Runners Sprint To Finish In Fastest Mile

Townwide Fund board member Vita Scaturro congratulates Alyssa Selese of Huntington who took the women’s trophy.

Townwide Fund board member Vita Scaturro congratulates Alyssa Selese of Huntington who took the women’s trophy.

The aptly named Chase Junell is the winner of Huntington’s Fastest Mile road race.
That’s because “chase” is just what nearly 100 other runners had to do during the Townwide Fund of Huntington’s annual road race on June 8.

Junell, 23, of Coram, set the pace in the shin splint-inducing, straight downhill run down New York Avenue, crossing the finish line at Elm Street at 4 minutes, 13.52 seconds.

Junell felt the heat with 24-year-old Shareef Jarvis close behind. Jarvis, of Huntington Station, took second place at 4:15.26. Fernando Sanchez of Deer Park, 16, placed third at 4:27.42.

Men’s division winner Chase Junell crosses the fish line.

Men’s division winner Chase Junell crosses the fish line.

The women’s field was led by Huntington’s Alyssa Salese. The 26-year-old winner of this year’s Long Island marathon, Salese crossed at 4:52.55 to place first among women and sixth overall.

In all, 102 runners and walkers were registered for the race. 

“The weather was perfect, the crowd was excited and a good-sized group of energized fans and friends gathered at the finish line in front of Super Runners Shop to welcome them to the finish line,” Townwide Fund executive director Gloria Palacios said. “We raised a good sum of money and our runners got a great race, so really, everyone won.”

Townwide Fund’s Fastest Mile thanks sponsor Sterling National Bank for its support. Starting with the third from left are: women’s division winner Alyssa Salese; race co-chair Alex Borg; Townwide Fund president David Altman; and board members Vita Scaturro and Rich Bryant.

Townwide Fund’s Fastest Mile thanks sponsor Sterling National Bank for its support. Starting with the third from left are: women’s division winner Alyssa Salese; race co-chair Alex Borg; Townwide Fund president David Altman; and board members Vita Scaturro and Rich Bryant.

The Fastest Mile is the newest addition to the Townwide Fund’s road race family. The St. Patrick’s run in March is popular on the racing circuit and the Thanksgiving Day run in November — one of the Island’s most popular races – is a family tradition for many.
In addition to racers’ entry fees, funds are raised from business sponsors. Huntington’s Fastest Mile was sponsored by Borg Insurance Group, Sterling National Bank, Bottles and Cases, Brown and Altman, LLP, Empire Auto Group, Huntington Township Business Council, Six Harbors Brewing Company, Super Runners Shop, State Farm agent Renee Berges, Huntington Coach\ State Farm agent Steve Conte, Park Avenue Physical Therapy PC.

The Townwide Fund of Huntington was founded in 1961 by a group of private citizens to help local charities raise funds. The organization’s essential mission was to keep money raised in Huntington within the community. Fifty-eight years and $12 million later, The Townwide Fund continues to raise funds and award grants to give more than 30 local organizations the support they need to provide vital health and human services to the people of Huntington.

Former Tornadoes Help Adelphi To NCAA Title

The three Harborfields players who helped Adelphi’s Lady Panthers to an NCAA Div. II title with their former high school coaches on “Senior Day” back in April. From left are Coach Kerri McGinty, Gianna Bifulco, Chelsea Abreu, Kailey Broderick, and Coach Mary Santomauro.

The three Harborfields players who helped Adelphi’s Lady Panthers to an NCAA Div. II title with their former high school coaches on “Senior Day” back in April. From left are Coach Kerri McGinty, Gianna Bifulco, Chelsea Abreu, Kailey Broderick, and Coach Mary Santomauro.

Three former Harborfields lacrosse players won championship rings when the Adelphi Lady Panthers won the Division II Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Sunday, May 19. Chelsea Abreu, senior captain for the Panthers, Kailey Broderick and Gianna Bifulco all wore the Tornadoes’ green jerseys as members of the Harborfields girls lacrosse team in recent years.

The Panthers were underdogs from the start. During the regular season, Adelphi suffered one-point losses to both LeMoyne and LIU Post. In the first round of the Northeast 10 Conference tournament the Panthers were upset by the no. 7 seed. 

Things didn’t bode well to make the NCAA tournament.

The entire team was huddled around a TV in a campus conference room on Monday, May 6, fingers crossed they would get a ticket to the NCAA tournament.  LeMoyne was selected first, followed by LIU/Post and then Mercy.  The room erupted in celebration as Garden City-based Adelphi University was chosen for the final spot.

It was this moment that the team’s captain and draw specialist Abreu (HF ’15) knew she had to lay it all on the line to bring home the championship.

Kailey Broderick pairs her old Harborfields travel jersey with her new NCAA Div. II championship trophy.

Kailey Broderick pairs her old Harborfields travel jersey with her new NCAA Div. II championship trophy.

Sophomore defender Broderick (HF ’17) had a dream of winning the “Natty” since the day she put on a Harborfields lacrosse travel jersey as a little girl. Abreu, Broderick and freshman midfielder Bifulco (HF ’18) travelled with the team to Syracuse to avenge the season losses.

A solid 16-3 victory over LIU/Post set up the second-round game match-up with LeMoyne. On a cold, windy and rain-soaked Sunday, the Lady Panthers’ goal in the second overtime clinched the win and a trip to the Final Four game in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Fourth-seeded Adelphi was on a roll. They handed top seeded Regis University its first loss of the season with a solid 17-10 quarterfinals win, and steamrolled West Chester University of Pennsylvania 11-5 for the championship.

Abreu graduates Adelphi on the highest of notes, winning on the field and in the classroom as Adelphi’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Her legendary career ended by playing in the IWCLA Senior All-Star game and winning the NE10 Conference’s Woman of the Year award on June 3.The honor is bestowed on a student-athlete for excellence in competition, in the classroom (3.98 GPA) and in the community. Broderick stepped on the field as a starting freshman last year and hasn’t looked back. Her stellar defense throughout the NCAA tournament earned her the only Panther defender a spot on the NCAA All-Tournament team. Three caused turnovers and career-high six ground balls during the national championship game told her captain she had her back. Bifulco was solid all year and earned a spot on the All-Rookie team. Her wicked shot on goal will serve her well over the next three years.

Huntington Takes Two Against Amityville

Huntington’s Alex Gonzalez looks for a pitch to hit. He had two hits against in the Blue Devils win against Amityville.  Photo/Darin Reed

Huntington’s Alex Gonzalez looks for a pitch to hit. He had two hits against in the Blue Devils win against Amityville. Photo/Darin Reed

The Huntington Blue Devils varsity baseball team recently won a two game series against the Amityville Warriors.
In the home and away series, the Blue devils won big both games. They took the first game at home 13-1 before scoring 15 runs in the away game.
Elian Pimentel was the star of the first game for Huntington. Pimentel went 3-for-4, just missing hitting for the cycle with a single, double and triple. He also had three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Pimentel was also the winning pitcher. He threw six innings of two-hit ball, striking out eight and issuing only a pair of walks.
Kyle Colleluori went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. Alex Bellissimo, Zach Gordon, Alex Gonzalez and Jaden Italiano all had two hits each, respectively. Gordon tripled in the game and drove in a run.
The Blue Devils had a total of 17 hits.
In the away game of the series Colleluori struckout 10 batters and surrendered only three hits while pitching six brilliant innings. Colleluori also had two hits, two runs batted in and two runs scored in the game. He stole two bases.
Pimentel again went 3-for-4, driving in three runs and scoring three times.

