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Simply The Best

Coaches from athletic program honored

The Garden City Men’s Association (TMA) held its annual golf outing and dinner to honor the coaches of the high school and middle school for the 2012-13 seasons. Garden City teams won an outstanding nine county championships and any number of individual accolades for Garden City student athletes.

The golf outing was postponed because of heavy rains but the dinner went on as planned last month at Cherry Valley Country Club. Attended by more than 50 varsity, junior varsity and middle school coaches, assistant coaches and administrators the night was a celebration of the outstanding job that the staff does for Garden City.

TMA President Pete Haeffner opened up the evening by welcoming the honored guests and thanking them for giving the community one of the best athletic programs on Long Island. Haeffner went on to say “It’s easy for us as parents to basically turn over our children to you [coaches] because of the commitment and dedication that you exhibit. Thank you.”

Athletic Director Nancy Kalafus was introduced to announce this year’s winners of the Garden City Coaches of the year— golf coach Reid Sclafani and swimming coach Anne Sullivan. Sclafani’s teams have enjoyed winning four of the past six Long Island championships, eight straight Nassau titles, 11 straight Conference II titles and 106 straight conference matches. He also was named Newsday Coach of the Year in 2013.

While Coach Sullivan has turned both the boys and girls Garden City swim program into one of the power houses on Long Island, his season the girls swim team won their 100th consecutive swim meet—having started the winning streak in 2001. Besides 10 straight undefeated seasons Sullivan won 13 consecutive Nassau County titles with the girls team. While on the boys side she experienced an undefeated 2013 season and Garden City won its first championship since 1999.

As Kalafus closed she said, “You coaches make my job easy.”

Garden City sports historian and life director of the TMA Jake White then made a special announcement and introduction of newly elected New York State Hall of Famer Tom Flatley. White described the long list of successes that Flatley has accumulated over almost 50 years of coaching, culminating with this season’s Long Island Championship with a football team that was supposed to be in a rebuilding year.   

The remainder of the evening was filled with excellent food, prizes, good stories and lots of laughs to cap off another school year of athletic triumphs and success.