11/01/14 5:34pm
11/01/2014 5:34 PM
McGann-Mercy quarterback KJ Santacroce lets go a pass as running back Reggie Archer blocks in front. (Credit: Bill Landon)

McGann-Mercy quarterback KJ Santacroce lets go a pass as running back Reggie Archer blocks in front. (Credit: Bill Landon)

KNIGHTS 48, MONARCHS 13

No more than a handful of plays into Saturday afternoon’s game, the pristine white road uniforms of McGann-Mercy High School were stained muddy brown.

The pounding rain, accompanied by gusts of wind, made for one sloppy day for football at John Glenn High School.  (more…)

10/31/14 8:49pm
10/31/2014 8:49 PM
The Class B county champion Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country team. Pictured are (from left) coach Paul Koretzki, Francesca Lilly, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays, Katherine Lee, Amanda Dwyer, Payton Capes-Davis and Lexie Smith. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

The Class B county champion Shoreham-Wading River girls cross country team. Pictured are (from left) coach Paul Koretzki, Francesca Lilly, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, Alexandra Hays, Katherine Lee, Amanda Dwyer, Payton Capes-Davis and Lexie Smith. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

On a chilly day at Sunken Meadow State Park Friday, in temperatures ideal for cross country runners, the best of Suffolk County high schools vied for a chance to represent the section at the state competition next week.

The Shoreham-Wading River girls came into the meet with high expectations after winning the Section XI Division Championships Oct. 21.

The girls didn’t disappoint. (more…)

10/25/14 7:05pm
10/25/2014 7:05 PM
Dayna Young scored both of Mercy's goals in Saturday's playoff loss at Mattituck. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Dayna Young scored both of Mercy’s goals in Saturday’s playoff loss at Mattituck. (Credit: Garret Meade)

CLASS B PLAYOFFS  |  TUCKERS 3, MONARCHS 2

Mattituck coach Malynda Nichol presented freshman Jane DiGregorio two options early this season.

One would be to stay on the junior varsity, where as a quick, talented forward, she would undoubtedly score plenty of goals. The second option was to join the varsity, where her playing time would be limited, but she could experience the big club.  (more…)

10/24/14 1:00pm
10/24/2014 1:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River senior Mackenzie Roberts looks for a shot against Southampton Monday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

Shoreham-Wading River senior Mackenzie Roberts looks for a shot against Southampton Monday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

After an unbeaten regular season, the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team will open the 2014 playoffs as the No. 2 seed in Class A, according to the brackets released by Section XI today.  (more…)

10/21/14 7:00pm
10/21/2014 7:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee ran the fastest time at Tuesday's division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River freshman Katherine Lee ran the fastest time at Tuesday’s division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

All around her, the congratulations came pouring in for the Shoreham-Wading River freshman.

“I love you!” said one competitor from McGann-Mercy. “Even though you don’t know me…”

Katherine Lee, who first came up to varsity as a seventh grader during winter track at Shoreham, found herself in the spotlight Tuesday afternoon after running a personal best time in the Section XI Division Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. (more…)

09/22/14 5:50pm
09/22/2014 5:50 PM

McGann-Mercy’s former athletic director Paul Mastronardi resigned last week. (The Press News Group/Kerry Monaco photo)

Problems routinely cross an athletic director’s desk. Putting out fires are part of the job.

Paul Mastronardi resigned last week as the athletic director at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, and joked that he may have done more firefighting in that capacity than he has done as a firefighter for the New York City Fire Department.

Despite some turbulence in the form of coaching changes as the McGann-Mercy athletic program sought to reach a higher level of accomplishment, Mr. Mastronardi’s short stay at the private Catholic school in Riverhead came to an end last week in an amicable fashion, he said. Mr. Mastronardi said he resigned after nine months on the job in order to return to his passion: coaching football.

Mr. Mastronardi, in a 22-minute phone interview with The Riverhead News-Review on Monday afternoon, said he is following his heart. “I’m a football coach,” he said.

