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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Dear Readers,

postseason.

The winter weather has hit Long Island hard over the past couple of months, and while it’s caused a few cancellations and postponed games, the high school sports carry on. Basketball season is in full swing as many teams are tuning up and preparing for the

Not every team has endured a successful year, but they’ve all been competitive and the leagues are shaping up to be close, which should create interesting matchups.

Ultimate athlete magazine PUBLISHER/CEO EXECUTIVE EDITOR ASSISTANT PUBLISHER

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR SENIOR MEDIA MANAGER GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

If you’re looking for some exciting high school sports action, stay tuned to the next few weeks of basketball, as there will be many intriguing matchups in an already jam-packed season.

N.J COMANZO KEVIN FREIHEIT

LOUIS H QUACH PONNUTHURAI JEYATHAS

nicole manzo

WIN-KYE CHEONG

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In this issue, we feature Lindenhurst, Seaford, Massapequa, Sachem North and Kings Park basketball, just to name a few. With the regular seasons winding down, it means that the spring sports are not too far away, either. Before we touch on those, we’ve hit a couple of other teams for our Winter I issue as well. We have included some stories on hockey and wrestling teams on the Island, too.

PAUL CORACE

RICHARD BROOKS KEVIN FREHEIT JACKLYNKELLI KRONEMBERG BRIAN COLEMAN JUSTIN MACKIN DR. TOM FERRARO SANDY SARACONA MIKE MEJIA CSCS

mike repertorio

IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

KEVIN SPERANDEO KEVIN FREIHEIT

MORGAN HARRISON BILL KELLY

KEVIN SPERANDEO

Thank you for reading! Kevin Freiheit Sports Editor Ultimate Athlete Magazine

Contact Us Phone: 1-800-680-3213 Email: info@ultimateathletemagazine.com GO ONLINE TO READ MORE!

Ultimate Athlete Magazine (ISSN 1931-5295) is published 12 times a year by Ultimate Athlete, Inc., 24 Woodbine Ave, Northport, New York 11768. All contents copyright 2012 by Ultimate Athlete Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or part of the content without the prior written consent of Ultimate Athlete, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All logos and trademarks are properties of thier respective owners. Although the writers and the publishers have exhaustively researched all sources to ensure the accuracy and the completeness of the information contained in this publication we aassume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. The opinions expressed in all materials are those of authors and do not neccesarily represent those of Ultimate Athlete, Inc or Long Island’s Ultimate Athlete Magazine.

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LONG ISLAND WIN_VOL. I_ 2014

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PG 10

GARDEN CITY

PG 16

HILLS EAST

PG 20

KINGS PARK

PG 26

LINDENHURST

PG 32

MACARTHUR

PG 34

MASSAPEQUA

PG 38

PLAINEDGE

PG 42

SACHEM NORTH

PG 46

SEAFORD

Girls’ Basketball

Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball Boys’ Basketball Girls’ Basketball Girls’ Basketball

PG 52

SYOSSET

Boys’ Ice Hockey

PG 54

LAWRENCE

Boys’ Basketball

PG 58

UA TRAINING

Laying The Groundwork

PG 62

NUTRITION

PG 64

PSYCHOLOGY

Energy Bar Craze All The Pretty Warriors

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GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

GARDEN CITY'S YOUNG TEAM HAS HIGH ASPIRATIONS Story by Jaclynkelli Kronemberg | Photos by Adil Borluca

he defending Nassau County Class A-I champions T are anxious to get back to where they finished off last season in the Long Island Championship game. The Garden City girls’ varsity basketball team is ready to take their team back to the LIC and hopefully further. The Trojans have a great chance of accomplishing that goal because they have the team from last year back only a year older and more experienced. “We were so young last year, we had seven freshmen and this year we are still a young team,” said the Garden City girls’ varsity head coach Anthony Sparacia. “We want to make it back to the county finals this year. With what we accomplished last year the expectations are high for this season.” The Trojans are already off to a good start. They have five wins and one loss overall and have two wins and one loss in their league play. “Everybody is back and we are doing well,” said Sparacia. “We have the same team two years in a row so we are expected to win.” Sparacia is in his 11th year as the head coach of the Garden City girls’ varsity basketball team. Under Sparacia Garden City has two Nassau County titles and one Long Island Championship. In the last five years they have averaged 16 wins a year. The Trojans have been to the Nassau County Championship four years in a row winning twice and have made it to the semifinals six years in a row. Surrounding Sparacia is a team of excellent athletes. Most of the players are three sport athletes and are used to being successful. This team knows what it is like to succeed and is looking to continue to be successful this season.

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The starting five have the talent and experience to help this team get back to the championship game. Junior shooting guard Samantha Auricchio has been on the varsity team since she was in eighth grade. Auricchio was ranked 15th in New York State last year as a sophomore and was honored all-county and all state last season. As a freshman and a sophomore Auricchio led Long Island public schools in three point shooting. So far this season she is averaging 17 points per game and for her career she has averaged 16.5 points per game. “Samantha is our leader,” said Sparacia. “She is a complete player and is continuing to get better.” This year this team has their work cut out for them. Teams are gunning for them since they are the defending Nassau County Champions. “We always have a target on our backs,” said Sparacia. “We thrive off of that. We just have to match everyone’s intensity and we will be fine.”

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his year they are in a conference that is good from top to bottom. Anyone can T win the Class A-I conference. “This is the best group in Class A-I from top to bottom since I can remember,” said Sparacia. “This is the most competitive it has been. Seven or eight teams can win the conference.” Garden City will face some tough competition this season but unlike the other teams they have all their players back and know what it is like to win the County title. They are vying to get back to the Long Island Championship but this year they are determined to have a different outcome. “This team is experienced and know how to win,” said Sparacia. “Coaching here is great, I have tremendous athletes and they make my job fun. I really enjoy what I do because they are great kids. I feel we have the best athletes on the floor in games and if you’re more athletic you are going to win. I think we can get back to the County finals. We expect to be there at Designed by the end.” Win-Kye Cheong

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HILLS EAST Enjoy T

he Half Hollow Hills East boys’ basketball team has had success in the past, and their story has been no different this season. The Thunderbirds have been on a roll and have kept the momentum rolling. Hills East has become a dominant team, and it hasn’t let up against any opponents. The Thunderbirds began the season with a 10-0 run, putting them atop the standings. They have had numerous dominant victories, but had a couple of close games as well. In their biggest offensive game of the year, Hills East clobbered Bay Shore by a 92-47 score, including a 24-4 lead after the opening former.

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ys Record-Setting Year STORY BY KEVIN FREIHEIT

PHOTOS BY KEVIN SPERANDEO

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In a high scoring game like that, usually the winning team has a big game from one player specifically, but not one athlete scored more than 20 points for the Thunderbirds. In fact, Chris Adames scored 27 for Bay Shore. It was the first win for the Thunderbirds against Bay Shore in four years. They had dropped the previous six meetings, but were finally able to come out on top. After enjoying 10 straight wins to open the season, the Thunderbirds played a hard-fough game against another top rated team. Central Islip was 7-0 at the time, so it was a game of two undefeated teams. While it was a close game throughout, a five point second quarter came back to haunt Hills East in a game where it would eventually lose 68-64. It was their first loss of the season and a Conference game at that. Hills East have always endured a tough challenge against Central Islip. Over the past four years, the Thunderbirds have dropped all seven contests to them, including a pair of games decided by five points or less. The Thunderbirds still have a handful of games remaining, one of them a rematch against Central Islip. They have set themselves up for success, and have done it behind some quality athletes. Mike Simon has been a rock for the Thunderbirds this year as he leads the team with 13.3 points per game. He has also connected on a team high 18 three pointers. Jordan McRae and Justin Fackler are also averaging over 10 points per game. The Thunderbirds’ offense has been electric this season and is one of the reasons they have become a legitimate threat. They are averaging just over 64 points per game, which has been a huge help. They have also held their opponent to under 40 points on three separate occasions this season. The expectations for Hills East weren’t very high when the season began, but that has changed since they have been winning. The Thunderbirds haven’t had a successful season like this one since they went 14-7 in 2005-06. In each of the past four seasons, Hills East has been unable to post a winning record. With such a sudden and surprise jump to the top, the Thunderbirds have quickly become a dangerous team with many potential weapons. Look for them to be a legitimate factor down the stretch. Designed by Win-Kye Cheong

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he Kings Park boys basketball (7-3, 4-2) team is built around Johnny Li, their senior, six-foot (or so) guard averaging nearly 25 points per game this season. Lucky for the rest of the team, Li’s nearly as gifted at passing as he is scoring. Within coach Dave Scholer’s organized offense, the ball moves rather well, with probably a few more turnovers than the coach would prefer. At least against Huntington (0-9) on Jan. 7 that was the case. A relatively even first half wasn’t necessarily dominated by Li, even if he probably had over half his team’s points and scored pretty much whenever he wanted to, whether by an easy going three-point shot, a quick dribble drive, or a pull up jump shot (he shoots his midrange jumpers near the top of his leap) over the defense. Rare is the high school player with all three of those qualities, in addition to a fabulous passing touch. He would finish with 24 points, which felt more like 18 and probably could have been 34, and 7 assists in the 5835 win. It’s difficult to tell if the contained Li and the fiery Scholer are the perfect compliments or a mismatched pair. Li might be so good that it doesn’t matter. Their relationship seemed less Greg Poppovich-Tony Parker (in the early days, when Pop would ride Parker mercilessly) and more Mike Woodson-Carmelo Anthony, based on my one game snapshot. On the few occasions Li was careless with the ball or didn’t hustle for a rebound, the

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KINGSMEN BUILDING AROUND STAR PLAYER

STORY BY SCOTT BICKARD | PHOTOS BY KEVIN SPERANDEO

coach expressed only mild frustration, if any at all; when another player committed a similar offense, he’d turn to his bench and explain – whether for his own peace of mind or simply to instruct – the nature of the offending’s player’s error and occasionally call for a sub. Li played every minute until the game was out of reach with little time left. How Scholer will coax the very best out of his supporting cast while ceding much of the offensive playmaking to Li, who scored a career high 36 points against Hauppauge earlier in the year, is a challenge faced by many starcentric teams. From the Huntington game, center Matt Mosner (14 points, 12 rebounds) appeared most sure of his role. Mosner, though not overwhelmingly athletic, has a decent set shot from three and a fair sense of how to use his heft inside. The more talented big man, however, is lanky power forward Jordan Finzel. Against bigger and better teams, his pretty 10-15 foot jump shot might come in handy. Another X-factor is the team’s backup point guard, who hasn’t yet earned the coach’s trust (based on his quick pull after an early turnover), but showed more playmaking abilities

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DESIGN BY LOUIS QUACH

than the starter at the position. Based on their division, the Kingsmen are in a pretty good place to make the playoffs. Only Deer Park (7-1, 6-0), to whom they lost on Jan. 9, 55-51, is ahead of them and Only Half Hollow Hills West (4-3, 4-2) beat them by more than four points (a 7656 loss). (Strangely, Deer Park blew out West, 75-49.) Kings Park will get another shot at both teams before the regular season ends, though they’ll have to do it away from home. However the season turns out for Kings Park, they’ll always be fun to watch. It was odd – and even refreshing – to watch a star player operate so seamlessly within the team’s offensive scheme. Scholer seems to know that’s not the purest pathway to success. This isn’t the type of team to run isolation plays. For that, the head coach has probably made it further than most would have with such an outright star. To do something special in the playoffs, however, Scholer must continue to manage the delicate balance between Li and the supporting cast.

