The William Floyd Athletic Department is excited to have 12 varsity teams returning to competition for the 2021 fall season. The Colonial student-athletes and coaches are eager to return to a normal fall schedule and to begin competing against rival schools from across Long Island!
Cheerleading (Head Coach: Danielle Nevins)
The William Floyd varsity cheerleading team, led by head coach Danielle Nevins, has been preparing for their season by focusing on strength training and tumbling classes. Coach Nevins along with her staff are excited for the overall growth in the cheerleading program, “as we’ve grown in size and skill level tremendously, it will allow us to entertain at fall football games more effectively,” Coach Nevins said.
“We are looking forward to getting the community more involved at games and have Colonial spirit and Floyd pride soar this year. Keeping everyone ‘Floyd Strong’ as we navigate these challenging times is our main priority as a school cheer team.”
The Colonials will be looking for their team captains to lead them to success throughout the season. Sarah Duenzl, Angelina LaValle and Emily Leiva are expected to lead the Colonials through their ability to set a strong example both athletically and academically.
Girls Cross Country (Head Coach: John Ryan)
The William Floyd High School girls’ varsity cross country team will once again be coached by John Ryan this season. Coach Ryan and his team have been preparing all summer for this upcoming season with morning practices at the high school and evening practices at Smith’s Point. Last season, the Colonials finished as co-league champions with Smithtown, and the goal this year is to be outright League I champions.
“We want to qualify our entire team for the Suffolk County State Qualifier meet,” said Coach Ryan. “Seniors Alanis Gonzalez and Alaysia Cobb were both All-League runners last year. Their work ethic this summer has them prepared for a run at All-County honors.” Along with the talented seniors, junior Aaliyah Jordan is ready to break out on the cross country course. Aaliyah was the Division I champion in the steeplechase this past spring season. The Colonials will also be led by talented freshman Zariel Macchia, who earned the Suffolk County Cross Country “Runner of the Year” designatio last season. She is coming off an incredible spring season where she was county champion in both the 1500 and 3000 meter runs. She also earned the Frank Labianca Award as the best distance runner in the county this past spring season. With the New York State Meet to resume this season, Zariel is excited to compete against the best girls in the state. She was recently named to the Newsday Top 25 Long Island Girls Cross Country Runners for fall 2021.
Boys Cross Country (Head Coach: Ed Noll)
The Colonials graduated All-League runner David Alvarez and first-team All-County senior Matt Mullen, who both led the team to a 4-2 record last season, just falling short of winning a league title.
That means the Colonials will have to lean on some fresh faces this season, including standout runner Evan Rivera, who Coach Noll says can mix it up with any top runner in League I.
“William Floyd will remain competitive with all the big schools in League I,” said Coach Noll. “But we are definitely looking to rebuild and establish a strong base with a lot of young runners coming in next year.
Gymnastics (Head Coach: Rich Daly)
The girls gymnastics team opens up against Half Hollow Hills on Friday, September 10. After a challenging year last year, the Colonials are looking to regroup and recapture some of the magic of the 2019 championship season.
Field Hockey (Head Coach: Maria Carucci)
Over the summer, the William Floyd High School varsity field hockey team participated in the Summer League at Bay Shore every Tuesday along with morning workouts to prepare them for this season. Head Coach Maria Carucci is excited to be returning a solid core of starting players from last season and expects her team to make a run at the playoffs.
Coach Carucci highlighted midfielder Sydney Marchese, defender Rachael Moscatiello, forward DeAnna Faison, forward Taylor Benedetto, midfielder Julia Huertas and goalie Jocelyn Arnold as key Colonial players this season.
Football (Head Coach: Paul Longo)
Three-straight Suffolk County championships and a long-storied history of success, the Colonials return to the gridiron under the leadership of legendary head coach Paul Longo. Coach Longo mentions that winning a fourth consecutive county championship and going for the program’s sixth Long Island championship will be a great challenge. “Our players have been weightlifting, doing conditioning as a team and 7 on 7 drills,” said Coach Longo. “I expect our team to compete with the best teams in our division for the top spot.”
The Colonials lost many key student-athletes to graduation, but will be returning some excellent players. Coach Longo specifically mentions the offensive line being a unit that they need to build back up with younger players. Brian Benson is a returning All-Long Island selection that has already received offers to play Division I football. In a shortened season last year, Benson recorded 12 sacks and 32 tackles. He was also recently named among the Newsday Top 100 football players on Long Island along with offensive lineman Ryan Amato. Amato, a junior, has started since his freshman year and is a tremendous run blocker.
The Colonials expect their defensive line to be “one of the best in the state” with Jayson Thomas and Kalanie Trotman returning along with Benson. Starting quarterback LaDuke Harris scored two key touchdowns in last season’s county championship game and Coach Longo believes that will be great experience for him headed into this season. Unfortunately the Colonials lost star safety Nick Muelthaler this season due to injury.
