Written by Vinny Messana Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
In reality, Dempsey should not have been shocked that he earned the prestigious honor of being elected into the Hall of Fame considering his incredible accomplishments. He has virtually become the face of the Irish Rover franchise as he has made an impact not only as a player, but also an administrator and currently the club president and league’s third vice-president. During his 30-year tenure he has brought home 10 New York State championships as well as 20 Long Island League championships, 24 Long Island Cup champions and six Sportsmanship Awards. Needless to say, he has made a significant impact on the club.
Dempsey was nominated by the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) after being named a Life Member at the club’s annual awards in June. Dempsey will be the 15th member inducted, becoming the first since Malusa Marco in 2010.
“Most of the members that have been inducted were in their sixties, so it is surprising [given] that I am still in my forties,” said Dempsey.
After living in Ireland until the age of 17, Dempsey moved to America in 1985 to continue his soccer career that began at the tender age of five. He became part of amateur club at the urging of his friend Paul Riley. After that, he began his Irish Rover career, which became nothing short of historic.
The Irish Rovers compete in the Division I of the LISFL, which is reserved for the most talented teams. Their most dominated period came during the middle part of last decade where they won four consecutive Division I titles from 2004-’07.
“Willie takes it to heart,” said assistant coach Dominic Temety. “He makes sure everything is good with the team, and he basically assembled the team by himself. He gives it his all.”
Dempsey has been able to pass on his knowledge to younger players since his playing career has moved on. Despite his position as the club president, he is also a member of the reserve squad, which allows him to play in the event of an undermanned roster.
“For a man his age he does a very good job, especially for a striker,” Temety added.
The 46-year-old has proven to be a crucial part of the success of the Irish Rovers over the past 30 years. He will continue to be a part of the organization “for a while” according to Temety, even with his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Although the humble Dempsey will not boast about his achievement he did admit, “they must have been impressed with my track record.” After three decades of unprecedented winning, that is certainly an understatement.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
It’s a family affair for the Winters of Port Washington when they make pilgrimages to Bobb Howard’s General Store in New Hyde Park. “There’s something in that store for everyone,” says Tracy Winters, who has been a customer of this retro candy and toy store for eight years. Tracy goes for the Astro Pops, husband Michael gets Marshmallow Twists and Tracy’s mother, Phyllis Heller of Bellmore, can’t resist the Goldenberg Peanut Chews. Jake, Tracy’s older son, isn’t a candy lover so he gravitates to the old-time toys and nostalgia posters.
Jamie Waller of Queens says it made him feel like a kid again when he saw the wall of candy with treats from the 1990s and 1950s sitting next to each other. “Anything you can possibly want is there,” he says. For Jamie, a big treat is Circus Peanuts, peanut-shaped marshmallows. “My dad used to love them when he was a kid,” he says.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
One fortunate New Hyde Park resident was rescued from the freezing cold on Tuesday, Feb. 25 thanks to Dr. Julia Harmon, DVM, of the New Hyde Park Animal Hospital. That night, at approximately 8 p.m., Harmon was going to her car after work when she saw Spike, a wandering bulldog near Brooklyn Avenue, one block from the vet’s office on Jericho Turnpike.
Harmon immediately brought Spike, who was not wearing a collar and did not have a microchip implanted for identification, back to the vet’s office. The temperature outside was already at 31 degrees, but felt like 20 degrees with the windchill. Luckily Spike was
brought in from the cold early; temperatures dropped down to 25 degrees that night.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park Michael Castelli recently participated in the 32nd Black Belt Graduation at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park. He graduated to first-degree black belt.
“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others,” says Grandmaster Charles Water, owner and director of the school.
Students tested in October, successfully passed their exam recently and received their black belt certificates. “Who says that the youth of America are not committed? A healthy life style at the karate studio, mentally and physically is alive, well and working,” said Water.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
After missing the playoffs two straight years, the Sewanhaka Indians Boys lacrosse team will face tougher odds if it hopes to advance to postseason play in 2014.
The Indians, who start their season March 24 at Oyster Bay, will be playing out of Section 8, Nassau Conference II (Class B) this year; a bump up from their usual spot in Nassau Conference III (Class C). Typically, the schools are divided by enrollment.
“There are no gimmies in this league,” said nine-year coach Peter Burgess. “We were the last team to make this league in terms of population. They kind of drew the line below us. So we’re the smallest school in the league.”
Burgess said another obstacle for the Indians will be facing teams that they have no experience playing before.