DIX HILLS, New York, October 2
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
The first month of the fall sports season is in the books. Just this week, September came to a close and, with that, the varsity teams from Half Hollow Hills high schools East and West are primed for playoff pushes and late-season theatrics. Let’s take a closer look at how the teams have looked so far this season.
Half Hollow Hills
There are five teams in the school district that draw students from both high schools, coming together to form a super-Half Hollow Hills team.
First up, the girls gymnastics team has been on a roll. Half Hollow Hills (3-0) has yet to lose a match as of Monday, putting up big wins over Lindenhurst (0-4), Babylon (2-3) and Walt Whitman (0-3). They’re next in action today as they welcome West Babylon to High School East for a 4 p.m. showdown.
Similarly, the girls cross country team is also amongst the unbeaten teams in League I as Half Hollow Hills (2-0) won both of their meets so far against Longwood (0-1) and William Floyd (0-1). On Tuesday, just after press time, the girls welcomed Commack (0-1), and today they’ll head out to Fireman’s Field in Ridge for the annual Tom Knipfing Invitational at 4 p.m.
Both the girls swimming and boys volleyball teams for Half Hollow Hills have started their seasons hot.
The swim team (2-1) is, as of Monday, tied atop of League I with William Floyd and Ward Melville. That may have changed on Monday, though, as the girls welcomed Smithtown (1-2) for a meet that took place after press time. Today, they’ll travel to Brentwood (1-1) for a 4 p.m. meet.
Starting the season with five straight wins, the boys volleyball team suffered their first loss last week as they fell 3-0 to Sachem North (5-0). Before the setback, Half Hollow Hills (5-1) had lost only two games – with shutout wins coming against Huntington (1-5), Connetquot (2-4) and Center Moriches (1-5). On Monday, another tough matchup at Commack (3-2) occurred after press time, but the team welcomes Bay Shore (5-0) today for a 5:30 p.m. start at High School West.
The field hockey team has so far spent its season looking up at the competition in Division I. Half Hollow Hills (0-7) has yet to win a game, but they did take Patchogue-Medford (2-5) down to the wire on Sept. 20 in a game that the Thundercolts would ultimately drop just 1-0. The team was also in action after press time on Monday when it welcomed William Floyd (0-6); but on Oct. 6 they host Walt Whitman (2-4) at High School West for a 4 p.m. start.
Half Hollow Hills High School East
Of the seven teams that High School East fields this fall, the school has recorded 26 wins and just 13 losses.
The most impressive of the bunch has been the girls tennis team, which has started the year with nine straight victories. This has earned the girls a first-place seating in League I – as of press time on Monday – thanks to big wins like those over High School West (3-3) and a 7-0 shutout of second-place Commack (4-2) in September. On Monday, the girls traveled to Ross (1-6); on Tuesday they took on Kings Park (0-6); and on Wednesday the team traveled to Harborfields (4-5). Continuing the trend, the girls will welcome Smithtown East (4-4) today for a 3:30 p.m. match.
Continuing the trend of not losing has been the boys cross country team which has won both of its meets so far this season against Copiague (0-2) and Riverhead (0-2). The boys will next be in action on Tuesday against Walt Whitman (2-0) at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park.
Looking good on the pitch have been both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams from Hills East.
The boys, in particular, like to play in close games. Of the six matchups the team has so far played, four have been decided by one goal, and one ended up in a 0-0 draw. In the one blowout game the Thunderbirds (3-2-1) have played in, they dominated 4-1 over an impressive Northport (3-2-2) squad. On Monday, the boys took on Walt Whitman (4-2) at home and then traveled to Central Islip (4-1) on Wednesday. Next in action on Oct. 1, the Thunderbirds will make the trip to Connetquot (1-4-1) for a 4 p.m. kickoff.
Hills East’s girls team has been on a tear as of late, outscoring opponents 10-1 in its last two games. Despite losing 2-0, the Thunderbirds were impressive on Sept. 17 when they took on Northport (8-0) – one of the best teams on Long Island. On the winning front, though, Hills East edged third-place Lindenhurst (6-3) by a score of 3-2 on Sept. 11. On Tuesday, the girls took on Connetquot (2-6-1) at home; today they’ll travel to Lindenhurst for a rematch at 6:15 p.m. in Lindenhurst.
