‘Played Well’ in Hampton Bays Loss

“We started the season with 29 kids. Now, because of eight major injuries — shoulders, knees . . . — we’re down to 20.”
Shane O’Dwyer made, according to his coach, Joe McKee, “a beautiful catch of a beautiful throw” for an East Hampton touchdown in the first quarter of Saturday’s game at Hampton Bays. Craig Macnaughton

East Hampton High School’s depleted football team continued its losing streak at Hampton Bays Saturday, though Joe McKee, its coach, said his charges played well.

“It was 8-8 after the first quarter,” he said of the 28-16 loss. “We had to punt out of the end zone and that resulted in their first score, but then we came back with a beautiful 60-yard touchdown pass thrown by our quarterback, Jacen Tuthill, to Shane O’Dwyer, who had lined up in the slot. A beautiful throw and a beautiful catch.”

“The wheels kind of fell off in the second quarter. One of our starting tackles, Reggie Williams, had to come out because of a head injury, and we didn’t protect well after that. Jacen threw an interception, which led to their second touchdown, and a fumble led to their third score.” 

The Bonackers held the Baymen scoreless in the second half, and scored their second touchdown in the fourth period, Tuthill capping an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard bootleg into the home team’s end zone.

“They really played well,” McKee said of his players. “Just one bad quarter.”

Questioned about injuries, he said, “We started the season with 29 kids. Now, because of eight major injuries — shoulders, knees . . . — we’re down to 20.” Noah Lappin, the team’s best running back, has yet to play a game because of concussion protocol, and its top lineman, Kevin Weiss, has also been on the sidelines this fall.

Things won’t get better this week given the fact that Elwood-John Glenn, which, at 4-1, is one of Division IV’s top teams, is to play here Saturday at 2.

“We’ll have our hands full,” said McKee, “but we’ll continue to work hard in practice to prepare for them.”

Some good news for East Hampton’s program lies in the large turnout for flag football — an in-house league under the lights at Herrick Park.

“We’ve got more than 80 kids signed up,” said McKee, who began overseeing flag football here at the start of the school year. “We’ve got three leagues - kindergarten through second grade, third and fourth, and fifth and sixth. We’ve got four teams in K-second and third-fourth, and two in fifth-sixth.”

Bonac’s coach is being helped in the endeavor by a number of his assistants, including Lorenzo Rodriguez, Eddie McGintee, Andrew Foglia, Mike Ritsi, Kyle Russell, and Scott Abran, as well as by a half-dozen alumni — Rob Rivera, Frank Grande, Austin Bahns, Steven Bahns, Bobby Maier, and Joe Colavito.

“Each team gets six games a night. We began it at the beginning of school,  and we’ll go to the end of this month — with practices on Wednesdays and games on Fridays,” McKee said. “The kids have been enjoying themselves, everybody’s been coming out. It’s been a great community thing.” 

“It could be 5-on-5, 6-on-6, 7-on-7, or even 9-on-9,” the coach said in answer to a question. “It all depends on the number of kids we have.”