Chris Segreti collected two hits, including a double and three runs batted in.

Gordon hit a double and drove in three runs.
Huntington’s is scheduled series for a two game series against the Clippers of Bellport. The Blue Devils are set for the away game at Bellport at 4:30 p.m., May 3.

Rose Leading Tigers To Another Winning Season

Senior captains Chloe Hoschel, Sophia Craco, Claire Morris, Olivia Carner and Isabella Hubbard have led the team to a 13-1 record so far.  Photo courtesy Carol Rose

Senior captains Chloe Hoschel, Sophia Craco, Claire Morris, Olivia Carner and Isabella Hubbard have led the team to a 13-1 record so far. Photo courtesy Carol Rose

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Unity on and off the field has been key to the Northport varsity girls lacrosse team’s victories so far this season.

The Tigers hope to continue this momentum into the playoffs. Head coach Carol Rose, feels the girls have been playing great, earning their 13-1 record. The team began the season ranked first in the league, after winning the League Championship and making it to County Finals the past two years.

“The kids have been playing very well together,” Rose said. “As a team, there are many people contributing to our team’s success.”

This season, Rose directed the girls’ focus to team-bonding activities. By building the team’s chemistry off the field, the girls work more cohesively on the field. It is crucial in game-situations for the girls to move like a well-oiled machine.

“There are so many people on the field at one time,” Rose said. “It’s cliche, but there’s no I in team and it’s true. You need everybody to perform and do their job. Everyone has a role and responsibility, that makes the team better.”

Another area of the girl’s psyche Rose is working to build up is “mental toughness” to prepare the girls for any cognitive battles they may have while playing.

“The kids have bought into their roles, they know what they are,” Rose said. “I believe that’s what makes the team successful, they are a cohesive unit, no matter what their role is.”

The Tigers already faced off against other top teams like Ward-Melville, Riverhead and Middle Country and won each game. Rose credits her team’s success to the girls’ dedication to practicing. Many of them play throughout the year in camps, clinics and seasonal league teams.

Northport girls lacrosse team is looking to return to the county tournament.

Northport girls lacrosse team is looking to return to the county tournament.

 “Everyone puts in a lot of effort off-season, which translates to the team becoming better in the regular season,” Rose said.

Rose, a physical education teacher at Northport, started the girls lacrosse program thirty years ago. This has given her an extensive understanding on how to train and prepare the girls. Although in previous seasons her teams were undefeated, Rose admits they ran into trouble with injuries mid-season. Now, during practice the team concentrates on stretching and recently began doing yoga together.

“We try to give them ample rest period, make sure we’re not running them too hard,” Rose said. “Last week, we had three games, so we won’t practice as hard, if we expect them to perform during games.”

The Tigers were fortunate enough to lose only a few players to graduation last year. Rose feels this is a major asset, since the senior class has stepped up as role models.

Midfielder and All-American athlete Olivia Carner is one of the leading scorers on the team and has committed to play at Duke University. Goalie Claire Morris is the “backbone” of the defense and committed to Ohio State. Defender Chloe Hoschel excels in her role and will play for Stony Brook University. Leader of the defense Danielle Pavinelli is an aggressive, “lock-down” defender, committed to University of Florida. She is the team’s draw specialist and leading scorer in Suffolk County, with over 80 points so far.

Carner, Morris, Hoschel, Isabella Hubbard, and Sophie Craco were chosen by their teammates as captains. Rose feels they are all goal-oriented players,  willing to work for what they want.

“We have a lot of senior leadership,” Rose said. “Those kids have really taken the younger ones under their wing. They make everyone want to work hard, whether it’s captain’s practices or off-season training. They do everything they can to make themselves better. This group is all in.”

The Tigers head into their final two games this coming week against Lindenhurst on May 2 and Sachem East on May 8.

Seahawks Beat Blue Devils In Rivalry Game

Cold Spring Harbor boys lacrosse celebrates after beating Huntington 8-3.   Photo/Cold Spring Harbor Schools

Cold Spring Harbor boys lacrosse celebrates after beating Huntington 8-3.
Photo/Cold Spring Harbor Schools

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Cold Spring Harbor boys lacrosse team was on the winning end of a fiercely contested cross-town rivalry game last week against the visiting Huntington Blue Devils.

The Seahawks have had the upper hand in recent years against the Blue Devils, but the matchup almost always produces an exciting game. While the non-league game may not count towards either team’s respective standings, the rivalry factor means both sets of players want to win.

Cold Spring Harbor have won four straight Nassau Class C titles, and won the state championship from 2015-2017. The Seahawks were looking to use a win against Huntington as a momentum builder going into the second half of the season.

The Blue Devils refused to be pushed aside early.

Huntington goalie Aedan McDonald and the rest of the Blue Devils defense had a stellar first quarter. They shut out the always goal-hungry Seahawks and took a 1-0 lead into the second quarter. That was the last time Huntington would lead in the game.

The Seahawks managed a couple of shutout quarters of their own in the second and third, while putting five past McDonald, who had eight saves in the game.

It was Cold Spring Harbor net minder Pete Leonard’s turn to impress. He racked up a total of seven saves in the game.

Cold Spring Harbor took a 3-1 lead into the locker room and added two more in the third quarter. With less than a minute to play in the third, the Seahawks had a 5-1 advantage.

The Blue Devils tried to battle back in the fourth quarter. They made it 5-2, but with around six minutes to play the Seahawks scored two unanswered to put the game out of reach. Cold Spring Harbor scored their sixth goal, then won the ensuing faceoff and scored again to make it 7-2. The Seahawks made it 8-3 with just under four minutes to play to secure the victory.

Senior Danny Striano scored a hat trick to lead the line for the Seahawks, while his brother Richie Striano scored twice. Alex Moynihan had the hot hand when it came to feeding for Cold Spring Harbor with three assist.

Peter Licciardi and Brady Strough each netted a goal for the Seahawks, while Caden Hawkinson rounded out the score sheet with an assist.

Huntington’s Jack Krisch, Luke Luckow and Robbie Smith each managed a goal against the stout Cold Spring Harbor defense. Jordan McCoy assisted on two goals for the Blue Devils.

The Seahawks travel to Wantagh at 7 p.m., April 29 for their next matchup, and the Blue Devils are set to play Lindenhurst at 10 a.m., April 25 during spring break.

Three Wins In A Row For Blue Devils

Liam Hasset avoids a check on his way to two goals and an assist for the Blue Devils.  Photo/Erik Krisch

Liam Hasset avoids a check on his way to two goals and an assist for the Blue Devils. Photo/Erik Krisch

A furious second half rally propelled the Huntington boys’ lacrosse team to a 12-11 victory over Half Hollow Hills West at Hofstra University last Friday night.

The Blue Devils trailed 8-5 at halftime, but outscored the Colts 7-3 over the final 24 minutes.

