Despite struggling to win games, the J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ lacrosse “blue” team did feature some fine young players who seem destined for future success in the Blue Devil program.
The 23-player squad was captained by Will Spada, Jack Kurathowski, Joe O’Connell and Jack Giamo. Matthew Bilello and Joe Trezza coached the team.
“It was an up and down year for us this season,” Bilello said. “We had a few bright spots in some games, but our record doesn’t reflect the team.” Giamo and fellow eighth graders Ethan Mcguinness and Harry Cozine paced the squad.
The Falcons compiled a 3-7 mark. Finley-Blue earned victories over Candlewood (9-8), West Hollow (9-8) and West Islip Udall (8-7) and fell to Bay Shore (15-5), Finley-White (13-7), Commack-White (8-2), East Northport (25-3), West Islip Beach (12-8), Oldfield (14-2) and Stimson (14-4).
Mcguinness scored a team-high 19 goals from his attack position. “Ethan is a workhorse on any team he plays for,” Bilello said. “He always thinks ‘attack the goal’ and will even dodge three straight defenders.”
Giamo led Finley with 16 assists. “Jack is the backbone of our midfield,” Bilello said. “He is not overly flashy as a player, but his hard work had him double-shifting lines, taking face-offs and playing attack and it landed him with the most assists.”
Cozine was a standout on defense, notching team highs in groundballs and clears. “Harry was our top defender and a second goalie on the field, helping clear the ball and picking up the most groundballs for the team,” Bilello said.
The highlight of the spring game against West Islip Udall. “Our first group played an amazing first half, but only managed to score three goals and we were losing, 6-3,” Bilello said. “We slowly mounted a comeback through the third quarter, bringing the score to 7-6. Down a goal, Joe Sclafani tied the score with two minutes to go. Udall was penalized, which gave us a man-up with 1:30 left and Jahiem Hawkins went on to score the winning goal.” The 8-7 victory won’t be forgotten anytime soon by the players.
Finley-Blue has a solid nucleus to build around heading into the 2018 campaign. “We are looking forward to bringing back Joe Sclafani, Will Spada and Jahiem Hawkins,” Bilello said. “All three spent spurts on the starting squad this year as seventh graders.”