Blue Devil lacrosse great Patrick Durand won the 2019 Donald A. Loughlin Founders Award.

Blue Devil Sports News

Blue Devil lacrosse great Patrick Durand won the 2019 Donald A. Loughlin Founders Award.

August 30, 2019

Patrick Durand gave the Huntington High School boys’ lacrosse team unparalleled determination and rugged play during his senior season last spring.

Co-captain of the Blue Devil squad, Mr. Durand enjoyed a splendid season with a team high 70 points. He’s plans to study business at the University of South Carolina. “Pat facilitated the offense and was the team’s quarterback,” said Julian Watts, Huntington’s head coach “He led us in points.”

Mr. Durand was named the winner of the 2019 Donald A. Loughlin Founder’s Award. It is presented to the senior “who exemplifies the traditions of Huntington lacrosse,” in honor of the man who started the Blue Devil program 64 years ago.

The award was formally presented to Mr. Durand during the 51st annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium before a crowd of more than 200. The teenager was given an attractive certificate and a $200 award stipend.

Blue Devil head coach Julian Watts paid tribute to Mr. Durand’s talents on and off the field. He developed many close relationships with his teammates and coaches and is well-liked by all of them.

“Mr. Loughlin wanted to sponsor this award because of the many opportunities that Huntington gave him as a teacher, assistant principal and lacrosse coach,” Mr. Watts said. “Past Blue Devil lacrosse teams helped establish a tradition of excellence and Mr. Loughlin was so proud of these accomplishments and wanted to recognize present players in our program.”

Principal in Rochester

 Don Loughlin in 1958
Don Loughlin in 1958

Mr. Loughlin left Huntington in 1968 to become the founding principal of Rush-Henrietta’s Sperry High School in suburban Rochester. He returned to Huntington High School on Homecoming Day in 2009 to participate in the Class of 1959’s 50th reunion weekend. He served as the class faculty advisor 56 years ago. He passed away on March 18, 2018.

Mr. Loughlin donated $4,100 to the district 11 years ago to establish the Donald A. Loughlin Founders Award. “I am very grateful to have had opportunities as a teacher, administrator and lacrosse coach in the Huntington School District,” Mr. Loughlin wrote in a letter to the district which outlined his financial contribution and the parameters of the new award. An attractive plaque and monetary stipend accompany the award.

Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Donald A. Loughlin began his Huntington teaching career on September 3, 1952. His path to the district was a winding one. A 1941 junior high “graduate” of Belmont Boulevard School in Elmont and a 1944 graduate of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, Mr. Loughlin worked his first “free” summer for Bell Labs in New York City as a messenger before finding himself embroiled in World War II in September of that year, serving in the U.S. Navy and rising to the rank of 3rd class fire controlman in the South Pacific theater.

Served in US Navy

The future Blue Devil lax founder served two years in the Navy, participating in the liberation of the Philippines along with the bloody invasion of Okinawa. Once discharged, Mr. Loughlin enrolled at Adelphi University, became active in the student government and joined the lacrosse team, a squad he eventually captained. He was also president of the Adelphi Athletic Association.

After graduating from Adelphi with a Bachelor of Science degree, Mr. Loughlin worked as assistant to the president of Micro-Lite in New York City. He was later employed as a cost accountant for Standard Brands in Manhattan, a post he held until he began his teaching career.

Just when Mr. Loughlin probably thought his military service was forever in the past, he was recalled to active duty in June 1951 during the Korean War and served six months in Europe before a final discharge. Following a student teaching stint at Sewanhaka High School, he applied for a job in Huntington on April 12, 1952.

The Huntington School District saw something in the strapping 6-foot, 165 lb. military vet and former college athlete that they liked and he was hired to work as a business teacher at Robert L. Simpson High School, as Huntington High School was then known. The school was located on Main Street at the site of the current town hall.

Founded Blue Devil Lax

Mr. Loughlin became a central figure in Huntington, first creating a lacrosse club with sticks and balls made available to students for use before and after school and during lunch periods and then launching an interscholastic team in 1955. He also served as vice president of the Long Island-Metropolitan Lacrosse Association. He was the Blue Devil head coach until 1959.

