August 28, 2016 8:39 pm admin
by Warren Horst
The West Sayville Fire Department’s celebration of its 125th anniversary has just gained another facet; the 2016 New York State Championship title in firematic competition by the crack Flying Dutchmen drill team.
Competing against forty-four other volunteer fire departments from throughout the state on Saturday, August 20, in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, the West Sayville team persevered despite being plagued by injuries over the past eight weeks to carve out its fourth tournament victory of the season and a back-to-back New York State championship title. For the Flying Dutchmen, the victory also earned them an unprecedented thirteenth state championship since the annual competition was first run in Riverhead in 1946. Last year’s co-champion Central Islip Hoboes, the second winningest competitor in state drills, trail the Flying Dutchmen in that regard by three wins.
In total, the Flying Dutchmen earned seventeen points in the eight event tournament hosted by the Main-Transit Fire Department at its Main Street training facility while second place honors went to the West Hempstead Westerners who garnered fourteen points. The Islip Wolves and North Lindenhurst Piston Knockers finished out the day with twelve points apiece to tie for third place overall and the Lindenhurst Snails rounded out the top five with a fifth place effort of eleven points.
West Sayville took an early lead with a first place finish in the tournament’s initial contest, Three Man Ladder, but slipped into second overall through the completion of the three contests that followed, B Ladder, C Ladder and C Hose. A second place finish in the B Hose contest lifted the Flying Dutchmen to the top of the leader board once again where they remained for the rest of the drill with the help of a first place effort in the Motor Pump contest. Placing in only half of the contests, although unusual for West Sayville, seemed to be the norm for the day among those in contention for the overall win. Of the top five overall in points, only the Islip Wolves were able to score in more contests ending up with point-earning places in five events.
The Flying Dutchmen accumulated their points with first place finishes in the Three Man Ladder (6.49 seconds) and Motor Pump (5.87 seconds) contests; a second place effort in B Hose (8.32 seconds) and a third place in Cladder (9.22 seconds).
With the tournament win the Flying Dutchmen were the first team to receive the new state championship cup – the Stanley Cup of firematic competition – since the Central Islip Hoboes retired the previous one with three consecutive state titles in 2013 to 2015. Especially rewarding about this rendition of the cup is that it was hand-crafted, as some of its predecessors were, by former competitor and now coach of the Flying Dutchmen, Frank R. Miller, Sr. and was put up for grabs by West Sayville in his honor. Team captain Michael Marra expressed his extreme pleasure over the opportunity to bring “The Cup” home to its birthplace, West Sayville, in the inaugural year of existence.
The following day the 2016 New York State champs, as well as those members of the West Sayville Fire Department that had come out in support of the Flying Dutchmen, and the West Sayville Fire Department Golden Eagles Senior Drum and Bugle Corps stepped off first in the accompanying state parade on Main Street in Williamsville. The entire contingent collected countless accolades for the team’s performance as they progressed along the parade route until reaching the end point at the Main-Transit Fire Department’s training facility. When the parade was over and the judges’ results were tallied, the Golden Eagles Senior Drum and Bugle Corps learned that they had earned a first place in the Best Appearing Fire Department Musical Unit category and the fire department a third place as the Best Appearing Fire Department with 26 to 35 members in line.
The Flying Dutchmen will be competing again in the upcoming weeks at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 26, 2016 in the annual Islip Town Volunteer Firemen’s Association’s Drill hosted by the Central Islip Fire Department at its training facility on Wheeler Road and again in the Hagerman Fire Department’s annual Labor Day Weekend Invitational Drill on Saturday, September 3, 2016 starting at 10:00 a.m. on the training grounds to the rear of its Headquarters station off North Dunton Avenue in East Patchogue.
The 2016 New York State Champions are coached by Frank R. Miller, Sr., Robert Marra and G. Scott Schrader; led by Captain Michael Marra and Lieutenant Chad Leigh-Manuell; and, comprised of David Banks, Kristy Banks, Kevin Candido, Louis Christensen, Brian D’Onofrio, Patrick Garrett, William Hothan, Ryan Huguenin, Casey Johnson, Frank R. Miller, Jr., Robert Noonan, Richard Quenzer, Joseph Quenzer, Douglas Quenzer, Gary A. Schaum, Daniel Tenney and Ryan Tenney.
The 2016 New York State Champion West Sayville Fire Department Flying Dutchmen Drill Team members proudly pose with their collection of trophies garnered at the annual state firematic competition held on August 20, 2016 in Williamsville, New York. The victory was the team’s thirteenth state title and fourth of the 2016 season. In the center background is the newly introduced New York State Championship Cup crafted by Frank R. Miller, Sr. (pictured immediately to the left of the trophy) and donated by West Sayville in his honor which now returns to his hometown.(Photo by Kim Versheck)