Robbie Smith led Huntington with four goals. The freshman has 18 goals and an assist this spring.

Liam Hasset scored two goals and added an assist. Jonathan Koumas also scored twice in the game. Jordan McCoy had a goal and three assists. Pat Durand and Jack Krisch both tallied a goal and an assist. Luke Luckow also scored a goal.

Huntington goalie Aedan McDonald recorded seven saves in the cage. The Blue Devils’ defense held Hills West at bay in the final minutes of the closely fought game.

Christian Mule led Hills West with six goals and two assists in the losing effort.

Colts goalie Jake Zacharakis also played well in the game. He made 12 saves, stopping 50 percent of the shots he faced.

Despite the wet weather, both teams enjoyed playing on the Hofstra Stadium turf field. The non-league victory improved Huntington’s overall record to 5-4 this season. The Colts overall record fell to 3-6.

“It was a great experience and a great feeling to come out with a win,” McDonald said. “Getting to play on a college field and seeing the locker room was really cool. Our team put everything together and played great. There are still things we need to work on and we are going to continue to push ourselves.”

The victory was the second one-goal win in a week for the Blue Devils. Entering the game, Huntington was on a hot streak. The Blue Devils had won four of thier last five games.

The Blue Devils are striving to continue their hot play. Coming from behind to best Hills West was a confidence booster for Huntington.

“The key to winning the game was our team’s ability to get everyone involved,” Durand said. “We have tons of talent all over the field and when we play as one, we are a very dangerous team.”

As the regular season hits the home stretch, second year head coach Julian Watts is pushing his team to keep playing well and pay attention to all the little things.

Catching passes, picking up ground balls, playing tough defense and “getting everyone involved” have taken on heightened importance as the Blue Devils drive to secure a playoff berth, Watts said.

The Blue Devils are in the hunt for a playoff spot in Suffolk Division I. Huntington plays a non-league game at ColdSpringHarbor on Thursday night at 7 p.m. There are home games remaining with Lindenhurst, Southampton and Northport and away contests at Sachem North, Commack and North Babylon.

Friars Get Back To Their Winning Ways

Senior attackman Philip Polo rips a shot. He scored a goal for the Friars Tuesday against St. Ignatius.   Photo/St. Anthony;’s High School

Senior attackman Philip Polo rips a shot. He scored a goal for the Friars Tuesday against St. Ignatius.
Photo/St. Anthony;’s High School

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

After suffering a 7-13 defeat against arch-rival Chaminade earlier this month, the St. Anthony’s varsity boys lacrosse team was looking to get back to winning ways Tuesday when they faced off against St. Ignatius.

St. Anthony’s, a perennial Catholic High School Athletic Association powerhouse, improved their record to 6-1 with this week’s 13-10 victory.

Junior faceoff man Jake Naso was dominant from the first whistle for the Friars. He won 21 of 25 faceoffs. His play helped keep the Friars on the offensive and limit St. Ignatius’s chance to build momentum.

Senior captain Jake Bonomi and junior Brennan O’Neil, both attackmen, led St. Anthony’s with four goals apiece.

Junior midfielders Aidan Danenza and Jack Walshe helped the Friars control the middle of the field and each scored a goal.

Senior attackman Philip Polo also notched a goal for St. Anthony’s.

Senior captain Greg Campisi, a long stick middie, provided leadership on both sides of the ball for the Friars. In addition to his defensive duties, Campisi scored a goal.

In the cage, junior goaltender Alex Pazienza made seven saves. Pazienza has made more than 50 saves in seven games this season for St. Anthony’s.

The Friars will try to stay undefeated before their second meeting of the season with Chaminade on May 15.

St. Anthony’s next game is scheduled for Thursday, April 18 at 4 p.m. at home against YorktownHigh School.

Elwood Ninja Warrior Goes the Distance

James H. Boyd fifth-grader David Futeran competed on the American Ninja Warrior Junior TV show reaching the semifinals of the tough competition.  Photo/Elwood Schools

James H. Boyd fifth-grader David Futeran competed on the American Ninja Warrior Junior TV show reaching the semifinals of the tough competition. Photo/Elwood Schools

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Strength, skill and speed propelled David Futeran far on the American Ninja Warrior Junior course this season. The fifth-grader in Elwood’s James Boyd Elementary School made it to the semifinals of the kids’ version of the popular American Ninja Warrior television show, taking on challenging obstacle courses that tested his dexterity.

Futeran has wanted to compete on American Ninja Warrior Junior since the first time he watched the show. He started by “literally climbing the walls” of his house and progressed to pursue gymnastics, climbing and ninja training.

“Before watching it, I was still pretty active and it was a dream,” Futeran said. “But over time I built up to it and it became more of a goal than a dream.”

The 10-year-old dedicates himself to practicing gymnastics three times a week and climbing two hours a week. He showed off his skills at a local “ninja gym” where he ran through obstacles like those on the show, and submitted six videos. His believes his training in gymnastics greatly helped him to tackle these hurdles.

“For gymnastics, I stretch then practice all the events,” Futeran said. “Most days it usually goes, vault, high bar, floor, pommel horse, t-bars then rings.”

Futeran said he remained hyper-focused as he completed the American Ninja Junior obstacle course.

Futeran said he remained hyper-focused as he completed the American Ninja Junior obstacle course.

The ANWJ course puts competitors head-to-head. Warriors run side by side to reach the finishing button first. Futeran had practiced on obstacle courses, but nothing would prepare him for the atmosphere of the race, he said.

“It’s basically the same thing, except a bigger crowd and more on the line,” Futeran said.

His quick moves, long leaps, and love for feeling weightless earned him the nickname “Flying Squirrel.” They also took him far and earned him a best time of 42.37 seconds.

His key was staying hyper-focused.

“I would take a couple of deep breaths and wipe my feet off,” Futeran said. “I cleared out every other thought from my head.”

Kids compete in age brackets of 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 on the original ANW six-obstacle course.

“They’re just scaled down just a little bit for the different heights and the different sizes of the kids we’re dealing with,” executive producer and director, Kent Weed said.

The tic toc was reduced to a 30-inch diameter and the warped wall scaled down to 13 feet. The warped wall challenges contestants to climb a steep wall and grab a ledge at the top. Futeran had attempted the warped wall prior to the competition, while adapting to the rest of the challenges on the fly.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to practice those specific obstacles, because we didn’t know what they would be,” Futeran said. “But once I saw them, I knew I had done stuff that was pretty similar to it in gymnastics.”

Futeran hopes to return to conquer the adult version of American Ninja.

Futeran hopes to return to conquer the adult version of American Ninja.

Futeran got to know his fellow competitors and enjoyed meeting kids with the same passion and interests. He was also supported by ninjas he had met training back home.

“I don’t really have a coach or a team, but there is a sort of an unofficial group of East coast ninjas. We have no coach but are pretty much on the same team because we help each other,” Futeran said.

American Ninja Warrior Junior airs on Saturday nights at 7 p.m. on Universal Kids. Futeran was thrilled to see himself race in the semifinals on the episode that aired April 6.

“It was very different watching myself, because I knew what was gonna happen,” Futeran said. “But it was also really cool to see how they projected me and what they said.”

