After losing one of the top high school athletes in the country to graduation last June, the Huntington boys’ track and field team is in transition. Infinite Tucker has moved on, but the Blue Devils who are returning want to win just as badly as they ever have.
“For the past few years, I’ve always said next year will be a bit difficult,” head coach Ronald Wilson said. “Well this year is no different. Even though we will be returning many of our top athletes, we still have some gaps to fill. You can’t replace an Infinite Tucker. What a specimen!”
In addition to trying to replace as many of Tucker’s points as possible, Wilson clearly has plenty of work to do. “Losing three of the top throwers and distance runners in Suffolk County is going to be difficult,” he said. “Amaru Jones, Vernon Alexander and Kenny Charles stood out and won every point for us in shot put and discus. Tommy Kopstein and Kyle O’Brien gave us points when we needed them. These athletes were big point earners in our league and division. We will however, return a few experienced athletes who earned league, county honors and national honors.
Kyree Johnson takes off
in the long jump. (Darin Reed photo.)
Chief among the returnees will be three seniors who won state and national titles last year, including Kyree Johnson and Lawrence Leake, who are expected to dominate in the sprints and jumps and Shane McGuire, who reached the state championships in the 800m and should continue to improve.
“Distance runners, Danny Collins, John Healy and Connor Grosso, return and should be a factor,” Wilson said. “Newcomers that were impact players for us were Brian Pierre, Arkim Pierre, Will Newton, Nasir Youngblood, Chad Rowe and Chris Piazza, who all earned All-League honors.”
While Tucker’s departure creates a huge hole in the lineup, Wilson knew it was coming. He’s been nurturing the underclassmen for several years and hopes they are ready to assume a more prominent role on the team. The coach said the Blue Devils shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
“One can never really tell year to year, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we will be competitive in every aspect of the sport,” Wilson said.
Regardless of the specific individuals on the roster, Huntington’s goals remain the same. “Our goal is to continue to teach the fundamentals of track and field to high school athletes; to compete at a high level, win our league and county championships and to make it to the state championship and win there as well,” Wilson said. “We want to continue to rank amongst the best in the nation!”