By Jeffrey Lerman
The Women’s Basketball season from 2014 into 2015 had a successful track record with one team in particular causing a problem. After getting their feet wet in January, the team had a streak of eight games won in a row up until facing their rival, Sullivan County Community College. This sparked the second loss for the college against Sullivan after losing to them once before in the beginning of February.
“The matchups are a little different. Sullivan plays a little more up tempo and aggressive type of game. The thing is it took us a while to get used to that, about how to break the press and things like that. But, particularly in the second game,” said Kevin Foley, head coach on the Women’s Basketball team.
Foley believed the team had a solid chance at winning the Region 15 Tournament with their key player. Which proved worrisome when their key player or “quarterback” didn’t play. Going into the semi-finals against Sullivan, they were in a difficult situation after their last two losses.
“The girl that we lost in the final game of the season, was our key player. So what happened going into the playoffs, she didn’t play. And we were without, shall I say, our quarterback,” Foley continued. “And even though we didn’t have our quarterback, we were down only eight in the second half. I thought if she was around, we had an outstanding chance to take care of them this time. Because we matured over the course of this season.”
Throughout the Women’s Basketball season, the major teams consisted of Nassau, Sullivan, and Suffolk. They were on the right track after having beaten Nassau twice in a row mid-February. This gave them an advantage by taking down one of the two beasts they were up against.
“Coming into the playoffs, coming down, we beat the number one team. Twice. And the team that won the regional tournament, we beat them twice. The week before we played Sullivan, the last game of the year,” Foley stated referring to Nassau.
Sullivan has been a tough competitor in having an advantage over Suffolk by having dorms. This has given the college the opportunity to bring in students from all around, such as cities like New York City. Foley noted that the Sullivan college had brought in six girls from New York City. This wasn’t a team of players formed from their own community, but rather one they had picked and chosen. Suffolk has not had that same luxury at their disposal.
“The last game of the season, we were up with two minutes and ten seconds to go. We were up two. And then that game went into overtime. So we were pretty even there. We lost one of our better players with two minutes and 13 seconds to go. And we held on until overtime,
we were shall we say up in overtime,” Foley said.
Outside of the Region 15 Tournament, there’s always been a struggle year to year in Foley’s 20 years of coaching the Women’s Basketball team. With the help of Kerry Swanson, associate head coach, they have both had to work with the students that come in annually. From girls leaving and girls coming, without having scholarships to offer, it can be hard not knowing who you’re getting.
“There will be a few girls coming back. It’s a challenge because you never know who is coming back and you never know who is coming in. So the thing is, then you start over and sometimes you go back to ground zero,” Foley stated going forward. “It’s not like at a four-year school where people come in and there’s a system, there’s players there, everything else ahead of them. The difficult challenge is getting continuity from year to year.”
With Foley and his assistant head coach Swanson stepping down this year, there’s a new dynamic coming in to be seen. Foley briefly mentioned the new coach being a gentleman coming in from “one of the local high schools who have had great success.” But, the same problems will still persist with getting that continuity for a great team.
“It serves a challenge from year to year, because even kids who are here for you sometimes transfer. Sometimes because of economic reasons they go to work. And there’s all different types of dynamics that go on,” Foley mentioned.
The Sharks may have lost the season 15-6, ending at the Region 15 Tournament Semi-Final, but that doesn’t stop Foley from seeing how significant this team is,
“Three years ago we were the number two team in the country, at this level. Across the country for having the best athletic programs. Last year we came in sixth. In terms of division 3 opportunities and division 3’s excellence, we aren’t usually in the top five in the whole country. Right around there. Which is a pretty nice acknowledgment to the school and to the kids who participate.”
