05/07/15 4:00pm
05/07/2015 4:00 PM
Riverhead senior Cody Weiss will play golf at SUNY/Oswego. He was joined for a ceremony by his mother Doreen and athletic director Bill Groth (standing, left), golf coach Steve Failla and high school principal Charles Regan. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

Riverhead senior Cody Weiss will play golf at SUNY/Oswego. He was joined for a ceremony by his mother Doreen and athletic director Bill Groth (standing, left), golf coach Steve Failla and high school principal Charles Regan. (Credit: Riverhead School District)

As an athlete, Cody Weiss may be best known as a wrestler who became a recent member of the Century Club at Riverhead High School, surpassing 100 career victories. Or perhaps baseball, where he’s a catcher who just helped lead the Blue Waves to a spot in the 2015 playoffs.

It’ll be another sport, however, that Weiss pursues in college: golf.


04/07/15 10:24am
04/07/2015 10:24 AM

Steve Failla thought he was in a rough spot last year when he had only one player on his Riverhead High School girls golf team with any prior playing experience, an issue that was exacerbated by inclement early-season weather that limited the team’s practice time.

“I thought it couldn’t get worse,” he said. “I was wrong.” (more…)

10/28/14 9:17pm
10/28/2014 9:17 PM

When the announcement was made that the Riverhead High School boys golf team had taken third place in the League VII Tournament on Monday, the Blue Waves knew what that meant: They had qualified as a team for the Suffolk County tournament that will be played in May. The excited Blue Waves began exchanging high fives when their coach, Steve Failla, interceded. “I said, ‘Act like you’ve done it before,’ ” he recalled.

To that, the players responded, “Coach, we haven’t.”

Failla wasn’t sure if the Blue Waves had ever competed in the county tournament as a team before, but he knows what it means for his team. (more…)

09/03/14 9:23am
09/03/2014 9:23 AM


Steve Failla has spent every fall since 1984 involved in football, in one way or another. This year, however, marks a break in that pattern, and it’s a reflection of his growing interest in golf.

“Over the last handful of years, golf has become a passion of mine,” he said.

Failla, 40, who has been the Riverhead High School girls golf coach for four years, has taken on the added title of the school’s boys golf coach, succeeding Wade Davey. (more…)

03/27/13 5:00pm
03/27/2013 5:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead junior Kaylee Wells returns as the No. 1 golfer for the Blue Waves.

There’s certainly nothing like experience.

For the first time during his three year-tenure as the Riverhead High School girls golf coach, Steve Failla has four seniors who he can rely on, which makes him quite optimistic entering the season.

“This is the first time we have real experience coming back,” he said. “They’re really committed to what they’re doing.”

Last year’s team won two matches, tying the school record for most wins in a season. The girls golf program is very young, entering only its fifth year this spring.

“We definitely expected to create another record,” Failla said. “I’ll tell you what, we have the potential to be in the mix for the playoffs. That would be a nice way to send our seniors off.”

The Blue Waves will begin their season by hosting Mount Sinai at Cherry Creek Golf Links on Tuesday.

While the seniors are the backbone of this team, the No. 1 golfer is a junior, Kaylee Wells, who has been the top seed for three consecutive seasons.

“She works very hard,” Failla said. “She’s strong off the tee. She always keeps it on the fairway. Very consistent.”

Consistency will be the key for the Blue Waves, and that’s where four seniors — Kathryn Brophy, Corey Giannuzzi, Rebecca Merker and Carina Oliva — come in.

Failla said that Brophy and Giannuzzi “have worked very hard this off-season. I have high expectations for them. They spent a lot of time on the driving range and chipping for their short game.”

Merker, who missed last season because of injury, has something to prove this spring.

“She was real upset last year because she couldn’t play,” Failla said. “She had to work hard to get back into playing shape, and I hope she goes on to help us this year.”

Another senior, Oliva, has shown much promise in the preseason.

“She has been very inconsistent in years past, kind of like the rest of us, but she’s shown more consistency this season,” said Failla.

Failla’s optimism doesn’t stop with the seniors. Three relative newcomers have given him a reason or two to smile.

Junior Oliva Serpico, a field hockey player, is playing golf for the first time this spring.

“She never saw a golf club until three months ago,” Failla said. “She’s going to make a push to start this year. She takes that competitive fire she demonstrates on the field hockey field and brings it to her golf game. She’s motivated.”

Eighth grader Abygale Brophy, the younger sister of Kathryn, also is making a push to start. “She has all the tools to become a great golfer,” Failla said. “She has to become more consistent. She has a bright future in the sport.”

Failla noted that the Brophy’s father “is a very good golfer. So they’re getting outstanding coaching at home as well.”

Junior Jill Zaremba, who is playing golf in her second year, “already has improved greatly,” he said.

Another junior, Karyn Torre, is expected to miss the season due to injuries she sustained in a recent ski accident.