Tag Archives: kevin foley

Women’s Basketball Team Comes Close to Region 15 Title

Women's Basketball

March 19, 2015 – Kevin Foley’s history of coaching the Women’s Basketball team proudly shows in his office. (Jeffrey Lerman)

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.”

Athletes Train for Better Life

gym

Entrance hall at The Brookhaven Gymnasium, showcasing trophies from past and present victories.

By Ariel Ransom

Inside the walls of the Brookhaven Gymnasium, campus athletes gather in brightly lit training areas, sprint to locker rooms carrying bags of training gear, and converse in groups about the future games of the season.

However, the main goal that campus athletes focus on as they enter the Brookhaven Gymnasium is the intensity of their respective rigorous training sessions. The physical discipline that athletic players undergo aid not only in achieving winning goals or broken records, but a mentality that promotes a healthier lifestyle.

“Kids who participate in teams have to be in good physical condition.” Kevin Foley, the Interim College Director of Athletics and Master of Science in Public Health, said. “It [sports teams] depends on the focus, but Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, and Track need players in good physical condition.”

Foley clarifies that even though exercise for sports on campus varies between the physical conditioning and activity involved, that working on the essential areas of the cardiovascular system, agility, and strength of players is crucial.

“A lot [of training exercises] are running slow and fast in bursts, and a lot of stretching. Some [athletes] do weights for strength, push-ups, or sit-ups.” Foley said. “Baseball and Basketball players do Latters, which is good for agility and balance. Pitchers focus on their legs and upper body, while basketball player focus on strength and power.”

The intensity of training becomes second nature to sports players, as their bodies begin to adapt to the physical challenges of exercising. However, preparing for a competition against challengers in sports demands an extensive warmup.

“I run long distances, it helps with the muscles in my legs.” John Seskus, Men’s Track and Field athlete and Men’s Cross Country player, said. “It [running] increases my stamina over time.”

In addition to undertaking rigorous warmups before games and diverse training exercises, sports players utilize the weight room in the downstairs section of Brookhaven Gymnasium. The weight room has an artillery of machinery that aids in isolating a desired body section for improvement or an individual can work on every body part with the use of weight machines.

“I go in the weight room. I do legs, running, anything to do with stamina. Core and abs too.” Majestic Temple, soon-to-be Exercise Science Major and Men’s Track and Field player, said.

Even though the weight room is an excellent area for physical training, individuals can workout in the comfort of their home. Some athletes participate in simple exercises that yield dramatic results, and these exercises do not have to be done in the public of the weight rooms.

“I like to do squats, to get my butt up.” Galvin J. Biggs, Men’s Track and Field athlete and Criminal Justice Major, said. “So when I’m running I don’t pull nothing in my butt.”

Through the benefit of extraneous training and participation on athletic teams, jocks have a sense for “living a healthier lifestyle,”. Without the physical activity involved in campus curriculars, some athletes would fall into unhealthy habits.

“If I didn’t run, I’d probably be on the couch eating potato chips.” Temple said. “I love track, I’m mad focused about it.”

Unfortunately, not all athletes are dedicated to living healthier lifestyles. Sports players could be leading a “double life,” filled with poor diet choices, and these choices could go unnoticed by coaches and fellow sports players.

“I can’t be ideal and say every player has a healthy lifestyle, who knows what they’re doing.” Foley said. “But if they’re a high level player, they know eating and being healthy is important.”

The prestigious physical glory of athletes is attainable, and with dedication to a healthier life of exercise and eating, fitness is possible. The Brookhaven Gymnasium is open during college hours to anyone willing to make a healthy change, and athletic teams on campus are eager for new recruits.

Sharks women’s basketball faces Westchester CC

By Dan Bruno

The sharks women’s basketball team will face Westchester Community College at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 12th. The Sharks will look to continue their fight for a national championship in 2012–having not won one since 2003. However, a 2011 regional championship has propelled them to a quick 10-5 start since their first game on January 7th vs. BMCC, a 57-38 win.

The Sharks are on a 7-game winning streak and have outscored opponents 437-278 during that stretch.

Led by head coach Kevin Foley and assistant coaches Jessica Santiago and Kerry Swanson, the 10-player roster will look to re-visit Minnesota for a chance at yet another regional or national championship, having won regionals in 2011 and nationals in 2003.

Sharks, Brisson eyeing back-to-back championships

The sharks women's basketball team is looking for their second straight regional championship after being 2011 champions.

By Dan Bruno

She’s been playing basketball since she’s been able to run, and the team she’s playing with is “incomparable to no other,” she said. She is Amanda Brisson and she is only one of 10 female basketball players for the Sharks team.

Off to a quick 10-5 start, the Sharks, under 18-year head coach Kevin Foley, are on a 7-game winning streak and outscoring opponents by an average of 437-278 points during that stretch.

“This team is by far the most fun group of people I’ve played with,” Brisson said. “Everyone wants to be here and it makes me love the game.”

Brisson and the Sharks won the regional championship last year and while they’re holding onto that memory, the near future shows another regional visit for Brisson and her teammates.

“After winning regionals and going to nationals last year, it definitely makes me want to do it all again,” Brisson said. “It was the best college experience I’ve had and the best feeling knowing we were the best of the best.”

The Sharks will look to regain their regional title again for 2012, with no loss of confidence and trust.

“We want to win again 100 percent and go back to Minnesota and actually dominate at nationals,” she said. “We have the chemistry and drive to make it again and I would love to be apart of another winning season.”

Katie Krauss, a former liberal arts major, used to attend games regularly and cheered on the women’s basketball team “religiously,” she said.

“I just think if you’re going to be a participant of the school you should get involved in other ways, not just be a student,” she said. “Everyone should find their niche and mine was the women’s Sharks basketball team.”

For Brisson, it was different, but only because she wanted to play instead of watch.

“I definitely suggest that people tryout for their high school teams if they aren’t involved in anything else,” she said. “It’s a good way to make new friends and keep fit.”

Although Brisson is at the college now, she plans to move on to a four-year school and continue her basketball endeavors.

“Here, it’s definitely a huge difference from high school but it’s worth all the sweat and tears,” she said. “I’ve found life long friends playing for the college.”

She might not be going far, either.

“I’m a homebody, and I’ll prefer a state school because it’s more affordable as well,” she said. “This school will help me achieve this goal of moving on with my basketball career because of the great support of my teammates and coaches,” she said. “They help me as much as they can to get me where I want to be not only in basketball, but in life.”

Head coach Kevin Foley and assistant coaches Kerry Swanson and Jessica Santiago also have a big impact on Brisson’s life.

“My goal is to learn as much as I can from them,” she said. “They’re like second parents to me and always want what is best for me.”

Liberal arts major from the eastern campus Ali Ergul also loves that the women’s team is doing so well.

“Women don’t usually get as much recognition in sports as men do and it’s great that they’re doing what they’re doing,” he said. “I’m very proud of the team in that aspect for giving these young women the opportunity to have fun and compete at a higher level.”

These sharks are just as grateful for the opportunity to show their skill-set to make professional playing a possibility. Brisson’s biggest influence isn’t Michael Jordan though. It isn’t Lebron James either. It’s her father.

“I know people want me to say Jordan or James, but that isn’t the case at all,” she said. “My dad has definitely been the biggest basketball influence in my life since I was a kid.

Brisson, since she learned to run, was playing basketball and with the help of her dad, they found many fond memories.

“He would always take me outside and shoot around with me and teach me different things,” she said. “If he didn’t push me as much as he does I wouldn’t be playing or love the game,” she said. “He’s always been my best coach and my biggest fan.”