During his time in Huntington, Mr. Loughlin also did a stint as president of the Adelphi College Alumni Association, was appointed as alumni representative to the Adelphi Board of Trustees and was president of the Suffolk County Business Teachers Association.

After earning the respect of students, staff and the Huntington community, Mr. Loughlin was identified as holding the basic skills of leadership and organization needed for a successful career as a school administrator. With the opening of the new Huntington High School in late November 1958, the school board decided to create a second assistant principal position to handle the influx of about 400 freshmen added to the high school building.

When Mr. Loughlin was hired to fill the new administrative post, it forced him to give up his coaching position. His responsibilities included the areas of discipline, pupil activities, school budgets, attendance and new teacher orientation. The new position also required him to step down as director of the district’s adult education program.

The value of education was something Mr. Loughlin clearly believed in, as he earned a master’s degree at Columbia University’s School of Business on June 1, 1954. By February 1960, he had completed another 30 graduate credits at Columbia.

During his time in Huntington, Mr. Loughlin married, became a father of two children and settled down in Northport. His career here ended at the same time Robert Cushman’s 18-year tenure as high school principal came to a close. Mr. Loughlin submitted a letter of resignation to Mr. Cushman, asking for it to become effective July 15, 1968 so he could assume his new duties as principal of Rush-Henrietta’s brand new Sperry High School.

One of the lasting images of Mr. Loughlin’s time in Huntington rests in the high school yearbooks in the School Heritage Museum’s collection. In the 1959 edition, there’s a photo of Mr. Cushman, Mr. Loughlin and Raymond A. Hettler, another assistant principal who later left to become a principal in Massachusetts, exiting the new high school building prior to its opening following a tour of the facility just days before students flooded into the school for the first time.

Donald A. Loughlin Founders Award

2019 Patrick Durand
2018 Alex LaBella
2017 Garrett Moya
2016 Dan Brown
2015 Timothy Mattiace
2014 Christian Jamison
2013 Connor McCartney
2012 Daniel Plant
2011 William Coffey
2010 Andrew Sheerin
2009 Mark Salerno

Alum Eren Aydin to Make College Soccer Debut

Huntington Class of 2019 member Eren Aydin will make his college soccer debut when he takes the field for SUNY College at Geneseo tonight (Friday, August 30) against St. John Fischer College at 7 p.m.

Mr. Aydin took a pair of summer courses at SUNY Geneseo before returning home for two weeks. He then headed back upstate for the beginning of soccer season. The Blue Devil alum came close to acing both summer classes and he’s doing equally well on the soccer field.

H-ton Alums Are Teammates Again

Cristian Garay and Rudy Salmeron are teammates again. The two Huntington High School Class of 2019 members played together on the Blue Devil varsity soccer team. The duo is once again playing alongside each other as members of the SUNY College at Old Westbury men’s soccer team.

Garay is a 5’8, 140 lb. midfielder. The 5’11, 185 lb. Salmeron also plays midfield. Both Huntington grads are interested in studying business.

The two Blue Devil grads will play their first college soccer game on Sunday when Old Westbury plays at Stevens Tech in Hoboken, New Jersey at 1 p.m. They play at home on Tuesday (September 3) against CUNY Lehman College at 4 p.m.

Blue Devils Playing Football at Hobart

 Huntington alums Alex LaBella, Jared Leake and Clay Jamison play football at Hobart College.
Huntington alums Alex LaBella, Jared Leake and Clay Jamison play football at Hobart College.

Huntington High School grads Jared Leake, Clayton Jamison and Alex LaBella are all playing football at Hobart College in upstate Geneva.

Leake is a 5’11, 185 lb. cornerback. Jamison is 6’1, 310 lbs. and plays on Hobart’s offensive line. LaBella is 5’11, 167 lbs. and plays wide receiver.

Hobart hosts SUNY College at Brockport in the season opener on Saturday, September 7 at noon.

Eric Sands Wins HFD’s Frank Carino Award for Athletics

The Huntington Fire Department presented Huntington Class of 2019 member Eric Sands with the organization’s Frank Carino Award for Athletics.

The formal presentation was made at Huntington senior academic awards night in the high school auditorium. The Carino Award carries with it a $500 stipend.

Mr. Sands is attending SUNY Alfred State University, where he was recruited to play fullback on the football team. He won varsity athletic letters with the Blue Devil football, winter and spring track and field teams.

