Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Willi hits fly balls Monday on the team’s first day of official practices. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
When he was a first-year teacher in the Shoreham-Wading River School District more than a decade ago, Kevin Willi was approached by longtime baseball coach Sal Mignano. The Wildcats had an opening for a middle school coach. Mignano, knowing Willi had played baseball at Stony Brook University, asked him if he was interested.
Willi jumped at the opportunity, the first step toward accomplishing his dream of becoming a varsity head coach. Over the next 13 years, Willi coached at different levels throughout the program, most recently coaching alongside Mignano as a varsity assistant. (more…)
Nick Tropeano, who pitched for the Riverhead Tomcats in 2009, won his first MLB game Wednesday. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)
Nick Tropeano, who in 2009 dominated in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League as a member of the Riverhead Tomcats, made his Major League Baseball debut Wednesday night with the Houston Astros. (more…)
Sal Mignano patrols the third base coaching box at Southampton High School around the 1982 season. (Credit: Courtesy photo)
Buddy Gengler stood at the podium inside the dimly lit auditorium at Shoreham-Wading River High School, the rain having forced the day’s festivities indoors. As he gazed out into the audience, he saw a crowd that had gathered to honor him along with two other former baseball players, Matt Millheiser (2001) and Bryan Sabatella (’02). On this day, their jerseys were to be formally retired, their legacy forever etched into SWR lore. But Gengler knew the day would be about more than his past accomplishments on the diamond. It was about something bigger. Someone bigger. (more…)