The Hills West Colts put the finishing touches on another successful regular season with a dominant 28-0 victory over West Babylon last Saturday. The win improved their record to 6-2, and enabled them to lock up the #2 seed in the upcoming playoffs.
The Colts enter the playoffs riding high: winning 5 of their last 6 and 3 straight! In that stretch the offense has averaged 33 points per game while the defense has been stingy in allowing just 9. Despite their recent success the season wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Colts.
The turning point came after a disheartening 33-7 week 2 home loss to the league champions Westhampton Hurricanes (8-0). That uninspired performance led Coach Madden to call out his players, “they have to stop reading their press clippings and actually go out there and practice and get it done.” He even took it a step further, “right now our so called ‘big time players’ are not playing like ‘big time players’ and that has to change.”
That strongly worded message resonated with his team and propelled them to a 5-1 record down the stretch. The improved play was immediately evident on both sides of the ball highlighted by the leaders of both units. In addition to the elevated performance of the players Coach Madden continuously credited his staff for their exceptional game planning, preparation and ability to get the players to “buy in to the Hills West mentality.”
Every year the younger players are indoctrinated into the system and guided by the examples set from the upperclassman and leaders of the team. This season one of the aforementioned leaders is Senior DT Jimmy Regateiro. He anchors the defensive line and Captains a defense that has really gelled of late, pitching 2 shutouts and yielding just 7 points in their last 3 games. If there is any truth to the old saying “defense wins championships” then Hills West is certainly looking good heading into the playoffs.
The offense is led by Jr QB Gerald Fillardi and his dangerous skill position weapons RB Deyvon Wright and WR Jeff Terry. The impressive trio has combined for 19 TDs in 8 regular season games and will need to continue to produce in the playoffs if the team is going to make it back to the Championship game again this year.
An additional spark has been provided all year by sophomore RB Justin Brown. Earlier this season Coach Madden said to me in his weekly spot “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
It all kicks off this Saturday at 2 p.m. @ home against the 7 seed, Eastport South Manor. Lets go Colts!