The Huntington varsity baseball head coach Billy Harris anticipates his team will have a good season. The skipper isn’t willing to predict the Blue Devils will win their first league championship since 1965, but he is optimistic about notching a winning year.
Heading into the season, the top players look to be Luke Eidle, Will Vollack, Elian Pimentel, Jason Mora, Justin Italiano and Ethan Copp.
Pimental was the team’s closer last spring, but Harris said the teenager might be moved into the starting rotation. If that happens, the Blue Devils will find another pitcher to finish games.
Eidle is arguably Huntington’s best player. But everyone on the roster is hoping to have a career season. Jonathan Magerle is the Blue Devils’ catcher.
Huntington’s Offense Hums
Nicole Leslie with the ball for Huntington.
(Darin Reed photo.)
Nicole Leslie scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Huntington girls’ basketball team past host Centereach, 58-28 in Suffolk League III play.
Huntington took a 9-7 first quarter lead before going on a 21-5 second quarter run to give the Blue Devils a 30-12 halftime advantage. Huntington went on to outscore the Cougars in the second half, 28-16.
Alexandra Heuwetter scored 12 points for the Blue Devils. Katie Seccafico had eight points and eight rebounds. Charlotte Maggio had six points and Riva Bergman and Paige Lennon both scored four points. Abby Maichin scored three points and Christie Baade and Alyssa Sorensen had two points apiece.
Heuwetter dropped four three-pointers. Huntington was also efficient at the free throw line scoring a dozen points, including four by Seccafico.
Nicole Leslie Wins Section XI Award
Nicole Leslie, who is playing a key role on the Huntington girls’ basketball team this winter, has been named Section XI’s Female Athlete of the Week.
Leslie turned in several strong performances on both ends of the court and also provided exceptional leadership as one of the Blue Devils’ captains.
“Nicole is a wonderful player and a fine young women,” Huntington head coach Mike Kaplan said. “She’s an exceptional role model for players of all ages.”
H-ton 4x400m Relay Qualifies for Millrose Games
The Huntington boys’ track and field team’s 4x400m relay has qualified for Millrose Games on Saturday, February 3 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Manhattan.
Jason Turner, Jonathan Smith, Brian Pierre and Anthony Joseph met the qualifying standard by crossing the finish line in 3:30.61 at the meet qualifier.
Sam Bergman reached the finals in the weight throw at the Millrose Games qualifying meet, tossing a personal best 52-02 feet, but he just missed earning a spot at the Millrose Games on February 3.
H-ton Lax Coach Profile
Julian Watts has been a full-time Huntington health education teacher since September 2015. Prior to that he worked in the district on a part-time basis for two years. A graduate of St. Anthony’s High School, he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Hofstra University, where he also earned and a master’s degree in health education. He has coached high school boys’ lacrosse and middle school football.
Jonathan Smith Starts to Excel
Jonathan Smith has started appearing on the radar of metropolitan area track and field athletes and coaches. The Huntington High School junior is having a breakthrough season running and jumping.
Huntington head coach Ronald Wilson is pleased with Smith’s progress in various individual running events, as a member of the Blue Devil relays and in both long jump and triple jump.
“I feel that this season is going really well for me,” Smith said. “All of my times are progressing whenever I step on the track. Before I run, I go through my race strategy with Coach Wilson and he tells me how I should run the race depending on what event I’m running. Wilson tells us ‘don’t worry about the people that are better than you in your race, just run your race and fight until the end.’”
Smith’s events are the 55m hurdles, 300m dash, 600m dash, 4x400m relay, 4x200m relay, long jump and triple jump.
At last weekend’s Molloy-Stanner Games at the Armory in Manhattan, Smith placed fifth in the 600m dash from the unseeded section. His time of 1:24.61met the state championships qualifying standard. He’s currently ranked No. 3 in Suffolk in the event.
“I feel that the team this year is great and full of talented young athletes,” Smith said. “Our team is full of young athletes. We don’t’ have studs like Kyree Johnson or Lawrence Leake, who can do anything on the track, but we certainly get the job done. At the end of the day, the team comes first!”
H-ton Fencing Hosting Relay on Saturday
The Huntington fencing program is hosting an 11-team relay carnival tournament on Saturday in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
Huntington will be joined by teams from Walt Whitman Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Lindenhurst, Sayville, Ward Melville, Newfield, Brentwood, Manhasset and Knox School.
The action will get underway and include the Blue Devil boys’ and girls’ teams.
Blue Devils Set New Record
Huntington’s freshman sprint medley relay turned in a record setting performance last weekend at the Molloy-Stanner Games at the Armory in Manhattan.
400m lead leg Anthony Joseph, 200m second leg Nasir Youngblood, 200m third leg Jason Turner and 800m anchor leg Isaiah James shattered a nine year old meet record to capture gold medals by crossing the finish line in 3:48.20. The previous meet record of 3:52.60 was set in 2009 by St. Benedict of New Jersey.
Jaylen Bush Shines at Molloy-Stanner Games
Sophomore Jaylen Bush shined at the Molloy Stanner Games at the Armory in Manhattan last weekend.
Bush grabbed a silver medal in the sophomore division of the 55m hurdles, finishing in a personal best time of 8:58.
The teenager went on to win another medal when he joined with teammates Justin Stevens, Junior Flores and Jason Verville in the sophomore sprint medley relay to place fourth in 4:00.76.
Huntington Throwers are Impressive
Senior Clay Jamison earned a medal by finishing fourth in the invitational division of the shot put at last weekend’s Molloy-Stanner Games in New York City. The senior tossed the weighted ball 49-00.50 feet
Senior Levi Leach tossed a personal best of 44-11.5 feet in the varsity division of the shot put to finish second in a field of 65. Junior Eric Sands was fifth with a toss of 42-11.50 feet.