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FRAMED POSTERS Our stories and cover photos are available to purchase. Choose from any cover and/or article from any Ultimate Athlete Magazine issue to have made into a poster. Covers are available in a 8.5x11 or 12x18 print. Articles are available in a 12x18 print. Any prints can be ordered with or without a black frame. To order, call 1.800.680.3213 or email Paul at publisher@ultimateathletemagazine.com

8.5x11 Framed Cover CONNETQUOT HIGH SCHOOL THUNDERBIRDS

CONNETQUOT HIGH SCHOOL THUNDERBIRDS

CONNETQUOT “

“

Every year our goal is to win the Long Island Championship.

THUNDERBIRDS

*655,;8<6;

ThunderbirdS aspire for the

long island championship

Story By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg / Photos By Morgan Harrison

T

he Connetquot varsity football team enters the season ranked number three in Division one in Suffolk &RXQW\  /HDGLQJ WKH &RQQHWTXRW Thunderbirds is head coach Mike Hansen. Hansen is entering his WKVHDVRQDVWKHKHDGFRDFK/DVW season, Connetquot ended the season with eight wins, two losses, and lost LQ WKH 6XIIRON &RXQW\ VHPLÂżQDOV â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year our goal is to try and win every game,â&#x20AC;? said Hansen, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every \HDU RXU JRDO LV WR ZLQ WKH /RQJ Island Championship.â&#x20AC;?

A few of the players from last season have since graduated, and the Thunderbirds have only three offensive returning starters, and three defensive returning starters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a solid team this season,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have skilled players and a good defense.â&#x20AC;? There are a couple of players looking to make an impact this year, and help get the team to the championship game. Senior wide receiver Tyler Nason (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10â&#x20AC;? 185 lbs.) was one of the top receivers RQ /RQJ ,VODQG ODVW \HDU ZLWK 

receptions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tyler is athletic, has nice hands and runs great routes,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to him being a big impact player this season.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of kids that have the potential to be real impact players this season for us,â&#x20AC;? said Hansen, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a great team and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pleasure to coach them.â&#x20AC;?

Senior running back/ linebacker Marcus Gutierrez (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;9â&#x20AC;? 180 lbs.) is another key player to watch for this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marcus is a tough hard runner,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He will carry a lot of the load this year.â&#x20AC;? The offensive line features three seniors DJ Gallino (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;2â&#x20AC;? 270 lbs.), Rob Dawson (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;1â&#x20AC;? 270 lbs.) and Jimmy Oliver (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11â&#x20AC;? 250 lbs.). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a solid offensive line,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;DJ, Rob and Jimmy are the anchors of the offensive line.â&#x20AC;? The defensive line features junior Sean Moore (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;0â&#x20AC;? 250 lbs.), Gallino and Oliver. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our defensive line is physical and work hard.â&#x20AC;? Hansen said. Connetquot takes their ÂżUVW VWHS WRZDUG WKH /RQJ Island Championship on September 11, 2013, when they open the season against Patchogue Medford.

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LINDENHURST B

BOYS LOOK TO BO STORY BY MIKE REPERTORIO PHOTOS BY KEVIN FREIHEIT

I

njuries and inconsistencies can make for a long season. Last year was a tough one for Coach Bret Kearney and the Lindenhurst boys basketball team. “Last season was a struggle, we battled injuries and inconsistent play” said Kearney when looking back on their 3-15 season. However, the kickoff of a new season and a chance to turn it around will start on November 20, when the team holds their first practice. And despite playing in an extremely tough and competitive league, the outlook is bright. “The goal each year is the same, compete at a high level and make the playoffs [...] I believe this team is capable of winning games in our league and playing at a high level.” But one term that has continued to pop up is “compete”. With teams like Central Islip, who plays an aggressive zone defense, and Walt Whitman, with many returning seniors and one of the better defenses in the league, along with Connetquot and Half Hollow Hills East, who both have some of the most talented players in the league, the Bulldogs will have to compete every night.

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BASKETBALL: OUNCE BACK

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“The plan is to have our

team prepared, working hard, and ready to compete at a high level.” - Coach Kearney

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But the strength of the opposition in this league aside, Lindenhurst is no pushover. After only losing five seniors to graduation, the Bulldogs are returning seven starters from last season. Of which includes, 6-foot-5 senior shooting guard Dan Brzozka and senior standout, Cody Mitchell. Brzozka, whose younger brother, Arthur, is a freshman this season, is a returning all-league and all-conference player with the potential to be one of the best in the league this season. Mitchell is a versatile player who, along with Gino Bonaguro are the team’s toughest on the ball defenders. Other players to keep an eye on include Nick Soriano, Rahul Bathija and the aforementioned Arthur Brzozka. However, having the right players in place is only part of the equation. An strong staff and an effective strategy is also crucial. Coach Kearney takes pride in the team’s focus on defense. “We are predominantly a man to man defensive team, who tries to limit easy opportunities for our opponents. We teach a team defense approach, play physical and stress

the intangibles of taking charges and diving for loose balls.” However, the staff believes that the team’s offensive will also be effective and crucial for their success this season. Describing the system as playing loose and moving freely, Coach Kearney adds, “The teams greatest strengths going into this season is their ability to score in a variety of ways, every kid on the floor has the ability to shoot the basketball…” He believes that if his team can play their game defensively and offensively, while limiting turnovers they should be poised for a bounce back season. There is no easy wins in this league, but with the pieces in place, Coach Kearney and company are excited to hit the ground running. The teams first taste of actual play will be in opening round of the Colonial Classic at William Floyd High School. “The plan is to have our team prepared, working hard, and ready to compete at a high level.” Designed by Win-Kye Cheong

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MacArthur High School

GENERALS IN SEARCH OF AN IDENTITY STORY BY KEVIN FREIHEIT || PHOTOS BY ADIL BORLUCA

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he season has just begun, but the MacArthur boys’ basketball team has already been having a roller coaster year. The consistency hasn’t been there, but the Generals have put together a mediocre 2-2 record. MacArthur opened the season with a 59-41 win over Division, but they followed that up with a 30 point loss to Massapequa.

the team with an average of 12 points per game. McAndrew has been MacArthur’s top player on the offensive end as he has grabbed nine rebounds (six on defense) as well as 11 assists. Tom Melendez has been a force in the paint and has grabbed 16 rebounds (nine on offense). He has also been scoring an average of five points per game.

The Generals were able to bounce back the next game. They defeated Herricks 64-24 and once again had a winning record, but they weren’t able to keep it going.

Greg Baumstein and Ryan Cunningham have also been go-to players for the Generals. They both have stepped up and contributed this season, and they may become even better as the season continues.

Just like the previous time, MacArthur followed up a win with another loss. This time it came against Kennedy by a 53-47 score, but the Generals were in the game almost the entire time.

The Generals are not content with their 2-2 start and have a lot of work to do. However, there is plenty of time to pick up the pace and start stringing together some wins.

The Generals have been getting help from their key players this season. One of them being Tom McAndrew, who leads

With 14 games remaining on the schedule, the Generals are neither concerned nor disappointed with where

they stand. While they know things could be better, the season has just started, and their opportunities are ahead of them. The Generals are coming off of a 1-10 season, so they have already improved on last year’s win total. MacArthur has had success in the past, but have struggled the past couple of seasons. The Generals have posted five seasons of eight or more wins in the past decade, two of which they hit win totals of 10 and 15 wins. In order to get back to win totals like they’ve had in the past, they are going to need to make adjustments and find a way to be more consistent. They have experience and talent going for them, but it is a matter of how quickly they can come together as a team. Keep an eye on the Generals moving forward, as they could quickly go on a hot streak. Designed by Win-Kye Cheong

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Story and Photos by Kevin Sperandeo

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M

artin Voigt is finishing his twentieth season as head coach of the Massapequa High School Boy’s Varsity Basketball team. Voigt was born and raised in Massapequa where he played on the 1977 Conference, South shore and Nassau County Basketball team. He served as head coach of the junior varsity team for seven seasons until he took up his varsity position. In Voigt’s past nineteen seasons as varsity head coach, he has been awarded coach of the year eight times. Voigt has captured over 225 wins with sixteen playoff seasons and four conference championships. Voigt’s offensive strategy is to have a continuously moving structure while maintaining a defensively sound mano-man approach. Last year, Voigt led the Chiefs to a 10-7 season, making it to the playoffs but losing in the first round. Voigt’s ultimate goal as head coach, besides winning games, is to teach his student athletes the game of basketball and the value of athletics with the numerous life lessons it provides. He states, “I would like our players to strive for excellence each year and have

pride and class in everything they do. To value hard work, unselfish play and respect their teammates.”

Three team captains and leaders for the chiefs include Dylan Balducci, Alex Cosenza and Griffin Sullivan.

Through a season of highs and lows, Massapequa currently has a record of 8-5, putting the Chiefs in position for a playoff run. At practice, Voigt has focused on offensive execution and pressure defense, stressing the importance of rebounding, communication and team play.

Dylan Balducci, the 5’10 guard averages 20 points per game, and 2 rebounds. Balducci has great ability to shoot and score for the Chiefs.

Voigt explains, “We set very high expectations each year in a very difficult conference. Our expectation to play hard, play smart and give relentless effort each practice and game has been outstanding. At times our ability to make shots and value each possession has been inconsistent.” The head coach noted that the team needs to improve their communication during transition defense and more consistently get rebounds. With hopes to finish strong, the Chiefs will need to improve these efforts while executing the offense and getting valued shot attempts. Voigt praises his players naming them, “hard working, unselfish, intelligent, high character student athletes.

“He is the player all opposing teams will try and stop. He works extremely hard within the offense to get good quality shots,” according to Coach Voigt. “He tirelessly works on this skill development”. Balducci was first team All-County last year, averaging 21 points a game. He was also in the top-three for 3-pointers made last year. Voigt expects the same from Balducci this season. The team captain and point scorer is looking to play at the college level. Alex Cosenza, a 6’1 guard averages 13 points, five rebounds and three assists per game for the Chiefs. Voigt describes Consenza as, “a leader on this team who brings an outstanding work ethic and desire at all our practices and games.” The team relies on Cosenza to score, defend and rebound every night. He is a returning All-Conference player that looks forward to playing baseball next year at Hofstra University. Designed by

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Nicole Manzo


PRINT OUT AN Abraham Lincoln High School

RAILSPITTERS Brooklyn Tech High School engineERS MASSAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL LINCOLN FOOTBALL

CHIEFS

Becoming a THE ENGINEERS MASSAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL

Powerhouse SEEK CITY

CHAMPIONSHIP E Story by Kevin Freiheit Photos by Kevin Sperandeo very football team starts the season with an ultimate goal.

been living up to their expectations, and have no intention of letting up. The

Story by Ryan McNamee // Photos by Anthony Hughes Most teams aim to go as far as Railsplitters are off to a perfect 6-0 they can and win the Championship. You can ask coaches before the season starts, and even during the year, and their goal will probably be to win every game.

They will give you the usual coach quotes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have to take it one game at a time,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to win every single game,â&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our focus is winning one week at a time.â&#x20AC;? For most teams, they fail to achieve their goal. All it takes is one loss, one bad game, or even one simple mistake, to end a season. But the boys at Lincoln High have

start, and they have been merciless on WKHÂżHOGDQGRQWKHVFRUHERDUG

MASSAPEQUA Chiefs Ranked First at Pre-season Conference 1 Story by Jaclynkelli Kronemberg Photos by Kevin Freiheit

SACHEM NORTH MASSAPEQUA FOOTBALL PREVIEW

In its six games this season, Lincoln has allowed a mere 39 points and more than 10 in a game just once. Lincoln has many players that can step up and bring down the opponent. Junior Alejandro Oregon, who has 31 tackles, and leads the Railsplittersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; defense. Senior Leroy Hancle has recorded 30 tackles, as well.

T

he Massapequa varsity football team enters the season with a number one preseason ranking during Conference 1 in Nassau County. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our expectations are the same every year,â&#x20AC;? said Massapequa varsity football coach Kevin Shippos, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to win the Nassau County Championship and the Long Island Championship.â&#x20AC;?

