J. Taylor Finley Middle School football players had every reason to celebrate on a recent bitterly cold Thursday night. The Falcons lit up the scoreboard this fall and showcased some of the best young gridiron talent on Long Island.
Parents Patricia Krywak and Tiffany Annunziata coordinated the gathering, which drew a throng to the Finley cafeteria. The Falcons seventh grade team compiled a 3-2 mark under coaches Kevin Thorbourne and Julian Watts while the eighth grade squad coached by Ronald Wilson and Jim Byrnes, Jr. went undefeated at 6-0 for the second consecutive season. So there were good reasons to celebrate at a party.
“The focus of the dinner was to recognize these young scholar-athlete’s accomplishments and contributions to our Blue Devil football program,” Wilson said. Coaches of the two teams took turns speaking about their players and respective season highlights. Blue athletic “F” letters trimmed in white were presented to each of the players in the middle school program.
Finley’s seventh grade team was captained by Anthony Annunziata, Sammy Mac Arner, Jack Uvena, Jack Koopman, Christopher Acompora-Mille and Michael Kline. The Faclons outscored their five opponents, 82-78.
Finley’s powerful eighth grade squad was captained by Josiah Melendez, Kevin Drake, Robbie Smith, Kaleef Riley and Jahiem Hawkins. The talented team outscored its rivals by a 236-52 margin.
Finley’s parking lots were packed to capacity by parents attending the dinner. Hundreds of photos were snapped of players. Coaches took delight in telling funny stories about each of the two teams and detailing the heroics of their players.
“It was a spectacular night,” Wilson said.