Named Suffolk All-Division II in football, Mr. Sands is a two-time qualifier for the winter season New York State Track & Field Championships in weight throw (indoor hammer throw).

Finley Fall Sports Approach

The J. Taylor Finley Middle School fall sports program is set to begin for seventh and eighth graders.

 Finley Middle School fall sports are set to begin practicing next week.  (2)
Finley Middle School fall sports are set to begin practicing next week.

The fall season will officially kickoff with Finley football players participating in their first day of tryouts on Wednesday, September 4 from 3-5:30 p.m. That’s the first day of classes for the 2019/20 school year and it will be a busy day for dozens of young men expected to play on the Finley gridiron team.

All other Finley fall sports will begin tryouts/practice on Thursday, September 5 from 3-5 p.m. The fall season lineup of sports other than football includes girls’ tennis, field hockey, co-ed cross country, boys’ soccer and girls’ soccer.

An opportunity for Finley athletes to obtain a physical exam from the school doctor in the nurse’s office will be provided on Tuesday, September 3 at 8 a.m. Students must bring a completed and signed interval health history screening form to the physical exam. (This physical exam is for students who are not getting an exam from their private physician.)

No one will be allowed to participate without presenting an up-to-date physical exam report, signed parent/guardian permission/code of conduct slip and a current health screening form. These documents are available via downloading on the school district’s website at – click on the Main Navigation on the top left of the homepage and then on Fall Season under Athletics. Scroll down to Documents and click. A dropdown menu of items will appear.

Finley students who have obtained a private physical exam can re-qualify for fall participation during lunch periods on Wednesday and Thursday, September 4-5. Physical exam forms completed by private physicians and signed interval health history screening forms should be presented to the nurse when requalifying.

Alyssa Sorensen Garners Peter Steen Memorial Scholarship

Alyssa Sorensen has proved adept at overcoming whatever obstacles and challenges stand in the way of accomplishing her goals; and there have been many over the years. So it’s entirely fitting and proper that he be given a scholarship in memory of one of the most determined Huntington graduates ever.

 Peter Steen graduated with Huntington's Class of 1979.
Peter Steen graduated with Huntington's Class of 1979.

The Huntington High School Class of 2019 member was named this year’s recipient of the Peter Steen Memorial Scholarship, which carries a $1,000 stipend.

A delegation of Steen family members and classmates presented the award to Ms. Sorensen at the 51st Blue Devil senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium before a crowd of 225. The teenager plans to study public health at Drexel University in Philadelphia in preparation for a career as a physician assistant.

A member of seven different academic honor societies, Ms. Sorensen held executive offices with the Huntington High School student government, National Honor Society and Young Leaders youth development organization. She started on the varsity Blue Devil soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams.

A member of the Class of 1979, Mr. Steen suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during the summer preceding his junior year and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Despite missing an extended stretch of school time as he underwent intensive rehabilitation, Mr. Steen still managed to graduate on time. Voted Huntington High School’s Homecoming Day king in 1978, he later obtained an undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University and worked as a stockbroker, financial planner and inventor. He never lost his zest for life or surrendered his hope of walking again.

Mr. Steen was seriously injured while playing in a summer lacrosse game in the community. As a Huntington sophomore, he had been the junior varsity football team’s leading rusher and the JV lacrosse team’s top scorer.

When Mr. Steen passed away on December 9, 2016 he was mourned by his family and loyal friends and classmates. He will never be forgotten at his alma mater.

Eren Aydin is an explosive offensive player. (Mike Connell photo)
Eren Aydin is an explosive offensive player. (Mike Connell photo)
Eric Sands (pictured with school counselor Diana Bonilla) won the Huntington Fire Dept's Frank Carino Award for Athletics.
Eric Sands (pictured with school counselor Diana Bonilla) won the Huntington Fire Dept's Frank Carino Award for Athletics.
Peter Steen Memorial Scholarship Award recipient Alyssa Sorensen with members of the Steen family
Peter Steen Memorial Scholarship Award recipient Alyssa Sorensen with members of the Steen family
Cristian Garay Araujo (No. 7) chases after the ball for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
Cristian Garay Araujo (No. 7) chases after the ball for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)