Mr. Mastronardi, said he has received “many offers” to return to coaching, which he had done for 25 years prior to his role as the McGann-Mercy A.D., though no particular schools were mentioned. He was the Eastport/South Manor High School coach before taking on his first job in athletic administration at McGann-Mercy.

Before his position at Eastport, Mr. Mastronardi coached two years at South Side High School, compiling a 3-13 record. The school opted to not bring him back in 2011, according to an article in the Long Island Herald. He then compiled an 11-14 record over three seasons at Eastport, including a 7-1 regular season in 2013.

Mr. Mastronardi took over the McGann-Mercy job after his predecessor, John Lonardo, resigned to pursue a private business opportunity. His arrival coincided with what was heralded as the school’s new vision for a stronger athletic program, which in turn would be expected to help boost student enrollment and course offerings at the school.

“This is an attempt to bring the school to a new level of excellence,” McGan-Mercy principal Carl Semmler said at a parents-only meeting in February, during which details of the changes were discussed.

But many parents at the time — one of whom leaked audio from the February meeting to The Riverhead News-Review — were already outraged at one of Mr. Mastronardi’s first decisions: not to re-hire football coach Jeff Doroski. In June, former NFL quarterback Michael Buck was tapped for the role.

Other coaching changes included the resignation of varsity baseball coach Ed Meier and the replacement of the girls’ varsity basketball coach, Brian Babst, and the girls’ varsity soccer coach, Meaghan Macarthur. Mr. Doroski, Mr. Meier, and Ms. Macarthur had all attended Mercy as students themselves.

Asked if resigning had been marinating in his mind for a while, Mastronardi said: “You know when it really hit? When people started playing games.”

The start of the current football season — Mercy’s opening game was 10 days ago — apparently rekindled Mastronardi’s desire to be on the sideline again with a clipboard and a whistle. He said it really hit him when he watched his former Eastport/South Manor team play its season-opening game against Miller Place.

Mastronardi, who lives in Westhampton Beach, spoke highly of his time at McGann-Mercy, where he oversaw many teams, from crew to cheerleading. He said the school has made financial commitments to improve its athletic facilities with a new softball field, a new state-of-the-art trainer’s room and a nearly completed strength training facility that will cover almost 4,000 square feet.

“I think it’s a wonderful school; it’s a wonderful community,” he said. “The children are absolutely wonderful human beings. It was certainly a wonderful experience for me …  It’s all good. I have nothing but positive things to say about Mercy.”

A reporter who called Mr. Semmler’s office was told he was not available and was referred to a school publicist, who received an email request for answers about the future of the athletic director position.

The following statement was released on behalf of Mr. Semmler: “Paul Mastronardi has decided to resign as our Athletic Director. During his time here we have made significant strides in the athletic vision at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School. We will continue to foster a plan that is aggressive yet also fits into the school culture.”

An automated message to parents from Mr. Semmler noted that “all future concerns about athletics for the time being should be sent to Melissa Edwards,” who was hired earlier this year in the athletic department.

Asked if he saw himself getting back into athletic administration, Mr. Mastronardi replied, “Absolutely not. Unequivocally not.”

06/10/14 12:00pm
06/10/2014 12:00 PM
McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter crosses the finish line first in the 4 x 100 heat at Friday's state championship. (Credit: Hal Henty)

McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter crosses the finish line first in the 4 x 100 heat at Friday’s state championship. (Credit: Hal Henty)

Ten local athletes competed at the track and field New York State Championships last weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Two earned all-state honors: Riverhead senior Charles Villa in the pole vault and Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia in the 3,200 and 1,600. (more…)

06/07/14 5:00pm
06/07/2014 5:00 PM
McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill crosses the finish line after running the 1,500 Saturday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill crosses the finish line after running the 1,500 Saturday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

When Meg Tuhill arrived in Cicero, N.Y. for the New York State Championships, her focus centered on her first event: the 800-meter run.

Competing in two events at a state meet can be daunting enough for any runner, let alone a sophomore.  (more…)