Written by Gary Simeone, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 03 May 2014 00:00
The Hicksville community gave a moving tribute to a great baseball coach and teacher this past Saturday, as they honored the life and name of Bob Hilsky. Hilsky, who coached boys varsity baseball for 30 years in the district, passed away this past January at the age of 75. The Hicksville Board of Education dedicated the varsity baseball field as Coach Bob Hilsky Memorial Field.
“His contributions were more than just a baseball coach,” said Board of Education trustee, Steven Culhane, who was a former player of Hilsky’s. “Coach Hilsky believed in the real meaning of team, the power of inclusion and the Board of Education is proud and privileged to reserve a spot for him here forever for the all the contributions he gave.”
Culhane added that Hilsky changed more than just the impact of games but also “changed the impact of lives and forged meaningful relationships that spilled over into many of his players lives”
Greg Polli, who was a former player of Hilsky and also a former student of his at East Street School, said that the coach had an incredibly positive impact in his life.
“He was a great teacher, not just in school or baseball but also in life,” said Polli. “He taught me a valuable life lesson that if you believe in others and build their confidence you allow them to do great things.”
Hilsky’s wife, Mary Ellen was in attendance along with his five daughters and his thirteen grandchildren. Two of his grandchildren, Edward Parisi and Hallie Simkins gave moving testimonies in honor of their grandfather.
“My grandfather was a role model to me,” said Parisi, who is a senior at Boston College. “He inspired in me the love of sport and the love of the game and instilled in me a sense of competition. I believe that is what made him such a successful coach.”
Parisi said that his grandfather once told him that talent meant nothing unless it was shared with others.
At the end of the ceremony, his wife Mary Ellen, presented the first Coach Bob Hilsky Memorial Baseball Scholarship to varsity baseball player, Ryan Schultheiss, in recognition of his outstanding commitment, teamwork and character, both on and off the field.
The Coach Bob Hilsky Memorial Field sign was then unveiled in center-field with the help of his thirteen grandchildren.