Football, football, football – the Thunderbirds have looked good with the pigskin so far. In its homecoming game, Hills East (2-1) used its stout defense and power-run game to keep Copiague (0-3) quiet as the Thunderbirds went on to win 31-8. However, a questionable 41-7 loss to North Babylon (1-2) last Saturday may hurt Hills East moving forward. They’ll look to bounce back on Wednesday when they traveled to West Islip (0-3).
Teeing off to a swell start has been Hills East’s boys golf team, which is tied for second place in League III as of press time on Monday. A big win over Hills West (4-1) would give the Thunderbirds (4-1) momentum as they prepared for a matchup against Huntington (6-0) and West Babylon (0-4) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Today, they’ll take on Hills West once again with tee time scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Finally, the girls volleyball team has struggled at times this year but was able to get results against Northport (0-4) and Lindenhurst (1-5) in September. Hills East (2-5) would look for success on Wednesday when it traveled to Bay Shore (3-1), and will do so once again on Oct. 7 at Northport (0-5).
Half Hollow Hills High School West
The win column is something the teams from Hills West have found themselves in early and often this season.
Football – along with fútbol – is perhaps where the Colts have most been successful this year.
The football team has so far put up more than 20 points in each of its three games this season. This has comfortably left the Colts looking down at the competition in Division II from first place – where the team was tied with Bellport (3-0) and Riverhead (3-0) as of press time on Monday. Whether Hills West came out with a big win or a disappointing loss against Riverhead, the team will continue on for an Oct. 11 showdown with Smithtown East (2-1).
On to the fútbol – more typically referred to as soccer, of course. Between both the boys and girls, Hills West has lost just two games this season.
To better encompass this dominance, here’s an impressive statistic for you: From Sept. 15-19 the Colts outscored opponents 19-0. In fact, the last time Hills West lost was on Sept. 11 at North Babylon, which would ultimately send the Colts on a five-game winning streak – including an impressive win on the road against West Islip (5-2-1) on Sept. 22. After an away game at Smithtown West (6-2) on Monday, the Colts will look for some revenge against North Babylon as the Bulldogs come to town for a rematch today at 4 p.m.
The boys also had an impressive September, outscoring its opponents 15-7. A 4-2 setback against Smithtown West (4-1-1) is the only time the Colts (5-1-1) fell this season, with a 2-2 draw coming against North Babylon on Sept. 16. The push for the playoffs started on Monday when Hills West welcomed West Islip (2-5) to town and then again as the Colts traveled to Newfield (1-6) on Wednesday. Next week, Hills West will once again have its shot against Smithtown West on Oct. 6.
Following suit, the boys’ golf team is tied for second in League III as of press time on Monday and has recorded two shutout wins this season: 9-0 against West Babylon (0-4) and 9-0 against Lindenhurst (1-5). The Colts (4-1) prepped for a rematch against West Babylon on Tuesday and then another against undefeated Huntington (6-0) on Wednesday. Today, the much-awaited rematch against Hills East is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
On the tennis court, Hills West’s girls have been successful in League I so far this year, currently sitting in third place. A 7-0 shutout against Smithtown East (4-4) on Sept. 15 was impressive and the Colts (4-3) would look to replicate that success on Monday and Tuesday as they took on Bay Shore (5-5) and Harborfields (4-5). Today, a showdown with Commack (6-2) is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. at High School West.
Also on the court, but this time the volleyball court, has been a Colts team that pulled off its biggest win against Hills East (2-5) on Sept. 15. Hills West (2-5) is looking up at the rest on League IV’s teams, but would look to change that on Monday with a match against Deer Park (1-4) and another at Centereach (5-3) on Wednesday. After that, they now have a trip to West Babylon (1-5) scheduled for Oct. 7 at 5:45 p.m.
Last, but not least, the boys cross country team has still been looking for the spark that will get them going this season. The Colts (0-2) have dropped both of their meets so far, but took on East Islip (2-0) on Tuesday and now looks forward to a meet with Huntington (0-2) at Sunken Meadow State Park in Kings Park on Oct. 7 at 4 p.m.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, October 2, 2014; A26)