Bonac Football: A Fall Awakening?

“My only goal is to get the kids involved in a safe environment,”
Craig Macnaughton

East Hampton High School took a major step Monday toward fielding a varsity football team for the 2018 season when the athletic directors and superintendents of the schools East Hampton would be competing with agreed, tentatively, to allow them to be placed in Conference IV, which is nominally designed for smaller schools. 

The issue, Joe Vas, East Hampton’s athletic director, said Tuesday, is participation, as opposed to enrollment here. Schools with higher levels of participation in football might show up for a Saturday game with 60 players, whereas at East Hampton about 30 students eligible to play this fall have expressed interest. In exchange for being allowed to play in Conference IV, East Hampton would eschew participating in the playoffs this year. 

After Vas met with his fellow athletic directors, a meeting was held Monday evening for students who might want to play in the 2018 season and their parents. Joe McKee, the Bonackers’ coach, said the meeting went well. It was designed to keep those interested “in the loop,” he said.

Bonac fielded a team in 2016 that won only once but was competitive in almost every game. Last year, there were not enough players for a varsity squad.

One proposal that might be looked at in the future, Vas said, would be to have the five East End schools looking to form an alternate league — Greenport, East Hampton, Southampton, Port Jefferson, and McGann-Mercy in Riverhead — compete among themselves. 

For East Hampton to have a team this year, however, the next step is to gain the approval of the placement committee, which is composed of two athletic directors from each of Suffolk County’s four conferences. After that, the final step would be a vote involving all the athletic directors in the county. 

“My only goal is to get the kids involved in a safe environment,” Vas said.