By Jim Ferchland
The Suffolk County Community College Clippers and the Bronx Community College Broncos faced off in a doubleheader on Saturday, May 3 at the Ammerman Campus. The Clippers were victorious the first game 10-5. SCCC entered the game with a record of 19-9 and BCC entered 9-20. It was a must-win for the Bronx because a victory punched their ticket in to the playoffs. It’s the last game of the season for both teams. If SCCC wins, they would play Queensborough in the playoffs, and if BCC wins, they would play SCCC again in the first round. The Clippers have been on an absolute tear winning 15 of their last 16. They finished the season remaining perfect on the road(11-0). Baseball podcast
Jorge Ruiz, parent of Clippers’ second basemen, Jorge Ruiz, explained the significance and dominance of this year’s team and what their goal is. “The team has had a lot of success this season”, Ruiz said. “We beat everybody here and we are hoping to get to Texas where the best teams play”.
Pitching for the Bronx was right-hander Lutty Santiago who pitched a complete game for the Broncos. He pitched all seven innings, allowed up five runs, gave up nine hits, struck out four, and had two walks. However, the Clippers’ bullpen was struggling giving up ten runs overall and utilizing three pitchers.
Pitching for the Clippers was starting right-hander Dillon Burke who really had truble facing the Broncos’ hot bats. He only pitched 1 and 2/3 innings, gave up seven hits, allowed six runs, and only struck out one batter. Substituted in the 2nd inning was left-handed Richard Motta, who pitched 2 and 2/3 innings, gave up three runs, struck out three, but had trouble getting the ball over the point and allowed four walks. The last pitcher to substitute for the Clippers’ was right-hander,Ryan Dollop, who completed the rest of the game and stopped the bleeding for SCCC. He struck out five, allowed three hits, and gave up one run.
Victor Leroux started the enormous run support for the Broncos in the second inning where they would score six runs. He hit a a two-run double over the center fielder’s(Travis George) head which gave the Broncos a 2-0 advantage. After Leroux, Franyi Santana hit an RBI single between thrid and short increasing the lead to 3-0. For more insurance runs, Broncos Daniel Rojas received a two run infield single on an error by Clippers second baseman, Jorge Ruiz, which stretched the deficit to 5-0. The final run in the inning was accredited by Jose Marte, who nailed the ball down the third base line receiving an RBI double as the Broncos concluded on a monster six run inning.
SCCC’s head coach, Glen Brown, was still confident in his team and he urged his team to get it together, by stating,”we are more than capable of coming back, we need to stop fooling around,” Brown exclaimed to his team in the middle half of the fourth inning.
It seemed to only get worse at the moment for the Clippers as they allowed three more runs in the top of the fourth which mostly came off of walks and a wild pitch by Richard Motta. Motta was pulled that inning and replaced by Ryan Dollop.
As SCCC was trailing 9-0 in the top of the 5th, Clippers scorekeeper and stat manager, Sam Egan, urged the team that they could get mercied. “This would probably be our worst loss of the season,” Egan said. We would hate to close out the season like this”.
In the bottom of the 5th, the Clippers bats began to heat up and rallied a five run inning. Clippers Tyler Bell, roped a 2-run double to right center which got the Clippers on the board 9-2. Next up bat, was pitcher Ryan Dollop who hit an infield single directed to second base. Dollop, then steals second which brought Bell to score which made it 9-3. Next at bat, was shortstop, Shawn Blasberg, who drove in Dollop on a bloop single to right field which made the score 9-4. To conclude to rally, catcher, Michael Hewson, hit a bloop single to center which drove in Blasberg to make the score 9-5.
The Broncos still had one run left in them as third basemen, Daniel Rojas, hit an RBI single to left and pushed the lead to 10-5. Clippers could not capitalize and make another big rally as the Suffolk County College Clippers fall short 10-5 to Bronx Community College Broncos.
Head Coach Glen Brown, addressed his team in the huddle in left field reminding them on how far they have come to get to this point, the playoffs. “We have come a long way”, Brown said after the game. Kudos to us. We started off the season 0-6 and finished 17-3 in our region. We finished the season 19-10. Im proud of my guys but kudos to the Bronx for playing a great game”.
Every person on every bleacher stands up to the sound of the buzzer, their arms raised and their mouths open as a chorus of shouts erupts from all sides of the court. The ball goes up and the clock hits zero. It bounces off the rim, spirits drop and then quickly raise again, the balls lands through the basket.