Looking to the future, Futeran is determined to return and win the adult version of American Ninja Warrior.

Blue Devils Burn Up The Track Against Smithtown

Jason Turner, right, on his way to victory for Huntington. Turner won the 100m and 200m dashes and the 4x100m relay against Smithtown West

Jason Turner, right, on his way to victory for Huntington. Turner won the 100m and 200m dashes and the 4x100m relay against Smithtown West

The Huntington High School boys’ track and field teams faced off against Smithtown West earlier this month in a close meet that finshed in a 76-65 Blue Devils victory.

Blue Devils coach Ron Wilson knew it was going to be a tight meet, and since Huntington pulled off an upset of Smithtown West last spring the Bulls were hoping to return the favor this season.

“West had come into that meet having won the Section XI indoor county championships with an awesome team,” Wilson said. “This year’s match-up was no different. It was a meet that once again went down to the very end. Almost four hours of competing; virtually unheard of for a dual meet.”

Smithtown West is considered the proverbial powerhouse of distance running, while Huntington boasts the stronger sprinters and throwers.

“Both teams had athletes and 4x400m relay teams that qualified for the state and national meets this past indoor season,” Wilson said.

Huntington led 65 to 52 going into the triple jump, which was the last event before the relays.

“We needed to get at least one point in the event,” Wilson said.

Smithtown’s Gavin Baker is one of the top jumpers in Suffolk County. He had already leaped 21-04 feet in the long jump, just shy of Blue Devil senior Johnathan Smith’s jump of 21-09.50 feet, but ahead of Huntington sophomore Anthony Joseph’s 21-02 feet.

Baker went on to win the triple jump with a leap of 43-07 feet, but Huntington junior Rahliek Thomason came up with a jump of 40-02 feet to capture third place and the one point the Blue Devils needed.

Craig Haas on his way to third place in the 800m run for Huntington.

Craig Haas on his way to third place in the 800m run for Huntington.

Now leading 66-60, all Huntington had to do was win one of the three relay races. Smithtown West breezed to victory in the 4x800m relay adding five points to their total score to narrow the Bulls’ deficit to 66-65.

Huntington’s 4x400m relay of Justin Stevens, Isaiah James, CJ Kiviat and Smith went wire-to-wire in 3:30 to clinch the meet for the Blue Devils. The 4x100m relay team of Nasir Youngblood, Josiah Melendez, Jason Turner and Joseph also coasted to victory in the fine time of 44.8 seconds to give Huntington an 11-point win in the league meet.

In other events during the meet, Blue Devils senior Eric Sands won the shot put with a throw of 49-10 feet and the discus with a toss of 122 feet. Senior Jaden Bholan won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet.

Turner dominated the sprinting events in his individual races as well as the relay. He won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes for the Blue Devils.

Blue Devils junior Craig Haas placed third in the 800m run.

The 2-0 Blue Devils were slated to travel to undefeated Copiague to take on the Eagles after deadline Wednesday, April 10.

John Glenn Baseball Looking To Dominate

The Elwood baseball team is ready for a solid season on the diamond.

The Elwood baseball team is ready for a solid season on the diamond.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Maintaining control and building momentum on the baseball field will be the focus for the Elwood-John Glenn varsity team as they look forward to the rest of the season.

The Knights battled to 7-6 victory against Huntington on Monday. Head coach Matthew Rocchio feels the team has come together over the past weeks and played well so far, with a record of 2-1in league play.

“They’ve been showing a lot of heart,” Rocchio said. “We came back from five runs the other day and won, which was great for our first game against Babylon.”

This season the boys have concentrated on reducing errors on the field that allow the opposing team to get on base or score. It is crucial that the team’s pitchers are throwing strikes and fielders solid on defense.

“We just want to minimize the mental mistakes, as the season goes on, that should improve,” Rocchio said. “We want to play up to our ability and show that off.”

Rocchio said the Knights’ batting lineup for the season is starting to take shape, and he feels can deliver at the plate.

Junior Nicholas Aufiero batted .330 as a sophomore last season.

Junior Nicholas Aufiero batted .330 as a sophomore last season.

“A big thing is momentum,” Rocchio said. “We want to carry a momentum, whether it’s a big strikeout or getting some base hits the next inning. It’s huge for us.”

The team was fortunate enough to practice outside at the start of the season, something that hasn’t always been possible with cold weather. This allowed coaches to evaluate players in a game mentality early on. Rocchio said players break up into groups at practice, and work on specific drills for their position before they come together for team games.

“We try to put all the players in ‘game-like’ situations, so if something does happens in a game, they’ve seen the situation before,” Rocchio said. “If they haven’t seen it before, the next time we have practice we’ll go over what they should do.”

Although the team is mostly underclassmen, Rocchio feels the boys possesses the talent to go far. Many of the athletes worked hard in offseason, voluntarily practicing two nights a week in the winter.

“I think we have a lot of potential,” Rocchio said. “A lot of the younger guys will be getting more play time and show they can handle it. It’s going to be interesting since we are in a tough league, I’m excited to see what the season brings.”

Matthew Polestino has already hit a homerun this season, and has proven himself as a great pitcher and outfielder. Coming out of the bullpen, Rocco Fratarcangeli will play a key role as the team’s closer.

Nicholas DiDiego, a three-year varsity veteran, began as a catcher, but transitioned to first base and pitcher to utilize his strong throwing arm. The team is also expecting big things from Nicholas Aufiero, who batted .330 as a sophomore last season.

Matt Polestino prepares himself at the plate.  Photos courtesy Matthew Rocchio

Matt Polestino prepares himself at the plate. Photos courtesy Matthew Rocchio

“I don’t have captains chosen, but they run themselves and know who the leaders are,” Rocchio said. “I let them take the lead with this, it’s whoever steps up into the leadership role.”

This year, Glenn welcomed assistant coach Billy Riedel to the staff. The former Knights catcher has extensive knowledge of the game of baseball.

This is Rocchio’s third year with varsity after coaching junior varsity and at Briarcliff College. In that time he’s learned when to rest his players.

“I have to communicate with them constantly, about when we need a lighter day,” Rocchio said. “We usually have a light day when we have two games in a row, we still work but I try not to have them throw as much.”

The Knights will play an average of three times a week for a total of 20 games this season. Each game brings a new challenge, with different players, abilities and styles.

“We don’t know what the other teams are doing right now, all we can really do is play our own game and see what happens,” Rocchio said.

Glenn is eager to take on Harborfields in a rivalry game that will played under the lights of Greenlawn Park on April 16.

Seahawks Hockey Claims County Championship

Cold Spring Harbor hockey team membs and coaches pile in for a photo after winning the Nassau championship.

Cold Spring Harbor hockey team membs and coaches pile in for a photo after winning the Nassau championship.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

The Cold Spring Harbor varsity ice hockey team glided into school history in February winning the program’s first ever County Championship.

Coming out of a regular season that had a few bumps along the road, the Seahawks were amped up to show what they were made of during the playoffs. Their first game against Bellmore-Merrick was close, but the boys stuck it out and won 5-4.

The Seahawks were down until the final period in their semi-final game against Syosset, but scored crutial third-period goals to win. Their final challenge was to beat Long Beach in a best two out of three series.

