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Sep 21, 2013 10:55 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Brawl Brings Abrupt End To Southampton, Hampton Bays Boys Soccer Game

Sep 24, 2013 10:10 AM

In what seems to be becoming a common occurrence between two cross-town rivals, a brawl brought an abrupt end to a boys soccer game between Southampton and Hampton Bays at Southampton High School on Thursday, September 19.

With the Mariners leading the Baymen, 2-1, with 18 seconds remaining in the game, a Southampton player fouled a Hampton Bays player at midfield. The Hampton Bays player who was fouled immediately got into the Southampton player's face and then the two started to wrestle each other, causing both Southampton and Hampton Bays players to rush midfield.

Coaches, school officials and security at Southampton immediately ran onto the field to separate both teams.

Since both teams had players run onto the field from their respective benches, officials had no choice but to call the game with 18 seconds remaining and with Southampton holding a 2-1 lead. All players who leave their benches and come onto the field of play must be ejected from the game, according to Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County high school athletics.

Nearly a year ago, in late September of 2012, a brawl between the Southampton and Hampton Bays varsity football teams ended a game prematurely midway through the second quarter. Hampton Bays was leading that game, 34-0. The game was deemed official by Section XI, with Southampton getting the 2-1 victory over Hampton Bays. Southampton Athletic Director Darren Phillips and Hampton Bays Athletic Director Drew Walker both met with Section XI Executive Director Edward A. Cinelli on Monday morning to go over all of the information that was pulled in from both schools.

Hampton Bays wound up having 17 players suspended, with 15 of them getting suspended for coming onto the field, and two other players suspended for their roles in the altercation. Southampton will have three players suspended, two for leaving the bench and one for his role in the altercation. All players with one-game suspensions on both teams missed Monday's games.

Both Phillips and Walker ran onto the field to break up the brawl along with security and coaches. When asked why there was a wide disparity in the number of players suspended for both teams, Walker said it was partly because Hampton Bays had 29 players at the game while Southampton only had 16.

"We just have a lot more players," he said. "[Southampton] had a couple who didn’t leave the bench. Anyone in the contest who steps on the field is automatically suspended for the next game. It’s a great rule and it's there to defuse any type of situation."

The brawl overshadows what was a close and competitive game. Southampton took a 2-0 lead in the first half. Senior Milos Djurasic sent the ball into the box off a set piece and sophomore Gianluca Santacruz headed it to an open Stefan Djurasic, a senior, who lifted it over Hampton Bays senior goalie Joe Calamita to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute.

About 15 minutes later, Hampton Bays junior Andy Reyes took down Southampton senior Andrew Gardner with a slide tackle in the box. The official called for a penalty kick, which was taken by Stefan Djurasic, who scored in the bottom right portion of the goal and gave Southampton a 2-0 lead. Hampton Bays scored before the end of the half though.

Hampton Bays senior Andres Tapia took the ball down the right side and crossed the ball into the box. Fellow senior Moises Villareal tried to the head the ball in the goal intially but it was stopped. After a quick scrum in front of the net, Villareal kicked the ball in to make a 2-1 game.

The Baymen led possession of the ball in the second half and had a few attempts to score. The few times Southampton had the ball it had its chances to widen the lead but came up a little short. Hampton Bays was driving the ball downfield before the foul at midfield occurred and caused the brawl.

"We were playing as hard as we could," Hampton Bays head coach John Paga said. "Southampton is a really, really good team and I knew going in there it was going to be hard to beat them. But we played well in the second half and one stupid thing with 18 seconds left destroyed the whole thing.

"I've coached the team for nine years now, we’ve never been in a fight," he continued. "And there has only been one red card handed out to one of my players before this. It’s a black eye on my program."

Hampton Bays played with nine varsity players in its game on Monday and called up four junior varsity players to field a team. Paga expected to have most of his team back by Wednesday.

Southampton head coach Dave Riley said a two-goal lead is the toughest lead to hold. "It's easy to get momentum that comes with one goal," he said. "Their goal let them take control of the game. We had been nicely dictating the pace, but I feel like their goal gave them that edge."

Riley added that his defense was solid throughout the game and he was happy that the 2-1 result was upheld by Section XI.

As for the fracas, Riley said he was disappointed in a few of his players, but for the most part, he was proud of the way most of his players stayed away from the situation. He noted that most of his players did not come on to the field.

"It was a good game, and that’s the thing, we usually have a good matchup with Hampton Bays," he said. "I was glad it got under control very quickly. Both [athletic directors], I was impressed how they were out here, and that none of it transferred to the crowd.

