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Island Trees Takes on Seaford in Homecoming, Season Finale

Lady Dawgs Face Clark Lady Rams

After a torrential downpour ravaged the high school football field on Saturday afternoon, Island Trees administrators were forced to dramatically alter plans for the school’s regularly scheduled Homecoming festivities.

The Bulldogs’ football game against Seaford, which was scheduled to take place Oct. 29 at 2 p.m., was delayed by 24 hours. In addition, the Homecoming Parade was completely scrapped and the Lady Dawgs’ soccer match against Clarke was also switched to Sunday morning. The decision to switch the Homecoming festivities to Sunday would ultimately prove to be a good one, as over a dozen high school football players across Long Island were reportedly hospitalized with symptoms of hypothermia on Saturday afternoon.

After another short delay on Sunday morning, the Island Trees Lady Dawgs soccer team got the Homecoming party rolling with a 2-1 victory over the Clarke Lady Rams in a Class A playoff match. Senior forward Allie Merrill, who leads Island Trees with 12 goals and 5 assists this season, scored both tallies for the Lady Dawgs. While the match finally commenced 16 hours after its originally scheduled start time, playing conditions weren’t much better when the teams showed up at Island Trees High School on Sunday. “The field was still soaked when we got here this morning,” Island Trees Coach Andy Schneider said. “We had to delay the game by 30 minutes to let the field dry up a bit.” The Lady Dawgs’ victory earned them a trip to the quarterfinal round of the postseason.

By mid-afternoon on Sunday, the sun was shining and field conditions were far better than they were just a few hours earlier in the day. After all the obstacles that hampered their Homecoming plans, the Island Trees Bulldogs finally took the field at 2 p.m. on Sunday for their season-finale against the upstart Seaford Vikings in what shaped up to be a tough Conference IV clash. The Vikings (5-3) would ultimately come away with a 35-7 win over Island Trees, but the Bulldogs had several clutch individual performances.

Senior quarterback Kyle Nigro, a multisport talent at Island Trees, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jimmy Carabott early in the first quarter to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 edge. Junior running back Brandon Cassar completed the extra-point kick to give Island Trees a 7-0 lead early in the opening stanza. The Bulldogs were originally slated to play Friends Academy for their Homecoming contest in what would have been a much more winnable game, but the Quakers’ varsity football team cancelled its entire 2011 schedule due to a lack of players.

The Bulldogs wrapped up their 2011 campaign with a disappointing 2-6 record, but the 13 underclassmen on the varsity roster leaves the team with plenty of promise for a bright future.