02/23/14 7:00am
02/23/2014 7:00 AM

Former Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse and field hockey player Brie Claire Drost (left) will coach as an assistant at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. Julianne Bernatzky of Mount Sinai was also hired as a coach.

Brie Claire Drost, a former star field hockey and lacrosse player at Shoreham-Wading River, was hired as an assistant coach at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue to work under her former coach.  (more…)

01/07/14 10:37pm
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River school board appointed during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River school board appointed Justin Arini as the boys varsity lacrosse coach during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The Shoreham-Wading River school board has hired a replacement for ousted boys varsity lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, the Riverhead News-Review has learned.

Justin Arini — who works as a guidance counselor in the high school, according to his Facebook page — will replace Mr. Rotanz for the upcoming spring season.

Four out of the seven school board members voted in favor of Mr. Arini’s appointment Tuesday night. School board vice president John Zukowski abstained from voting and said after the meeting he did so because his son plays lacrosse. Sean Beran was absent and Robert Rose voted against the appointment.

“My nay vote has nothing at all to do with the candidate,” Mr. Rose said shortly after the vote. “It has everything to do with the process.”

Mr. Rose declined to elaborate after the meeting what his issue was with the process.

Mr. Arini, 28, is a Ward Melville graduate who played lacrosse under legendary coach Joe Cuozzo, just as Mr. Rotanz did years earlier. He’s coached previously as an assistant at NYIT and Manhattan College. At both schools he focused on coaching offense and recruiting. He coached most recently as a varsity assistant at Huntington High School last spring, according to a news report.

Mr. Arini was a goalkeeper in college at Alfred State. He’ll take over a program that Mr. Rotanz led for 19 years before his sudden dismissal in November.

The Wildcats are two-time defending Long Island champions and the preseason No. 1 seed in Division II for the upcoming spring season.

WITH JOE WERKMEISTER

jennifer@timesreview.com

11/17/13 12:00pm
11/17/2013 12:00 PM

RIVERHEAD SCHOOLS PHOTO | Riverhead seniors Jaron Greenidge and Carolyn Carrera both inked National Letters of Intent Friday to play lacrosse in college. Pictured are: Front Row, seated (l-r) Jaron Greenridge, Xann Greenridge, Mario Carrera, Carolyn Carrera and Dawn Carrera. Back Row, standing (l-r): Athletic Director Bill Groth, boys lacrosse coach Victor Guadagnino, guidance counselor Chris Martin, Jaron’s dad—Robin Greenridge, assistant girls lacrosse Coach Jim Janecek, girls lacrosse Coach Ashley King and RHS Principal Charles Regan.

Two Riverhead lacrosse players signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period to continue playing their sport in college.

Jaron Greenidge signed with Brevard College, a Division II school in Brevard, N.C. Carolyn Carrera signed with Hofstra University, where she also plans to play soccer. The signing period for soccer starts in February.

Greenidge, who’s currently playing on the Blue Waves’ football team that is headed to the county championship game, is a defenseman on the lacrosse team. As a sophomore, he was the Suffolk County Rookie of the Year. During that time, the Blue Waves have enjoyed their most successful seasons in program history, culminating in a playoff appearance last year.

Greenidge was a scholar athlete in 2012 and 2013 and was an all-county selection for lacrosse and football.

“Jaron has a lot of athleticism, dedication and a strong commitment to excellence,” said lacrosse coach Victor Guadagnino, who is also a social studies teacher at Riverhead. “He’s strong and he has a lot of speed.”

Carrera has not only been a star athlete at Riverhead, but one of the top students in her grade. She ranked third in her class with a 98.75 unweighted GPA.

On the field, Carrera is an All-American midfielder who was chosen to play on the Long Island Metropolitan Team that competed in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament at Lehigh University. Carrera was the first Riverhead lacrosse player selected for a such an honor.

Carrera was recently honored as one of 12 national finalists for the Wendy’s Heisman Award. She was the female winner of the award for New York. There was 102 state winners in contention to be one of the 12 national finalists.

