No. 10 Story of the Year: Riverhead softball’s championship season

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Happy Riverhead players celebrated their team

Editor’s Note: Over the next 10 days the Riverhead News-Review will count down the Top 10 Stories of 2010.

It was 34 years in the waiting, and that made it even sweeter when the Riverhead High School softball team clinched its first league championship since 1976. After the Blue Waves held off the Deer Park Falcons, 7-5, to claim the Suffolk County League IV title with their 13th straight win, a couple of Riverhead players tried to dump a cooler of liquid over their coach, Bob Fox. Fox saw them coming, however, and ran. He managed to deflect the coming onslaught of ice with his left arm.

With a senior-laden team and the strong right arm of senior pitcher Julia Morrow, who threw three no-hitters over the course of the season, the Blue Waves finished up with a 17-4 record. Riverhead entered the Suffolk County Class AA Tournament as the fourth-seeded team, but lost to the No. 13 Centereach Cougars, 2-0, in a first-round game despite 17 strikeouts thrown by Morrow.

Afterward, Riverhead coaches consoled crying players. Fox called it the most emotional loss he has experienced with the team. Still, it was an unforgettable season. “I’m going to have fond memories of this season,” Fox said. “That’s what I try to tell the girls, that’s what you got to remember. You come back 30 years from now, you’re going to have a [championship] banner up on the wall there, and you’re going to be a part of it.”