With two-a-day practices behind them and the opener this weekend, Coach Longo and the Colonials are expected to be at the very top of Long Island football once again.
Boys Golf (Head Coach: Thomas Short)
Longtime boys’ varsity golf coach Thomas Short returns as the Colonials are excited to get back onto the course following the challenging circumstances surrounding last year. The Colonials have been practicing at Rock Hill Golf and Country Club and are excited to finally get their season underway. “We look forward to our team continuing to show growth and working hard toward a successful season,” Coach Short said.
Boys Soccer (Head Coach: Paul Paniccia)
The William Floyd High School boys’ varsity soccer team have been playing non-stop throughout the summer. They played in the Brookhaven Summer League on Monday and Wednesday nights, as well as training together with the junior varsity team on Tuesdays. Head Coach Paul Paniccia has taken a quote from the late basketball great Kobe Bryant and made it his team’s motto for this season, “Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No Excuses.”
We expect our players to practice, play, learn and live by this quote and be successful,” said Coach Paniccia. “Our preseason was tough and our team scrimmages were competitive. Suffolk County soccer is very competitive. There are no easy games on the schedule and the boys will be tested. We have the right mindset to challenge anyone.”
Coach Paniccia stressed to his team that soccer is the ultimate team game and that it will take contributions from everybody in order to be successful. The Colonials will be returning a large group of seniors who are game tested and ready to compete. Both leading scorers Jovanny Ortiz and Julio Fernandez, two starting center backs Mike Iadanza and Jacob Samuelsen, along with twins Alex and Ian Rojas, are expected to lead the way for the Colonials. Alex was an All-League and All-Conference player who unfortunately missed last season due to injury but is excited to return for his team.
Girls Soccer (Head Coach: Kaleigh Sidaras)
The girls’ varsity soccer team, under the leadership of head coach Kaleigh Sidaras, have spent their summer playing in the Town of Brookhaven summer league and conducting open workouts. Coach Sidaras has a lot of confidence in her group and believes they are talented enough to make a run at the playoffs.
In order for the Colonials to meet their coaches expectations, they will rely upon some key players, including seniors Tara DiMaio (center midfielder) and Hailey Carey (defense). Also, the team will look for 10th graders Kayla Gilmore (center midfielder) and Kayden Meyer (center midfielder) to be key contributors. Coach Sidaras also mentions juniors Kaitlyn Vlacich (forward) and Peyton LaVallee (center back) as important players to help the Colonials achieve their ultimate goal.
“Peyton has some big shoes to fill, but she is stepping up to the challenge and has shown tremendous growth and leadership. Overall this team has what it takes to make it far this season, together!” Coach Sidaras added.
Girls Swimming (Head Coach: Taylor Buckley)
The William Floyd High School girls swimming team will have a new head coach this season as Taylor Buckley will be taking over for retired head coach Rich Harris. Buckley said that, as she is new to the program, her main goal leading up to this season was to communicate with the swimmers about their personal and team goals, and how to achieve them. “What do you want to be proud of?” Coach Buckley asked her team.
“As the new head coach of a new group of girls, my expectation is for the girls to see what they are truly capable of both in and out of the water. I want to build the team’s camaraderie and build the confidence in competing,” Coach Buckley added. She also mentions Isabella Coppola as a key swimmer this season. She will be the Colonials’ distance and 100 meter backstroke swimmer.
Girls Tennis (Head Coach: Dave Pia)
Following a great season that saw the Colonials finish second in their division with a 9-2 overall record, legendary head coach Dave Pia returns with his girls’ varsity tennis team for another run. Coach Pia has been preparing his team all summer with his annual summer tennis camp. “The summer is our opportunity to work on improving tennis fundamentals and game play strategy. Tennis camp also helps us with conditioning and strength development,” Coach Pia said.
The Colonials graduated six seniors, four of whom were starters. Coach Pia will look for his younger players who are very talented to develop and improve throughout the season. “Our goal is to improve on tennis player fundamentals and match-play strategy.”
Three All-County players are returning – Amanda Jones, Hailey O'Connor and Isabella Saladin, will return to anchor the doubles lineup. All-League players Adrianna Filippelli, Casey Musselman and Jacky Sutherland are versatile players and can play either singles or doubles. “These experienced players -- I'm hoping -- will lead us to a successful year,” Coach Pia added.
Girls Volleyball (Head Coach: Matthew Van Horne)
The Colonials are returning six starters from last season and expect that experience to lead to success on the court. Led by head coach Matthew Van Horne, the girls’ varsity volleyball team are excited for the season. The girls also ran volleyball camps this summer and Coach Van Horne is looking for this offseason preparation, along with the progress they made last year, to help build toward a successful 2021 season.
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