On the pass rush, senior Thomas +ROOH\ OHDGV WKH WHDP ZLWK ÂżYH VDFNV When the Railsplitters donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to the quarterback, they have found ways to

Shippos is entering his third year as the head coach of the Massapequa varsity football team, The Chiefs. Last year, Massapequa lost to Farmingdale in the Nassau County semifinals, but they are looking to come back this year and go even farther. Nassau Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Conference one is always tough, and there are a number of teams that can claim the title. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of good teams in our conference,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one stand out team and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes our Conference exciting to watch and coach in.â&#x20AC;?

BROOKLYN TECH HIGH SCHOOL

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he Brooklyn Tech High School football team is FRPLQJ RII RI D FLW\ TXDUWHUÂżQDOV ÂżQLVK DQG WKH Engineers are looking to improve upon that win with a city championship. As always, they have to go through a JDXQWOHWRIDVFKHGXOHDVWKH\QHHGWRIDFHRIIDJDLQVWELJ ULYDOVLQ)RUW+DPLOWRQ7KRPDV-HIIHUVRQ&DPSXVDQG%R\V DQG*LUOV+LJK6FKRRO7KH(QJLQHHUVDUHJRLQJWRKDYHWR EH VKDUS WKURXJKRXW WKH VHDVRQ WR FRPSHWH DQG DUH JRLQJ WREHUHO\LQJRQDVOHZRIQHZVWDUWHUVRQERWKVLGHVRIWKH EDOO7KLVKDVQÂśWGHWRXUHG&RDFK0F.HQQDÂśVFRQÂżGHQFHLQ KLVWHDPDVKHVWDWHVÂł:HPDGHTXDUWHUÂżQDOVODVW\HDUDQG (I) hope the experience will help us in close games. We expect to be competitive.â&#x20AC;?

RQWKHURVWHU:LWKVL[RIWKHJUDGXDWHVIURPODVW\HDUPRYLQJ RQWRSOD\FROOHJHIRRWEDOODQGWKUHHPRYLQJRQWRGLYLVLRQ one programs, the Engineers lose a lot of athleticism as well. 6RPHRIWKHVHQRWDEOHGHSDUWXUHVDUH'%-DPHV*DOHZKRLV QRZSOD\LQJIRU3ULQFHWRQ7('(7KRPDV3ORQVNLZKRLV QRZSOD\LQJIRUWKH:LOGFDWVDW9LOODQRYDDQG:5.\YDXQH %UDPPHUZKRLVQRZXSLQWKH%URQ[SOD\LQJDW)RUGKDP

Farmingdale, Oceanside, Freeport, East Meadow and Baldwin are all looking to make it hard for Massapequa to claim the title. Massapequa has a few three year starters returning this season that will look to make an impact and get them back to the semifinals.

$V D WHDP /LQFROQ KDV IRUFHG ÂżYH interceptions and seven fumbles. While their defense has been rock solid, their offense PD\EHHYHQEHWWHU)RUFLQJWXUQRYHUVKDV allowed more opportunities to get points on the board, and they have done just that, thanks to the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stellar offense. 7KH5DLOVSOLWWHUVKDYHVFRUHGSRLQWV RQ WKH VHDVRQ WR WKHLU RSSRQHQWVÂś  Lincolnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lowest point total in one game this season was 26, which they did twice. Other than that, they have put up at least 36 points a game. Senior quarterback Javon Moore has FRPSOHWHG  RI  SDVV DWWHPSWV WKLV season, piling up over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. Moore has thrown as least two touchdowns in every game this season, with the exception of the one, against Tottenville. Senior runningback Antoine Holloman Jr. has played a big part in the offense as well. Holloman Jr. has rushed for 654 yards RQDWWHPSWVDQGDQDYHUDJHRIRYHUVHYHQ yards per carry. He has also found the end ]RQHWLPHVLQFOXGLQJRQFHRQD\DUG run.

MASSAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL

The Engineers are going to be relying on key players WKLVVHDVRQVXFKDVMXQLRUTXDUWHUEDFN(OLMDK5XHGDVHQLRU :5'('HRQ0DVKDQGVHQLRU/%2/&KDZLW%XQGLWZRQJ 7KHLUSOD\ZLOOEHFUXFLDOWRZDUGVWKHVXFFHVVRI%URRNO\Q Tech this season. The Engineers will have inexperience at some positions with the entrance of 17 new starters, %URRNO\Q 7HFK UHWXUQV ÂżYH VWDUWHUV DOOWRJHWKHU WKUHH FRPELQHG ZLWK ERWK VLGHV RI WKH EDOO 7KH WHDP ZLOO QHHG RQ GHIHQVH DQG WZR RQ RIIHQVH  7KLV ORVV RI SOD\HUV WR WKH VHQLRU OHDGHUVKLS RI FDSWDLQV &KDZLW %XQGLWZRQJ 3- JUDGXDWLRQLVXQIRUWXQDWHO\WKHQDWXUHRIKLJKVFKRROIRRWEDOO /DQGHUV 2/'/ DQG7ULVWDQ%URZQ 5%66 $FFRUGLQJWR EXWQRQHWKHOHVVOHDYHVWKH(QJLQHHUVZLWKDORWRIKROHVWRÂżOO &RDFK0F.HQQDWKHVHSOD\HUVZHUHFKRVHQDVFDSWDLQVÂłGXH

Senior Khendell Puryear has two interceptions and senior Jahsi Meade has an interception and two fumble recoveries.

Holloman Jr. does more than just run with the ball, he is part of a deeply talented receiving core, and has chipped in 10 catches for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior receiver Malik Andrews has been the biggest target for Moore, though. Andrews has gained over 500 yards on 25 catches, and has scored ÂżYHWRXFKGRZQVLQFOXGLQJD\DUGUHFHSWLRQ These are just a few of the biggest players on the Railsplittersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; roster that have been putting up big numbers, but Lincoln has many others that have stepped up as well. This is an experienced team that is loaded with talent throughout the lineup, and they clearly have what it takes to win. In recent years, the Railsplitters have posted UHFRUGVRIDQG/LQFROQKDVUHFRUGHG ZLQVRYHUWKHSDVWIRXUVHDVRQVFRPELQHG)URP WKURXJKWKH\ZRQMXVWWLPHVVRWKH\ are doing something right. Their program has made adjustments, and is now heading in the right direction and in full swing. The Railsplitters are a team to keep an eye on, as they possess depth, experience, determination and intimidation. Lincoln is aiming to go far this year, and they have what they need to accomplish that.

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FLAMING

Football in At 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;0â&#x20AC;? and 185 lbs., senior wide receiver/linebacker Nick Balzone is a three year starter for Massapequa. Balzone is a captain for the Chiefs, and was awarded all county last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nick is humble and a hard worker,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is an irreplaceable great player for us.â&#x20AC;?

Brianrunning Coleman Another three year returning Story starter,bysenior by Kevin back/safety Jack Korber is 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;6â&#x20AC;? 165Photos lbs. In addition, he Sperandeo also returns punts and kickoffs. Despite getting hurt last season, Sachem North Korber still made second team, All-Longhe Island. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jack is anFlaming Arrows football team enters theand 2013 campaign with high exciting player,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is a highbred player a tough loss in the can play either wide receiver orexpectations. running back.The He team makessuffered a 6XIIRON &RXQW\ &ODVV , VHPLÂżQDOV LQ  IDOOLQJ lot of big plays for us.â&#x20AC;?

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eventually to Long Island champion Floyd. The Flaming Arrows actually held a 7-0 lead in WKDWJDPHEHIRUH)OR\GUDWWOHGRIIVWUDLJKWSRLQWV on its way to another Long Island title. With many players from last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team still in the ORFNHU URRP IRU 6DFKHP KHDG FRDFK 'DYLG )DOFR KDV high goals and expectations for 2013. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our expectations are always to win a county and /RQJ,VODQG&KDPSLRQVKLS´VDLG)DOFRZKRLVHQWHULQJ KLV WK  \HDU DV WKH )ODPLQJ $UURZV KHDG FRDFK â&#x20AC;&#x153;Leadership is always important and we have created many leaders on our team over the past year and look forward to ZDWFKLQJWKHPOHDGRXUWHDP´

to leadership by example.â&#x20AC;?

able to make the correct calls to help guide the younger players

The offense consists of many talented players. Junior on the defense. Meanwhile, PJ Landers will give Bunditwong quarterback, Elijah Rueda, at 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;1â&#x20AC;? 200 lbs, has the size and the ability to rush free up the middle while taking double teams DWKOHWLFLVPWRVOLQJWKHEDOOHIIHFWLYHO\DURXQGWKHÂżHOG7KH DQGSHUVRQDOO\FDXVLQJKDYRFLQWKHEDFNÂżHOG The bottom line is that the Brooklyn Tech Engineers will be question will be how well he will be able to go through his reads as a junior at the helm of the offense. If his pre-snap reads are replacing a lot of players, and will need some of their successful correct, the sky is the limit for this kid on the high school level. younger players to step up. They can rely on the leadership Tristan Brown will be carrying a good portion of the load at of their seniors, and the guidance of Coach McKenna to get running back. At 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10 180 lbs. of defensive back speed, Brown WKURXJKWKHVHDVRQ+RZHYHUWKHUHLVQRVKRUWDJHRIFRQÂżGHQFH has the ability to run both inside and outside of the tackles. or belief in the Engineer locker room. McKenna emphasizes has all the weapons to end up as Massapequa Senior receiver/defensive back Craig is as their team philosophy. During the At wide receiver, Deon Mash will give the wide Engineers size and skill, will, andBerge teamwork champions. They have veteran players that know andand weighs in over at 175 Berge is the kicker,had his team climb a mountain together physicality to run the ball to the6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;1â&#x20AC;?, outside to pass thelbs. off-season, McKenna how to win games. The Chiefs will start their punter blanket and a for three yearwho starter.to challenge â&#x20AC;&#x153;Craig ishis a teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great overall determination and bring them middle. He will also work as a security Rueda, season ongoal September 12 against Freeport. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This athlete,â&#x20AC;? is an togetherhands as a and team. He suggests, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe that no or will be able to throw jump balls to Mash. Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has reliable outstanding receiver. On the defensive side, he hasif ayou have great will.â&#x20AC;? yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team task is impossible Brooklyn Techisisexperienced,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The The defense, like the offense will be replacing a lot of nose for the ball and is a good cover corner.â&#x20AC;? FRQÂżGHQW seniors cameDQG up with me from junior varsity as roster spots, but will have size and speed on the edge with \RXQJ DW VRPH SRVLWLRQV EXW LV DOVR DWKOHWLF well-coached. from their level At 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10â&#x20AC;? andhave 175 steady lbs., three year starterDonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Nickexpect them to step back sophomores. If we can stay healthy and continue Deon Mash at the defensive end. They will also of play from last year. They will be in the running for a PSAL Capuana is senior that plays running back, defensive leadership, and central control on defense from Bunditwong to work hard I expect big things from this team.â&#x20AC;? City Championship. back, andBunditwong returns punts Last year, at linebacker. Because of his experience, will and be kickoffs. Capuana had two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nick has a low center of gravity making LWGLIÂżFXOWIRUGHIHQGHUVWRWDFNOHKLP´6KLSSRVVDLG Âł+H LV JUHDW LQ WKH RSHQ ÂżHOG DQG KDV WKH DELOLW\ WR change direction in a split second.â&#x20AC;? Captain Jake Fitzsimmons is a 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11â&#x20AC;? and 220 lbs. three year returning starter. Fitzsimmons plays offensive tackle and linebacker. He was asked to ÂżOO LQ DV D PLGGOH OLQHEDFNHU WRZDUGV WKH HQG RI WKH season last year, and will be continuing to play that position this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jake is a leader by example,â&#x20AC;? said Shippos, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is smart and always knows where he has to be.â&#x20AC;? $QGÂżQDOO\WKHUHLVVHQLRUFDSWDLQ5LFN/D5RFFR at 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;3â&#x20AC;? and 235 lbs. He is an offensive tackle and GHIHQVLYH HQG  7KLV LV /D5RFFRÂśV VHFRQG \HDU DV D VWDUWHU  Âł5LFN KDV EHFRPH RQH RI WKH EHVW GHIHQVLYH players on the team and is a great offensive lineman,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He put on 25 lbs. of muscle in the offseason, and we are expecting big things from him this year.â&#x20AC;?

