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Mar 28, 2018 9:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hurricanes Show Off New Hardware: Their Championship Rings

Members of the Westhampton Beach Football team with their championship rings. DANA SHAW
Mar 28, 2018 10:49 AM

Craig Conner will never forget the day he cracked open the velvet box containing his Long Island Championship ring.It was the evening of March 6, and the co-captain of the Long Island Division III champion Westhampton Beach football team and his 33 teammates—along with their seven coaches—were presented with their rings during the district’s annual football awards dinner at Trumpets on the Bay in Eastport.

“It’s really indescribable,” recalled Craig, a senior who played linebacker for the Hurricanes. “Beyond the flash of [the rings], it’s an accumulation of blood, sweat, tears, injury … it means a lot.”

The championship rings—which are made of silver and cubic zirconia, and cost $190 each—were presented at this month’s award dinner after two anonymous donors agreed to cover the $7,790 tab, according to Westhampton Beach Athletics Director Kathy Masterson. She noted that the donors, who live in Westhampton Beach, have donated to the athletics program before.

“The generosity that has come out of this community for athletics has just been phenomenal,” Ms. Masterson said, adding that the members of the football team were originally going to buy their own rings. “Thank you for making my kids feel so special on something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” she added, referring to those who picked up the tab.

The undefeated Hurricanes earned their first Division III championship by defeating Lawrence High School, 54-26, at Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium at Stony Brook University in November. It was the first title for the Hurricanes since 1989, when they played in Division IV.

“I know so many kids on the team would give their right arm to win a game,” Craig said. “There were teams that we played, maybe they were bigger than us, but nobody ever had more heart than us.”

“This was our year,” added senior team co-captain, Dylan Laube, the team’s star running back. “We always had the mindset of winning the championship.”

The experience was equally memorable for head coach Bill Parry. He explained that he did not have huge expectations entering the campaign, noting that six of his starters were hurt at the start of the regular season, forcing him to call up four sophomores from the junior varsity team.

“It was actually a blessing,” Mr. Parry said. “Every week, we got a little better.”

He noted that his Hurricanes scored 21 unanswered points to come back and win their season opener against rival Bellport, 42-38, setting the tone for what would end up being a dream season. “We really should have lost, but the kids really played for each other, and they’ve done that all year,” Mr. Parry said.

Craig said he can still recall the looks of disappointment on the faces of his teammates when they lost to East Islip in the 2016 semifinals. “I remember the look on the seniors’ faces then,” he said. “You could tell how bad they wanted it.”

That made the following year’s victory all the more sweet.

“I got the ring and it was finally, like, ‘Man, we really did win!’” Craig said. “It’s an experience of a lifetime.”

“It just shows how hard we worked—it means a lot to have those rings” Dylan added. “It’s a good way to end it.”

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Well done Hurricanes, players,coaches and staff.You will never forget those games and the fun you had. Thank the benefactors for their support. I know in my heart they are former players that appreciate they effort put forward.
Well done to all...
By knitter (1579), Southampton on Apr 2, 18 8:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
That is some nice looking hardware. Congrats!
By icecreamman (428), Southampton on Apr 2, 18 5:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
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