Articles by

Joe Werkmeister

01/15/15 1:15pm
McGann-Mercy students were brought into the auditorium at Riverhead High School following a threat made against the school. (Credit; Barbaraellen Knoch)

McGann-Mercy students were brought into the auditorium at Riverhead High School following a threat made against the school. (Credit: Barbaraellen Knoch)

(UPDATE 1:30 p.m.): Bishop-McGann Mercy High School was cleared of any threat after an automated message called into the Riverhead school this morning warned of “some kind of device,” according to Riverhead police Lt. David Lessard.

Faculty staff and K-9 units from the New York State Police searched the building, Lt. Lessard said. Students who were evacuated were told to leave their backpacks outside on the high school football field and a police dog searched the bags. No threats were found, Lt. Lessard said.

As Mercy students were transported to Riverhead High School via Riverhead buses to await pickup, another threat was called into Riverhead, describing a bomb somewhere toward the front, outside the high school building.

Lt. Lessard said he wasn’t sure yet if that message was a similar automated message. Police are conducting an IT investigation to try to trace the IP address and determine if it was called from an online app, he said. An automated message sent by the school to Riverhead parents just before 1:30 p.m. said that the building was cleared and there was no threat. After-school activities for the high school were canceled, the message said.

Similar threats were called into the Southampton School District. Lt. Lessard said investigators are in contact with Southampton Village Police are unsure yet if the calls are related.

It was the second straight day a threat was called into Mercy High School.

1st Update: A threat was called into Riverhead High School just minutes after Bishop McGann-Mercy students were being transported there to await pickup following a threat at that school, Riverhead police at the scene confirmed at around 11:30 a.m. (more…)

01/13/15 10:18pm
Shoreham-Wading River senior Courtney Clasen scored 24 points in the Wildcats' win Tuesday against Bayport-Blue Point. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Courtney Clasen scored 24 points in the Wildcats’ win Tuesday against Bayport-Blue Point. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

WILDCATS 43, PHANTOMS 31

The stress of choosing a college can be intense for any high school student. Add in the wrinkle of playing a sport in college, and it can be doubly as stressful.

For Shoreham-Wading River senior Courtney Clasen, before narrowing down her choices, she first needed to decide which sport she wanted to play. Basketball? Soccer? Maybe even track?

She ultimately settled on basketball, and after a busy summer playing AAU, she was primed for a big season in her final year for the Wildcats. Then in the team’s first game, an ankle injury left her hobbling, and possibly out for an extended period of time.

But Clasen quickly bounced back, returning to the court much sooner than expected. And the Wildcats are thankful to have their all-county forward in the lineup.

Clasen dodged a bullet by avoiding an extended absence, and last week, she could finally take a deep breath when she made a verbal commitment to attend Coastal Carolina University, a Division I school in South Carolina.

“I can just have fun now,” Clasen said. “The stress is almost gone.”

Clasen can officially sign a National Letter of Intent on April 15, the start of the regular signing period that ends May 20 for Division I.

On Tuesday against Bayport-Blue Point, Clasen gave a glimpse of what kind of a player Coastal Carolina will be getting. She sliced through the Phantoms’ defense on fast breaks, scoring on some, dishing nifty passes to her teammates on others. She was a menace on defense, tally 11 steals and blocking five shots. And she showed a developing outside shot, sinking a pair of 3-pointers as part of her game-high 24 points.

The Wildcats led start-to-finish in a 43-31 victory at Shoreham-Wading River High School that brings the team to 4-2 at the midway point of the league season.

The Wildcats ran out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back despite an overall poor shooting night. The Wildcats had plenty of shots, thanks in part to a huge rebounding advantage, but often couldn’t find the bottom of the net. The Wildcats shot 25 percent from the field, connecting on 18 of 71 shots.

“I said to them at halftime, we’re passing the ball well, we’re driving the ball, we’re moving the ball well, we’re getting second looks and third looks,” said Shoreham coach Adam Lievre. “At some point, we just got try to knock them in.”

Clasen was the only Shoreham player with more than 4 points. Four different players scored four: Maria Smith, Sophie Triandifils, Jess McCormack and Christina Iannacchino.

The Wildcats will have a few days off now before returning to action Saturday at home against East Hampton to begin the second half of the league schedule.

joew@timesreview.com

01/13/15 3:00pm
Students at John Glenn High School donated a "54" plaque to Shoreham-Wading River in memory of Tom Cutinella. (Credit: John Glenn School District)

Students at John Glenn High School donated a “54″ plaque to Shoreham-Wading River in memory of Tom Cutinella. (Credit: Elwood Union Free School District)

Students and community members from the John Glenn School District raised more than $4,500 for the Tom Cutinella Scholarship Fund, the school district said. (more…)

01/11/15 8:00am
Sue Condreras with her German shepherd Rocket, who will compete at the Westminster Dog Show next month. (Credit: courtesy photo)

Sue Condreras with her German shepherd Rocket, who will compete at the Westminster Dog Show next month. (Credit: courtesy photo)

A few weeks ago Sue Condreras spotted her German shepherd named Rocket playing outside with some kind of animal. She couldn’t tell at first what kind.

As she walked outside, she realized it was a groundhog.

“I was always told [groundhogs] were aggressive,” she said. “I see [Rocket] out there, down on his front paws, he’s nudging it and playing with it and running around in circles. It’s like he made friends with a groundhog.”  (more…)

01/09/15 9:43pm
Riverhead's Raheem Brown won a 3-1 decision at 170 pounds against Hills East's Griffin Arcuri. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead’s Raheem Brown won a 3-1 decision at 170 pounds against Hills East’s Griffin Arcuri. (Credit: Bill Landon)

THUNDERBIRDS 36, BLUE WAVES 29

The strength of the Riverhead wrestling team undoubtedly lies in the lower weights. But as Friday’s dual meet  against Half Hollow Hills East wound down, and the Thunderbirds beginning to pull away, the Blue Waves needed their big guys in a big way.

And they got a jolt of an unlikely source.  (more…)

01/08/15 9:00am
The Shoreham-Wading River football team celebrates its 2014 Long Island Championship win over Roosevelt. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

The Shoreham-Wading River football team celebrates its 2014 Long Island Championship win over Roosevelt. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

In front of a crowd of more than 40,000 at Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 29, Shoreham-Wading River athletic director Mark Passamonte stood on the field during a break in the action between the Clemson Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners. He was joined by representatives of Russell Athletic, the host of the college football bowl game.

Mr. Passamonte likely never would have envisioned himself spending part of the holiday break on the field of a college bowl game. But then again, ever since Oct. 1, life in the Wading River community became anything but ordinary.  (more…)

01/06/15 7:57pm
Riverhead's William Mitchell goes up for a shot against North Babylon's Tim Forbes. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead’s William Mitchell goes up for a shot against North Babylon’s Tim Forbes. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Perhaps no play in high school sports generates the kind of buzz and euphoria as a slam dunk in basketball. Sure, everyone’s likely seen it happen countless times in person. But it still can send a crowd into a frenzy.  (more…)