“We knew our backs were against the wall, we were the underdog going in,” head coach Sean Considine said. “But I just kept telling them to stick to our plan, the way we like to play and good things are gonna happen. Once we got that first win in the finals series, the kids had some confidence and knew they could definitely do it.”

Although the Seahawks had lost to each of their playoff opponents in the regular season, they beat each of them when it counted to end the season with a record of 17-4-1.

Considine relied on the junior class many of whom had faced off against Long Beach at the Middle School Championship years before, as his core group.

“They knew they could play with them, but they had to play a certain style and buy into it,” Considine said.

Going into the county championships, the Seahawks planned to keep their front two lines fresh by consistently rotating in players. With a roster of 20 players, Considine felt his team had the depth to keep six strong players on the ice.

“This was to make sure that when it came down to the wire, my top players weren’t exhausted like the other team was,” Considine said.

The boys were able to build up momentum at the end of the season with a six game winning streak that carried them to playoffs. Considine found his team was at their best when they decided to come together and work cohesively to win. They could wear down opposing teams with their size and strength, but closed the deal with plays.

“Our overall knowledge of the game is what helped,” Considine said. “I would get the players together at practice and break down the game, explain what we want to do in certain situations, where we want to be on faceoffs, how we want to play in the defensive zone. This is really how we made our way through playoffs.”

The Seahawks were led by captain and the team’s point leader Colin Bertsch. He earned 38 points with 20 goals and 18 assists. He was aided by assistant captains Max Van Son, Peter Leonard and Harry Carswell.

“We always push for someone to be a presence in the locker room, someone to have a voice,” Considine said. “Colin, our captain, stepped up when he was a freshman and sophomore to push the guys. I choose Harry, because he’s one of those heart and soul players, that plays hard and gives 100 percent. Max is not as vocal, but led the team with 23 goals. Peter is one of our better defensemen, I gave him this position with hopes he will rise to captain one day.”

Goalie Griffin Iglesias anchored a solid defense. Iglesias played 656 minutes this season, allowing only 48 goals and recording a goals against average of 3.29.

This united front allowed Max Van Son, Colin McHale, Owen Kaplan, Rich Straino and Riley Van Son to each score 20 or more points for the team.

“We’re a pretty smart group and we’re able to back off, take away lanes in the middle of the ice and play more of a defensive game, then counteract off the transition,” Considine said. “That’s how we got our goals.”

The Seahawks are unable to attend the State Championship this year, since last year they were invited but could not roster a full team, due to players’ other commitments.

“Unfortunately this season is our one year suspension,” Considine said. “But going into next year, I think these boys will definitely have their eyes on a State title.”

Looking forward to next season, Considine feels the Cold Spring Harbor ice hockey program will continue to thrive at all age levels. The school had one team with 14 players when he first began coaching 10 years ago. Now, the Seahawks have a modified, junior varsity and varsity team that has 60 players.

Whitman Runner Bolts To States and Nationals

Walt Whitman freshmen Gianna Paul’s 400m finish of 57.45 seconds qualified her for the national championships.

Walt Whitman freshmen Gianna Paul’s 400m finish of 57.45 seconds qualified her for the national championships.

By Sophia Ricco

sricco@longislandergroup.com

Walt Whitman’s girls indoor track team is close to wrapping up its season, but still has one extraordinary runner racing her way to the state and national championships.

This season saw the smallest team head coach Rufus Shepard has ever coached with only 22 girls, most underclassmen. Many individual athletes triumphed this season at meets, particularly Whitman freshman Gianna Paul.

Joining the spring track and field team as an eighth grader, Paul broke the school’s record in the 400-meter run. Her time – 57.45 seconds – was a personal best that qualified her for the national championship.

“It’s been great just watching her develop as she’s grown over the years,” Shepard said. “I think the sky’s the limit for her.”

In her first year competing with the winter track team, Paul set a school record for the 300m dash with a time of 40.55 seconds and 600m dash with 1:39.66. She also competes in long jump where she set a 16’10” school record.

“She has improved every race since she started winter track, she just gets faster and faster,” Shepard said. “I’ve been coaching for 20 years and she’s not only the most coachable athlete, but she also has an impeccable work ethic.”

Every day at practice, the coaches give runners a workout that conditions them for particular events.

“For our sprinters, we do sprint drills, high knees, A and B skips, a lot of short sprints to build their strength,” Shepard said. “For our distance runners, we put in at least 4-5 miles a day, so we’re talking about 25-30 miles a week to build endurance.”

Shepard finds Paul is a very “self-motivated” athlete, who wastes no time getting through the drills, even doing extra if she finishes early.

“Coach would say that I’m hard working and that I get the job done,” Paul said. “I can see my dedication to the sport growing as I run at more meets.”

Paul will compete at the Long Island Elite meet this Saturday against the best runners from Nassau and Suffolk counties, as preparation for the state championship meet on March 2. She is a prospect to place within the top six for the 300m dash and earn All-State honors.

Nationally, she has the ability to place within the top three for the freshmen 400m dash, her coach said.

“It’s great when your youngest athlete is the best on the team, but it would be great if she had a mentor, like we’ve had in the past,” Shepard said. “But this is a testament to how great she is, because she does a lot of this on her own without having someone to look up to on the team.”

With a young team, Shepard selected sophomores Grace Weigele and Priya Katwala as his captains. He considers both strong leaders and motivators.

Weigele also takes the spot as top distance runner. In the 3,000m race, she’s run a personal best 11:44.

Standing out as the top jumper, Emily Gorecki has cleared 4’8” in high jump.

Paul’s training partner, Jessica Doddo, excels in the 300m dash and the girls motivate one another, Shepard said.

Many of the girls will keep track of their progress through “Distance Time Racing” that tracks their times and ranking.

“I think this is a big motivation, because they want to self-improve, it’s all about looking at the numbers and getting better,” Shepard said.

Overall, this season has been a time for the team to rebuild, work on technique and boost their stamina and endurance.

“We use the winter season to fine tune for the spring season,” Shepard said. “The spring season tends to be more competitive. We compete against teams one-on-one in dual meets.”

Looking forward to the spring season, Shepard will be able to pick up where he left off with the team as the girls outdoor track and field coach, while gaining competitive athletes.

“We start off the season with personal goals and time trials, to see where the girls are at the moment with their events and take it from there,” Shepard said. “We’ll try to reflect back on those goals every month.”

Commack’s Slackman Brings Home The Win

Commack senior Joey Slackman, second from right, celebrates with his coaches after winning the 285-pound state championship on Feb. 23.

Commack senior Joey Slackman, second from right, celebrates with his coaches after winning the 285-pound state championship on Feb. 23.

By Connor Beach

cbeach@longislandergroup.com

 

Commack’s Joey Slackman won last Saturday the New York State wrestling title in the 285-pound weight class.

Slackman, a senior, entered the state tournament as the top ranked wrestler in his weight class having won the Suffolk County championship earlier in February. He was returning to states with something to prove. He fell just short of the state title in 2018, losing in the championship match.

