11/19/13 5:00pm
11/19/2013 5:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River interim athletic director Bill Denniston introduces girls lacrosse players (from left) Courtney Rich, Victoria Logan and Shannon Rosati.

Year after year, the Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse programs funnel athletes into college. This year is no different.

Nine Shoreham lacrosse players — six boys, three girls — signed National Letters of Intent during the Early Signing Period to continue playing their sport in college next year. The nine students were honored at a signing ceremony at the high school library Nov. 13.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River tennis coach Debbie Lutjen introduces Aimee Manfredo, who signed with Bradley University.

It wasn’t just lacrosse, though. Senior Aimee Manfredo was honored for signing with Bradley University to play tennis. Manfredo finished fourth in the state singles tournament this fall, the highest finish for a Shoreham tennis player in more than a decade.

The three girls who signed for lacrosse were: Shannon Rosati (Ohio State), Courtney Rich (Kennesaw State) and Victoria Logan (Mercy). The six boys were: Tyler Anderson (Stony Brook), Hunter Hayes (Seton Hill), Anthony Visintin (Saint Leo), Thomas Tatarian (Saint Leo), Michael Loscalzo (Navy Academy) and Brett Friedman (Dowling).

Manfredo is coming off a season in which she won her third consecutive Division IV title and her first county singles title. She was undefeated this season until losing in the semifinals of the state tournament.

Shoreham coach Debbie Lutjen noted how unlike in other sports, there are no divisions or classifications in tennis. So to finish fourth in the state is to truly be one of the top players.

Manfredo joined the varsity as a seventh-grader and played first singles her entire career, finishing with an 89-21 record.

“As a team captain Aimee is a leader and role model for the younger players on our team,” Lutjen said. “Having Aimee on the team is like having an assistant coach.”

At Bradley, Manfredo will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, which Lutjen noted is the same conference she played in when she attended Southern Illinois University.

“I’m proud of her and I wish her the best of luck,” Lutjen said.

In lacrosse, Rosati has been a vital part of the Wildcats’ midfield over the past three years, where she’s used her speed to be a dynamic two-way player.

“Her competitiveness is unmatched, and her ability to perform at a high level while maintaining her shot and speed is not something you see in many players,” lacrosse coach Mary Bergmann said in a statement read by interim athletic director Bill Denniston.

Rich will enter this season playing attack for the Wildcats.

“She has worked hard to have a great shot and has a great ability to find corners and the back of the net,” Bergmann said.

Logan also plays attack. Bergmann said Logan has great field vision and is an unselfish player.

“Mercy College will be gaining a player who is always willing to improve her game, while being an unselfish teammate,” Bergmann said.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse players: Brett Friedman, Michael Loscalzo, Hunter Hayes, Anthony Visintin, Thomas Tatarian and Tyler Anderson.

Boys lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, who will not be rehired for this upcoming season, spoke about each of the six players who signed.

“It’s a great time and it’s also a sad time,” Rotanz said. “I’ve been with them since they were little munchkins, and now they’ve become very impressive young men. I’m very proud of their accomplishments and where they’re headed.”

Friedman plays defense for Shoreham and “no one is tougher on the field,” Rotanz said. If Friedman was 6-foot-3, Rotanz said, he’d be in the NFL.

Hayes was one of the top scorers for Shoreham last year during the Wildcats’ Long Island championship season. He scored 63 goals and was an all-county selection.

Loscalzo is a face-off specialist for Shoreham. As a sophomore he stepped in during the state championship game for an injured player and excelled on the face-offs to help Shoreham win the state title.

Visintin played midfield and attack for Shoreham last year. Tatarian, a goalkeeper, will join Visintin at Saint Leo. Rotanz said Tatarian should anchor the defense this year.

When Tatarian was in ninth grade, Rotanz said, he made saves that wowed his coach.

