With the help of its supporters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Long Beach High School football team plans to play Carey in a Nassau Conference II first-round game in Franklin Square on Saturday.
The team’s uniforms, helmets and pads were damaged after the storm wreaked havoc on the barrier island last week, and everyone from WFAN radio show hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton and various Long Island organizations are working to restore their outfits and equipment. Hofstra is pitching in too by allowing the Marines to practice at their indoor facility, Long Beach athletic director Arnold Epstein told Newsday on Tuesday. Said Epstein:
Nothing is firmed up yet. But we've seen the generosity of the Nassau Coaches Association and outreach from various organizations . . . it's heartwarming. Like other Long Beach students, nearly half the team has evacuated throughout the tri-state area to live while work crews try to restore electricity, water and sewage to the storm-ravaged city. When he appeared on the Boomer & Carton show Tuesday morning, LBHS football coach Scott Martin said he and his family had to evacuate from their East Rockaway home.
Asked about the possibility of forfeiting the game, Martin emphasized to the radio show hosts that safety comes first for his 5-3 playoff-contending team.
“The safety of our players is our number one priority,” Martin said. “So if we think there’s any reason it’s unsafe to play or practice or do anything, we will just cancel it and say we had a good season. It would hurt a little bit, but safety is number one and it always is.”
Superintendent David Weiss told Patch on Tuesday that the district’s four teams that earned playoff spots – the football team, the girls swim team and the boys and girls volleyball teams – plan to play this weekend.