Slackman pinned his first three opponents on his way to the finals where he faced off against Freeport’s Myles Norris. The match against Norris proved to be Slackman’s most difficult of the tournament, but the experienced wrestler earned a 4-2 decision victory and his first state title.

“Winning in my senior year is the best feeling in the world right now,” Slackman said after the match.

Slackman finished the 2018-2019 season with an impressive 46-0 record, and is planning to continue his wrestling career in college at the University of Pennsylvania.

Cold Spring Harbor Basketball: County Champs

Captains Aidan Adomities, Thomas Milana, Jack Vavassis and Nicholas Suter have their eyes on the Long Island championship game after leading Cold Spring Harbor basketball to a county title,

Captains Aidan Adomities, Thomas Milana, Jack Vavassis and Nicholas Suter have their eyes on the Long Island championship game after leading Cold Spring Harbor basketball to a county title,

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

The Cold Spring Harbor boys basketball team will have a shot at the Long Island title after beating Malverne last Saturday in the Nassau Class B championship game.

This is the Seahawks first time winning the Class B County Championship in school history. They were previously Class C county champions in 1995.

The game was a hard-fought, back-and-forth battle between the top two teams in Class B. Head coach Jason Mercurio knew Malverne had a great team, but was confident his boys could defeat them. The Seahawks handed the Mules their only loss during the regular season.

“They were playing well, but our kids showed a lot of resiliency,” Mercurio said. “Malverne tied up the game on multiple occasions, but we were able to answer every time they gained some momentum by getting baskets of our own. I’m very happy that we were able to play so well at such a big moment.”

The Seahawks started the game strong and took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter. Each team scored 12 points in the second quarter, sending Cold Spring Harbor into the locker room with a 27-21 advantage at halftime.

This season the team had a mission to play a better defense.

“Our motto this season was, ‘Keep teams to 50 points or under and we’ll never lose.’ This was something we stressed and we held them to exactly 50 points,” Mercurio said.

Cold Spring Harbor point guard and captain Thomas Milana opened the third quarter with two timely three-pointers to expand the lead for the Seahawks. Mercurio feels Milana had his best game of the season, scoring 14 points.

Captain Aidan Adomaites played an important part in the Seahawk’s win as well, leading the team with 18 points.

“It all came full circle for them because they’ve been on the team since they were underclassmen,” Mercurio said. “The experience that they gained by playing in games all those years, really showed at the county championship. They were all really focused on getting the win.”

Malverne battled back from the 11-point deficit to tie the game at 47 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s when captain Jack Vavassis stepped up.

“He kept the team focused, even when things weren’t looking good and the other team was gaining momentum,” Mercurio said. “He just showed an incredible amount of leadership.”

Cold Spring Harbor would go on a 9-3 run in the last four minutes of the game to secure a 56-50 victory. Kip Dallaris hit a three-pointer for the Seahawks and scored nine points in the game, while Vavassis, Nick Suter, Luca Sanna and Steven Samuels rounded out scoring with six, four, three and two points, respectively.

The Seahawks ace off against the Red Devils of Center Moriches at Farmingdale State College on March 6, 7 p.m. for the Long Island Class B Championship.

“We’re gonna have to do some things differently and make things difficult for them,” Mercurio said. “We’re gonna do everything we can to give them the best game we can.”

Huntington Fighter To Headline Paramount Bout

Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez, of Huntington, is scheduled to fight in the co-main event of “Rockin’ Fights 34” at The Paramount in Huntington on Feb. 22.   Photo/Star Boxing

Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez, of Huntington, is scheduled to fight in the co-main event of “Rockin’ Fights 34” at The Paramount in Huntington on Feb. 22. Photo/Star Boxing

By Connor Beach

cbeach@longislandergroup.com

A Huntington-based boxer is once again set to headline a fight at The Paramount when Star Boxing hosts the 34th edition of its “Rockin’ Fights” series.

Johnny “Hitman” Hernandez, 27, of Huntington, is scheduled to make his 12th appearance in the ring at The Paramount next Friday in the co-main event for Star Boxing.

Hernandez, 9-4, is set to take on Texan Marquis Hawthorne, 6-9, in front of the hometown Huntington crowd in the 140-pound division.

“Both Johnny and Marquis have earned the right to be in this fight,” Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia said. “Johnny and Marquis always show up in phenomenal shape with great energy on fight night, and I expect a thrilling fight.”

Hernandez is the second boxer from Huntington to feature in the main event at The Paramount recently. Chris Algieri made his comeback to the ring during a Star Boxing fight at The Paramount in November.

Joining Hernandez and Hawthorne at the top of the card will be junior heavyweight fighters Joel Djeko, of Belgium, and Italian Simone Federici. Djeko and Federici will rely on brute strength for victory, while Hernandez will rely on footwork and conditioning to defeat Hawthorne in the pair’s lightweight bout.

“There are no secrets to success,” Hernandez said. “It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failures.”

The fight will be Hernandez’s second main event at The Paramount, and DeGuardia said he hopes the fighter can impress in front of the friendly crowd. Although Hernandez lost his last fight to Danny Gonzalez, he has a reputation for getting stronger as fights stretch into the later rounds.

“In his last fight Johnny showed grit and we will always support our fighters, win or lose, when they perform like he did,” DeGuardia said.

Hawthorne will not be easy to beat. He is coming off a recent upset over previously unbeaten boxer Ronnie Austion at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

The undercard fights are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22, and tickets for the event range from $50-$200. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

Seahawks Vie for County Championship

ColdSpringBoysBasketball_2.jpeg

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

The Cold Spring Harbor boys varsity basketball team has dominated so far this season, holding a strong defense and picking up points through a united front.

The Seahawks have a record of 17-2 this season and will face off against Oyster Bay in the Nassau Class B semi-finals this Sunday night at Farmingdale State College.

Head coach Jason Mercurio feels his team is “battle-tested” after coming out victorious against challenging teams.

“We just have to prepare now,” Mercurio said. “We know each other really well, so we’re just getting our kids ready to put their best foot forward for that game.”

The team started off the season playing against tough non-league teams to prepare for a fiercely competitive league. Although there is no league championship game, Cold Spring ranked second in their league after Malverne. The Seahawks finished their season strong with a big win against Malverne in their last game, handing the Mustangs their only loss of the season.

“It was a really great win that gives us momentum going into the playoffs,” Mercurio said. “Our kids are really excited about this Sunday.”

Mercurio attributes his team’s prosperity to the positive attitude his captains and players have during practice. In previous years, the team’s “Achilles’ heel” was stopping the opposing team’s offense from scoring. Many of the team’s seniors witnessed the issue first hand, and they made it a priority to improve.

“Our team has made a commitment to playing better defense, which has been a goal since the first day of practice,” Mercurio said.

This year, the Seahawks were ranked one of the strongest defensive teams in the county. Mercurio credits captain Jack Vavassis for leading the improvement and considers him to be the “anchor” of the team. As a guard, he demonstrates his “incredible” skill by defending opposing team’s best players and securing many rebounds.

“He’s been the catalyst to get everyone on the team to buy into playing better defense,” Mercurio said. “Without him, we would’ve never been able to do the things we’ve done this year.”

