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NFL Great Dan Marino Tries To Help

Give Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino, one of the most accomplished National Football League quarterbacks of all time, some credit for trying to help both of Great Neck’s football teams.


In a meeting last Friday, arranged by the Great Neck  Record, Marino spoke with all three varsity quarterbacks from Great Neck North and Great Neck South and gave them some personal tips and encouragement. Unfortunately, Marino’s expertise, advice and inspiration weren’t quite enough to help either team win the next day on the field in their Nassau V games. 


North quarterback Brian Kahen’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Rom Cohen and Kahen’s two-yard run were highlights in the 21-14 Blazer loss to Jericho on Saturday. It was North’s first defeat in three games this year.


South’s quarterback, Ben Lee threw two touchdown passes in a 55-28 Saturday loss to Port Washington.  Lee’s passing TDs were his first of year, but the Rebels have yet to win in their first three games.  Lee completed scoring passes of 4 and 28 yards to Andrew Cohen. Lee also ran in a two-point conversion and passed for another conversion to Eitan Agagi.


Kahen, a 5-8 senior, Lee, a 5-10 junior and North’s backup quarterback, 5-9 junior Tyler Weiss, and Lee, who’s a 5-10 junior, met with the 6-4 Marino who was visiting Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza at 420 Northern Boulevard. Marino, a partner in the 40-restaurant chain, appeared as part of Anthony’s grand opening. Anthony’s manager Angela DeLeonardis, a Port Washington resident, help coordinate the meeting between the Great Neck athletes and Marino.


Amid the crush of TV and news reporters and fans wearing Marino replica jerseys, the former Dolphins star and current CBS NFL Today commentator was gracious and patient as the three players asked him for advice, his opinions and autographs. Marino held off others in the crowd who were seeking attention, autographs and pictures to speak with the boys first.


The first question in the conversation actually came from Marino who asked, “How are you boys doing so far this year?” When they answered, he replied, “At least you’re doing better than the Giants are,” referring to the Giants’ poor start this year in the NFL.


Each of the boys was asked beforehand to come prepared with one question as it was anticipated that Marino would have very little time, if any, to have a discussion. Not only did Marino, whose career spanned 17 seasons, over 61,000 yards passing (420 TDs), a Super Bowl appearance and election to the Hall of Fame in 2005, answer their questions, but he also diagrammed a play for them.


“He was very nice,” said North’s Kahen. “I asked him if he could diagram a play that would help us beat a ‘cover 2’ defense. “ With the marking pen that Marino had just used to autograph a football for Kahen and his teammates, Marino drew it on a paper from Kahen’s folder and explained it to all three quarterbacks. 


“He drew up a great play,” Kahen, who also plays linebacker, continued. “He told us that it beats all ‘cover 2’ defenses.  It beats the safeties and beats the linebackers.”


Weiss, who plays tight end in addition to backing up Kahen, asked Marino, “What’s your best quarterback drill? “ Marino answered that jumping rope was the best and said that it put him in shape and helped with his agility.


In commenting on the meeting, Lee said, “It was really great to meet and talk to someone who was one of the best of all time.”


This Saturday, Great Neck’s teams switch opponents. South hosts Jericho at 3 p.m. and North hosts Port Washington, also at 3 p.m.  The following Saturday (Oct. 12), North meets South at South at 1:30 p.m.


The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.

To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.

At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.

The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also.  Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.


The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.

Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”

Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it  paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”

Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.


Park District Swim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9

Peter Max Exhibit Presentation

Tuesday, December 10


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,