10/09/14 7:40pm

BLUE WAVES 6, CLIPPERS 1

The last day of the high school girls tennis regular season brought one last chance for Riverhead and Southold/Greenport to win — something they haven’t done a lot this fall. In search of a rare victory, the two bottom teams in Suffolk County League VIII that began the day with only one win between them, were in for a surprise.

When the teams arrived in Peconic for Thursday’s match, they found the four courts at Robert W. Tasker Memorial Park unavailable because of maintenance work being done to the courts. That meant that all seven of the individual matches had to be played on the three courts across the street at Jean W. Cochran Park. Southold/Greenport usually uses the courts at both of the parks for their home matches.

With less than three hours of daylight to work with (the courts are not lighted), both Riverhead coach Jerry Duvall and Southold/Greenport coach Howie Geismar agreed that each match would be a pro set, with the first to win eight games the winner.

It worked out well for Riverhead, which snapped a five-match losing streak and finished its season on a winning note thanks to a 6-1 result. It was the Blue Waves’ first win since they defeated the Clippers by the same score on Sept. 19. (more…)

10/03/14 7:51pm
Emily Mowdy contributed to Mattituck's singles sweep against Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Emily Mowdy contributed to Mattituck’s singles sweep against Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TUCKERS 4, MONARCHS 3

When the top two high school girls tennis teams in Suffolk County League VII lined up to exchange postmatch high fives, it was the Mattituck Tuckers who were wearing smiles on their faces. They had a lot to smile about.

That is because the Tuckers withstood what could be seen as the last major obstacle to a second straight league championship. Drew Hahn’s victory at fourth singles completed a sweep of all four singles matches for the Tuckers and clinched a 4-3 triumph over Bishop McGann-Mercy on Friday at Mattituck High School. With three matches remaining, the Tuckers (10-1, 9-0) can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win over Southold/Greenport on Monday. An automatic playoff spot also comes with the league crown. (more…)

09/30/14 7:48pm
Bishop McGann-Mercy's Bereket Watts, left, and Mattituck's Paul Hayes cross paths during Tuesday's game, which saw 11 goals scored. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Bereket Watts, left, and Mattituck’s Paul Hayes cross paths during Tuesday’s game, which saw 11 goals scored. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TUCKERS 7, MONARCHS 4

This high school boys soccer game truly was a tale of two halves. While the first half was about Mattituck excellence, the second half featured Bishop McGann-Mercy resilience.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to digest, how about this? There were 11 goals to kick around.

A wild game that started with Mattituck shooting out to a 6-0 halftime lead, ended up as a 7-4 final thanks to some second-half fight put up by McGann-Mercy on Tuesday. (more…)

09/29/14 8:10pm
Bishop McGann-Mercy's Dayna Young (10) and Mattituck's Alex Beebe running neck and neck for a ball. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Dayna Young (10) and Mattituck’s Alex Beebe running neck and neck for a ball. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TUCKERS 2, MONARCHS 1 (OT)

Courtney Murphy seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time when she is on the soccer field. That was surely the case on Monday when the Mattituck left midfielder toe poked in the game-winning goal for a 2-1 overtime triumph over Bishop McGann-Mercy.

A long throw-in by Madison Kent trickled across the penalty area where Murphy managed to get the tip of her cleat to the ball before onrushing goalkeeper Juliana Cintron-Leonardo could get to it 3 minutes 31 seconds into overtime at Harold T. Murray Memorial Field in Riverhead. (more…)

09/27/14 9:05pm
Shoreham-Wading River coach Matt Millheiser. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

Shoreham-Wading River coach Matt Millheiser. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

So, how does a high school football team follow up one of the biggest wins in program history?

Well, if it’s Shoreham-Wading River, it wallops visiting Hampton Bays, 48-0.

A lot of things could have gone wrong in Saturday’s Suffolk County Division IV game for the Wildcats (3-0), who were coming off a stunning 9-7 upset of defending Long Island Class IV champion Babylon a week earlier. In addition to having to deal with Saturday’s hot weather, the Wildcats could have faced a natural letdown after their big triumph over Babylon.

It didn’t happen. (more…)

09/22/14 5:50pm

McGann-Mercy’s former athletic director Paul Mastronardi resigned last week. (The Press News Group/Kerry Monaco photo)

Problems routinely cross an athletic director’s desk. Putting out fires are part of the job.

Paul Mastronardi resigned last week as the athletic director at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, and joked that he may have done more firefighting in that capacity than he has done as a firefighter for the New York City Fire Department.

Despite some turbulence in the form of coaching changes as the McGann-Mercy athletic program sought to reach a higher level of accomplishment, Mr. Mastronardi’s short stay at the private Catholic school in Riverhead came to an end last week in an amicable fashion, he said. Mr. Mastronardi said he resigned after nine months on the job in order to return to his passion: coaching football.

Mr. Mastronardi, in a 22-minute phone interview with The Riverhead News-Review on Monday afternoon, said he is following his heart. “I’m a football coach,” he said.