“I said that was like Stevie Wonder making that save, because I just didn’t know how he saw it,” Rotanz said. “He looked at me and I said, you have no idea who Stevie Wonder is, do you? He said, ‘Is he like a superhero?’ ”

Anderson has been an all-county player for Shoreham on defense. Rotanz said Anderson has exceptional speed for his size.

“It’s not normal for someone that big and strong,” Rotanz said.

The Early Signing Period ended Wednesday. Athletes can sign Letters of Intent for most sports again beginning April 16.

joew@timesreview.com

11/30/12 1:09pm
11/30/2012 1:09 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Four members of the Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse team signed Letters of Intent, including (from left) Tim Rotanz, Ryan Stern, Alex Houlihan and Jake Kavanagh. Seven girls lacrosse players signed letters of intent, including Paulina Constant, Lauren Lustgarten, Alyssa Pearce, Alex Fehmel, Meredith Bushell, Jessica Angerman and Clare Blomberg. Chelsea Hawks (second from the right) signed to play softball.

After winning a pair of state championships in June, the Shoreham-Wading River boys and girls lacrosse teams had a total of 11 athletes sign letters of intent during the early signing period this month.

Shoreham senior Tim Rotanz signed with the University of Maryland after verbally committing to the longtime lacrosse powerhouse a year earlier. Rotanz, son of lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, is the school’s all-time leader in career points with another season still to play.

As a sophomore Rotanz tallied a Long Island-best 110 points and followed that with a 91-point season last year in leading the Wildcats to the state title. He scored five goals with two assists in the championship game.

By the end of his senior season Rotanz will likely own school records for goals and assists.

Also signing letters of intent from the boys lacrosse team were Alex Houlihan with Southern New Hampshire University, Ryan Stern with LIU Post and Jake Kavanagh with St. Leo’s University.

The girls lacrosse team, after winning its fifth state championship, had seven girls sign to play in college. Last year’s tournament Most Valuable Player Alex Fehmel signed with Fairfield University. Two players signed with Ohio State University: Meredith Bushell and Paulina Constant. Bushell, a defenseman, originally committed to defending national champion Northwestern before deciding on Ohio State. Verbal commitments are non-binding.

Lauren Lustgarten signed with Central Connecticut, Jessica Angerman signed with Michigan, Alyssa Pearce signed with Sacred Heart and Clare Blomberg signed with Merrimack College.

One softball player joined the mix as Chelsea Hawks signed with Molloy College. Hawks has started on the mound for the past three years for Shoreham.

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BILL LANDON PHOTOS

11/23/12 5:00pm
11/23/2012 5:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead baseball player Matt Crohan, joined by his parents Stephanie and Ed, signed a Letter of Intent to join Winthrop University.

When the Riverhead baseball team took the field for Senior Day in the spring of 2011, all but one player in the starting lineup was a senior. On the mound, the Blue Waves handed the ball to Matt Crohan, who happened to be the only sophomore on the varsity team that year.

Crohan, a left-hander with a versatile array of pitches, struck out six that day to earn his first varsity win. It was evident back then that Crohan had the potential to be a dominant pitcher for the Blue Waves and a player who could be throwing meaningful pitches beyond high school.

That dream became a reality when Crohan signed a National Letter of Intent this week to play baseball at Winthrop University, a Division I school in South Carolina.

Crohan was one of five Riverhead students to officially sign letters of intent during the early signing period, which ran Nov. 14-21.

Two students signed for lacrosse: Ryan Bitzer with Stony Brook and Sabina Dorr with St. Francis. Bree Ristau signed with the University of Massachusetts for rowing. And Shanice Allen signed with Pace University for basketball.

The students celebrated with brief ceremonies at the high school, where parents and coaches joined them as they signed on the dotted line.

Crohan, who also plays the outfield for Riverhead, can hit 92 mph on his fastball, coach Rob Maccone said.

“Over and above all his athletic abilities, Matt is a great kid and deserves all the recognition he has gotten and will get in the future,” Maccone said. “I’m really going to miss him.”