“She’s a leader and a role model,” said lacrosse coach Ashley King. “She definitely has a bright future. I’m in awe of her efforts and abilities both on the playing field and in the community.”

11/07/13 1:30pm
11/07/2013 1:30 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera will anchor the Blue Waves' defense this season as goalkeeper.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera was honored with a prestigious award for her excellence in athletics, academics and community leadership.

Riverhead senior Carolyn Carrera — a three-sport athlete who plans to play lacrosse and soccer at Hofstra University — was honored this week as the winner of New York’s female Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Carrera was a co-winner of the News-Review’s Athlete of the Year Award last June.

The award is given each year to one male and female student in each state who demonstrates excellence in athletics, academics and community leadership. The 102 state winners are each entered into the national competition, where 12 students will be chosen as finalists and compete for a title on Dec. 13. The 12 finalists will be featured on ESPN and receive gold medals and $2,000 for their high school. The high school of each national winner receives a donation of $10,000.

Last month, Carrera was named one of 10 finalists for New York from a pool of 48,000 applicants. She was chosen along with John McCarthy of Corning-Painted Post West High School.

Carrera plays goalkeeper on the Riverhead soccer team in the fall. She also plays basketball in the winter and is a midfielder on the lacrosse team in the spring. She was an All-American in lacrosse last year.

Carrera has been equally successful in the classroom with a 98.75 unweighted average. She scored a 2040 on the SATs and is ranked third in her class out of 362 students. She is an honor roll student, member of the National Honor Society, the Latin Honor Society, Mentathletes and the Math Club.

She’s also president of her class and has been active working with student government to raise funds to help former classmate Michael Hubbard. At Hofstra, Carrera plans to major in engineering or pre-med.

In June, Carrera was named a co-winner of the News Review’s Athlete of the Year of the award for Riverhead.

08/22/13 5:00pm
08/22/2013 5:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead girls lacrosse player Alley Romer (right) fights for a ground ball during a game against Huntington. The girls team features girls from seventh to ninth grade and is one of the newest teams added to Riverhead’s budding travel program.

When the Riverhead boys lacrosse team clinched a spot in the playoffs last year as the No. 13 seed, the accomplishment was met with the kind of fanfare expected of a program reaching a new height. The Blue Waves may not have advanced beyond round one, but it was a stepping stone.

To take that next step — from becoming a fringe playoff team to a program that succeeds at a high level year after year — the lacrosse community in Riverhead looked to the best models available: Shoreham-Wading River, Three Village, West Islip and Smithtown. All of the top lacrosse communities around Suffolk County feature a bevy of travel teams beginning at a young age, for which kids have the opportunity to play lacrosse year round.

Now, thanks to the dedication of three parents, those opportunities continue to grow for Riverhead students.

When Steve Weir and John Roca were coaching a PAL lacrosse team a few years ago, they realized how few opportunities existed for kids. The PAL season ended in mid-spring. And that was it.

“We had some success at PAL,” said Weir, who has a son and daughter who play lacrosse. “We were beating teams and the kids were doing good and we wanted to continue it. And we had parents asking us, ‘What’s next?’ ”

Three years ago, Weir, Roca and Andrew Fitzpatrick — all of whom have children in the district — formed Riverhead Athletics, Inc., an organization dedicated to forming and funding travel lacrosse teams specifically for Riverhead students. It started with just one team.

Now the organization features a varsity boys team, a JV boys team, a rising 7th-grade boys team and a girls team for seventh- to ninth-graders. Plans are in place for a varsity girls team and an additional boys team for next year.

“As we’ve been expanding this each year, it’s just gotten better and better,” said Riverhead boys varsity coach Vic Guadagnino. “Now the kids are looking forward to it. It’s not work anymore.”

Guadagnino coaches the boys varsity team, giving him valuable time to work with the athletes during the offseason. Other coaches in the Riverhead program volunteer to coach some of the teams as well.

