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Nine-Year-Old Mineola Chiefs Win Second Championship

The 9-year-old Mineola Chiefs football team repeated as the Nassau County Youth Football League Class A champions, beating the Rosedale Jets 6-0 on Nov. 18 in overtime.

After posting a record of 7-0-1, the Chiefs, led by head coach Mike Cavallaro, advanced to the Class A playoffs. They beat the Bellmore Braves 14-0 and advanced to the championship game, against the previously undefeated Jets.  Both teams ranked at the top in scoring during the regular season, but this game turned out to be a defensive battle.

Coach Paul Selhorn’s defense held the Jets to minimal yards for the entire game.  Led by Tyler Burke, James Kapralos and Joe Iadevaia, the Chiefs were able to hold the Jets high-powered offense in check.

Even when the Jets took the air, the Chiefs had solid coverage by Tommy Sluka and Luke Orbon, who also had a crucial interception.  On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs were able to move the ball with positive runs by Caleb Johnson and Patrick Selhorn.  However, they were never able to reach the end zone for a score.  

Regulation ended in a 0-0 tie, and for the second consecutive year, the Chiefs would have to win the championship in overtime. After winning the coin toss, the Jets received the ball with four chances to score from the Mineola 10-yard line.

As the ball was snapped on third down, Robert Dimilia was able to knock the ball loose for a fumble. Henry Villa recovered the ball, giving the Chiefs four chances to win the championship.

Down to their last chance on fourth down from the one-yard line, Sluka handed the ball to Caleb Johnson, who was able to break through the defensive line for the touchdown and seal the championship.

The players and parents thanked Cavallaro, Selhorn, Dave Burke and Mike Bencivenga for their service.

News

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.

As the night sky fell on Memorial Park last Thursday, Mineola residents and officials paused to remember the almost 3,000 lives that were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

 

Mayor Scott Strauss, a former NYPD EMS worker and 9/11 first responder, was one of the many who rushed into Manhattan after the attacks, searching the rubble for survivors. He was part of the rescue effort that saved the lives of Port Authority Police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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