Crohan was an all-league player as a sophomore and junior. Last season he led the team in strikeouts and batted a team-high .500. He’s also played for a club team based in Dallas, Texas, and was selected to play on a Yankees and Phillies scout tryout team.

“I’m very excited about playing for Winthrop,” Crohan said. “I really like the coaching staff, the team, which is in a building state, and the college itself. And, the weather in South Carolina is awesome.”

Crohan plans to study business management or marketing.

RIVERHEAD SCHOOLS COURTESY PHOTO | Ryan Bitzer signed to play lacrosse at Stony Brook.

Bitzer may better be known as a quarterback at this time of year, as he leads the Blue Waves into the Division II county championship this weekend. But his college sport is lacrosse and he’ll stick close to home to play for one of the rising programs in Division I.

“I really enjoy lacrosse,” said Bitzer, who’s also a standout basketball player. “It’s very physical and uses a combination of skills. I like that.”

An all-county midfielder last spring, Bitzer was the team MVP while leading the Blue Waves to one of their best seasons in years.

“Ryan is a very talented athlete,” said Riverhead coach Vic Guadagnino. “He does the job in the classroom, on the court and out on the field in multiple sports. Not only is he a great athlete, but he is a very special person who is a pleasure to coach.”

Bitzer plans to major in business.

Dorr has been a standout in the Riverhead lacrosse program since its inception when she was a seventh-grader. A midfielder/attack, Dorr was an all-division player last year and Brine National High School all-America selection.

She scored 30 goals with eight assists last year.

RIVERHEAD SCHOOLS COURTESY PHOTO | Sabina Dorr signed to play lacrosse at St. Francis.

Dorr said St. Francis, while the smallest Division I school, is a perfect fit of her.

“When I visited campus, I immediately like the team, the coaches and the university,” she said.

St. Francis coach Gregg Gebhard is a Long Island native.

“Everyone at St. Francis is committed to giving athletes both a great playing experience and a great education,” Dorr said.

Dorr plans to enter the health sciences program with the hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.

Ristau, who competes with the East End Rowing Team, is the first Riverhead student to sign with a Division I team for rowing.

Last year at the Scholastic Nationals Ristau placed fourth in singles. She was second at the New York Championships. At UMass, Ristau will compete on a nationally ranked team.

RIVERHEAD SCHOOLS COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead senior Bree Ristau will continue her rowing career next year at UMass after signing a letter of intent last week. Her father, Gary, joined her for the signing ceremony along with (standing, from left) rowing coach Michelle Zaloom with her daughter Anna, guidance counselor Chris Martin, assistant principal Charles Regan and superintendent Nancy Carney.

“I feel like I’ll fit in there perfectly,” she said.

Ristau’s coach, Michelle Zaloom, described her as “intense, tough and fearless.”

“She’s just got the right proportions for a good rower,” Zaloom said. “She’s got the arms, legs, shoulders, lungs and stamina she needs. I think she’s got what it takes to excel at UMass and to eventually qualify to row in the Olympics.”

Ristau plans to major in business.

As part of the Blue Waves’ “big three” last year, Shanice Allen helped lead the girls basketball team on a thrilling ride to the state semifinals. Allen was a huge reason for the Blue Waves’ success as the team won the Long Island championship.

Allen has been an all-league player since eighth grade and is a three-time all-county player. During the county championship win against Hauppauge she surpassed 1,000 career points.

She was second-team all-Long Island.

RIVERHEAD SCHOOLS COURTESY PHOTO | Shanice Allen, joined by her parents Kim and Willie, signed to play basketball at Pace.

“She is one of the top players I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said Riverhead coach David Spinella. “She has a quiet confidence and grace, leads by example and is never a problem.”

Allen plays AAU ball throughout the year and Spinella credited coach Greg Flynn for helping Allen gain exposure.

Allen said she’s excited about playing close to home.

“I’m really happy that my mom and dad will be able to come to my games,” she said. “They’ve always been there for me and it will be nice to have them so close.”

Allen plans to major in biology with a goal of becoming an anesthesiologist.

joew@timesreview.com