parry said he expects him to do well at the defensive end position.

Westhampton Beach opens the season at Sayville on Saturday, September 12, at 2 p.m. After hosting Hauppauge in their home opener on Friday, September 18, at 6 p.m., the Canes will host East Islip a week later on September 25 at 6 p.m. Westhampton Beach also plays Comsewogue, Kings Park, Islip, ESM and Miller Place this season.

“We’ve got Sayville and East Islip in the first three weeks. If we get through that, we’ll be all right,” Parry said.

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Number 57 in photo. Last year Senior Chris Chomicki. Now studies at Syracuse University Informational Science Program. Only 100 studied are chosen a year for this program who apply from the world. Congratulation Chris..... Carol Combes
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