07/13/15 3:36pm
07/13/2015 3:36 PM

Despite not being a fan of a wake-up alarm going off at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning (or any morning, for that matter), I really didn’t mind too much this past Sunday.

The assignment necessitating the really early start was the Mighty North Fork Sprint Triathlon, which is neat to cover because it is so different from most of the other sports we chronicle on these pages. So, in order to be at Cedar Beach County Park in Southold well in time for the 6:50 a.m. start, it meant being on the road by 5:30 a.m., with pens, notebook and a digital recorder in hand, ready to hunt for an interesting story.  (more…)

07/06/15 6:42pm
07/06/2015 6:42 PM

SPORTS DESK/Bob Liepa

A surge of patriotic fervor swept through me on Sunday. Sure, it was the day after the Fourth of July holiday, but that wasn’t the reason for it. What caused the red, white and blue of my fiber to tingle with pride was, would you believe it, a 40-second video.

Before the start of the Women’s World Cup final between Japan and the United States on Sunday evening, I checked out a short video that someone had evidently shot from a hotel room high above as American fans marched, apparently toward BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the game. Clad in red, white and blue behind a large banner for the American Outlaws, a supporters group for United States soccer, this spirited band of fans had made its presence known. Chanting loudly, with whistles and horns blowing and drums banging, they made it clear that the United States women’s team wasn’t alone on this quest.

Americans for America. You have to love that.

(more…)

03/23/15 10:00am
03/23/2015 10:00 AM
Dave Gruner, 74, of Jamesport strung together game scores of 278, 254 and 289 for an 821 series at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead on March 12. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Dave Gruner, 74, of Jamesport strung together game scores of 278, 254 and 289 for an 821 series at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead on March 12. (Credit: Garret Meade)

SPORTS DESK/Bob Liepa

In bowling, 300 is unquestionably the sexy number. Dropping down 300 pins in one game is perfection.

Even so, other numbers can be more desirable and more appreciated.

Meet Mr. 800. Well, Mr. 821, to be exact. (more…)

01/04/15 12:00pm
01/04/2015 12:00 PM
Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella goes over instructions with the Blue Waves at practice. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella and his team at a practice earlier this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

The best in people can emerge during trying times.

I have known Dave Spinella for a dozen years or so. I have seen him develop players, make them better, prepare them for the varsity level and assemble winning girls basketball teams for Riverhead High School. I have seen him win the right way, with class. I have seen him handle defeat with dignity.

And yet, for all he has done as a coach on the basketball court, Spinella’s shining moment, for me, came the day after Christmas when he issued a public apology for making public comments critical of his team following a loss. (more…)

12/31/14 10:00am
12/31/2014 10:00 AM

With a left turn, we were on Davis Street in Oceanside, and I had taken a drive back three decades in time.

I was with my sisters and others in a car that had stopped at an intersection on Davis Street, where my family had lived for a good chunk of my childhood. While others stared to the right, my eyes kept scanning, searching for the house we used to live in before we moved to East Meadow in 1979. Then, one of my sisters pointed me in the right direction. “There,” she said, “that’s the house we used to live in.” (more…)

10/10/14 8:00am
10/10/2014 8:00 AM
A candlelit tribute to Tom Cutinella made during a vigil at the Shoreham-Wading River football field last Thursday. (Credit: Thomas Baker)

A candlelit tribute to Tom Cutinella made during a vigil at the Shoreham-Wading River football field last Thursday. (Credit: Thomas Baker)

Football, a sport that has been as bruised and battered as some of its players sometimes, has taken hit after hit in recent years. In the NFL, we have seen Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson involved in domestic abuse and child abuse cases, respectively. The commissioner, Roger Goodell, has come under fire for his handling — or mishandling — of the Rice case. The danger of concussions hangs over the sport like a sword of Damocles. College football has had its own misdeeds, scandals and problems.  (more…)