There are shouts of joy and of awe, and then to only be replaced by confusion. The ball had bounced off the rim and struck the pipes holding the basket, the shot did not count. As the dust settled, several players of the Suffolk team, angry at what they saw as a hard played game with some technical details not going in their favor, left the court without shaking hands. Nassau Community College won against Suffolk 55 to 54.
The Brookhaven Gymnasium became home to both Men’s and Women’s teams from as close as Nassau County Community College to as far away as Sullivan County Community College all the way up in Loch Sheldrake, NY. All came to participate in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball tournament that took place over the three-day period from Fri, Feb. 28 to Sun, Mar. 2.
Suffolk’s Sharks teams gave good performances, but were ultimately beaten out with the Men’s team falling to Nassau with an extremely close game in the semi-finals and the Women’s team loosing to Sullivan 62 to 46.
“(The Men’s Team) lost a tough tough game. It lead to a heavy heart,” Interim College Director of Athletics and Women’s Basketball coach Kevin Foley said about the loss that Men’s Sharks took on Saturday.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Victor Correa was running up and down the stairs after the loss, dealing with both the players and people wishing to speak to him on the court. “I feel bad for the kids,” he said. “It’s a tough way to loose the semi-finals. We didn’t get the calls, but that happens. We still played hard.”
On the Women’s side, he believed that Suffolk’s teams did well, they were simply beaten by a more effective team, “The kids handled it with class,” he said. “Sullivan Community College had 17 to 5 in the region. Their depth and talent level took over.”
“When you go to an event like this, the victories become sweeter and the losses get magnified.” Coach Foley said. He tries to convey to the students how proud he was of them to get as far as they did.
It was the first time Suffolk has hosted the event since 1995. Since that point, the event had expanded in just about every way.
For all three days of back to back games, the Radio and Television department (RTV) was covering it all on six large cameras including four used for replay.
Assistant Academic Chair and Professor of Radio and Television Production Al Bernstein related just how expansive the RTV’s coverage of the event was as compared to 1995, “Back then, we had set up a temporary control room in the gym, and had recorded the 5 games delayed on tape. They were aired on Cablevision 9.” In the latest tournament, all content was streamed on Sharks TV, accessible from the Suffolk homepage. Almost all crew who worked on the coverage of the game were students, taking it in shifts to work the massive cameras and recording equipment. The live broadcast opened each day with a welcoming message from President Shaun Mckkay and a background piece of the teams playing, and during time-outs and between games a highlights reel was shown. “We are treating it as the real thing.” Bernstein said.
“It brought the sports department into the 21st century,” Coach Foley said, relating not only to all the production that was done by the RTV department, but also all the advertising done by Director of Communications Drew Biondo, advertising on the most popular social network sites. “We produced a first rate tournament, and I feel proud,” he said.
By Jim Ferchland
Students are buzzing about the Winter Olympics and showing immense pride for the United States of America. This year’s Winter Olympics is being held in Sochi, Russia where twenty-five countries compete in winter sports and events.
NBC (National Broadcasting Company) is proudly televising the prestigious event. According to Nielsen overnight numbers, 23.5 million views have been calculated. The 2014 Winter Olympics have clearly grasped people’s attention and have certainly received attention and interest from several students. A majority of them have been impressed and fascinated mainly to what has been occurring on the ice; speed skating, ice skating, and hockey.
Ryan Bossert, a former Ammerman campus student mainly not concerned on the US Men’s and Women’s hockey teams, but more on a broad sense of safety, security, and unity in Sochi.
“The American hockey team looks great along with the women’s team,” Bossert said. “I think the Sochi Olympics though starting rough due to problems around the possibility of terrorism has been a successful event and has shown once again that the world can cooperate peacefully.”
Bossert is currently attending St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue after transferring from SCCC in January.
Liberal Arts major, Austin Kraft, has perceived the competitiveness and challenge that the USA Men’s Hockey team has to overcome in the Olympics.