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NY ARTICLE! MASSAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL

MAS SAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL FARMINGDALE HIGH SCHOOL CHIEFS MASSAPEQUA Chiefs Ranked First at CONNETQUOT HIGH dalers SCHOOL Pre-season Conference 1 THUNDERBIRDS THE FARMINGDALE DALERS Story by Jaclynkelli Kronemberg Photos by Kevin Freiheit

A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE

CONNETQUOT

H HIGH SCHOOL ARROWS

â&#x20AC;&#x153;

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Floyd is at the top of the mountain and we are trying to get there,â&#x20AC;? said Falco, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will not give up in our pursuit of a championship. That pursuit is taking all of our thoughts and energy.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;As he goes, we go,â&#x20AC;? said Falco, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He looks good right now and we will have to keep an eye on his progress.â&#x20AC;? Sachem North is one of the favorites to

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ThunderbirdS aspire for the

long island championship

Story By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg / Photos By Morgan Harrison

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he Connetquot varsity football team enters the season ranked number three in Division one in Suffolk &RXQW\  /HDGLQJ WKH &RQQHWTXRW Thunderbirds is head coach Mike Hansen. Hansen is entering his WKVHDVRQDVWKHKHDGFRDFK/DVW season, Connetquot ended the season with eight wins, two losses, and lost LQ WKH 6XIIRON &RXQW\ VHPLÂżQDOV â&#x20AC;&#x153;This year our goal is to try and win every game,â&#x20AC;? said Hansen, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every \HDU RXU JRDO LV WR ZLQ WKH /RQJ Island Championship.â&#x20AC;?

A few of the players from last season have since graduated, and the Thunderbirds have only three offensive returning starters, and three defensive returning starters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a solid team this season,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have skilled players and a good defense.â&#x20AC;? There are a couple of players looking to make an impact this year, and help get the team to the championship game. Senior wide receiver Tyler Nason (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10â&#x20AC;? 185 lbs.) was one of the top receivers RQ /RQJ ,VODQG ODVW \HDU ZLWK 

receptions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tyler is athletic, has nice hands and runs great routes,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to him being a big impact player this season.â&#x20AC;? Senior running back/ linebacker Marcus Gutierrez (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;9â&#x20AC;? 180 lbs.) is another key player to watch for this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marcus is a tough hard runner,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He will carry a lot of the load this year.â&#x20AC;? The offensive line features three seniors DJ Gallino (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;2â&#x20AC;? 270 lbs.), Rob Dawson (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;1â&#x20AC;? 270 lbs.) and Jimmy Oliver (5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11â&#x20AC;? 250 lbs.). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a solid offensive line,â&#x20AC;? Hansen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;DJ, Rob and Jimmy are the anchors of the offensive line.â&#x20AC;? The defensive line features junior Sean Moore (6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;0â&#x20AC;? 250 lbs.), Gallino and Oliver. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our defensive line is physical and work hard.â&#x20AC;? Hansen said.

MASSAPEQUA HIGH SCHOOL

THUNDERBIRDS

Crossan rushed 10 times for 162 yards with three touchdowns in the season opening 35-6 victory over Sachem East, displaying the kind of talent that will be the catalyst for Sachem North in 2013.

/DVW VHDVRQ )DUPLQJGDOH ZHQW  DQG ZRQ WKH 1DVVDX &RXQW\ &RQIHUHQFH , &KDPSLRQVKLS DJDLQVW %DOGZLQ   7KH 'DOHUV ORVW WR :LOOLDP )OR\G IRU WKH /RQJ ,VODQG&KDPSLRQVKLS

+HDG &RDFK %XGG\ .UXPHQDFNHU KDV EHHQ OHDGLQJ WKH 'DOHUV WR YLFWRU\ VLQFH   +H KDV EHHQ FRDFKLQJ IRU RYHU  \HDUVKROGVRYHUZLQVDQGLVRQHRIWKH PRVWUHFRJQL]HGKLJKVFKRROIRRWEDOOFRDFKHV â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of kids RQ /RQJ ,VODQG  .UXPHQDFNHU LV NQRZQ that have the potential to D FRDFK ZKR WHDFKHV IXQGDPHQWDO IRU EHLQJ be real impact players this IRRWEDOODQGSXVKHVKLVSOD\HUVWRDFKLHYHWKH season for us,â&#x20AC;? said Hansen, PRVWWKDWWKH\FDQ:LWKDJRRGVWDUWIRUWKH â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a great team and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VHDVRQVWKH'DOHUVDUHZRUNLQJWRZDUGV a pleasure to coach them.â&#x20AC;? DQRWKHUVXFFHVVIXOVHDVRQ $VWURQJUXQQLQJDQGSDVVLQJRIIHQVHKDV DFFRXQWHGIRUWRXFKGRZQVLQWKUHHJDPHV 6HQLRUUXQQLQJEDFN&XUWLV-HQNLQVDYHUDJHV  \DUGV SHU FDUU\ VR IDU WKLV VHDVRQ  +H UXVKHG IRU  \DUGV DQG  WRXFKGRZQV LQ

Connetquot takes their ÂżUVW VWHS WRZDUG WKH /RQJ Island Championship on September 11, 2013, when they open the season against Patchogue Medford.

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he Farmingdale High School Football team continues their tradition of excellence, UHPDLQLQJXQGHIHDWHG  LQWKHÂżUVWKDOIRIWKH 2013 season. The Dalers tradition for excellence UHĂ&#x20AC;HFWVWKHLUSDVWVXFFHVV)DUPLQJGDOHIRRWEDOO ZULWHV XS  %LJ )RXU &KDPSLRQ \HDUV IRU WKH SDVWVHDVRQVDQGFRQIHUHQFHFKDPSLRQVKLSV VLQFH  7KH  WHDP ZRQ D /RQJ ,VODQG &KDPSLRQVKLS

At 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;0â&#x20AC;? and 185 lbs., senior wide receiver/linebacker Nick Balzone is a three year starter for Massapequa. Balzone is a captain for the Chiefs, and was awarded all county last year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nick is humble and a hard worker,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is an irreplaceable great player for us.â&#x20AC;? Another three year returning starter, senior running back/safety Jack Korber is 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;6â&#x20AC;? 165 lbs. In addition, he also returns punts and kickoffs. Despite getting hurt last season, Korber still made second team, All-Long Island. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jack is an exciting player,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is a highbred player and can play either wide receiver or running back. He makes a lot of big plays for us.â&#x20AC;?

WKHÂż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

1(800)680-3213

1(800)680-3213

Shippos is entering his third year as the head coach of the Massapequa varsity football team, The Chiefs. Last year, Massapequa lost to Farmingdale in the Nassau County semifinals, but they are looking to come back this year and go even farther. Nassau Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Conference one is always tough, and there are a number of teams that can claim the title. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a lot of good teams in our conference,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one stand out team and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what makes our Conference exciting to watch and coach in.â&#x20AC;?

Story and Photos by Kevin Sperandeo

â&#x20AC;&#x153; capture the Suffolk County Class I crown this season, with the other favorite being longtime foe Floyd. If Sachem North hopes to capture a county title, Falco knows that his team will most likely have to go through Floyd.

T

he Massapequa varsity football team enters the season with a number one preseason ranking during Conference 1 in Nassau County. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our expectations are the same every year,â&#x20AC;? said Massapequa varsity football coach Kevin Shippos, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to win the Nassau County Championship and the Long Island Championship.â&#x20AC;?

Farmingdale, Oceanside, Freeport, East Meadow and Baldwin are all looking to make it hard for Massapequa to claim the title. Massapequa has a few three year starters returning this season that will look to make an impact and get them back to the semifinals.

Every year our goal is to win the Long Island Championship.

Sachem North will be very reliant on its strong rushing attack led by Quarterback Trent Crossan. Crossan, who missed much of 2012 with a leg injury, is part RIZKDWLVDWKUHHKHDGHGEDFNÂżHOGDORQJ with Malik Pierre and Kevin Bragglia.

MASSAPEQUA FOOTBALL PREVIEW

6HQLRUOLQHEDFNHU-RH/HHOHDGVWKH'DOHUVÂśGHIHQVH LQWDFNOHVZLWKVRORWDFNOHVDQGDVVLVWHG2QWKH GHIHQVLYHOLQH7KRPDV$PPLUDWL6HQLRUGHIHQVLYHHQG KDVPDGHVRORWDFNOHVDQGDVVLVWHG;DYLHU6DQDEULD DVHQLRUFRUQHUEDFNPDGHVRORWDFNOHVDQGDVVLVWHG -XQLRUVDIHW\1LFN%XWOHUKDVUHFRUGHGLQWHUFHSWLRQV DQGWDFNOHV7KH'DOHUVÂśGHIHQVHKDVRQO\OHWXS SRLQWVWRWKHLURSSRQHQWVWKXVIDULQWKHVHDVRQ Senior wide receiver/defensive back Craig Berge is $IWHUDFRQIHUHQFHFKDPSLRQVKLS\HDUWKHSUHVVXUH 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;1â&#x20AC;?, and weighs in at 175 lbs. Berge is the kicker, LVRQIRUWKH'DOHUV)DUPLQJGDOHZLOOEHSXWWRWKH punter and a three year starter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Craig is a great WHVWGXULQJWKHLUQH[WJDPHSOD\LQJFRQIHUHQFHULYDOU\ athlete,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has reliable hands and is an 0DVVDSHTXDRQ2FWREHUUG%RWKWHDPVDUHFXUUHQWO\ outstanding receiver. On the defensive side, he has a XQGHIHDWHGDW nose for the ball and is a good cover corner.â&#x20AC;?

At 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;10â&#x20AC;? and 175 lbs., three year starter Nick Capuana is senior that plays running back, defensive back, and returns punts and kickoffs. Last year, Capuana had two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nick has a low center of gravity making LWGLIÂżFXOWIRUGHIHQGHUVWRWDFNOHKLP´6KLSSRVVDLG Âł+H LV JUHDW LQ WKH RSHQ ÂżHOG DQG KDV WKH DELOLW\ WR change direction in a split second.â&#x20AC;? Captain Jake Fitzsimmons is a 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122;11â&#x20AC;? and 220 lbs. three year returning starter. Fitzsimmons plays offensive tackle and linebacker. He was asked to ÂżOO LQ DV D PLGGOH OLQHEDFNHU WRZDUGV WKH HQG RI WKH season last year, and will be continuing to play that position this season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jake is a leader by example,â&#x20AC;? said Shippos, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is smart and always knows where he has to be.â&#x20AC;? $QG ÂżQDOO\ WKHUH LV VHQLRU FDSWDLQ 5LFN /D5RFFR at 6â&#x20AC;&#x2122;3â&#x20AC;? and 235 lbs. He is an offensive tackle and GHIHQVLYH HQG  7KLV LV /D5RFFRÂśV VHFRQG \HDU DV D VWDUWHU  Âł5LFN KDV EHFRPH RQH RI WKH EHVW GHIHQVLYH players on the team and is a great offensive lineman,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;He put on 25 lbs. of muscle in the offseason, and we are expecting big things from him this year.â&#x20AC;?

