Monday Briefing: Get ready for the 20 Greatest Athletes

We finalized our list of the 20 Greatest Athletes in area history today and I couldn’t be more happy with the results.

Look out for  No. 20, which we will publish online July 29 ( a previous report incorrectly stated the series will begin July 20).

We will then unveil a new athlete each day, culminating with the “Greatest Athlete” in area history, who will be announced August 17.

In order to be eligible for the list an athlete must have spent a portion of his or her formative years living in our coverage area, spanning east from Coram and Mount Sinai across the North Fork to Orient and Shelter Island. Participants in all sports were up for consideration, from baseball and basketball players to those who have participated in water and motorsports.

Athletes were considered based on their overall body of work, not just based on how they did when they played locally.

While we’re keeping the list top secret, here are a few facts and figures that will let you know some of what you are in store for:

The athletes on the list attended 10 different high schools, so we have a good mix from each of our coverage areas. The school represented with the most athletes had four make the final cut.

Seven female athletes made the list.

Of the athletes on the list, about half reached the highest level of their respective sport.

We hope you enjoy the stories and the sidebars that will be published with them. It should serve as a great history lesson.

• Our thoughts this week are with Corporal Alfred Grossklaus Jr., a Marine from Aquebogue who was wounded in Afghanistan June 26 and is recovering at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. Family members have said he is expected to make a full recovery.

• I went camping this weekend for the first time in more than 10 years. You know the game has changed when you find yourself watching streaming Netflix on your iPhone during a thunderstorm. The days of telling ghost stories are over.

• Reporter Jennifer Gustavson wrote an interesting story Friday about a local connection to the Casey Anthony case. After reading the story, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the guy, who will forever be linked to this horrible case.

• Sex offenders popped up in the news on two of our sites this past week in a pair of particularly disturbing stories. You can read them here and here. I’ve always felt sort of conflicted in having to report these stories. After all, these sex offenders are men who are out of jail and they are supposed to be trying to get their lives back together. But when you look at the sex offender registry and see some of the crimes they’ve committed, you’re left wondering why they were ever released from prison at all.