“I think the USA Men’s Hockey team has been fun to watch and their games have been very exciting”, Kraft said. “But it’s going to be hard to win the gold because of Canada or Russia.”
Canada has yet to lose one Olympic game. However, USA Men’s Hockey defeated Russia 3-2 in a shootout in a non-elimination game on Feb. 15.
Jackie D’Anna, who is another Liberal Arts major. The female student is very spiritual and passionate about the Olympic games and her country. She really enjoys speed skating because it motivates her and it’s quite different from other Olympic events.
“I look forward to the Olympics , especially the Winter games every four years!”, D’Anna exclaimed. “Speed skating is my favorite sport to watch because to me, it’s unique. It really amazes me to watch all these athletes from all over the world work so hard to achieve their dreams for gold. It really motivates me in my life, and pushes me to work hard for my dreams.”
D’Anna also believes that the United States speed skating team has been represented well mainly due to their solid effort.
“The pride and dedication they express is really what America is all about”, D’Anna said.
Corie Leigh, a music major, has paid close attention to the Olympics because it is a conceivably vital and significant event to watch with her loved ones. She is not really concerned or disappointed about how USA plays; she just enjoys watching it in general.
“It’s sad that the USA is not winning a lot of medals but the Olympics is a huge thing in my family, so I always love to watch it”, Leigh said.
The expectations for USA in the WInter Olympics is sky high. Families and friends all gather around to display an enormous amount pride for their country. Currently, USA is tied third overall with the Netherlands in the Gold Medal count with six. Norway contains seven, and Germany leads with eight.
For more information and news on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, tune in to NBC for comprehensive coverage or log on to olympic.org. The major event concludes on Sunday, Feb. 23.
By Robert Mantesta
“Surprised”. That was the reaction of Baseball Coach Eric Brown when he got the news that he would be one of the four new inductees to the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“I was surprised but it’s a great honor.” Coach Brown will be inducted in May alongside two other coaches and a former assistant tournament director from across the country.
Coach Brown is now entering his 26th season as Head Coach. The legacy he has been carrying on has been undeniably something special. He has posted an overall record of 540-286-4 (wins-losses-ties). During his time as head coach, he celebrated 4 regional championships as well as 4 trips to the NJCAA Division III World Series.
He attended Suffolk Community College where he was a 3-Star- Athlete in Baseball, Basketball, and Soccer. After leaving Suffolk, he admits that he had no intentions to come back. “I really didn’t see myself coming back to Suffolk. It feels as if it was fate for me to come back. “
The funny thing was that the first job he would have was as the Assistant Basketball Coach. Coach Brown wasn’t too sure about coming back to Suffolk at first until it hit him. “It felt like it was home. When I got back at Suffolk and started coaching, I said, I was home.”
It was not long after, that he began coaching the baseball team. Ever since he started coaching, his plan and ways of teaching the game have stayed the same.
He got his start coaching when he was offered the chance to help coach a summer league team here on the island.
While Coach Brown carries the title of baseball coach, he tries to be more to his players. “I want them to be able to move on and be ready for what is out there. Whether it is with academics or baseball, I want to get them ready for the next step. I want them to be able to look back and have fond memories of playing the game they love.”
Jose A Kortright, a local Travel Baseball Coach, met Coach Brown in 2000 after coaching against him. The following year, Coach Brown hired Kortright to his summer league baseball staff where they got to learn from each other and see how one another goes about their job.
Coach Brown is never done learning. “He is a student of the game and a coach that is willing to learn from others. While other coaches believe they know a lot Eric will give good advice and also listen to others”, Kortright says.
Kortright acknowledged that Coach Brown does more than teach them the game of baseball but also the game of life. Kortright goes on to say, “What I like about Eric is that he wants all his players to go on to four year schools. He really goes out of his way to make sure the players do well in the classroom and looking at his track record all one needs to see is how his players have gone on to four year schools and some have gone on to higher levels of baseball.”
Kortright adds that Coach Brown is one guy that anyone could get a long with. “I can’t ever think of anyone who had a negative thing to say about Eric. This coach is nothing but first class”.
