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Sep 4, 2018 9:03 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Football Is Ready To Prove Itself Once Again

Liam McIntyre will return to his fullback and linebacker role this season for the Canes. R. SPENCER FINK
Sep 4, 2018 9:36 AM

To say the Westhampton Beach football team had a banner year in 2017 would be a bit of an understatement.

The Hurricanes finished last season with a perfect 12-0 season with Suffolk County and Long Island Division III trophies to show for it. It was the best season in the program’s long and storied history.

The Hurricanes vow that they still have more to prove, though.

With 16 returning seniors and a strong junior class, the Canes are taking it upon themselves to prove that they can win without the talented Dylan Laube, who broke and tied numerous county and Long Island records and is now playing at the University of New Hampshire.

“A lot of people said we can only do what we did because of Dylan, because of the explosion he brought to the team,” senior co-captain Liam McIntyre said. “So everyone is fired up and ready to show that we can do more by ourselves. There’s a lot of people doubting us this year saying we can’t do what we did, but we’re ready to do it again.”

Westhampton Beach will have a new head coach this season after Bill Parry retired after 22 years. Taking over is Bryan Schaumloffel, Parry’s assistant for those entire 22 years, who is ready to create another run with this year’s crop of players.

“Those players who are returning are looking forward to showing everybody what kind of football players they are,” he said. “And it wasn’t just a one-man team last year. We talk about building our own legacy and building our own lasting memories, what they’re going to be remembered by.”

McIntyre will return to his fullback position on offense and linebacker on defense. It was announced last week that McIntyre will wear number 12 this season, taking it from his friend Laube. The number is given to the team’s top captain and is in memory of Cory Hubbard, who was a prime athlete during his time at Westhampton Beach and was killed in a hit-and-run accident at the University of Maryland in 2014 while attending school there.

McIntyre is one of five co-captains this season, along with fellow seniors Jake Bennett, Clarke Lewis, Jon Mendoza and Edon Popi.

“It’s a huge honor,” McIntyre said of receiving Hubbard’s number 12. “I played varsity for three years now, so for two years other seniors have received it, [and] they were role models to me. They were captains and a huge part of the team, so seeing them wear it and wearing it with honor showed me what I had to do.

“Hearing the stories of Cory all the time throughout the town from different coaches and stuff, hearing them get choked up when they tell a story, shows how much he meant to everyone,” he continued. “Because I didn’t know him personally, unfortunately, just hearing about him shows how much he meant to everyone and the kind of kid he was, so I want to wear it with honor and just represent.”

Running back is the Canes’ deepest position, which, along with McIntyre, includes fellow senior Tyler Nolan, junior Jaden Alfano-St. John and sophomore Joe Sarno. Senior Clarke Lewis will return as quarterback and then five seniors return to the starting offensive line in Bennett, Dan Eckart, Brian Mensch, Mendoza and Popi. Mendoza, at 6-feet-8-inches and 300 pounds, and Mensch, at 6-feet-2-inches, 250 pounds, add size to the line, while Popi is a three-year starter and provides experience and leadership.

“It just helps because the chemistry is there,” Bennett said of having an all-returning line. “The play calling on the line, it makes for very comfortable and easy switches. Makes everything a lot easier.”

The Canes were seeded second in Division III behind Half Hollow Hills West, the team they beat for the county title last season. Sayville was seeded third, followed by East Islip, Miller Place—back in Division III after playing in Division IV the past few seasons—Islip, West Babylon and cross-town rival Eastport South Manor, which is where the Canes will start the season, this Friday, September 7, at 6 p.m.

“I think after three weeks of preseason camp, the guys are looking forward to the first week. I don’t know if it’s a benefit or not to play your rival week one, but we’re excited to go over there and play and we’re hoping for a real nice season,” Schaumloffel said.

Having coached with Parry for so long, Schaumloffel said there will appear to be subtle changes. The biggest change, so far, is that Schaumloffel will go from leading the offense, which he has done for the past 20 years or so, to the defense. Mark Johnson has taken over as offensive coordinator.

Still, the goals remain the same.

“Somebody told me in college one time, you should go into every season with your goal being to win your final game, and that’s our goal, to win the final game that we play,” Schaumloffel said. “And hopefully that final game is the Long Island Championship at Hofstra.”

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