Monday Briefing: A weekend that transcended sports

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | The Long Island champion Blue Waves are celebrated Sunday on Main Street.

Riverhead at it’s best.

That’s what was on display Sunday — along with the Riverhead girls basketball team — at a parade down Main Street celebrating the team as Long Island champions.

It was a first L.I. championship in Riverhead High School history for the girls team. I imagine the ticker tape-type parade was a first as well.

Sunday’s parade was a prime example of what makes this one of the most unique town and one of the most special communities on Long Island.

Having lived in two western Suffolk towns, which were great in their own rights and had great people, there was a big disconnect when it came to what was going on in the schools, and say, what was going on at Starbucks, or the deli or Target or the supermarket.

Not here. Here, the girls’ basketball team was the talk of the town. They still are.

And as long as the team’s current players live here, or come back to visit from school or wherever else, they will always be recognized for their historic season — and how they boosted the spirits of a small town in the winter of 2012.

• Congratulations also to Riverhead Little League on its 60th anniversary, which was marked Saturday at the league’s opening day ceremonies. Hundreds of players, coaches and parents gathered in Stotzky Park during a sunny yet brisk day to kick off another season, and to celebrate the leagues past.

To make the event extra special, league officials brought in Mets legend Mookie Wilson, as well as the Long Island Ducks mascot, Quack Erjack, for the little ones who might not have fully appreciated the unique talents of the man in the black jackets and jeans who once wore blue and orange.

Check back at or pick up the newspapaer — on stands now — for a story on the history of the league and its people.

• The Shoreham-Wading River community held its fourth annual LAX-out Cancer event at the high school. The event, which is growing annually in popularity, featured a non-league rematch of last year’s boys Long Island championship game between Shoreham-Wading River and Garden City.
The event drew hundreds of people and also featured plenty of pink, with the Wildcats team wearing pink uniforms. Organizers hoped to raise as much as $30,000 in donations to help fight cancer.The idea for the fundraiser came in 2007 after the Wildcats had won a state championship. The team had planned a ring ceremony around Thanksgiving to celebrate the achievement. A few days before the ceremony, a player lost his father to cancer.

Last year the Wildcats honored Liam McGuire, who was 7 at the time and battling chromosomal leukemia. McGuire was an honorary captain for the Wildcats last season. Twenty-five percent of donations from this year’s event were going to the McGuire family.

The remaining 75 percent will be evenly divided among three cancer research foundations.