With the busy schedule of a college baseball coach, the head guy in charge still finds time to help out local kids that love the game including Kortright’s new travel team. “While coaching for my new organization the New York Diamonds Baseball Club he kindly accepted my invitation to instruct my players. He along with Coach Davies has provided nothing but knowledge and my players look forward their visits every year”.
When asked about the one thing he learned from Coach Brown, his response was, “I learned that teaching the players the fundamentals of baseball from every aspect of the game will ensure that the team will be competitive every time they put on their spikes”. He goes on to add that Coach Brown preaches this from day one.
Kortright finishes giving us some insight to how himself and Coach Brown are very alike. Kortright said jokingly, “We both share the same love for white castle burgers”.
There is no doubt that Coach Brown Is well deserving of being inducted into the Coaches Hall of Fame.
The thing that stands out about Coach Brown is not his coaching accolades but his drive to help others before himself and the openness to learning from others no matter how experienced he is.
By Joshua Blake
The college has acquired a new sports team. It may not surprise sports fans to find out that it’s a women’s lacrosse team – considering lacrosse is one of the biggest sports, and has been growing in popularity over the years.
So, that leaves one question: How did this whole thing start? That’s where Coach Tom Carrro comes in. He sat down at The Babylon Student Center to speak of the whole story, while waiting for his assistant coach and a player. Coach Carro has been coaching for over 20 years and was the assistant at Dowling last year. “I was at the Brentwood campus often over the summer, and I used to just drop in there and say ‘Oh, no girls lacrosse team yet?’” Then one day, Coach Carro gets a phone call from Interim-Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Coach, Kevin Foley. “Somebody had given him my number and asked would I like to come in and just speak about possibly starting a lacrosse program here,” said Coach Carro.
Since it’s the first year, it’s most likely going to be difficult. However Coach Carro believes the more people hear about this team, the more people will be willing to check them out. He already has a full roster of 17-19 players. “I can step on a field right now with a team,” said Coach Carro. However, a constant issue that pops up now and again with any sport is recruiting – especially at a commuter school like Suffolk. “When you start school, and you didn’t play lacrosse – and you got into the whole work thing – it’s very hard to step back because you’re making money,” says Coach Carro. “It’s hard to convince them that you only have a very short period of time in your life to play lacrosse.,” he adds. “Once it’s over, it’s over.”
The team is comprised of kids fresh out of high-school, along with some sophomores. Coach Carro says he really wants to make an impact this year so he can attract newcomers fresh from high-school. “Our home field is at Ammerman – here,” says Coach Carro. “But, because of the weather situation, and the facilities at Brentwood, we’re able to share with the boys lacrosse team.” “Weather permitting,” he says “as soon as we can, we’re gonna get back here, because I want them to know this is their home.”
After a few minutes, Assistant Coach Ken Costa and defensive player Mel Kahn arrived. When asked what position she plays on the team, Mel said “Up in the air right now,” with a laugh. “I’ve played defense for the majority of my life,” she says. “But, every time you change teams your position’s up in the air, you don’t know where you’re going to be, because you might have to help the team out somewhere else.” Mel has been playing for 12 years – since she was seven.
Her father and her brother inspired her to play lacrosse. “My dad played in high-school. He played baseball but there was a zillion catchers – and that was his position – so one day the lacrosse coach came over and goes you ever heard of lacrosse? And my dad said no.” He’s been playing since then and wanted Mel to do the same. “My mom wanted me to cheer – dance – when that was the only sport I played,” she said.
Assistant Coach Ken Costa who’s played in South Hungtinton, Maryland, Nassau, and many other clubs, talked about injures, and concerns people may have. An ongoing debate is whether the women should wear helmets. “Safety is paramount,” he said. Some players opt to wear helmets. “People can get hit in the head with a stick, people can get hit in the head with a shot – absolutely.” Make note that the biggest concern of the coaches is their player’s safety, and they will do all they can to keep them safe.
