Articles by

Joe Werkmeister

07/15/14 4:00pm
Riverhead freshman Faith Johnson-DeSilvia goes up for a basket Monday against Central Islip. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead freshman Faith Johnson-DeSilvia goes up for a basket Monday against Central Islip. (Credit: Bill Landon)

It’s been only five months since the end of the high school basketball season, yet Riverhead coach Dave Spinella has already seen his team grow by leaps and bounds.

“We’re a thousand times better than we were last year,” he said.  (more…)

07/09/14 7:00pm
Riverhead Tomcats outfielder Andrew Plunkett slides into third as North Fork Osprey Penn Murfee tries to apply the tag. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead Tomcats outfielder Andrew Plunkett slides into third as North Fork Osprey Penn Murfee tries to apply the tag. (Credit: Bill Landon)

The “Oh, wow” moment happens every year.

Around the middle of June, when the high school sports season winds down, I shift gears toward the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League to help fill the sports pages along with high school summer leagues, features and columns. Inevitably, when I head down to the field for the first time each summer, I know I’m about to watch college players, several of whom come from big-time programs. (more…)

07/08/14 9:50pm
Stephen Woods, a Half Hollow Hills East graduate, struck out eight batters in four innings Tuesday against Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Stephen Woods, a Half Hollow Hills East graduate, struck out eight batters in four innings Tuesday against Riverhead. (Credit: Bill Landon)

For one of the top pitching prospects out of Long Island in recent years, Stephen Woods’ career on the mound has been remarkably brief.

It wasn’t until his junior year at Half Hollow Hills East High School that Woods turned to pitching full-time as a baseball player. He had been a third baseman and outfielder, winning a gold glove award at third as a sophomore and earning all-league honors.  (more…)

07/07/14 10:00am
Nick Ahmed, who played for the University of Connecticut when he was a member of the Westhampton Aviators in 2009, was the first Hamptons League player to reach the big leagues. (Credit: Steve Slade/UConn Athletics)

Nick Ahmed, who played for the University of Connecticut when he was a member of the Westhampton Aviators in 2009, was the first Hamptons League player to reach the big leagues. (Credit: Steve Slade/UConn Athletics)

Brett Mauser had hoped the milestone moment would have come late last summer when Major League Baseball rosters expanded and clubs began calling up players from their farm system. Alas, it never happened.

As the 2014 MLB season unfolded, it quickly became apparent that the race was on. The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, now in its seventh year, was on the verge of seeing its first former player called up to the majors.  (more…)

07/04/14 12:00pm
A two-time Olympian in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Anthony Famiglietti was the winner of Friday's SWR July 4 5K. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

A two-time Olympian in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Anthony Famiglietti was the winner of Friday’s SWR July 4 5K. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

A steady stream of runners were still making the turn off North Country Road onto Southgate and up the big hill when the pace car, driven by longtime Shoreham-Wading River girls track coach Paul Koretzki, suddenly appeared off in the distance. (more…)

07/03/14 10:31pm
Shoreham-Wading River senior Jonah Caldwell blocks the shot of Mattituck's Josh Conklin Thursday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Jonah Caldwell blocks the shot of Mattituck’s Josh Conklin Thursday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Over the sound of a bouncing basketball, squeaking sneakers and the occasional claps from the dozen or so fans in attendance, one voice echoed throughout the gym at Shoreham-Wading River High School late Thursday night.  (more…)

07/01/14 5:00pm
NBA guard Nate Robinson poses for a picture during Tuesday's camp at McGann-Mercy High School. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

NBA guard Nate Robinson poses for a picture during Tuesday’s camp at McGann-Mercy High School. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Among the jerseys on display Tuesday at McGann-Mercy High School were the mainstays of the NBA: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony. Some of the kids went old-school, wearing the likes of John Stockton’s Utah Jazz jersey and Glen Rice’s Charlotte Hornets jersey.

One boy wore the jersey representing the man of the hour: Nate Robinson.  (more…)