For seven years Massapequa Boys Winter Track Coach Rich Degnan has been on a mission to bring home the Nassau County Championship to Massapequa. Although the team has been quite formidable in recent years, Massapequa has not captured that elusive championship since 1969. However, Degnan and his assistant coach Keith Hinnant believe that this year’s team can end that streak.
“This is the best group of athletes that I’ve had in the seven years that I’ve coached in Massapequa,” he remarked. “We’ve always been one of the best four teams, but this team has a legitimate shot at winning the county championship.”
While each family celebrates the new year in their own way, skating enthusiasts and members of United States Figure Skating (USFS) have their own tradition: kicking off the year with a National Skating Month event at their local rink.
Throughout January, skating clubs across the country celebrate the sport by hosting a myriad of skating-themed activities to create a fun-filled afternoon, or in this case, morning. On Sunday, January 13th, Great Neck Figure Skating Club (GNFSC) kept over 120 skaters and their families entertained during two hours of festivities.
The annual RunSmart training program, designed to help residents prepare for marathon, half-marathon or 10k races, is set to begin on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, the first of 14 training sessions for runners of all ability levels. The series will be held one day every weekend through April 27.
Nassau County is once again teaming up the Greater Long Island Running Club and Jonas Chiropractic to help residents get ready for the 2013 Long Island Marathon, scheduled for May 5.
Once again this year, the Long Island Thunderbolts Softball Team will be hosting a five-week training session for young softball players at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, located at 25 Country Drive in Plainview. This clinic allows the Thunderbolts to raise necessary team funds, while teaching girls the skills they need to be ready to hit it out of the park during softball season in the spring. The “2013 Winter Work Out” will feature lessons on hitting, bunting and fielding.
Hitters need to bring a bat and helmet, fielders need to bring gloves, and pitchers need to bring their own catchers. Tuition is $175 for all five classes, or $40 per session; a special team rate is available, $1850 for a maximum of 14 players. Parents must sign a waiver before their child may participate.
Session dates are Sunday, Feb. 24, Mar. 3, Mar. 10, Mar. 17 and Mar. 24. Clinic One will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, and Clinic Two will take place from noon to 1 p.m.; parents may specify in which time slot they wish to enroll their child.
Massapequans took home awards at the recently held Long Island Blood Services Rob’s Run Race, held at Stillwell Woods in Syosset. The race is conducted in honor of Rob Lauterborn, an outstanding runner and well-liked individual who passed away 21 years ago.
Local runners winning awards were led by Chris Mammone of Massapequa, who was the third finisher overall, with a time of 16:24. Other local award winners included Joanna Desousa of North Massapequa, who placed second in the women’s 14 and younger age group. Joe Grieco of Massapequa, finished fourth overall, and first in the 20-24 age group. Joe’s sister, Michele Grieco, also of Massapequa, was the first woman in the 20-24 age group to cross the finish line. Lorraine Huether of Massapequa, finished third among the women in the 55-59 age group, and Greg Karl of Massapequa Park, earned top honors in the 65-69 age group.
Two Massapequa seniors have committed to playing softball in college next year. Danielle Gariglio, a shortstop, will play for the University of Rhode Island Rams and pitcher Renee Vaiano will play for the Golden Knights at the College of St. Rose in Albany. Both are members of the National Honor Society. Gariglio plans to study communications and Vaiano plans to study social studies education.
This year, the Massapequa girls varsity volleyball team once again held its Dig Pink night. The event was one of the highlights of the many activities held in the Massapequa School District to support breast cancer awareness. About $6,600 was raised for breast cancer research.
The effort, led by volleyball coach CarolAnn Habeeb-Kiel, has collectively raised close to $50,000 over the past five years. Community support runs high, especially the night of the Dig Pink match where the color engulfs the gymnasium and the adjoining lobby. Pink-clad spectators fill the stands as the varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams sport pink uniforms and headbands, and play their games with pink volleyballs.
Jacklyn Oleksak, a senior student-athlete at Plainedge High School, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Stonehill College in Massachusetts this fall. Jacklyn’s athletic/academic scholarship is now final as per the NCAA process and requirements, and she will compete on the school’s softball team. In addition, Dolores Diemicke has been named Nassau County Soccer Goalie of the Year. The Plainedge girls soccer team had been designated All-County as well as Second Team All-State Soccer Team. Both of these athletes are now performing on the girls basketball team and will defend their Nassau County title in softball this spring.
Freshman Joanne Josephson of Massapequa helped the Muhlenberg College volleyball team to a winning season in 2012. Josephson played in 26 of 28 matches and led the Mules with 57 blocks. She also was third on the team with 160 kills and a .218 hitting percentage. She reached double figures in kills three times, with a high of 13 in a five-set win against York, and had her high of five blocks at Dickinson. Josephson was one of several freshmen to play key roles on a young Mule team that finished with a record of 17-11 after combining for only 15 wins the previous two seasons. The 17 wins were the most for Muhlenberg since 2008.
The Massapequa Cyclones 11U boys baseball team recently defeated the Wantagh Long Island Indians for the 2012 Nassau County Fall Championship held at Mitchel Field in Uniondale. The team had a 6-1 record during the regular season schedule and was undefeated during the two game playoff eliminations.
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