MacArthur produces 13-win season


The MacArthur flag football team’s first playoff game on May 15 against Valley Stream District swung on an unconventional defensive play that senior linebacker Hailey Metzger mastered this season.

Metzger, a standout soccer player in the fall, picked off a Valley Stream option pass with five minutes left in the first half and took it to the house for a touchdown to tie the score in the Conference I quarterfinals. The unorthodox pick-six was the second in a four game stretch for Metzger and proved to be the key turning point in an eventual 19-6 home victory that advanced third-seeded MacArthur into the semifinal round.

The dramatic play from Metzger helped momentarily keep MacArthur’s dream alive for a county title before the season ended a day later with a 14-6 loss at second-seeded Syosset. It also epitomized the sharp commitment of MacArthur’s new program in its second season under the leadership of head coach Steve Fazzolari, who has spent the last 18 years as defensive coordinator for the school’s varsity football team.

“Getting like the reps in practice really helps me get field vision for when I’m in the game,” said Metzger, who also intercepted an option pass for a touchdown in a 24-6 victory against Port Washington on May 6 and was named Conference I defensive player of the year. “This is such a new sport and I just started playing last year and I have to give credit to my coach because he is always yelling from the sidelines to watch the option.”

Following the Metzger interception touchdown, she hauled in a four-yard touchdown reception on offense from quarterback Sara Kealey. A conversion run from Kealey upped the lead to 13-6 at halftime.

Kealey connected again with Metzger in the second half for a nine-yard touchdown to give the Generals (13-3 overall) some insurance. The senior quarterback, who last year was a standout receiver with 677 receptions, switched positions this season and formed a lethal receiving tandem with Metzger, her varsity soccer teammate.

“Me and Sara have always had a good connection on the field,” said Metzger, who finished the season with 56 catches for 718 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. “She has a great throw.”

Metzger and Kealey were both named to the All County team along with Meghan Wetzel, who hauled 13 touchdown receptions. Junior receiver Caitlin Barry received All County honorable mentions accolades while running back Sofia Maris and linebacker Ella Mancini were recognized with All-Conference awards.

The program has been growing in popularity since the Generals reached the county finals in the inaugural season last year with 34 players on varsity and another 40 on JV this spring, The deep roster includes number of top female athletes from the school’s soccer, volleyball basketball and cheerleading teams.

“I have all these great athletes from all different sports who just came together and brought their athleticism and just took to the sport,” Fazzolari said. “The drive that they've had has been nothing short of phenomenal and beyond impressive to me.”