The Huntington High School varsity football team will take the field for its 96th season opener on Saturday at Blue Devil Stadium against West Islip at 2 p.m.
One of the top programs in Suffolk, West Islip edged Huntington in the final regular season game last fall, 37-35. Since then the Blue Devils have regrouped and fixed their eyes on making a run for a post-season berth.
Head coach Steve Muller heads into his 24th year leading the Blue Devils with a staff that includes varsity assistants Todd Jamison and Kevin Graham. “We are excited to start playing games,” Muller said. “We’ll give every opponent everything we have.”
Huntington's offense is under new management with junior Torin Bograd doing the signal-calling at quarterback. He will be complimented by a very fast, elusive trio of running backs in senior Lex Colato, junior Nasir Youngblood and sophomore Josiah Melendez.
Huntington returns a very experienced offensive line with senior Gary Barash at center, senior guards Aidan Mrotzek and Tazadon Smith and junior tackles Nick Tudisco and Kyle Green.
Playmakers at receiver positions include seniors Jaylen Bush, Jon Koumas and Aedan McDonald, junior Chad Rowe and sophomore Tyriek Mays-McKoy.
Huntington’s defense will do it’s best to stop runs and disrupt offenses with the aggressive play of a mixture of tough linebackers Koumas, Colato, Rowe, Mays-McKoy, senior Vinny Caravetto and sophomore Robbie Smith, who also will see time in the offensive backfield. McDonald is another hard-hitter on defense, who can be a game changer at safety.
Huntington hasn’t defeated West Islip since 1997 when the Blue Devils toppled the Lions, 20-7. West Islip has bested Huntington five straight times by scores of 37-35 (2018), 20-17 (2017), 28-7 (2016), 22-21 (2015) and 21-8 (1998).
A big crowd is expected at Blue Devil Stadium on Saturday for the game. The Huntington Booster Club will be selling refreshments from the fieldhouse.
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Muller comes into the season with a career mark of 127-87 for a .593 winning percentage. He passed Joe Lucey (125-95-9 .566 in 27 seasons) last fall to become the winningest Huntington varsity football coach ever.
Huntington first fielded a football team in 1895, but the squad was not officially sponsored by the high school and it contained many players from the town, but not the school. Following a catastrophic injury to a player in 1901, the sport was put on hold until 1924 when it was officially sanctioned by the high school.
Huntington played its games at Heckscher Park through the 1958 season. The program has only had nine head coaches in its 96 year history. The group includes Alton R. Stevens, Ross Scott, William Class, Frank Kubisa, Al Donofrio, Joe Lucey, John P. Paci, Jr. Ron Wilson and Steve Muller. The program’s all-time record is 420-309-30, a .573 winning percentage.
All-Long Island Football Players from Huntington
|1989||John P. Paci III||12||6'4||198||QB|
|2003||Jovan Hairston||12||5'11||280||DL||2nd Team|
|2005||Zach Howell||11||6'||170||QB||2nd Team|
|2005||Dominick Sair||12||6'||235||RB||2nd Team|
|2013||Ben Kocis||12||6'2||190||QB||2nd Team|
|2013||Troy Greene||12||6'1||190||All-Purp||2nd Team|
|2013||Levar Butts||12||5'8||195||LB||2nd Team|
|2018||John Paci IV||12||6'1||180||QB||2nd Team|