High School Principal David Seinfeld, Coach Ray Conlin and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Root.
The year Ray Conlin began coaching for the North Shore School District, World War II was ending and the Cold War was beginning. John Steinbeck and George Orwell were writing books and The Glass Menagerie and Carousel were on Broadway. Gimbel's Department Store in New York sold the first ball-point pen and Dan Topping, Del Webb and Larry MacPhail purchased the New York Yankees for $2.8 million.
It was 1945, and some 16 million GIs were returning to civilian life, looking for jobs and grabbing up those new, medium-priced homes that were selling for an average of $7,500 around the country.
Ray Conlin came back to his hometown. He began teaching and coaching at his alma mater there, moving over to the new North Shore High School, built in Glen Head, in 1957. Conlin was the district's first baseball coach, and he also coached basketball and soccer. He retired from full-time teaching in 1977, several years before this year's North Shore athletes were born. Not quite ready to say goodbye, he was a substitute teacher until 1985.
Now nearing 90, Conlin was honored at the school on May 11 for his many years of service to the district and its students. He received citations from Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, the office of Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and the Sea Cliff-Glen Head Lions Club. The school will place a plaque in his honor along the first base line.
Ray Conlin is still a huge fan, seldom missing a home game, occasionally chatting with team members and coaches. He remembers the league championship his baseball team won, and the many county soccer titles. Now a North Shore senior statesman, he can be found taking a seat on the bleachers, quietly watching the generations grow.
Richard Michael "Met" Metzger began his career with the North Shore School District in 1971as a physical education teacher and as the baseball coach for what was then the junior high school. He stayed for 31 years as a role model for hundreds of young people, teaching them a lot about sports and even more about life. North Shore retired Coach Met's jersey number, #37, before a baseball game on May 10 and thanked him for 31 years of coaching in the district.
Met became junior varsity baseball coach at the high school in 1974 and, in 1982, coach of the varsity men's baseball team, a position he held until his retirement last year. His teams took home league championships eight times and county championships in 1992 and 1993. In 1993, they were the Long Island champions. He was Conference Baseball Coach of the Year seven times and Nassau County Coach of the Year twice. His team won the Mike Kostynick Award for Best Baseball Team in Nassau County in 1989 and he received the New York State Coaches Association Honor Award in 1994. He coached 23 All-County athletes and eight of his players went on to play professionally.
Met also founded the North Shore A's summer baseball program in 1971, winning the national 15-16 year old championship in 1977. A Glenwood Landing resident, he was able to watch the kids in the district as they grew up, sitting in on a game of 9-year-olds at one park and then scouting out a group of 12-year-olds at another, encouraging them to work at their positions so they would be ready for varsity when their time came.
He also coached football in the district for a total of 20 years, men's varsity bowling for 20 years and women's bowling for two years, garnering four league championships and a county championship.
"It is almost impossible to put into words the enormity of the contributions that Met has given to our programs over the past 31 years," North Shore Athletic Director Laura Orticelle said at the tribute ceremony. "All the stats and accolades are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the man. In his recommendation for tenure, the superintendent said it best, 'Mike is an enthusiastic, concerned and self-motivated teacher and coach who is an excellent role model' ... Mr. Metzger's devotion to his job is near-legendary. Anyone familiar with North Shore baseball knows that he is attuned to every detail, from the relationships among members of the team to the quality of the playing field."
His athletes say that Met "taught them as much about themselves as men as he taught them about the game," Orticelle said. "I have worked with many teachers and coaches over the years and he is among the best.
The school then retired jersey #37, and Coach Met threw out the first pitch to begin another North Shore baseball game.
Men's lacrosse coach Harvey Allen reports that on April 24th, the varsity team played at Roslyn and four of the coaches on the field were former North Shore student-athletes. Jaren Rabinowitz, Mark McCabe and Tim Byrner are coaches at Roslyn. North Shore's assistant coach is Chris Anderson.
"This is quite an accomplishment for the school," Allen pointed out, adding, "These young men have chosen to give something back and to be educators and coaches. They should be commended."