Aside from this Mel said she went to a school in Pennsylvania, and if she knew on her search for college’s Suffolk had a women’s lacrosse team, she would’ve come here first. “It’s so beneficial,” she says in regards to the new program. She also stressed that everyone in the lacrosse community is connected. “You know a lacrosse player when you see one.”
And in an odd twist of fate, Coach Carro and Coach Costa played lacrosse against, and with one another, and now they’re coaching with each other. Mel Kahn played against Coach Costa’s team while she was at Sachem North, and beat his team in overtime. Now they’re all on the same team. It’s funny how things come together.
By Jonathan Delafuente
Rutgers Basketball Program latest allegations affect all NCAA athletics programs even at the Junior College Level.
Recent firing of Head Coach Mike Rice resignations of the Athletic Director Tim Pernetti and other members of the Basketball coaching staff has even the Suffolk Athletic Board in high alert on spotting aggressive and violent coaching techniques. Throughout the NCAA, all programs are now award of what is expected and what is tolerated in closed door practices. Student athletes must be treated like humans instead of performance artist.
On April 2, videos of Rutgers basketball practice show Coach Rice and assistant coaches violently pushing and throwing basketballs at the players. Homosexual slurs were also screamed by the coaches towards and targeting the players. Foul language intended to be motivational for the players; increasing the intensity of practice and they play in regular season games. Pernetti previously has suspended Rice for abusive actions against his players. He was suspended for three games without pay and was fined $50,000. The Rutgers Basketball staff has resigned on every position. It is said they is already several possible replacements for the job. Rutgers will be looked as a tainted program for years to come said and reported by Yahoo Sports and ESPN.
Starting Middle Fielder for the Suffolk Sharks, Kevin Parker has said “We are not allowed to say anything disrespectful to anyone. Players, coaches, friends, family, just avoid saying anything that might hurt someone’s feelings. We avoid using social media as well to prevent ourselves from getting into any altercations. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram; they’re all pretty much off limit. All I have to do his keep my mouth shut and I can play.” Parker has been informed this information a couple practices ago. Punishment consist of loss of playing time, suspensions for certain amount of games, and severe case of getting removed off the team. “I have gotten kicked out of practice already because of cursing, it’s unfair but it happens.” said Parker. It is a discrimination free zone. This goes on for all sports in Suffolk Community College; all basketball teams, baseball teams, are expected to act in a mature manner through practice, games, and post games.
The Suffolk Lacrosse Team has had high expectations throughout the year. The team is well balanced with new incoming talent from all parts of Long Island. They are disciplined enough to play in the next level and talented enough to compete with any team in the NCAA. With the recent events in Rutgers, the lacrosse team has been impacted by it. Profanity and discriminatory terms are trying to be fully prohibited during practices to create a friendly less targeted play field. Players have been reported to get in trouble for saying homosexual slurs. No suspensions have been given out but it is not tolerated. Playing time will be cut for players that disobey the rule.
St. John’s University in Queens, New York also is prohibiting social media with their athletes. Sam Sealy, sophomore Center for the Red Storm Basketball Team said, “I’m not allowed on Twitter. If the coaches catch us, we can easily be kicked off the team. It too much work to be wasted just from one little thing.” Sealy is going to his junior year in St. John’s. He completely avoids social media outside the season as well to be extreme cautious. Rutgers and St. John’s are highly recruited schools for basketball and have been for many years. They have played in the Big East Conference but Rutgers has spent millions of dollars to move to the Big Ten Conference to make them a bigger marketed team. The Big East Conference is slowly decreasing. Several teams have already transferred conferences and it will take effect in the 2013 season.
Athletes are expected to act professional as they prepare to play for a higher level in the future. Players are highly recruited to Division I, Division II, or Division III schools from Junior College. They are looked as prospects for potential schools. Acts of disrespect and disobedience is not tolerated in any level and older players are looked as influences to the community. Rutgers has defined and opened the eyes of many from the acts of the coaching staffed. Beating, pushing, kicking, throwing balls at players should not be a source of encouragement and increases the intensity of the players. Players are getting full scholarships to programs where they expect to get a proper education and the fullest capacities to expressing their talents and basketball skills.