The travel teams can play year round, from fall tournaments to winter leagues to summer tournaments. In the fall, Riverhead will play in Shoreham-Wading River’s Fall Classic, a tournament that attracts teams from across the Northeast and hundreds of college coaches. This past summer the varsity team of 24 boys competed in tournaments at Stony Brook, Hofstra, Maryland and Syracuse.

“It went well,” Guadagnino said. “We went 10-5-1 this summer so it was pretty successful for us with everybody playing. All the guys did well and new guys adapted to the system.”

The tournaments are prime opportunities for college coaches to notice players. That already happened for Riverhead’s Blake Carrara. While only heading into his sophomore year, Carrara verbally committed to attend powerhouse University of Maryland.

A defenseman, Carrara had the job of covering an opposing team’s top midfielder last spring as a freshman on varsity.

Guadagnino said Carrara’s performance during the Long Island Lacrosse Showcase, when he played on a rising sophomore team, jumped out at college coaches.

“The tryout and the game he was unbelievable,” Guadagnino said. “From that he went to the Maverick Showcase Tournament and dominated at that. It went from some [college] attention, to wow, this kid can play.”

It quickly evolved into a whirlwind recruiting tour. In one 19-hour day, Carrara visited Virginia, Maryland and Loyola.

“I became almost like his secretary,” Guadagnino said.

Carrara chose to commit to Maryland, although it’s a non-binding agreement and he can’t officially sign a National Letter of Intent until November 2015.

Weir’s son Ben played on the varsity as a freshman last year, as did Fitzpatrick’s son, Austin.

“Blake is one of those kids who hits the field and he just gets it done,” Weir said.

One of the biggest advantages of Riverhead’s travel program, Weir said, is the mitigated cost. Through fundraising, and generous donations from a few big sponsors, the cost of playing on the teams is less than most travel teams.

“It can be a burden for parents,” Weir said. “But we’ve been able to keep the prices way less than these parents would have to pay for a travel team.”

Weir said Farm Credit East donated money for the development of a girls team. Last Friday at Stonewalls Restaurant at Cherry Creek Golf Course, the organization held its second golf outing. More than 160 people attended, Weir said, to help raise funds to support the lacrosse teams.

“All the other fundraising we do is just knocking on doors,” Weir said.

The Blue Waves will soon be knocking on doors on the field now, too.

joew@timesreview.com

05/04/13 2:58pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead PAL coach Chris Kielbasa with the fifth/six grade lacrosse team who played Middle Country Saturday morning.

Nearly 700 lacrosse players, from kindergarten to eighth graders, coaches and spectators were spread over the Riverhead School District athletic fields stretching rom Pulaski Street Elementary School to Riverhead High School for the first-time fundraiser ‘Lax for a Smile’ Saturday morning. The all-day event featured girls and boys teams playing 22 games to raise money for gel-candle burn victim Michael Hubbard and his mother Nancy Reyer. One-hundred percent of the money raised goes to them.

Michael Hubbard in April. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Reyer)

Michael Hubbard in April. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Reyer)

Leading up the effort was long-time Riverhead PAL coach Ed Lucas.”It is great to teach the kids about giving back to the community. If next year there is another worthy candidate we have the entity in place. If not we will do it for Michael again.” He went on the say that the name came from the fact that since Michael is disabled from his injuries he continues to flash his beautiful smile every time his mother asks for it.

Nick Bartolomeo, president of East End Marketing, which operates a dozen Valero gas stations within 10 miles of Riverhead, donated the ‘Lax for a Smile’ t-shirts that were given to all the players who participated. All proceeds from the concession stands, Chinese auction and Mother’s Day flower sales amounted to almost $10,000 by the end of the day Saturday.

04/24/13 8:00pm
04/24/2013 8:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Ryan Bitzer fires a shot in a game last season. The varsity team’s Senior Day will cap off the May 4 fundraiser ‘Lax for a Smile.’

LACROSSE: ‘Lax for a Smile’ Boys and girls PAL teams and Riverhead’s varsity teams will be involved in a lacrosse fund-raiser, “Lax for a Smile,” on May 4 at the Pulaski Street School fields. The event will raise funds for Michael Hubbard, a boy who was critically burned about one and a half years ago. It will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will finish with Riverhead’s boys varsity lacrosse team playing its Senior Day game against North Babylon.

