Going back to the days when she was an eighth-grader and even after that, Alex Kozakiewicz recalls lean years for the Riverhead High School girls golf team. “I’ve seen us lose every match and then I’ve seen us lose every match except one and then every match except two,” said the junior.
Now Kozakiewicz can say she has been a part of the first Riverhead golf team — boys or girls — to win a league championship.
The Riverhead High School girls golf team is going places — most notably to the Section XI Championships.
For the first time in the program’s eight-year history, Riverhead qualified for the Suffolk County tournament that will be played May 16 and 17 at Middle Island Country Club.
Not all of the players who came out for the Riverhead High School girls golf team this year stuck with it. Golf looks easy when watching professionals on television.
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.
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…)
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…)
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…)
So, how is the future looking for the Riverhead High School girls golf team?
Well, for the first time since he took over as coach, Steve Failla had to cut players during tryouts for the team. That’s how good it’s looking. (more…)