Checking in at No. 8 in the LILJ top 20 rankings are the Phantoms of Bayport Blue Point. This Suffolk Class C team has made plenty of noise in recent years under Head Coach Doug Meehan who has been at the position for five seasons. This year the Phantoms will be right back in the thick of things as they strive to get over last year’s hump of the semis and contend for a county title, Long Island Championship, and beyond. Coach Meehan shared with the LILJ the things that excite him about the 2023 season. “Stellar goal tending with a two headed monster. Total team offense with threats everywhere. Under the radar defense that is showing an aggressive physicality. Nice compliment of older and younger players. No egos, coachable group, working hard.”
Highlighting the offensive threats, beginning with their attack they return Ben Morris and PJ Shanahan. Morris the junior Johns Hopkins commit is a sniper when it comes to shooting the ball and had a big 2022 season with 41 goals and 17 assists for 58 points. Shanahan the senior who’s bound for St. Bonaventure was also instrumental in their offensive success with 50 points, scoring 31 goals with 19 assists.
The Phantoms midfield returns upperclassmen JJ Aiello, Danny Aiello, and Maclin Keyser, forming what will be a very balanced and also dangerous offensive unit that can hurt teams in a variety of ways. JJ Aiello, the big strong senior who’s headed for Navy will be a physical force with his brute strength. Last year he netted 19 goals with 16 assists. Younger brother Danny Aiello who’s also a Navy commit is back after missing much of last season due to injury and will bring a presence as a two-way midfield with an advanced lax IQ. Keyser the St. John’s commit adds another scoring punch to this unit as he scored 14 goals along with eight assists last season as a sophomore.
Defensively they welcome back defensemen Mikey Luce (BU), Sean Druckenmiller (Pace), Emilio Diaz, and Riley Spencer. The goalie duo that coach Meehan alluded to features senior Eric Grahn (Siena) and junior Brady Smith (Albany). Smith has shown to be the ultimate Swiss army knife as he was utilized as an offensive player last year, but will be back in the net this season. This combination between the pipes will make it very difficult for opposing offenses to have much success which will keep the Phantoms in virtually every game.
This year there will be an opportunity for some upperclassmen to take on leadership roles with the departure of 2022 graduates Jameson Smith, Matt Nilan, Gavin Locascio, and Cole Henke who were all captains. This also opens the door for some young guns like Connor Curran to have an enhanced role on the team this year. Coach Meehan also says that he has a few young long poles that have a mean streak to them.
This season they get their first official game of the regular season going with matchup against Wantagh on March 23rd. Throughout the season some of their other notable games include Massapequa (3/25), Islip (4/14), Mt. Sinai (4/26), and Shoreham Wading River (4/26).