ColdSpringBoysBasketball_3.jpg

Fellow captains Nicholas Suter, a three year veteran of the squad, Aidan Adomities, a three year starter, and Thomas Milana a two year veteran, use their experince to lead the team. They’ve each seen many playoff battles, and know what it takes to keep the team calm during stressful situations.

“We’ve proven ourselves over the past four months, that we could play with anyone and beat them,” Mercurio said. “I’m happy we finished 17-2, but I feel there’s more we can still do and I’m happy our team keeps improving and getting better.”

Sophomores Kip Dallaris and Luca Sanna have stood out as strong players at a young age and earned themselves solid gametime. Although ten of the team’s players are seniors, Mercurio feels his team will remain powerful in coming years with young talent.

In his six years coaching at Cold Spring Harbor, Mercurio has an overall record of 82-37. He’s built the team from the ground up , and since then has made vast improvements. He said he feels proud of this accomplishment, especially since his record in his first two seasons was 18-18.

In preparation for the big game on Sunday, the team has been watching and critiquing film from their games against Oyster Bay. During the regular season, each team won one game and Mercurio feels Sunday’s game will be a “good battle”. The players’ biggest focus will be handling and moving the ball to one another, to set up the best shots possible.

“For the first time in playoffs, we’re gonna play an opponent we’ve played before, so that’s something different for us,” Mercurio said. “Typically, we’re facing teams we don’t know much about. Now we’re in a different ball game, we’re playing a team we know a lot about and they know a lot about us.”

If the team wins on Sunday they will move on to the Nassau Class B Championship, but Mercurio said the Seahawks aren’t looking too far ahead.

“All season we have been preparing for these next two weeks,” He said. “Everything that we’ve done up until this point has put us in this position, I know the boys have what it takes.”

 

Area Wrestlers Show Well At County Tournament

Posing with the brackets showing their path to the title, Elwood-John Glenn wrestler, from left, Patrick Ancewicz, Justin Vega and Thomas Giaramita are Suffolk Division 2 champions.

Posing with the brackets showing their path to the title, Elwood-John Glenn wrestler, from left, Patrick Ancewicz, Justin Vega and Thomas Giaramita are Suffolk Division 2 champions.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Wrestlers from high schools around the Town of Huntington found success on the mat last weekend during the Suffolk County Section XI Championship.

The smaller schools in the county competed in the Division 2 tournament last Friday night. Elwood-John Glenn was the only school from the Huntington area to qualify for this division.

The Knights had an impressive showing as a team; they racked up a total of 227.5 points. The total was good enough for second place out of ten.

Four individual wrestlers made it into the final match in their respective weight classes, and three Knights earned gold medals.

In the 99-pound weight class, Glenn’s Anthony Mirando fell just short. He lost in the championship match to Blue Point’s Max Gallagher after an impressive run of victories to reach the finals.

At 145-pounds, Thomas Giaramita was the first Knight to secure a Suffolk County title. He pinned Ryan Shanian from Mt. Sini high school after five minutes and 29 seconds.

Justin Vega also managed to pin his opponent in the championship match. Vega ended Port Jefferson’s Harry Cona’s run at the title after just 1:14 in the 182-pound division.

For Glenn’s Patrick Ancewicz the championship match proved more difficult. He was locked in a close battle with Aldar Molina of Center Moriches for the entire contest. The two heavyweights fought hard for the 285-pound title. Ancewicz prevailed by a score of 3-2.

Commack senior Joey Slackman celebrates after winning the Suffolk County championship in the 285-pound division.

Commack senior Joey Slackman celebrates after winning the Suffolk County championship in the 285-pound division.

There were eight schools from the Town of Huntington competing in Suffolk’s Division 1 tournament on Feb. 9-10. Commack finished top of the pack, and in fourth place overall, with a score of 104. They were followed by Huntington, 45.5, Northport, 45, Half Hollow Hills East, 37. 5, Half Hollow Hills West, 21, Harborfields, 20, and Walt Whitman, 12.

The Cougars had several stand out individual wrestlers who helped the team reach a top five finish.

Junior Jack Echerle finished in second place for the Cougars in the 113-pound division. He suffered an 8-2 defeat in the championship match to Hauppauge’s Luke Smith.

At 126-pounds, another Cougar fell just short of the county title. Junior Gavin Damasco lost to Zach Redding of Eastport-South Manor by a score of 11-1 in the final match.

Commack’s top wrester, and one of the best performers of the tournament, was heavyweight Joey Slackman. The senior showed his experience, dominating the 285-pound division. He capped of his championship run with an impressive pin against London Castillo of Brentwood in just 36 seconds.

In addition to his Suffolk title, Slackman earned the honor of most pins in the least amount of time. He managed to pin four opponents in just 3:22.

The Thunderbirds of Half Hollow Hills High School East also can claim a county champion among their ranks. Senior Jonathan Spadafora won the 145-pound weight class in style with a 10-1 major decision over Newfield’s Hunter Hughes.

Northport’s Peter Magliocco has plenty to be proud of after a good run in the 195-pound division. Magliocco, a junior, lost in the finals by a score of 6-3 to Liam McIntyre from Westhampton Beach.

Rounding out the medal winners from the Town of Huntington was Blue Devils junior Tazadon Smith. He pinned Centereach’s Christopher Powell in 1:20 to claim third place in the 220-pound weight class.

The county champions will wrestle for the state title in Albany beginning on Feb. 22.

Blue Devils Light A Fire On The Track

Sophomore Isaiah James runs the second leg of a relay. He won the 1000m at the Suffolk County Sophomore Championship and was the runner up at the League III Championship.

Sophomore Isaiah James runs the second leg of a relay. He won the 1000m at the Suffolk County Sophomore Championship and was the runner up at the League III Championship.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

The Huntington indoor track team have found victory this season and aren’t looking back as they race to the County and State Championships.

The Blue Devils will advance to the County Championship after winning the League III Championship on Jan. 19 with 97 points. Huntington’s athletes have had remarkable races and events at weekly tournaments.

Coach Ron Wilson has led his Blue Devils against schools from across Long Island, New York and the North East to prepare them for future meets within their area.

“You have to get them out there to get exposure and experience...  The experience they get at meets is to push themselves, you push them hard at practice, but it’s nothing like the experience at a meet,” Wilson said.

The team’s 4x400m and 4x200m relays rank first on Long Island and second in New York State. At the recently Ocean Breeze Invitational on Staten Island, the 4x400 team placed first at 3:20.89 and the 4x200 was edged out by about one second for the championship with a time of 1:31.41.

Wilson also brought the team to the Dartmouth Relays in New Hampshire, the “height of competition” with over a hundred other schools vying to win.

“It’s a rugged meet and it’s tough to do well there because of the conditions and the competition is great up there… Placing in the top 10 means you’re gonna do well when you go back to your own section. We placed third,” Wilson said.

Senior captain Eric Sands dominates shot put and weight throw for the Blue Devils. Sands set a personal best at the Ocean Breeze Invitational with a shot put throw of 49-06.00 and placed ninth throwing weight a distance of 45-02.50 feet.

Senior Jaden Bholan is a top high jumper, reaching 6 feet 3 inches.

Sophomore Trevan Meagher clears 5'10" at the Ocean Breeze Invitational.

