ELEVEN in ‘11

Despite a five point deficit after the opening contest and a preceding string of second and third place tournament finishes following a win at the season’s opener, the West Sayville Fire Department Flying Dutchmen Drill Team demonstrated their prowess for winning by rebounding to capture an unprecedented eleventh New York State Motorized Championship title on August 20, 2011 at Central Islip.  Ultimately compiling twenty-six points with a first place finish in one contest and a trio of both seconds and thirds in the remaining six, the Flying Dutchmen outpaced the second place North Lindenhurst Piston Knockers by four points and the third place Central Islip Hoboes by nine.  The Bay Shore Redskins and the Hempstead Yellow Hornets rounded out the top five with fifteen and ten points respectively.

The annual statewide tournament, which has been competed since 1946 with the exception of two years, was hosted by the Central Islip Fire Department at its Wheeler Road training facility and featured a total of thirty-eight firematic teams from Long Island and ten from upstate communities. In just over twelve and one-half hours the forty-eight teams battled for the bragging rights of being called the best in the state in a tournament that was well coordinated and executed by the hosts, officials and the competitors themselves. As it turned out, temperatures in the mid eighties coupled with stifling humidity seemed to be the most trying aspect of the marathon day.

The end results do not truly reflect how tight the battle was throughout the tournament.  By the three-quarter mark in the drill, the overall points lead had changed in some form five times, bouncing between the Hoboes, the Hoboes and Yellow Hornets, the Flying Dutchmen and the Redskins and, at certain points, the difference between the first and fourth place teams overall was as narrow as one point and never grew to more than five until the end of the Motor Pump contest.  In fact, the Motor Pump contest became the turning point of the day when West Sayville, holding a single point edge over Central Islip and North Lindenhurst and a three point advantage on Bay Shore, was the only team to place in the event.  Their first place run of 5.65 seconds – the fastest in the state so far this year – earned the team five more points and a tournament-winning six point lead.  The final contest, Buckets, would determine which teams would place second, third and fourth overall as the state championship title had been wrapped up by West Sayville.

The Flying Dutchmen earned their twenty-six points by placing first in Motor Pump (5.65 seconds); second in the B Ladder (5.19 seconds), C Ladder (8.98 seconds) and Efficiency (9.05 seconds) contests; and third in C Hose (12.61 seconds), B Hose (7.83 seconds) and Buckets (22.98 seconds).
With this state drill victory the Flying Dutchmen have once again raised the bar by becoming the first team in the sixty-five year history of state tournaments to earn eleven New York State championship titles. As a result, the gap has widened to four between the Flying Dutchmen and the Oyster Bay Rough Riders, Patchogue Forty Thieves and the Central Islip Hoboes for most state titles, the latter three teams having seven each.  Since the first state championship drill in 1946 the Flying Dutchmen have averaged a win every six times they competed and, in the past thirteen years, have emerged as victors eight times.  The first two state titles came in 1975 and 1977 and the third in 1994.  The state drill win is also the second of the season for the Flying Dutchmen.

The following day Chief Joseph Schroeder proudly led the 2011 New York State champs as well as the remaining officers and members of the West Sayville Fire Department that had come out in support of the Flying Dutchmen as they stepped off first in the accompanying state parade on Carleton Avenue and Wheeler Road in Central Islip.  The members of the West Sayville Junior Fire Department and the Golden Eagles Senior Drum and Bugle Corps also joined the department in the line of march. 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 host agency’s Wheeler Road 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 second place in the Best Appearing Fire Department Musical Unit category.
On Friday, August 26, the West Sayville Flying Dutchmen will be traveling back to Central Islip to compete in the Islip Town Volunteer Firemen’s Association’s annual motorized drill.  More than a half-dozen fire departments are signed up to participate in this fast paced evening tournament that is scheduled to kickoff at 5:30 p.m.

The 2011 New York State Champions are coached by Frank R. Miller, Sr. and G. Scott Schrader and comprised of Captain Gary A. Schaum, Lieutenant Ryan Tenney, David Banks, Kristy Banks, Ryan Huguenin, Chad Leigh-Manuell, Michael Marra, Robert Marra, Frank R. Miller, Jr., Allen Newhouse, Robert Noonan, Richard Quenzer, Joseph Quenzer, Douglas Quenzer and Daniel Tenney.

Past Chief, former team member and long-time drill official Stanley A. Thuma joins with the 2011 New York State Champion Flying Dutchmen Drill Team as they proudly pose with the array of trophies the team won en route to their eleventh New York State Championship title at the annual state tournament hosted this year by the Central Islip Fire Department.