The culmination of what has been a dream season for the William Floyd High School boys varsity basketball team came on Feb. 2, when the Colonials defeated Sachem North by a score of 56-49, to secure their first league championship in 11 years. Under the leadership of head coach William Slinkosky, the Colonials have established themselves as one of the top teams in Suffolk County. With an exclamation mark 74-48 victory over Riverhead to close out their regular season, William Floyd finished with an impressive 14-2 divisional record (15-5 overall). With a league title already in hand, the Colonials now have their sights set on the ultimate goal.
“Ever since they were in middle school, they had their sights set on a league championship,” said Coach Slinkosky when asked what this accomplishment means to the team. “It is special because they wanted to bring the winning mentality back to William Floyd, not just for themselves but for the community.”
Coach Slinkosky and his players do not take this tremendous season lightly. They are extremely honored to be mentioned alongside William Floyd basketball greats like Rob Hodgson, Rich Sinclair, Brian Babst and Anthony White, all of whom were part of a league championship team. “The highest honor for the team is being mentioned alongside the late, great coach Bob Hodgson, one of the best basketball coaches in Long Island history.”
The honor and accomplishments did not come for this team without hard work and sacrifice. In the offseason, the Colonials would practice up to three times per week. Strength and conditioning, honing their skills and going over drills were all vital in their development as a team. “But this team has played together since they were seven-, eight-, nine-years old,” Coach Slinkosky added. “That is how long they have been training for this moment.”
That moment did not come for the Colonials on day one of this season. Losing two of their first three non-league games was the perfect motivator for the Colonials to work extra hard in practice. “It helped the boys gets to an entirely different level in practice,” Coach Slinkosky said.
The theme for the Colonials all season has been winning the close games. When asked what key moments stand out to him, Coach Slinkosky mentioned the double overtime game against Longwood, two other overtime games and the five single-digit games—all of which were William Floyd victories.
It has been a collaborative effort all season long. The Colonials have three players—senior Mikey Smith, junior Joey McLaurin and junior Jayson Yourison—all averaging more than 10 points per game. Also, senior Daved Richardson has put up an average of eight points and eight rebounds per game. “If you look at our box scores, we have a different player leading us every single game,” Coach Slinkosky added. “It is truly amazing to see how unselfish and team-oriented these boys are.”