By Andrew Donofrio
Every athlete knows that playing a sport is demanding physically and mentally. It takes commitment and hard work to succeed in the sport. Sacrifices are necessary when playing sports, but to what degree can a student athlete sacrifice? Most students are also working part time jobs. It is also said that for every hour of class students should study at least two hours out side of class, this meaning if you are taking 12 credits which is recognized by the college as being a full time student you should be studying 24 hours each week. Add that to the 8 hours of work, and then throw in sport practices and games then sleep as well, where do you sacrifice? Or do you have to sacrifice at all?
When asked the question how do you feel college and high school athletics affected your school work, student athletes had surprising answers.
“It decreased my grades somewhat with traveling every weekend, playing on two teams I played everyday but it also made me not slack off and get it done as well” Said Lou Seda hockey player at the college.
This now raises the question do sports teach discipline. When asked the same question the same response seemed to arise.
“It made it a little difficult at times, but it also made me want to try harder and be better just like the sport,” said David Cahn hockey player at the school. It seems as though the hard work and dedication of athletics teaches a positive message in that no matter what you do, school, work, or sports you must work your hardest to achieve success.
“Athletics taught me dedication, which helps with my school work” said Jake Costello, a high school athlete .
It appears that student athletes don’t sacrifice, they just work harder at achieving success. It’s not that athletics hurt school work but in a way increase athletes’ education. Even if the grades take a slight drop these athletes are taught that you are not going to be handed things in life, you need to go out and work your hardest.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful” was said by Eric Thomas. This is one thing that students athletes seem to grasp pretty well. The hard work on the field, court, ice is needed in the classroom and most important in life.
By Andy Ruvolo
After five months of rigorous practice, endless pool drills and countless hours of dedication, the sharks infested the waters of Erie Community College for the 2013 NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. With Coach Carlington Simms (often referred to as “Coach Sea”) leading the way.
In 2012, Suffolk’s Male swimmers placed 7th overall against 16 teams. This year however, things went differently, and the males received 9th place.
Last year, the lady sharks also had more success at the national tournament placing 10th, whereas this year they received dead last. “We simply don’t have enough team members to cover all of the events,” Says Simms. “If we had more swimmers to compete, our chances of winning would increase dramatically.” With only 9 swimmers competing, the sharks were simply outnumbered in the water. In the past, they have overcome this hindrance.
Also in 2012, team member Alberto Catano (21) found success in the Men’s 200 yard backstroke, winning 1st place overall in the 2012 NJCAA Championships. With a well deserved win under his belt, he felt confident that he could out swim his competition this year. Unfortunately, things took a turn in the wrong direction. In the 200 yard back stroke preliminaries, Catano received 4th place. Although it was enough to secure him a spot in the finals, he was disappointed with his performance. “I think it was really hard for him, and took a big toll on his ego” says Rebecca Durston (18,) a fellow swimmer on the team.
When finals came around Catano swam again, this one was for the big win! He was a champion once, but could lightning strike twice? With a new set of competition, and new schools being added to the roster, the odds were against him. He received 6th over all, with a time of six seconds more than his 2012 championship time. In the world of a swimming, six seconds might as well be 6 minutes. “Every second counts”, says Durston.
Despite his disappointment, Catano maintains a positive attitude. He perks up rather quickly when someone brings up the ladies competing from the other schools. “You should have seen the girls at IRSC! Their triceps were practically twice the size of mine! It was amazing! They were pretty hot too.” Unfortunately, Catano will not get the chance to redeem himself next year. “Sadly, students are only allowed to compete for two years because Suffolk is a two year college,” says Coach Sea. But, it’s not over for Catano, as he has plans to swim for SUNY Cortland next year.
Regardless of his standings in 2013, he has become a part of Suffolk history. A banner celebrating his success has been hung on the wall at the Grant Campus’ Health, Sports, and Education Center in his honor. Lightning may not have struck twice, but his 2012 success will go down in Suffolk History. That in itself, is quite the achievement!