PAL FOOTBALL: Registration info The Riverhead Police Athletic League is accepting registrations for football players ages 7 through 12 and cheerleaders who are grades 2 through 6 for the 2013 season. To register by mail, go to www.townofriverheadny.gov, Local Links, Hot Links, go to Juvenile Aid Bureau, drag the side bar down to Registrations, print the necessary forms and mail to the PAL office. Forms are also located at the PAL office at 210 Howell Avenue in Riverhead. The registration deadline is tomorrow.

FISHING: Flounder season opens May 1 The recreational fishing season for summer flounder will open May 1 and remain open through Sept. 29, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday. The flounder size limit is 19 inches and there is a four-fish bag limit. Anglers are reminded to register with the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, which is required for fishing in the Marine and Coastal District. No fee is required.

New York was faced with a shorter season or increased size limits for 2013 due to federal landings data for 2012. The DEC said it worked with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in January to avoid restrictions that would have reduced the length of the season and increased the size limit which the DEC determined was unnecessary given the healthy condition of the stock. Several of the east coast states underharvested their quotas in 2012, which allowed them to catch more fish in 2013.

Through a change spearheaded by the DEC to the ASMFC Fisheries Management Plan, these states agreed to share some of their unharvested fish with New York and New Jersey in 2013. This change was approved by the ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Board recently.

“The improvements to fluke fishing is good news for New York anglers and the saltwater fishing industry who have been shortchanged for many years by an inadequate quota relative to the size of the fishery in New York,” the DEC commissioner, Joe Martens, said in a press release. “These are the same anglers who are struggling to get back on their feet after the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. DEC will work with a subcommittee of key states and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to find a long-term solution to the inequity New York fishermen have faced for over a decade with fluke management.”

The black sea bass fishing season will run from July 10 to Dec. 31, with a 13-inch minimum size and an eight-fish bag limit. These limits are better than previously thought since all states were originally required to take a 32-percent reduction in 2013 harvest, but an analysis of new data shows that only a 24-percent reduction is needed.

The scup (porgy) fishing season will also see an improvement for 2013 with a 10-inch minimum size, 30-fish bag limit and a season from May 1 to Dec. 31 for all anglers. Party and charter boats will have a bonus of a 45-fish bag limit from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

03/07/13 8:00pm
03/07/2013 8:00 PM

WESTERN CONNECTICUT ATHLETICS PHOTO | Jackie Zilnicki of Riverhead was named to the 2013 Little East All-Conference Team.

COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Zilnicki on defensive team Jackie Zilnicki of Riverhead is one of four Western Connecticut State University players who have been named to the 2013 Little East All-Conference Team. Zilnicki joined teammate Sha’Quira Palmer on the All-Defensive Team. Zilnicki, a 5-foot-8 senior guard, averaged 11.3 points and a team-high (along with Carly Murphy) 5.6 rebounds while leading the team with 41 steals.

Western Connecticut finished with an overall record of 19-8, one victory shy of the program’s fifth 20-win season in the past six years.

SUNY ONEONTA ATHLETICS PHOTO | Daniel Stern tallied eight points in a win over Southwestern University.

COLLEGE MEN’S LACROSSE: Stern gets 4 goals, 4 assists Daniel Stern, a junior from Shoreham, led the charge and finished the day with four goals and four assists for SUNY/Oneonta (1-1) in a 12-3 defeat of Southwestern University on Feb. 23. Oneonta outshot Southwestern, 42-26, and picked up 32 more ground balls (56-24). In Oneonta’s opening game of the season, a 17-6 loss to Whittier College, Oneonta started out strong, going up 2-0 on goals by James Reiser and Anthony Laureano, both off Stern assists, before Whittier tied it up by the end of the first period. The second period started much like the first as Stern put the Red Dragons on the board again. Whittier then went on an 8-0 burst to take the lead and never looked back.