Massapequa has all the weapons to end up as champions. They have veteran players that know how to win games. The Chiefs will start their season on September 12 against Freeport. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team is experienced,â&#x20AC;? Shippos said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The seniors came up with me from junior varsity as sophomores. If we can stay healthy and continue to work hard I expect big things from this team.â&#x20AC;?


PLAI BOYS

Story By Brian Coleman /// Photos By Adil Borluca

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INEDGE BASKETBALL

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PLAINEDGE boys basketball making its mark W

hen Craig Murphy left Plainedge to take the head coaching job at Roslyn before the start of last season, a void was left at the head coaching position for the Plainedge Boys Basketball team. Right away, Brian Buckley knew that he wanted to take the reins of the basketball team at Plainedge. Buckley, an English teacher at Plainedge Middle School, coached the Junior Varsity team for four years and always had a desire to eventually coach the varsity team. When his colleague and very close friend Murphy went to Roslyn, Buckley pounced on the opportunity. “I coached the JV team for four years,” recalls Buckley. “When the varsity coach, one of my best friends and colleague, took the head coaching position in Roslyn, I put in for the varsity job.” Now in his second season, Buckley and the Red Devils of Plainedge are looking to make their mark in Nassau A-II Conference. Ironically, Roslyn entered that same conference just a year after Craig Murphy took the job there. “Little did I know Roslyn would be moved into our conference this year,” said Buckley. “Coaching against such a close friend is bizarre to say the least.” In Buckley’s second season, Plainedge

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basketball is looking to make its mark on the Nassau County basketball scene. While many regard it as a baseball and football school, Buckley said one of his main goals is to bring light to the improving basketball program at Plainedge High School. “I've seen coaches in the stands scouting that I've never seen before,” said Buckley, referring to the increasing exposure his program is getting. “I think teams have started to understand they can't simply overlook Plainedge anymore. It's a football and baseball town. My goal is to get basketball on the map as well.” The 2013-14 season looked extremely promising in the onset, as the Red Devils won four of its first five contests to start the year. However, since the strong start, Plainedge has lost four straight and dropped in the conference. Buckley says the struggles have been caused by a lack of confidence, which can often happen to a team after losing a few games in a row. “We came out of the gate strong, but have lost our confidence a bit, “said Buckley. “Going forward we need to stop thinking so much and just play. Winning makes anything fun.” One of the tougher losses of the season came at home to a familiar foe, Roslyn. After playing well all game long, a late surge by Roslyn allowed them to pull away and capture

the victory. The strong guard play for Roslyn was the difference, and made the difference between a win and a loss. “We lost an extremely tough game to Roslyn on our home floor. The loss was even harder on me since it was against one of my best friends,” said Buckley. “We outplayed them, but simply couldn't close the game out. I think this also ties into overall intensity, especially on the defensive end. We've lost our confidence, especially our guards. Being in the conference we are in, it is hard to be competitive without strong guard play.” Despite the struggles of late, there is still plenty to be excited about if you are in Plainedges corner. One of the more inspirational stories of the year is its top player, John Danielo. Danielo, a three-sport athlete, had his toughest competition off the court. Because of a serious medical condition, he was unable to participate in the great playoff run the Plainedge football team had in the fall. While doctors mulled over the possibility that cancer could be a possibility, Danielo continued to fight and battle. Thankfully, the senior leader was able to overcome his condition, and coach Buckley says that is just the type of fighter he is. “I could go on for days about this young man,” praised Buckley. “He never complained

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at all. He took everything life threw at him, and simply used it to grow stronger. He's a leader by example. His intensity seems infinite.” Danielo is not just a leader because of his determination and his prior medical problems, but his play on the court speaks for itself. He is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, and has scored 16+ points in six of the team’s contests so far this season. A natural forward, the young man has been forced to play out of position for the majority of the season, doing an excellent job both offensively and defensively. “He's playing out of his position on both ends of the floor, but has taken every challenge head on,” said Buckley. “He's averaging over a double-double, while maintaining a 98 GPA as well. He's simply an outstanding young man, and will be successful in whatever he decides to do.” Danielo will no doubt be a major factor and contributor as Plainedge heads into the homestretch. If the Red Devils are to make a run at the playoffs and climb up the Nassau Conference A-II standings, the senior will have to make his impact felt

by both scoring and rebounding the basketball. Regardless of how the season turns out, second year head coach Brian Buckley is extremely proud of the way his team has played, and the direction in which the program is headed. “I enjoy the kids here in Plainedge. Having taught, known, or coached them in the Middle School before, I have the chance to literally watch these kids grow up,” Buckley stated. “We have such an amazing group of kids this year. They make the stressful job as enjoyable as it is. The overall support of the parents is amazing as well.” With the Plainedge basketball program on the rise, Brian Buckley has just one goal for his team going forward: “I just want the team to get back to the basics and have fun. At the end of the day, I don't care if we win by 15 or lose by 40; I just want the team to play up to its potential. Going forward, I see this team getting better each practice and each game.” Designed by Nicole Manzo

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STORY BY BRIAN COLEMAN || PHOTOS BY MORGAN HARRISON

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he Sachem North Girls’ Basketball team entered this season with a sort of mixed expectations. After winning just two games last season and a whole bunch of new girls on the team this season, head coach James Mellor did not know what to expect. “With so many new girls, it was tough to establish expectations for this group,” said Mellor, who has coached at Sachem North for the past seven seasons. “Any coach would say that playoffs are the goal every season, but we were unsure of what we would get from the young girls and first time varsity players. Merely getting them acclimated to the intensity of the varsity level would have been enough for many of these girls.” The majority of the girls on the current varsity roster were playing junior varsity last season, which posed a challenge to Mellor. The girls have made a smooth transition, and along with the upperclassmen, have established a competitive team in Suffolk County. “Many people underestimate the jump in intensity and speed from the junior varsity level to the varsity level,” said Mellor. “Many junior varsity players struggle adapting to varsity play.” The Flaming Arrows have played outstanding basketball thus far, and has itself in a position that many people did not anticipate before the season started. Winning

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seven of its first 11 games overall, Sachem North has a record, and 4-3 in conference. At this point in the season, that is good enough for fourth place in the Suffolk League II Conference. Now, the girls from Sachem North have playoffs on their minds. “Girls are helping each other out on the court and those girls who are not on the court are strongly supporting their teammates,” praises Mellor. “With the way we started the season, the expectation now is clearly to be a playoff team.” A major reason for the success is the play of one of those young girls, Annie Keenan. An eighth-grader, Keenan has made a major impact on the team despite not even being in high school yet. Mellor wanted Kennan to get acclimated to the varsity level and contribute a little bit to the team, but the eighth-year head coach knew it would be more than that when he saw her play in preseason. “Annie has been able to make the tremendous jump from middle school ball to the varsity level with ease. We expected her to play a small role this year, but that quickly changed in pre-season practices,” recalls Mellor. “She not only showed she belonged at this level, but also showed that she could be a major contributor.” WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM


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Kennan has scored in double figures on multiple occasions, and has provided a spark on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Mellor describes her as an eager and hungry player who brings a ton of positive energy every time she steps out on the court. “She is still a young player with much to learn and makes mistakes as any young player would,” said Mellor. “But, she also has a knack for finding herself in the right spots on the court throughout the game. Whether it be a rebound, a put back, loose ball, steal or assist, she has found a way to impact each and every game. The coaching staff is excited to see what she can become in a few years.” Keenan’s best game came back in early-December when the Flaming Arrows hosted Bay Shore. She poured in 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as she led her team to a 50-36 victory. Showing her aggressiveness, Keenan got to the free-throw line often, getting seven of her points from the charity stripe. While Keenan has been a welcome addition to the varsity club, Sachem North is led by a dynamic trio. Shay Cosgrove, Kassidy Hallum and Eve Calabria are the unquestioned leaders of the girls on and off the court. Cosgrove is the team’s leading scorer, but the three have all lead the team in scoring in individual games throughout the season. Head coach James Mellor has recognized and embraced the impact the trio has had on the early success of this team. “These three girls are clearly the three leaders on the team. Having this trio has made it very easy to incorporate the younger girls,” said Mellor. “They have taken much of the load of the offense this year and it allows for the younger players to adjust to the speed of the game.” Having veteran leadership makes the transition for younger players much smoother, and allows them to let the game come to them as opposed to trying to do too much. While providing the majority of the offensive scoring, the girls also bring a composed leadership that helps all of their teammates. “They all possess the ability to be intense on the court, and yet instruct others in areas they are lacking without yelling or belittling their teammates,” said Mellor. “In the flow of the game it is difficult to accomplish this, yet these girls have done a great job so far. “All three have matured immensely as players and individuals since last season.” That maturity will be a major factor in the playoff push that Sachem North plans to go on. A year after winning only two games all season, Mellor sees his team in a prime position to reach the playoffs. “We have built positive energy through the first half of the year that hopefully carries us into the playoffs.” Designed by Win-Kye Cheong

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THUNDERBIRDS

CONNETQUOT “

Every year our goal is to win the Long Island Championship.

THUNDERBIRDS CONNETQUOT

ThunderbirdS aspire for the

long island championship

Story By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg / Photos By Morgan Harrison

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he Connetquot varsity football team enters the season ranked number three in Division one in Suffolk County. Leading the Connetquot Thunderbirds is head coach Mike Hansen. Hansen is entering his 11th season as the head coach. Last season, Connetquot ended the season with eight wins, two losses, and lost in the Suffolk County semifinals. “This year our goal is to try and win every game,” said Hansen, “Every year our goal is to win the Long Island Championship.”

A few of the players from last season have since graduated, and the Thunderbirds have only three offensive returning starters, and three defensive returning starters. “We have a solid team this season,” Hansen said, “We have skilled players and a good defense.” There are a couple of players looking to make an impact this year, and help get the team to the championship game. Senior wide receiver Tyler Nason (5’10” 185 lbs.) was one of the top receivers on Long Island last year with 38

receptions. “Tyler is athletic, has nice hands and runs great routes,” Hansen said, “I’m looking forward to him being a big impact player this season.”

“There are a lot of kids that have the potential to be real impact players this season for us,” said Hansen, “This is a great team and it’s a pleasure to coach them.”

Senior running back/ linebacker Marcus Gutierrez (5’9” 180 lbs.) is another key player to watch for this season. “Marcus is a tough hard runner,” Hansen said, “He will carry a lot of the load this year.” The offensive line features three seniors DJ Gallino (6’2” 270 lbs.), Rob Dawson (6’1” 270 lbs.) and Jimmy Oliver (5’11” 250 lbs.). “We have a solid offensive line,” Hansen said, “DJ, Rob and Jimmy are the anchors of the offensive line.” The defensive line features junior Sean Moore (6’0” 250 lbs.), Gallino and Oliver. “Our defensive line is physical and work hard.” Hansen said. Connetquot takes their first step toward the Long Island Championship on September 11, 2013, when they open the season against Patchogue Medford.

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CONNETQUOT HIGH SCHOOL


Story by Jaclynkelli Kronemberg Photos by Morgan Harrison

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he Seaford girls’ varsity basketball team is on a mission to do better than they did last season. They have started the season aggressive climbing to the top of the Nassau Conference A-IV. They are the only undefeated team in conference play with a record of seven wins and overall they have eight wins and three losses. “We hope to win the conference championship again,” said Seaford varsity girls’ basketball head coach Bob Vachris. “We want to get back to the playoffs and hopefully get further then we did last season.” Vachris is in his seventh season as the head coach. Last season he coached the team to a 12 win no loss record in their conference. They were the conference champions and lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Seaford lost six players to graduation and had seven players return this year. This season they were faced with a difficult challenge of learning how to win without their key player Jessica Rini. Rini suffered a broken bone in her foot on December 20. Without Rini in the lineup Seaford lost the first two games but then figured out what to do and won the next three games. Rini is set to return to the lineup on January 18, 2014. “It’s been a strange season so far,” said Vachris. “We have been playing without our best player and found a way to continue to win. All the kids improved while Jessica was out so I’m excited to see what happens and what we can do when Jessica comes back.” Rini is a 6’2” senior co-captain that plays center. In the first five games Rini averaged 21 points a game. Rini is in her fourth year on the team. She was named conference player of the year last season and honored with all-county two years in a row.