"There is always a lot of cheering at cross-town rival games," he added. "There's a lot of crowd support from both sides, especially when its a league game, and it's fun to watch. Unfortunately one bad decision can trigger a melee. Guys on both sides made a bad decision. Hopefully they’ll be getting the right consequence."

Since it is the second altercation between the two schools within a year, there is a chance that games will not be scheduled between the two rivalries in the future. Phillips, though, pointed out that there are only three sports that ever create such conflicts—football, boys soccer and boys basketball. There have never been any incidents in any other sports, nor has there been any between the girls’ teams.

Both teams are scheduled to meet again Wednesday, October 9, at Hampton Bays at 4 p.m. Both Riley and Paga are expecting it to be another competitive game and don't expect anything else to happen going forward.

"We’re excited to play on their turf," Riley said. "It's always good to see a close game. It spoils it when it ends like that for both sides, but I'm sure the next match will be a good match too."

Another reason why Phillips and Walker met with Section XI on Monday was to go over the options of how to rectify the situation.

"I think both school's administrators are trying to figure out a way that maybe we can do something to try and bring the kids together, either with a captain's meeting or a community project," Phillips said. "I feel there is something we can do to bring the kids closer, even though there is a long-standing rivalry.

"For something that can happen in a split second, it takes a long time to recover from that," he added.

Walker shared Phillips' sentiments.

"We’ll be working together to try and improve sportsmanship and behavior from students and spectators and try to be proactive," he said. "We're looking at possible roles between the districts to try and develop a strong relationship between the buildings and have the students understand that there are implications to their actions."

Mariners Fall To Mattituck, Baymen Defeat Babylon

Both Southampton and Hampton Bays had games before they met last week. Southampton lost 2-1 at Mattituck on September 17, while Hampton Bays won 5-2 at home over Babylon on the same day.

Mattituck's James Hayes scored on a through ball from Kaan Ilgin with 13 minutes left to make it 2-0 in Southampton's loss to the Tuckers. Senior Elliot LaGuardia scored a late goal for the Mariners (2-1 League VII, 3-2 overall). 
The Baymen (1-1 League VII, 3-2 overall) held a 4-0 lead at halftime over Babylon. Tapia scored two goals for Hampton Bays while seniors David Pescatore and Nick Giannone and junior Nick Lemorrocco each scored a goal.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Southampton—Wednesday, 9/25, vs. Babylon; Friday, 9/27, vs. Center Moriches, 4 p.m.
Hampton Bays—Wednesday, 9/25, at Wyandanch, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 9/27, vs. Mattituck, 6 p.m.

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Let me say for the record last year on September 8, Pierson played Hampton Bays where the game started out of control, dirty pushes and the officials let it go on until, my son was slide tackled from behind and didn't even have the ball, and was given morphine on the field so we could transport to the hospital where he spent 5 days,a 4 hour surgery, a 9 inch rod and 10 screws in his ankle, and one year later I am still waiting to hear from the Athletic Director, coach or player of his parents. ...more
By skruel (23), Sag Harbor on Sep 21, 13 2:25 PM
1 member liked this comment
Season-long suspension for the player who threw the initial punch, and (staggered) one game suspensions for any who left the benches so that there will be enough players to continue fielding a team.

