Posting a 6-2 mark and taking first place in Division IV, the Southampton Mariners 7-to-8-year-old football team wrapped up its season at the Police Athletic League football awards ceremony held at Southampton High School Monday night.
Playing for this season’s team were Jake Esposito, Micah Snowden, Amar Gardner, Deion Minter, Patrick Medio, Alex Petty, Joey Farrell, Jacob Armus, Jayden Pepitone, Matthew Donovan, Elijah Wingfield, Seamus Brown, Joey O’Brien, David Nichols, Jackson Marcincuk, Billy Graap and Adonis Hutchings.
The Mariners beat Commack 18-0 in their season opener on September 13 when Snowden, Wingfield and Esposito each scored touchdowns. They followed up that win with a 12-6 victory at Hampton Bays on September 28, when Wingfield scored both touchdowns.
Other wins included a 7-6 victory over Longwood at home on October 5. Wingfield scored a touchdown while Esposito kicked an extra point in that game. The Mariners won back-to-back games by 19-6 scores, getting past Westhampton Beach on October 26, with Snowden scoring a pair of touchdowns and Esposito adding a touchdown and an extra point. The team also beat Blue Point on November 2. In that game, Wingfield scored two touchdowns and Esposito had a touchdown and an extra point. In the final game of the season, Southampton beat Center Moriches 12-6 on November 9 with Esposito and Wingfield each scoring a touchdown.
Coach Amar Gardner, who shares coaching duties with Edward Armus, Jeff Esposito and Barry Brown, said he was proud of the team for its performance and versatility.
“The guys play as many positions as they can,” he said. “We hone, shape and mold them into what they need to do.”
The team’s only losses came against East Hampton at home on September 21 by a 12-6 margin, and at Peconic on October 12, when the Mariners were shut out 12-0.
Also present at the ceremony were members of the 9-to-10-year-old team, which ended its season with a 5-4 record, according to coach Bob Petty. Petty shared coaching duties with Southampton athletic director Darren Phillips, Rick Wesnofske, Buddy Wines and Rocky Ambrose.
The team included Bryce Phillips, Nicholas Petty, William Riddick, Harrison Aponte, Israel Johnson, Andrew Wesnofske, Nakia Williams, Chad Pike, Andre Franklin, Matthew Medio, Jason Ambrose, Jack O’Brien, Chris Gabrielsen, Joshua Allen and Sam Passavia.
Phillips said that apart from being the varsity coach of Southampton’s football team, it is also important to him to foster a love of the game at the youth level. He added that his PAL coaching experience has been rewarding this season.
“Overcoming fears of hitting and blocking, those are some of the things that make the season a success to me,” he said.
Registration begins for next season on January 1, 2009. The fee is $95. For more information, contact Southampton PAL representative Kelly McLaren at (631) 287-5662.