One of the things about being around long enough is you get to see coaches come and go. You sure hate to see the good ones go, though, and Dave Spinella is one of the good ones.
Not to make it sound like Spinella, 38, has died or anything like that. He has just stepped down as the Riverhead High School girls basketball coach to embark on a new chapter in his life. That fact was enough to generate more than a few tears last Wednesday night when Spinella coached his final game for the Blue Waves.
Emotions are a funny thing. One never quite knows for sure how he will handle his feelings in an emotional moment. They are unpredictable.
For much of the way, Dave Spinella controlled his emotions during an emotional night, his last as coach of the Riverhead High School girls basketball team.
At the Riverhead High School girls basketball team’s first team meeting before the start of the season, Dave Spinella delivered the news. He told his players this was it, his final season as the Blue Waves’ coach.
The decision was a difficult one.
Riverhead’s steep, uphill climb in search of a spot in the high school girls basketball playoffs just became steeper.
As painful as that realization is for the Blue Waves, their heartbreaking loss to Half Hollow Hills East on Friday was especially stinging.
Only five basketball players can play on the court at a time for a team. The Shoreham-Wading River High School girls team has many more capable players than that. The Wildcats are deep.
That means Shoreham’s starting lineup is up in the air like a jump ball.
Tears were bound to fall when the end came.
Before she left her house to head for the game, it occurred to Riverhead senior forward Sam Dunn that this most likely would be the last time she ever wore the Blue Waves’ home white jersey. READ
One play told Dave Spinella all he needed to know. It was five years ago when the coach saw Sam Dunn dive into the bleachers during a summer league game as an eighth grader.