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GIRLS BASKETBALL

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“Jessica is our leader,” said Vachris, “She has a lot of experience and she is a big difference out on the court.” The other co-captain is senior forward Desire Fowlkes. Fowlkes is also a four year player and was honored all-class last year. Fowlkes is averaging 16 points a game. “Desire carried us when Jessica was out,” said Vachris. “She is a solid leader and a terrific ball player.” What makes Seaford unique is that they have three sisters on the team. Kathryn Siler is a junior guard. Last year Siler was awarded all-county. “Kathryn is our floor general,” said Vachris. “She is a terrific outside shooter and a good defender.” Kathryn has two younger sisters on the team with her this season twins Julia and Jenna. Julia and Jenna are in the eighth grade. Julia plays guard and Jenna plays forward. “Julia has an uncanny ability to see the game while out on the court,” said Vachris. “Jenna has unlimited potential. Jenna still has to work on her scoring but once she does there will be no stopping her.” Senior guard Karly Brandimarte is in her second year with the team. “Karly has stepped up for us this season,” said Vachris. “She has a good outside shot and is a terrific defender.”

Junior guard Kirsten Higgins is a good defensive player. “Kirsten is a fast improving player,” said Vachris. “She has a good floor presence and has been stepping up this season.” Freshman guard Ally Palermo changes the speed of the game because she is quick. “When Ally gets in the game everything speeds up,” said Vachris. “She is a very aggressive defender and is extremely fast.” Senior guard Vikki Prodan is one of the top shooters for Seaford. “Vikki is one of the better shooters on the team,” said Vachris. “She comes through when we need her too.” Finishing out the lineup are junior forward Shannon Duncan, senior Shannon Digney, senior center Dee Schnider, junior center Brittney Lazar and junior forward Virginia Pagan. This team is full of veteran players that know what it is like to win the conference and make it to the playoffs. Seaford started out the season strong and hopes to keep it going. “The younger kids have come in and given everyone a push,” said Vachris. “They are making the veterans better and making them work harder. The younger kids are the future of this team.” Seaford’s

biggest

competition

in

Conference A-IV is Cold Spring Harbor. They met once already on December 20 and Seaford was able to pull out a 46-45 victory. “Cold Spring Harbor is our biggest competition,” said Vachris. “The rematch with Cold Spring Harbor will determine where we will be ranked in the playoffs.” Vachris doesn’t do this alone he has help from his assistant coach Sharon Curley. Curley helps out with the girls’ team and the boys’ team because her son is on the team. Curley knows basketball because she played in college at Fordham University. “Sharon is a big help with the girls because she played and can relate to them,” said Vachris, “She does a terrific job.” Seaford is in a position to win the Conference and make it back to the playoffs. The girls’ started the season strong and are looking to finish the same way. They have overcome adversity and were able to stay undefeated in league without their best player. If they continue to play the way they have been they will make some noise in the playoffs. “Hopefully we can keep improving in the playoffs and get further than we did last year,” said Vachris. “I’m happy to be coaching at Seaford. It is a lot of fun. The girls are all close and have a good time. I love going to practice because they are all good players. I expect good things to come from this team.” Designed By Nicole Manzo

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LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY POST PIONEERS DOWLING COLLEGE golden lions

return, LIU can really start expecting more victories. Even with that, the Pioneers have some areas to improve upon, and Collins has already been making adjustments. “Going into the year, we felt solid in certain areas, but we had certain question marks in other areas,” Collins said, “We have to stop giving up the big play.”

Story by Kevin Freiheit Photos by Morgan Harrison

The defense has had a rough time, especially over the past two games, giving up 86 combined points. It was a major difference as the defense allowed just 28 in the first pair of games. Collins is confident that the Pioneers can recover from the losses and put together a winning season.

DOWLING Men’s Soccer A Stands Tall

“This team is sticking more together,” Collins said, “Adversity causes some to break, and others to break records. We’re always working hard, and we have excellent recruiting class that is showing.” A big piece of the Pioneers’ puzzle is how the younger players perform. “It’s a huge role from younger players,” Collins said, “We’re very happy with the freshmen class. We want to

he Dowling College men’s soccer team was unsatisfied with their

T

We have a tremendous roster and This season, the Pioneers got off to a start again, winning the opening pair we have already won hot more games of games and scoring 71 points. However, this year than all ofLIUlast year. took a step backwards as they dropped the next two games, falling back to .500

maintain a winning attitude, and make sure the freshmen are seeing it.” The confidence level for LIU is still high, and the Pioneers believe that they are a talented enough team to put together a successful season. The coaches believe in the players, and they are willing to work to make them even better. “I really do believe this is a special group of players,” Collins said, “They’re preparing very hard to play these games. Everything is in place for them to succeed, and we’re hoping for big things from the Pioneers this season.”

declining, and they have lost that winning touch they held onto for so long.

results from a year ago. After DiRico noted that the team lost eight posting a 2-15-1 record, the Golden Lions games by only one-goal last year, but knew that change was necessary. With regardless, it was still a disappointing Dowling has season. The Golden Eagles have played fter a disappointing finish to only last 13 onreturning the year. players, The Pioneers are facing alreadyancollected more situation wins than all of season, the Long Island University eerily similar to the one in four one-goal games this year, but have bythey winning the firstbut fiveare been on the winning side more frequently. Post Pioneers are looking to last get year that were three in lastofseason, games looking this season. back where they belong. Following two for a completely opposite With an experienced coach like successful winning football seasons, theHead outcome. Despite the two coach John DiRico is game in hislosing DiRico, Dowling already has a starting Pioneers finished with a 3-7 record 22nd last year streak, head Coach Bryan Collins is of coaching and understands point to get back on track. “We have a year, falling short of their ultimate goal. team can getLions back on the what itconfident takes to that win.hisThe Golden completely different team than last year,” right track. were National champions in 2006 and DiRico said, “We have a tremendous Despite winning the first two games would consistently post season 10 roster and we have already won more of the year by a combined 91-36 score, “I fully expect us to of compete,” or more wins.said, However, overis the last9-2, games this year than all of last year.” LIU was unable to keep the momentum Collins “Our goal to go two years, their up performance has been one week and one week down. going. Bloomsburg University halted the energy and the Pioneers started an Attack the next opponent.” The unfortunate string of defeats. Throughout Pioneers have been battling injuries the rest of the season LIU would only during both this season, and the winKevin one other game, a 20-15 victory over last one. While many coaches will Story by Freiheit Millersville University on homecoming never use injuries as an excuse, Photos by Morgan Harrison weekend. A losing season can be looked they certainly hurt the overall at in more ways than one. While it wasn’t quality of the team. the anticipated or wanted outcome, the “Our starting running back Pioneers used the year to learn, rebuild has battled an ankle injury, but and improve. he’s playing through it,” Collins

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said, “We’ve been struggling with injuries. If we can get back healthy, we’ll continue to get better each week.” Once a few of the injured players begin to

Freshman infielder Alex Hailes is one of the new players on the team and is looking to get his collegiate career off to a good start. “This team has gelled together really quickly and I have high expectations,” Hailes said. Hailes, who is from England, didn’t hesitate to say that he is more concerned than how the team is doing than personal statistics. At the same time, he knows that he is going to have to step and contribute when called upon. “Hopefully I can make a big impact, stay off the bench and make a difference,” Hailes said.

team become that successful once again, but he’ll have to do it with a completely new set of players, a lot of whom are new. “This team has the makeup, the talent and the chemistry to get back to where we are used to being,” DiRico said. “I have a good sense of where this team can go.”

Returning striker Kariym Balthazer knows what it’s like to play for Dowling, as he did last year, but wants to see the team be successful. “The sky is the limit”, Balthazer said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we’re responding well. I’m happy with how we already beat our record from last year.”

DiRico’s determination to win translates to his players and he aims to recruit players that have the same mentality that he does. “I recruit players from winning programs and my players hate to lose more than they love to win,” DiRico said.

Improving a record from a season ago, but that’s just the first step for Dowling soccer. The Golden Lions made a name for themselves and were a strong force, and an intimidating team to play against.

Head coach John DiRico

DiRico has plans of seeing his

DiRico has set high standards for the Golden Lions and he has every season, regardless of past records or performances. “The coach has high expectations of you and doesn’t settle for mediocracy,” Balthazer said, “I respect him as a coach.”

The Golden Lions are off to a good start, but the season has just begun. Dowling will try to make a deep run for the first time in three years.

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SUFFOLK COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE sharks NAS SAU COMMUNITY COLLEGE

LIONS

“I believe that hard work beats talent, every time talent does not work hard,” says Kim Simpson, head coach of the Suffolk County Community College Girls Volleyball team. In Coach Simpsons past five seasons with the �harks, the team has made it to the regional semifinals four times. Last season, the Sharks had a record of 22-1 and went to nationals after winning their region. The team included an all-American nomination, as well as multiple all-regional players.

about the game, I must also exhibit it. I work my girls hard and expect a lot out of them.” She says, “No matter how talented, I expect my teams to work, work, work until we hit our final goal of winning the region.”

volleyball, you always know when she is on the court.” Brittney led the team in kills last season. “She works extremely hard and is passionate about the game. She loves to have fun at practice with her teammates and loves to push them. She is a true leader ”, according to Simpson. With a bright future ahead, on and off the court, Brittney is pursuing a future career in nursing. Simpson says, “She is going to do amazing things on the next level when she leaves Suffolk.”

NASSAU LIONS OFF TO A STRONG SEASON Kim Simpson’s volleyball career began at NYIT, where she was a scholarship player for four years. Since then, she has worked with multiple volleyball programs such as the Longwood PAL and the Long Island United travel 18 year old volleyball team. Coach Simpson’s enthusiastic coaching and hard work by the players has lead to indisputable success for the Suffolk Volleyball program. Simpson believes in leading by example, “I think if I want them to have desire and passion

SUFFOLK SHARKS

Team captains for the 2013 season include returning sophomores Amanda Dill and Brittney Olazagasti.

Amanda Dill, from Patchogue, was nominated to the all tournament team at the regional playoffs in 2012, where the team took first place. �impson says, “I am very lucky to have someone like Amanda on the team who pushes others to be the best they can be.” This dedicated student athlete is described as a , “consistent, strong, and a mentally tough player.” Amanda hopes to continue playing at a four year school after graduating from SCCC. Fellow team captain and extremely talented player, Brittney Olazagasti, from Selden, NY is a first team all regional player. Coach Simpson says, “Brittney loves

Sophomore Katie Shannon from Selden, controls the court for the Sharks, and is the team’s setter. “The team depends on her and she has done such an amazing job setting up all of our hitters so far this season. She loves the game and wants to continue playing at the next level. Katie is willing to work on anything or try anything you ask her to. Sometimes as a coach you know you push people, and sometimes you must stop before you break them, but there is no breaking Katie. She wants to be the best player she can be!” says Coach Simpson. Simpson describes her as, “a caring, dedicated and hardworking

Story By Kevin Freiheit // Photos By Kevin Sperandeo

look forward to successful year Story and Photos By Kevin Sperandeo

Suffolk Girls Volleyball

Suffolk Girls Volleyball

NASSAU COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL

In their six wins this season, Nassau has put up 240 points, an average of 40 points per game. Those numbers increased after the Lions defeated Hudson Valley Community College 68-20 in a game that got out of hand quickly.

young lady.” Fighting her way to a starting spot with very talented group, freshman, Carly Lombardo from Stony Brook has been able to find her role on the team. Coach Simpson says, “She is volleyballminded. She has been around the game for so many years and is driven to be successful.” Carly came to the team from High School coming off not only a Division 1 Suffolk Championship, but also a Long Island Championship. Described as a player that always brings one hundred percent, Simpson says, “She is a versatile player, I can ask her to play any position on the court, and she will gladly do so.”