This is unacceptable behavior, and if it always involves a Hampton Bays team, take them off the schedule.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 21, 13 3:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Really? Sports are aggressive by nature. Watch football tomorrow you'll see players pushing and shoving after almost very play.watch hockey they cheer for fights. Watch soccer they are in each others face all the time. It's Competitve sports where adrenaline runs high. Unfortunate it was a bench clearer but it was a bunch of kids protecting their own teammates.
By whambulance123 (9), Southampton on Sep 21, 13 6:24 PM
2 members liked this comment
Players need to be taught that actions have consequences. It's the most important lesson they can learn. Clearly the coaches have failed to educate some of their players in this regard. It's unfortunate for all involved. Clearly these schools should not compete against each other for a period of time.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Sep 21, 13 11:22 PM
Oh stop it, enough of this crap. Bunch of tough guys, all of them. Gonna protect their turf, right? Why don't we hold someone accountable for their actions for once? Staggered suspensions? No, I don't think so. Sorry, not enough players, then no game. Consequences already.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Sep 21, 13 6:40 PM
Were any of you there? It doesn't sound like it was that bad of an incident. Was it really a bench clearing brawl? It sounds like two players were sort of staring each other down and then an individual jumped in and started swinging. The benches cleared to separate them. Division officials declared the game official and will meet with each of the coaches. Both sides seem to suggest that before hand the teams were helping each other up and otherwise conducting in the spirit of good sportsmanship. ...more
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 22, 13 6:06 AM
I was at the Hampton Bays Game and watched as my son's ankle point in the opposite direction, and I don;t think any one of us are saying that every kid shouldn't be aloud to play or play hard and play to win, what I am saying is that coaches and schools and parents need to take responsibility of the actions of players and coaches, can any of you imagine its been a year for my son and the parents never called to ask how he was or contact the school, and we wonder why we have bench clearing brawls ...more
By skruel (23), Sag Harbor on Sep 22, 13 10:24 AM
Yeah sure its the faculty coaches and teachers yet again. Why don't parents take responsibility for their kids. If I did such a thing when I played sports in high school my parents would punish me and I wouldn't be playing anymore. Now parents like to pass the buck on their absentee parenting and lack of skills to raise children. I think the district should tell the players if this happens twice in one year their season is over.Let's not forget school is for learning not for sports.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 22, 13 11:18 AM
3 members liked this comment
I respect the difficulties you describe but am not sure they are relevant to the article. There is nothing in the article to infer that coaches and parents aren't taking responsibility for the kids' actions. Down below the perpetually hysterical are beginning to mention ''absentee parenting'' etc...I'll reiterate that this story doesn't support the critical tone of the comments which in the end are predictable and formulaic.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Sep 22, 13 12:05 PM
What I will say is the relevance is that Hampton Bays has a history, and we need to address it .....it takes a village to raise kids...And it starts at the top, all I am saying.
By skruel (23), Sag Harbor on Sep 22, 13 12:55 PM
Almost makes me ill to agree with Chief. Surely someone saw who instigated this, and the followers should be suspended as well.
And then you may want to take an "Improve your writing Skils" course.
And if you think it takes a village, that may be the root of your problem.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Sep 22, 13 1:04 PM
Has a history of what exactly?
By captnrose (6), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 13 1:25 PM
Who taught Drew Budd to write? Material to the story is what team the third person into the fray plays for (and according to the story is the only one who threw punches). There may be a history but there really isn't so much here as its reported. What if no one left the benches? Sounds like there could be two yellows and a red and the game would end without further cause (conjecture I know but likely given that there are only 18 ticks left).
By Hambone (514), New York on Sep 22, 13 3:58 PM
and school have been opened for 2 weeks. what follows?
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 22, 13 5:07 PM
Soccer is for sissies. It couldn't have been that big of a brawl.
By WHBinManhattan (47), Manhattan/Westhampton on Sep 22, 13 9:51 PM
I remember in gym class, the big tough football players, the first fifty-fifty ball they shied away. I guess they couldn't take any contact unless they were fully padded.I like to line up in front of you, this ex- soccer player would knock you right on your a#%.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Sep 22, 13 10:08 PM
Hey tough guy, this is a basic drill in all sports (soccer, lax, basketball, football). Usually with kids it's called "stealing the bacon"....so if every 10 year old does this drill how macho can it really be

You remind me of the uncle in Napoleon Dynamite
By Hambone (514), New York on Sep 23, 13 11:10 AM
Obviously you never did it.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 2:47 PM
Name the time and place. I'll be out east this weekend.
By WHBinManhattan (47), Manhattan/Westhampton on Sep 22, 13 11:48 PM
Then you two can set an example for the kids with the teaching that "Might is Right" ?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 5:27 AM
Soccer is for sissies is a ridiculous statement. You have serious issues with your manhood with a comment like that.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 2:50 PM
Your a tough guy in an anonymous forum, sign your name to your ridiculous comment to let everyone know what your about.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Sep 23, 13 2:54 PM
Might may not be right, but ultimately it is what rules. Look at our foreign policy. Look at how police handle situations. Like it or not things do get physical. As for soccer being for sissies, I'm guessing that was just a sarcastic needling comment. Looks like hit hit the mark. Real though guys go in a cage a do MMA, where you teammates can only offer advice and cheer you on as oppose to interviewing physically. Mono e mono, only sissies jump in on even fights.
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Sep 29, 13 3:25 PM
Two tough guys making believe they had some kind of sports career when they were in high school. These 2 guys prove my point why kids act the way they do, because the adults in their lives are a bunch of babies
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 23, 13 7:29 AM
2 members liked this comment
Chief is an expert on adults behaving like babies.
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Sep 24, 13 2:58 PM
1 member liked this comment