The Third Annual Alumni Basketball Game held in Massapequa High School’s gymnasium raised $1,200 for the American Cancer Society, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the varsity boys basketball team and alumni, the boys booster club, and family and friends of the boys basketball program. The game was held to support the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches to increase cancer awareness and raise funds for research.
It was a simple question but the answer, or lack thereof, spoke volumes to the admiration that the coach has for his team.
Massapequa Varsity Girls Gymnastics Coach Mike Capone was sitting in the bleachers prior to the events of Senior Night, the final home meet for the team this year. He was asked to speak about the group of young women on his team, and in particular, the seniors who will soon be leaving. The coach was left at a loss for words, in particular about the seniors, some of whom he has coached for six years.
“This is probably the best group of young ladies that I’ve had the pleasure to be associated with,” he finally responded. “I cannot say enough about the seniors and the team.”
Michael Pavlides of Massapequa has been named the 2012 Virginia and Chuck Landis High School Coach of the Year by the U.S. Tennis Association Eastern Section, which encompasses all of New York State plus parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. Pavlides has been coaching tennis at Massapequa High School for 15 years. In 2011, Pavlides led both the Massapequa boys and girls teams to win the conference championship – representing just a few of his 242 career victories as a coach.
In addition to coaching, he runs the Nassau County High School Tennis Championships for both boys and girls, and teaches adult tennis in Massapequa. In 2010, he was named the USTA’s Long Island Region Adult Volunteer of the Year.
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.
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