Another key player for the team is Kiersten Kissinger from Islip. This is �iersten’s first year with the �harks. According to Coach Simpson, “She is a humble player; she works hard at practice, and truly loves the game.” Kiersten is a sophomore transfer student from SUNY Oneonta. Coach Simpson says, “We are lucky to have Kiersten transfer back home to join the Suffolk volleyball team.” Having a presence on the court, Simpson describes Kiersten as a, “strong, loud and aggressive player. She is great to watch when she gets more excited for a teammates accomplishments then her own.” With great teamwork, dedication,

respect and passion, Coach Simpson believes the team will go far. The goal is always to win the region and make it to nationals, “That is always what the girls are working to”, says Simpson. This year’s team looks promising, and they are set for another successful year. Simpson says, “They have many talents on the court, strong hitters, big blockers, tough defense, but I love that these girls know the true meaning of being a team and what a teammate really is.” The �harks played their first match on September 3rd. They beat Hostos Community College with a score of three games to none.

The Lions defense has allowed more than seven points in a game just twice this season and have yielded 60 points overall, through the first six games. By scoring four times more than the opponent, Nassau isn’t going to have a problem winning games. They haven’t been relying on star senior players, either. Nassau has been able to spread the wealth and possesses numerous ways to score.

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�ophomore quarterback Troy �ones has led the Lions to victory at every chance he has had this season. �ones has completed 56 of 97 attempts this season, along with 10 touchdowns. His longest play of the year went for 82 yards and he is averaging just over 1�0 per game. �ones has plenty of talented wide outs to throw the ball to, but if there’s a favorite target he has, that very well may be sophomore Antwane Grant. Grant has found the end zone six times this season, including three in the win against Hudson Valley. Grant has three 100-yard receiving games and has made at least a reception during every game, except one. When they’re not throwing the ball, the Lions have a great option in sophomore running back Travis Lock, who has been a big part of the offense this year and has made some big runs all season long. Lock has gained �23 yards and three touchdowns on 93 carries. His longest run of the season was 56 yards.

“I believe that hard work beats talent, every time talent does not work hard” Kim Simpson, head coach

Suffolk Girls Volleyball

With these offensive options, the Lions can be an unpredictable group, and can win games in different ways. Grant and �ones have created problems for their opponents so far because they are both so dynamic.

I

f there’s one word to describe the Nassau Community College football team, it’s “dominant”. The Lions are plain and simple destroying their opponents this season and have shown no signs of slowing down. The Girls Lions are off to a 6-1 start and have Suffolk Volleyball proven, time after time, that they will be a team to beat going forward. Nassau has been on a roll and is building more momentum and confidence with every win, making it that much more difficult for another team to stop them.

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The Lions will look to both of these players to keep doing what they have been as they continue. The Lions had their toughest game of the season recently, and the results were different this time. Nassau suffered its lone loss of the season, which snapped a six game winning streak. The Lions fell to Georgia Military College, the �1 ranked school, by a �5-22 score. Playing the top seeded school is always tough, but Nassau has the talent and mentality to bounce back. The Lions have a few games remaining on their schedule. They will take on Louisburg College, Globe Tech and ASA College to close out the regular season.

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Syosset seeking season of redemption Story by Scott Bickard /// Photos by Morgan Harrison

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oing into my first ever high school hockey game, I was expecting a rowdy, physical scene based off the reputation the sport had while I was still in the 15 to 18 year range. Yet, the Syosset-Bethpage game on Dec. 22 began anything but, so much so that I wondered if checking was even allowed at the high school level until an un-penalized hit about halfway through the first period brought me up to speed.

It didn’t necessarily predict the uptick in physical play, though a big lead and high school hockey isn’t usually the friendliest of mixes. Both teams exchanged penalty minutes (Syosset somewhat more so) for a good portion of the second and third periods before tensions eventually dissipated and the 10-2 game played its course. It was the highest scoring game for Syosset all season. (They’d scored nine and seven goals on two previous occasions).

The goals, however, came fast for the Syosset Braves (8-2), a little quicker than their four goal average would have projected.

Eight wins in 10 games was more than those entrenched in the Long Island hockey scene would have predicted for the Braves at this point, according to head coach Jason DePierro (Syosset ’91), a former Hofstra club team member and now in his sixth season with the program, first as head coach of the varsity.

Eventually, Syosset would increase the complexity of their offense for more pleasing goals while tightening their defense enough to force Bethpage into a level of creativity they didn’t have that night. A 4-0 first period lead, in combination with how each team was actually playing, foreshadowed the blowout that was to come.

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That could partially be due to a few young standouts in key positions, including slick sticking freshman David Tell (part of a strong group of fellow first years) and junior captains Jake Zimmerman and Matthew Tabakin.

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Still, the Braves have a solid enough group of seniors, such as goalies Danny Desilvia and Johnny Persichilli, alternative captain Tommy Lynch, and captain Joe Keenan, that their failure to finish in the top four last season (necessary to qualify for the club playoffs) was probably the biggest reason they entered this season perceived as a less than elite squad. Perhaps the pundits shouldn’t have forgotten the seniors’ sophomore years, which ended in first place, a loss in the county final, and an appearance in the state tournament. Evaluating Syosset’s qualifications based solely on the Bethpage game is difficult, given the obvious mismatch. (To be fair to Bethpage, they were without their starting goaltender and lost 4-2 to Syosset just the game before.) How they fare in closer contests might be a better indicator; in those, they’re 3-1 in one goal games and 2-0 in two goal games. DePierro judges his team most favorably from a 2-1 loss to Bellmore/Merrick on Dec. 9. Credit for that one goes to the entire team for their puck movement, Tommy Lynch for a “beautiful goal,” and Desilvia for an excellent day in net. “The puck just didn’t bounce our way,” DePierro said. The Braves get a chance for redemption when the two teams rematch in the last game of the season. Perhaps the puck bounced their way in those other close games, perhaps it didn’t. Whatever the case, DePierro believes his team has yet to play their best hockey, always a good sign at this point in the season for an 8-2 team. They’ll have to improve if they want to compete with undefeated Long Beach, who gave Syosset their other loss, a 5-0 blowout the opposite way on Nov. 24. The two play again on Jan. 19. Designed by Nicole Manzo

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UNFINISHED UNFINISHEDBUSINESS BUSINESSFOR FOR

LAWRENCE LAWRENCE BOYS BOYS BASKETBALL BASKETBALL Story By Brian Coleman | Photos By Adil Borluca

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improve each and every day.”

he Lawrence boys basketball entered this season with some unfinished business that it needed to take care of. After two straight years exiting the Nassau County playoffs in the quarterfinal rounds, the Tornadoes have been one of the best teams in the county this year and look poised to get over that hump and make a deep playoff run.

Lawrence has been one of the better teams in Nassau County over the last couple of seasons, but has failed to make it farther than the quarterfinals in each of the last two. Last year, the Tornados went 15-3 and earned the number one seed in the playoffs. After blowing out Glen Cove by 37 points in the opening round, it looked like it was on its way to potentially a county title.

Lawrence has been nearly perfect in 2013-14, currently 14-1 overall and 12-0 inside Nassau Conference A-II, good for a comfortable first place lead among the rest of the members of the conference. Joe Supple, a former Lawrence player himself, is in his third season as the head coach of the Tornados and has his team prepared. The premature losses that have ended the last two seasons earlier than it would have liked have Lawrence ready for more.

Lawrence then met South Side in the quarterfinals in what was a very entertaining contest. Unfortunately for the Tornados, a slow first half turned out to be too large of a deficit to overcome. “We have a number of players that have been through the playoff grind,” said Supple. “We are hopeful that experience will help us make a longer run in this year’s postseason. Going into the playoffs, we use those two losses as motivation to

South Side took an 11-point lead into halftime, and despite a good showing in the third quarter by Lawrence, it was never able to surpass South Side and take the lead. Two late free-throws sealed the victory, and Lawrence was

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The years of experience of being a competitive team wile enduring tough losses has prepared this group for success. Playing through one another and sharing the scoring load has been a result of the undivided attention to detail and the idea of getting better.

Hewlett came out firing and jumped out to an early first quarter lead. Avery Feldman was beating them up inside, and finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Hewlett carried a 12-point lead into halftime and looked like it was on its way to completing a huge road upset.

Lawrence wasn’t going down with a fight, and battled back in the third quarter to trim the lead down four heading into the final session. Trailing by two with just minutes Lawrence remaining, Lawrence turned to Marcus Saint-Furcy to hit the big shot.

“It’s nice to have so many options,” said Supple. “Forcing teams to make a choice on who they decide they want to focus on is a major advantage.” Five

different

He nailed a three-pointer to give Lawrence a 61-60 advantage that would prove to be enough. Lawrence held on in the final minute and secured the win 69-66. Saint-Furcy finished with 21 points, followed closely by his teammate Dwayne Daniel who poured in 20 points.

forced to go home earlier than it wanted for the second year in a row. Turn the page to this season and the team has undoubtedly come into this season with a bit of a chip on its shoulder and a determination to make it a special year. Supple says he has noticed an intense focus among his players that has contributed to the success. “When we walk in the gym, we want to get better both physically, mentally, emotionally,” said Supple. “We will play as hard as we can until we leave the gym. That is our only focus.” The chemistry and goals on the Lawrence basketball team this year has been evident in its play. In its first seven games, the Tornados beat its respective opponent by double digits each time, and put up a ton of points while doing so. Most times, the common dominator on all dominant high school teams is one or two outstanding players, Lawrence is led by an experienced and extremely balanced offensive attack.

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“The balance on our team goes deeper than just the box score. This is the closest group of players I have had,” said Supple. “They truly

players (Dwayne Daniel, Hamed Shamseldin, Sam Robinson, Marcus Saint-Furcy and Jymeek Jenkins) have been the leading scorer and scored 20 or more points in a game this season, illustrating the plethora of options that exist in the Tornados offense. Lawrence is seeking its second consecutive season undefeated in league play, and has a couple of games left to do so. It received a strong test at the end of January when it hosted second place Hewlett. WWW.ULTIMATEATHLETEMAGAZINE.COM


love playing together and are always That credit goes from one guy to together. If there is a gym open, they another as the season as come along. are there. If there is a game they can It has been a dominant one with just watch, they are watching.” a few games remaining in the regular That is the dedication that has season. While the team is proud of Lawrence on the verge of clinching what it has accomplished and is eager the number one seed in the playoffs. for the playoffs, it has learned from Supple says his team lives by the experience than winning playoff mantra: ‘It’s amazing how much a games is no easy task.

Lawrence plays to its potential it can play with anybody in the county.

“We don’t make predictions but we expect to take the court each game and compete,“ explained Supple. “If we bring our ‘A’ game we believe that we can play with anybody. There are a bunch of great teams in the county, and we just want to challenge team can achieve when no one cares While Supple recognizes the tough ourselves to play a Lawrence ‘A’ competition that lies ahead, he says if game. who gets the credit.’ DESIGNED BY LOUIS QUACH

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UA TRAINING

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK TRAINING TO HELP PREVENT ANKLE INJURIES Mike Mejia CSCS espite the fact that there’s still some snow on the ground, before long it will be time to get back outdoors for Spring sports practices. And while many of you are probably already involved in some type of indoor training program to prepare for the upcoming season, the volume of running your about to start doing is likely going to increase dramatically. Hitting the weight room, flipping tires and towing weight sleds is all well and good, but drills like these are not all you need to ensure that your ankles will be able to withstand the rigors of running and changing direction outdoors. That’s why I want to turn your attention to some specific drills to help shore up one of the most frequently injures areas of the body.

