It may have been just a few hours but it felt so much longer to the Long Beach football players. The team was bused from Long Beach to Hofstra University where they opened the indoor practice facility for the Marines to prepare for their Nassau Conference II playoff quarterfinal Saturday at Carey High School.
The team enjoyed a crisp workout going over the offensive and defensive game plan. Coach Scott Martin allowed some levity throughout the practice as the players enjoyed the warmth of Hofstra's indoor practice bubble. When the team finished its sprints, they enjoyed a catered meal with chicken wraps, potatoes and salads donated by the Main Event Restaurant of Plainview.
"It's been a rough time for these guys," Martin said. "But there have been so many people reaching out who care about them. I've been passing along all the great things people want to do to our athletic director Arnie Epstein and he's handling everything. It makes you feel good to see so many Long Islanders who care."
Martin said as the bus drove around both ends of Long Beach trying to round up all of his players, he was brought to tears seeing all of the devastation up close. "You just can't believe what is going on and to see what these guys are going through. But at least they know we're in this together."
After lunch the players were taken across the street for hot showers before heading back to Long Beach. Many of the players said they'd been unable to get daily showers in an area that had no power since super storm Sandy last week.
"The best part of this trip," said star halfback J.T. Forkin. "Is we're coming back to Hofstra tomorrow."