06/02/14 9:38pm
Riverhead shortstop Danny Mendick fielding a ground ball for an out during the Tomcats' 10-9 season-opening loss to Montauk. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead shortstop Danny Mendick fielding a ground ball for an out during the Tomcats’ 10-9 season-opening loss to Montauk. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

MUSTANGS 10, TOMCATS 9

The weather was ideal and the scene was idyllic for the Riverhead Tomcats’ Opening Day.

With the sun shining brilliantly, both the Montauk Mustangs and the Tomcats lined up before their Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League game and stood at attention while Erin Southard, a Riverhead High School freshman, sang the national anthem. Everything and everybody was ready for the game, that is, except the sound system and the Tomcats. (more…)

05/31/14 5:26pm
From left, Half Hollow Hills West's Jarried Redwood, Shoreham-Wading River's Jordan Wright, Smithtown East's Shane Harris and Smithtown West's Andrew Lapreziosa lunging toward the finish line in the 100-meter dash finals. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

From left, Half Hollow Hills West’s Jarried Redwood, Shoreham-Wading River’s Jordan Wright, Smithtown East’s Shane Harris and Smithtown West’s Andrew Lapreziosa lunging toward the finish line in the 100-meter dash finals. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

The steeplechase is one of the most demanding events in track and field. Not only is it a grind physically, but it also presents an element of danger. That, along with the event’s novelty, may also be part of its allure. Bad things can happen when exhausted athletes try to clear barriers and navigate water jumps.

That was seen Saturday during the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Section XI Individual Championships/state qualifier. Around the midpoint of the race, Miller Place senior Jeremy Miekley ran into a barrier, slowing him up. Then, Huntington senior Nick Sherman took a fall at the last barrier before the final sprint to the finish line. (more…)

05/31/14 5:17pm
Bishop McGann-Mercy's Delina Auciello makes a splash as the top Division II finisher in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. She was 12th overall in 7 minutes 41.59 seconds. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Delina Auciello makes a splash as the top Division II finisher in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. She was 12th overall in 7 minutes 41.59 seconds. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

The lasting image of Maddie Blom on Friday was one of devastation. Having just completed one of her worst days throwing the discus, the Riverhead High School senior was hunched over, her emotions getting the best of her as she was being consoled.

Blom, who had been seeded fourth in the event for the Section XI Individual Championships/state qualifier, has thrown the discus as far as 113 feet 7 inches. On Friday, she fouled before turning in throws of 94 feet 1 inch and then 101, and her day was done. She finished a disappointing eighth. (more…)

05/31/14 12:45am
Riverhead pole vaulter Charles Villa clearing 14 feet en route to his triumph Friday at Port Jefferson High School. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead pole vaulter Charles Villa clearing 14 feet en route to his triumph Friday at Port Jefferson High School. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

Strange as it may sound for the greatest pole vaulter in Riverhead High School history, but Charles Villa may have been suffering a crisis of confidence recently. His coaches noticed it.

One of those coaches, Jim Henderson, then provided the few words that Villa needed to hear. As Villa related, Henderson told him: “You got to stop being mental. You’re the best one here, so act like it, so jump like it.”

And, just like that, confidence was restored. (more…)

05/27/14 7:08pm
John Montesano pitched one inning of relief for Shoreham-Wading River in Bayport on Tuesday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

John Montesano pitched one inning of relief for Shoreham-Wading River in Bayport on Tuesday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS A TOURNAMENT | PHANTOMS 4, WILDCATS 0

One thing the members of the Shoreham-Wading River High School baseball team may remember most about their team this season was its comeback ability. The Wildcats have done it time and time again, sometimes in dramatic fashion.

“I know some teams crumble mentally when they’re down,” catcher Jack Massa said. “This team never seemed to do that.”

When the Wildcats needed runs, they often found a way to score them. Just not on Tuesday. (more…)

05/20/14 7:58pm
Shoreham-Wading River's Manuela Cortes is guarded closely by Mount Sinai's Mary Ellen Carron. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Manuela Cortes is guarded closely by Mount Sinai’s Mary Ellen Carron. (Credit: Garret Meade)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS C TOURNAMENT | MUSTANGS 8, WILDCATS 4

About an hour before game time, when the players on the Mount Sinai High School girls lacrosse team marched toward their field for pregame warmups on Tuesday, there was not a single smile on their faces. On the contrary, they looked all business, wearing deadly serious looks. One might even say they appeared downright angry, as if resentful that someone was going to dare try to take something away from them that they had worked hard for.

The fact that they were facing Shoreham-Wading River may have only made them more determined. The two teams, whose schools are separated by only eight miles, are fierce rivals, after all.

“It’s Army-Navy,” said Mount Sinai coach Al Bertolone. (more…)

05/17/14 3:52pm
Shoreham-Wading River's Logan Hoffmann, right, pressures Mattituck/Greenport/Southold's Justine Kundmueller in the second half. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Logan Hoffmann, right, pressures Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Justine Kundmueller in the second half. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS C TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 16, TUCKERS 6

Without the benefit of explanation, records and statistics can be misleading. For example, the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls lacrosse team took a deceptive 6-8 record into its Suffolk County Class C Tournament outbracket game against Mattituck/Greenport/Southold on Saturday. On paper, it should have been a close game. On the field, though, it was a different story.

The teams had completed the regular season separated by a mere two places and only 6.94 power-rating points in the Division II standings. They were separated by a lot more on Saturday, though. (more…)

05/16/14 8:31pm
Shoreham-Wading River players are jubilant after Jack Massa scored on an infield error, capping a game-winning, four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River players are jubilant after Jack Massa scored on an infield error, capping a game-winning, four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS A TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 4, HURRICANES 3

With its green and white fatigue-patterned baseball jerseys, Westhampton Beach brings a military bearing to the field. But it was Shoreham-Wading River’s fighting spirit that enabled the Wildcats to win the battle.

Playoff wins generally don’t come easily. They require execution, persistence, and sometimes a little magic doesn’t hurt, either.

Over the years the Wildcats have participated in their fair share of magical games. Their playoff opener on Friday can be counted among them. (more…)