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As any athlete, or coach

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will tell you, ankle injuries have the potential to put your entire season at risk. From minor strains and sprains that seemingly take forever to heal, to more serious conditions which require more extended time away from the field, ankle injuries have become far too prevalent in youth sports. This holds especially true for sports like soccer, lacrosse and baseball, with all of the rapid starts, stops and changes of direction they require. Couple this with developing young bodies that are notorious for employing faulty running mechanics and you’ve got the makings of a serious problem. And although it’s true that some ankle injuries are unavoidable (such as stepping on another players foot and rolling it), there’s a lot you can do from a training standpoint to help


ensure that you don’t fall make a quick change of victim to one’s that can be direction). Although most easily prevented. young athletes tend to One sure-fire way of exhibit more limitations reducing your likelihood in ankle mobility, it’s still of suffering an ankle injury important to train both is to work on improving qualities, as the demands both the mobility and of the game are constantly stability of the muscles changing from one moment that surround the joint. to the next. For instance, an Mobility can be defined athlete would likely benefit as the ability to produce a from increased ankle desired movement (such mobility when attempting as pushing off when you to accelerate past an run), whereas stability opponent, then all of the is the ability to resist an sudden require more in the undesired one (like when way of stability to stop on a you plant your foot to dime and establish a sturdy planting surface from

which to change direction. Regardless however of where your major needs may lie, keep in mind that most sporting movements require a constant interplay between these two qualities. You don’t want to focus on mobility to the point where the joint becomes unstable; just as you don’t want to do so much stability work that it limits your ability to move effectively. In order to provide your body with the most effective defense against injuries like ankle sprains, shin splints, or

Achilles tendonitis, the key is finding the right balance between the two. The drills featured below are designed to help you do exactly that. By mixing in some lower leg strengthening with a few more specialized drills, they offer you the ultimate in ankle injury prevention. Try incorporating them into your current routine a couple of times per week and before long, you should start noticing a major definite difference in the way your body moves and feels.

MOBILITY 1. Ankle Alphabet: Sit on a bench, or long seat (the top of a staircase also works well) with your foot and ankle hanging off the edge. With the same leg held straight, begin to write the alphabet in capital letters with your foot. As you do so, make sure to point and flex your toes as much as possible and make the movements nice and big. When you make it all the way through, switch over to your other leg.

2. Wall Mobilizations: Stand facing a wall with the toes of one foot right up against it and your foot flat on the floor (your other leg should be positioned behind you). Next, bend your knee forward and try and touch the kneecap to the wall. If that’s too easy, start backing up slightly, just a few inches at a time, until you reach the point where when your knee touches the wall and your heel is down, you feel a good stretch in the area around your Achilles tendon. Keep your foot there and bring your knee back and forth until you’ve completed 8-10 repetitions.

Ankle Alphabet

Wall mobilizations

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3. Standing Inversion/ Eversion: Stand balancing on your left leg (hint: this exercise also helps increase stability of your support leg) as you extend your right leg out in front of you slightly. Keeping your right knee straight (the left should maintain a slight bend), begin by turning the sole of your foot in towards the middle of your body. Hold there for a second and then keeping your knee straight, turn the sole of your foot out away from your body. Continue until you’ve completed 10 repetitions of each motion and then switch legs.

Inversion, Eversion

stability 4. Balancing Ankle Set: Stand on your right leg with your knee slightly bent and left leg held a couple of inches up off the ground. Now, simply hold for time. Start out trying to hold for 30 seconds without falling, then switch sides. For an added challenge, try doing the drill with your eyes closed, or while you play catch with a ball against a wall. 5. Circular Heel Raises: Set up as you would for a conventional heel raise, with the balls of your feet positioned on a step and your heels hanging off. From there, instead of pushing straight up as you normally would, push up and off to the left, then swirl around at the top of the motion and come down and around to the right (so basically in a clockwise motion). Once you’ve reached the bottom, repeat the exercise by reversing the steps and going counterclockwise. Continue until you’ve completed 8-10 repetitions in each direction.

Balancing ankle set

6. Toe Raises: Position yourself opposite the way you would for a heel raise- with your heels on the step and balls of the feet hanging off. From there, keep your legs straight as you lift your toes up past the step. Hold for a second or two at the top and then lower and repeat until you’ve done 15-20 repetitions. Great exercise to prevent against shin splints!

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Toe Raise

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NUTRITION

ENERGY BAR CRAZE

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nergy bars, granola bars, and protein bars are just a few examples of supplemental bars containing grains and other ingredients that market quick energy when there is no time for a meal. It is best to get your nutrition from wholesome foods like fruits, whole grains and vegetables, but the reality is that a busy athlete in college and high school does not always have the time to create a nutritious snack and the convenience to pack it away in a cooler or refrigerator. A bar can be shoved into a backpack at 6am and still maintain its shape and taste when it is needed before a 3pm practice. Although bars do not magically improve your performance, they can provide sufficient energy to get you through a practice, provide a recovery snack on that long bus ride after a game, and replace a meal when you just do not have the time to make one or buy one. There is a plethora of bars in the supermarket to choose from and this list is a way to help you choose the one that is right for your needs. It does not include every bar on the market, but uses the more popular ones and should help you take your favorite bar, read the label and see where it fits for you. Healthy Snack Bars: Best for individuals who have busy schedules for a quick healthy snack on the go and/or for a healthy breakfast in a hurry (add a piece of fresh fruit and/or a low-fat yogurt to balance your meal). These bars can be used if you are managing your weight. Look for bars with <200 calories, 6 grams fat, 6 grams sugar, 2 grams fiber.

COMPARING HEALTHY SNACK BARS

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S NACK BARS

CALORIES

PROTEIN(g)

CHO(g)

FAT(g)

Kashi TLC: Chewy Granola

150

7

23

6

Nature Valley: Oats ‘n Honey

90

2

15

3

Kashi TLC: Crunchy Granola

180

7

26

6

Fiber One: Oats and Chocolate

140

2

29

4

Kellogg’s Fiber Plus ™

120

4

26

4

Kind Bars: Almond & Apricot

190

3

22

11

Larabar: Cherry

200

5

30

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CHOOSE THE WHICH MEETS YOUR NUTRITION NEEDS High Carb Bars: Best for athletes before, during or after exercise. Look for 7 – 10 grams protein, 7 grams fat, < 5 grams fiber (not looking for fiber before a workout).

COMPARING CARBOHYDRATE/ SPORTS BARS S NACK BARS

CALORIES

PROTEIN(g)

CHO(g)

FAT(g)

Cliff Bar

240

10

41

4

Special K Protein Bar

180

10

25

6

Snickers Marathon Bar

220

9

32

7

Odwalla Bar

250

7

38

7

Power Bar Performance

230

10

45

3

Luna Bar

180

10

25

4

Nutri-grain Cereal Bar

140

1

26

3

Quaker Chewy Granola Bar-2

180

2

38

4

High Protein Bars: Best for individuals with higher protein needs such as a vegetarian athlete. Used for post-exercise with a carbohydrate food and water or as a meal replacement. Look for a high quality protein source: 15 – 25 g/bar (whey, soy, casein, egg). These products may have a strong taste from the added protein.

COMPARING HEALTHY SNACK BARS S NACK BARS

CALORIES

PROTEIN(g)

CHO(g)

FAT(g)

Balance Gold

210

15

23

7

EAS Myoplex HP

240

20

29

5

Marathon Protein Performance

290

26

36

7

Power Bar Protein Plus

290

24

38

5

Met-Rx Food Bar

320

27

48

2.5

All of these bars have a place in the fast paced life of an athlete, but remember that a top sports competitor cannot live by bars alone. A balanced diet for sports will also include fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean meats, whole grains and lots of water!

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SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

All the Pretty Warriors

Story by Dr. Tom Ferraro

e in the NFL.” n o y n a s a h g u s to but they are a , y tt re p k o lo skaters “These young It was there that I met one of her young stars Brooke Cenname and “These girls who win the gold look pretty, but they are also tough as nails.” I once met Sarah Hughes. It was way back in 2002 and she had just won gold at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. A few months later, I was covering the US Open at Bethpage Golf Course and I managed to get her onto the range to watch Tiger Woods hit shots with the help of my press passes. She was young and sweet and pretty, and asked me if she could meet Tiger. I told her it would be easier to meet God. Ever since that day, I had wanted to write something about these pretty warriors we call figure skaters. What makes them tick? How tough are they? What exactly is the psychology of the figure skater and why is figure skating the second most popular spectator sport in America right behind the NFL? “So what does it take to groom a future Olympian?? I found out that there was a coach on Long Island who was grooming young Olympians at a rink in Great Neck. So off I went to interview Erica Starkman at the Andrew Stergiopoulos ice rink.

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her parents. I started the interview by asking why has figure skating become so popular. Erica felt that figure skating combines athleticism and beauty, which was a great combination. “It took a series of super stars like Michelle Kwan to elevate figure skating to the heights it has achieved.” The roots of figure skating go back to the 19th Century, when Jackson Haim first combined balletic moves with ice skating. Sonja Heine put figure skating on the map in the 1930s and stars like Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan and Scott Hamilton made the sport more and more popular. But it would take the ugly rivalry between the ice princess Nancy Kerrigan and the girl from the trailer park, Tonya Harding, to catapult the sport into the global success it now has. “These young skaters look pretty, but they are as tough as anyone in the NFL.” As I sat at the rink and observed the world of figure skating, two things are obvious: First, this is a sport dominated by girls. In fact,

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www.ultimateathletemagazine.com I do not think I saw once boy the whole time I was there. Secondly, I could see that from a distance these little girls looked pretty and sweet, but up close I observed that they all had a steely reserve and a dead serious focus that belied their young age. These were all warrior girls with every bit as much ambition and discipline and resolve as Tiger Woods. And they better be strong. As I was there, I saw three students have to be helped off the ice with various types of injury. This was a war on ice. “Figure skating is essentially a team sport, which must consist of a devoted coach, a talented athlete and devoted parents.” And the question remains. What does it take to make it to the top in this demanding sport? I had the perfect chance to find out by asking the Cennames. They had been in the game for nine years since Brooke was a two years old. That’s right since she was two. Do not be shocked. Tiger started his sport at 18 months, and Julie Krone, the world’s greatest female jockey, was riding horses at the young age of two. Brooke trains about five hours per day, seven days a week. So exactly how does one stay interested and enthused about the sport when you have to get up at 5 a.m. every day to do it? Turns out, this is the crucial question for the elite athlete. A journalist knows he has asked the right questions when each of the interviewees have lots to say about the question. They all seemed to understand that it is humanly impossible to have the athlete maintain a high level of enthusiasm and energy day in and day out. And furthermore, some days the coach may be tired, the mother may be frustrated and the dad may have some resentments. One must always carry the torch of hope and passion for all the rest. Like when they carry the Olympic torch and pass it from person to person on the path to the stadium.

“The parents of the young elite skater must have some level of knowledge of what it takes to be a winner.” These young warriors are essentially professional in their approach to life and skating. They may not be paid yet, but they are all pros. Brooke’s parents were both Division 1 athletes themselves, so they understand what it takes to get to the top. Erica knows that this game is all about desire and discipline. Brooke knows that she must withstand fatigue and injury and pain if she wants to succeed. She is the one doing the jumping and the falling, but this is a team sport for sure, and Brooke’s team is made up of these four athletes all in it for the long haul. Brooke has the beauty and the grace and the speed, but the team carries the flame within them. They keep her warm and safe as she does her spins and leaps on the hard cold ice. See you at the Olympics.

“I could see that from a distance, these little girls looked pretty and sweet. But up close, I observed that they all had a steely reserve and a dead serious focus that belied their young age.”

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