Mr. Mastronardi, said he has received “many offers” to return to coaching, which he had done for 25 years prior to his role as the McGann-Mercy A.D., though no particular schools were mentioned. He was the Eastport/South Manor High School coach before taking on his first job in athletic administration at McGann-Mercy.

Before his position at Eastport, Mr. Mastronardi coached two years at South Side High School, compiling a 3-13 record. The school opted to not bring him back in 2011, according to an article in the Long Island Herald. He then compiled an 11-14 record over three seasons at Eastport, including a 7-1 regular season in 2013.

Mr. Mastronardi took over the McGann-Mercy job after his predecessor, John Lonardo, resigned to pursue a private business opportunity. His arrival coincided with what was heralded as the school’s new vision for a stronger athletic program, which in turn would be expected to help boost student enrollment and course offerings at the school.

“This is an attempt to bring the school to a new level of excellence,” McGan-Mercy principal Carl Semmler said at a parents-only meeting in February, during which details of the changes were discussed.

But many parents at the time — one of whom leaked audio from the February meeting to The Riverhead News-Review — were already outraged at one of Mr. Mastronardi’s first decisions: not to re-hire football coach Jeff Doroski. In June, former NFL quarterback Michael Buck was tapped for the role.

Other coaching changes included the resignation of varsity baseball coach Ed Meier and the replacement of the girls’ varsity basketball coach, Brian Babst, and the girls’ varsity soccer coach, Meaghan Macarthur. Mr. Doroski, Mr. Meier, and Ms. Macarthur had all attended Mercy as students themselves.

Asked if resigning had been marinating in his mind for a while, Mastronardi said: “You know when it really hit? When people started playing games.”

The start of the current football season — Mercy’s opening game was 10 days ago — apparently rekindled Mastronardi’s desire to be on the sideline again with a clipboard and a whistle. He said it really hit him when he watched his former Eastport/South Manor team play its season-opening game against Miller Place.

Mastronardi, who lives in Westhampton Beach, spoke highly of his time at McGann-Mercy, where he oversaw many teams, from crew to cheerleading. He said the school has made financial commitments to improve its athletic facilities with a new softball field, a new state-of-the-art trainer’s room and a nearly completed strength training facility that will cover almost 4,000 square feet.

“I think it’s a wonderful school; it’s a wonderful community,” he said. “The children are absolutely wonderful human beings. It was certainly a wonderful experience for me …  It’s all good. I have nothing but positive things to say about Mercy.”

A reporter who called Mr. Semmler’s office was told he was not available and was referred to a school publicist, who received an email request for answers about the future of the athletic director position.

The following statement was released on behalf of Mr. Semmler: “Paul Mastronardi has decided to resign as our Athletic Director. During his time here we have made significant strides in the athletic vision at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School. We will continue to foster a plan that is aggressive yet also fits into the school culture.”

An automated message to parents from Mr. Semmler noted that “all future concerns about athletics for the time being should be sent to Melissa Edwards,” who was hired earlier this year in the athletic department.

Asked if he saw himself getting back into athletic administration, Mr. Mastronardi replied, “Absolutely not. Unequivocally not.”

09/17/14 5:00pm
Zach Holmes of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck tries to thwart an attempted tackle by Babylon's James Messina. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Zach Holmes of Greenport/Southold/Mattituck tries to thwart an attempted tackle by Babylon’s James Messina. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Friday night marked the opening game for the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck high school football team’s season, and Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field at Greenport High School may have never looked so nice. Along with the plush grass field, which has been well-watered, there were new NFL-style goal posts. The recently painted purple and gold bleachers looked brilliant in the fading sunlight as kickoff time approached. And there, on the south end of the field, was the sharp looking scoreboard, which was installed last season.

Ah, yes, the scoreboard.

On a night when the game was cut and dried, it was the scoreboard that provided the only real controversy — if you want to call it that — of the evening. (more…)

09/16/14 8:55pm
Southold/Greenport's Raeanne Berry dribbling forward while being followed by teammate Jasmine Fell and Bishop McGann-Mercy's Madeleine Joinnides (5) and Alexandra Hulse (9). (Credit: Garret Meade)

Southold/Greenport’s Raeanne Berry dribbling forward while being followed by teammate Jasmine Fell and Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Madeleine Joinnides (5) and Alexandra Hulse (9). (Credit: Garret Meade)

MONARCHS 3, CLIPPERS 3 (OT)

A spirited contest between two improved high school girls soccer teams brought what could be considered a just result. It could be said that neither Bishop McGann-Mercy or Southold/Greenport deserved to lose in their Suffolk County League VII game on Tuesday, and neither team did, thanks to Siobhan Merrill.

Merrill, a sophomore center midfielder, rescued McGann-Mercy from what would have been its first loss of the season by scoring the tying goal with 4 minutes 10 seconds left in the second overtime period of a 3-3 draw at Southold High School. (more…)