Bellport football home opener

Game is Thursday against West Islip


Bellport faces off against Division II rival West Islip in a rare Thursday afternoon game at Joe Cipp Field.

It’s an important game for Bellport, which is looking for its third consecutive Suffolk County championship.

There’s “a lot of history between the two programs,” Bellport head coach Jamie Fabian said.

The Clippers knocked off West Islip (1-0) 22-17 last season. But in 2021, when teams also played a shortened spring football season, Bellport lost the spring Suffolk County championship to West Islip on a last-second touchdown.

This year, the Clippers lost several key players to graduation, including Jason Hunt, running back Donte Phillips, and quarterback Justin Miles.

Hunt, who is now playing defensive back at Southern Connecticut State University, won the Rob Burnett Award as Suffolk’s top defensive player. Phillips won the Cipp Award as the county’s top running back.

Other players have stepped up to fill the gap for Bellport (1-0), which opened the season with a 40-14 win at Centereach.

Senior quarterback Caleb White, who saw limited playing time behind Miles last season, passed for a TD and ran for one against Centereach. Senior Jahden Oldums, who takes over from Phillips, ran for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Look for senior center Tatum Cipp and junior lineman Trey’von Holland to open holes for Oldums and protect White so he can pass the ball to wide receivers Shane Abrams and Michael Frankie.

On defense, Holland, senior Kevin Hawaldar, and sophomore Nazir Turner anchor a defense that can stall other teams’ ground games. That could be a tall order against West Islip, whose Rocco Carpinello is one of Suffolk’s top running backs.


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