Sophomore Trevan Meagher clears 5'10" at the Ocean Breeze Invitational.

Senior captain Jonathan Smith is one of the best runners in the nation for the 300m, 500m and 600m races, and his efforts have shown on the 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams. Smith has been on the team since eighth grade and witnessed them win the National Championship in 2016.

“That’s why we have him in that leadership position, he’s seen that type of success,” Wilson said. “He knows the route that the team needs to take in order to receive those same accolades.”

This season the team has a majority of underclassmen who Wilson feels are “full of talent.” His relay teams are a rotation of runners, many of whom are underclassman, including captains Nasir Youngblood, Smith, Isaiah James and Justin Stevens.

CJ Kiviat, Anthony Joseph, Josiah Melendez, Jason Turner and Jahmar Francis also feature heavily in the Blue Devils relay teams.

James, a sophmore, has stood out in the 1000m run, winning first at the Suffolk Frosh/Soph championship and becoming runner-up in the league with a personal best of 2:40.

Kiviat, a sophmore, has proven to be one of the best middle distance runners in Suffolk County, capturing the League III 600m title with a time of 1:24.

At Suffolk’s Frosh/Soph Championship this year at Brentwood, Huntington’s freshmen and sophomore boys excelled, accumulating the most combined points of any team.

“If you do well at that meet, normally that brings good fortune, that you’ll have a shot at winning the County Championships in the future,” Wilson said. “Those kids are going to get older and you hope they will continue to improve at what they’re doing.”

In preparation for County Championships, the team will continue to compete in tournaments to stay sharp physically and mentally. In his years as a track and football coach, Wilson has found athletics are really “20 percent physical and 80 percent mental.”

“We will continue to train, run, do formal weight lifting and get our minds right, that’s the most important is getting your mind ready for this level of competition,” Wilson said. “That’s why we go those high level meets to work on the mental piece.”

The next challenge in the Blue Devils’ journey is to triumph at the Large School County Championship in February. From there, athletes will have the opportunity to qualify for the State Championship at a state qualifier meet.

“I have strong hopes for us,” Wilson said. “We can definitely qualify with our 4x400 relay, we’re one of the top relay teams in the state, now we just have to come in first or second.”

Split Results For Blue Devil Girls

Junior Abby Maichin moves the ball down the court for the Blue Devils.

Junior Abby Maichin moves the ball down the court for the Blue Devils.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Huntington girls basketball team currently sits in fourth place in Suffolk League III with a league record of 8-6 after a win against Smithtown East on Saturday and a loss at Deer Park on Tuesday.

The Blue Devils took down visiting Smithtown East on Jan. 26 by a score of 40-27.

Huntington trailed the Bulls 11-9 after eight minutes, but went on a 12-0 second quarter run to seize a 21-11 halftime advantage. Smithtown East was never able to recover from the deficit.

The Blue Devils improved to 7-5 in league play after Saturday’s victory.

Huntington junior Abby Maichin turned in another team leading scoring effort with 17 points, seven rebounds and six steals. The junior has been one of Huntington’s top players this season.

Christie Baade had four points and made her presence felt under the boards on both ends of the court.

Emily Plachta contributed nine points and eight rebounds, and Paige Lennon dropped a three pointer. Laurel Bonn, Charlotte Maggio and Holly Wright all had two points, while Jordan Forte scored a point from the free throw line.

“We are definitely on a hot streak as a team right now,” Maichin said. “Everyone is feeling really good about how we are playing and we need to keep this up to take us through the rest of our season. Everyone has been playing to their potential and contributing to all aspects of what we need to do to win. If we continue this, we will be set for a successful run in the playoffs.”

The Blue Devils traveled to Deer Park on Tuesday night looking to continue their winning ways, but got off to a slow start on offense.

Huntington scored just six points in the first half, and they went into the locker room at halftime trailing the Falcons 26-6.

The Blue Devils took the court in the third quarter determined to show their fighting spirit. They outscored Deer Park 16-4 in the third quarter cutting the deficit to eight.

The third quarter comeback proved too little too late, and the Blue Devils lost 34-24.

Maichin again led the scoring for Huntington with nine points. Plachta finished with eight points, Lennon contributed four points and Wright knocked down the only three pointer of the game for the Blue Devils.

Chaminade Seniors Lock Down College Choices

Students in the Chaminade High School Class of 2019 made commitments to play sports at colleges across the U.S. Notably from Huntington, second row third in, Aidan Larkin of Huntington and fourth row third in, Luke Roberts of Greenlawn.

Students in the Chaminade High School Class of 2019 made commitments to play sports at colleges across the U.S. Notably from Huntington, second row third in, Aidan Larkin of Huntington and fourth row third in, Luke Roberts of Greenlawn.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Chaminade High School will be sending off more than twenty of their students to play college-level sports upon graduation.

Athletes from the Class of 2019 will join baseball, crew, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer teams at universities across the country next fall. Notably, two of the young men that attend Chaminade High School and have made a commitment to a college, hail from Huntington. Aidan Larkin of Huntington will be rounding the bases of Hofstra University, playing on the baseball team. While Luke Roberts of Greenlawn will be traveling up north to play lacrosse at Hamilton College.

“These young men have demonstrated exemplary skill and sportsmanship on the field and in the classroom,” assistant principal of athletics and campus activities, John Callinan said. “Teamwork, however, is paramount to everything our Flyers learn in athletics. Our Chaminade family is particularly proud of their accomplishments.”

Student athletes and their college choices pictured above, from left, are:
First row: Dylan Ameres, of Quogue, track and field, Davidson College; John Darcy, of Rockville Centre, lacrosse, The Catholic University of America; Liam Entenmann, of Point Lookout, lacrosse, University of Notre Dame; Reilly Gray, of Point Lookout, lacrosse, University of Notre Dame; Andrew Hammersley, of Garden City, soccer, Stonehill College.
Second row: Andrew Jenet, of Malverne, lacrosse, Furman University; Logan Koester, of Merrick, baseball, The George Washington University; Aidan Larkin, of Huntington, baseball, Hofstra University; Colin Lawless, of Rockville Centre, soccer, Gettysburg College.
Third row: Brendan Lough, of Oyster Bay, lacrosse, Bates College; Alexander Manolarakis, of Fort Salonga, crew, Drexel University; William McCumiskey, of of Oyster Bay, lacrosse, SUNY Geneseo; Roy Meyer, of Long Beach, lacrosse, Boston University; Patrick Mooney, of Rockville Centre, lacrosse, The University of Scranton.
Fourth row: Kevin Pimental, of Massapequa, lacrosse, University of Michigan; John Plumeri, of Massapequa, crew, Yale University; Luke Roberts, of Greenlawn, lacrosse, Hamilton College; Peter Rocco, of Malverne, lacrosse, The University of Scranton.
Fifth row: Thomas Rogan, of Merrick, lacrosse, Dartmouth University; Tyler Sandoval, of Garden City, lacrosse, Princeton University; Nicholas Whiteman, of Merrick, lacrosse, Union College; Aidan Wrynn, of Port Washington, lacrosse, SUNY Maritime College; Matthew Zito, of Wantagh, lacrosse, The University of Scranton.