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Vol. LXV, No. 47
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
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(Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
VINCI CODE: Hun School senior defensive lineman Wyatt Vinci, left, goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Vinci’s work in the trenches helped Hun go 7-1 this fall on the way to the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title.

Showing Ability to Overcome Obstacles, Hun Football Wins MAPL Championship

Bill Alden

It started when Hurricane Irene flooded its field with Stony Brook waters cresting over the crossbars of its goal posts.

From that point forward, the Hun School football team faced a series of hurdles, ranging from finding ways to get in practice, to injuries, to nailbiting games to a tough late-season loss and a snow-delayed game.

In the end, though, the Raiders crested to a 7-1 record and a Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) title as they went 4-1 in league play.

Hun head Dave Dudeck was thrilled to see this group win a championship.

“As always, our No. 1 goal is to win the MAPL; the kids overcame any obstacle in their way, it was great for the program,” said Dudeck.

“I am glad that this specific team won. They did all the things you need to do. They had a work ethic that was second to none. Every kid put individual things on the back burner and put the team first. They bonded; there was so much unity. It was a real team.”

As Hun entered its season finale at Hill it needed a win over its MAPL foe to clinch the title, Hun was steeled by some recent adversity.

“We took a tough loss at Peddie (14-7); the kids had to rebound for the Poly Prep game and then we had another obstacle with the snow storm,” said Dudeck, whose team edged Poly Prep on a dramatic 47-yard field goal by Ian Maltz with minutes remaining in the contest.

“The game was delayed to Sunday and we played under tough conditions. Ian Maltz tied the Hun record for the longest kick, it was huge. He really stepped up; it was an exciting time for Ian and an exciting time for the kids. We had never beaten Poly Prep.”

Dudeck was concerned that his team may have been too excited as it took the field for the Hill Game.

“Our guys were super hungry; they were almost too hyped,” said Dudeck. “We were moving the ball but we weren’t scoring. We made a couple of mistakes.”

The Raiders broke through for a score and then made a defensive play that got things rolling in their direction.

“One drive got us going and we got ahead 6-0,” said Dudeck. “Hill started driving and got the ball inside our 20. We called a timeout to regroup and then we stopped them on the first and second downs. Wendy Laurent made a huge play; he rushed the quarterback and strips him of the ball and takes off running. He goes halfway and has the presence of mind to hand it off to Quashae [Hendryx] and he goes in for the touchdown. That was a momentum switch.”

The Hun passing combination of John Loughery and David Dudeck, the coach’s son, built on that momentum in the second half as they hooked up for some big pass plays, including a 48-yard touchdown, as Hun pulled away to a 38-19 victory.

“John Loughery was outstanding; I think he was the best quarterback in the MAPL,” asserted Dudeck. “He settled down and started clicking. He and Dave hooked up on some big plays.”

In Dudeck’s view, the leadership provided by co-captains Laurent, and Dudeck together with fellow captain Wyatt Vinci set the tone for the Raiders.

“The senior leadership was outstanding,” said Dudeck. “The four captains were outstanding kids as were the rest of the seniors. They kept pushing; any obstacle in front of them, they blew right through it and didn’t panic. They stick together. The parity in the league was great this year and different kids made different plays at different times.”

Seeing his players excel in some trying times made it a fall to remember for Dudeck.

“It was a very enjoyable season,” said Dudeck. “I didn’t want it to end. It was a ton of fun.”

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