EXCLUSIVE: Sachem May Host Suffolk County Football Championship Games

Stony Brook has conflict and Section XI likes facility in Lake Ronkonkoma.

Picture this: coaching on the turf at Sachem and the Flaming Arrows playing in a county championship on their own field.

After Wednesday’s board of education work session in the Sachem Central School District, those scenarios inched closer.

Granted, Fusaro and John Glenn - where he is an assistant today - would have to clinch a spot in the Division IV Suffolk County final and Sachem North would have to do the same in Division I, but there is a likely possibility of Sachem hosting all four Suffolk County football title games in November.

Since Stony Brook University’s football program is playing a home game the same weekend Suffolk normally hosts the Division I-IV county finals, the conflict is forcing Section XI, the governing body of athletics in the county, to look elsewhere. The games will be played Thursday, Nov. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 19.

Wednesday, the board granted Sachem Director of Athletics Pete Blieberg approval to converse with Section XI, who approached Sachem because of its massive set up, about bringing the championship games to Lake Ronkonkoma.

Before Stony Brook or Hofstra were used, games were regularly played at neutral sites around the county. Those were in the pre-turf and, for the most part, pre stadium light days.

Playing at Sachem North offers a decadent array of positive facility characteristics: double parking since Samoset is on the same complex, a turf field, stadium lights, two sets of bleachers and a central location in Suffolk.

"With the help of Section XI and our own people, we can pull this off," said Sachem Superintendent James Nolan.

Blieberg said this will come at no expense to the district and all costs will be taken care of by Section XI, including security. Sachem, however, will be able to run the concession stands and keep the profit from that area. Blieberg could not immediately comment about Sachem profiting at-large from Section XI since he is still in preliminary discussions with the county.

The next step is for Blieberg to meet with Section XI’s executive council next Thursday to engage in deeper conversations about championship weekend.

 “We’ll get to showcase our facility," he said, "which I believe is the best in Suffolk County.”

Gene Morris October 06, 2011 at 05:12 AM
My question is, how was this not resolved before now?
Justin Cirillo October 06, 2011 at 05:18 AM
This would be a good fit. There is no doubt that Sachem is one of, if not the most historically sacred public school football programs on Long Island. I've been to a decent amount of other football venues in Suffolk, and nothing matches either Sachem as far as field condition, seating and lighting. It is simply the best, because of the installation of the turf field and new bleachers which are now on both the home and visiting side. Plus there is a press box, which MSG Varsity has used in the past. I'm not sure how Section XI or an opponent would feel if a Sachem team were to reach the Championship game and have a home field advantage, but I suppose if they looked at other top-tier football schools, they might have that same issue. It will be interesting to see what Section XI ends up doing.
Ray October 25, 2011 at 06:04 AM
fix the lights


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