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Remember This Titan

Holy Trinity baseball coach Robert Malandro

named sport’s top coach in NYS

Robert Malandro’s coaching awards are almost as numerous as the number of years he has spent coaching the Holy Trinity boys baseball team.

With a quarter-century worth of experience and five Catholic League Championships, Malandro has been paving the way for successful high school baseball players for more than two decades. Humble, enthusiastic and dedicated are only a few words that adequately describe the five-time NSCHSAA Coach of the Year.

After playing baseball all around the country with the Nassau County Police Department, Malandro found coaching to be the next natural step after his retirement. A Hicksville resident himself, Malandro began coaching baseball at Holy Trinity in 1989 after answering an ad in a local paper.

In 2007, Malandro was chosen to coach the Nassau County team at the Grand Slam Game at Ducks Stadium in Islip. Top baseball players from public and catholic schools on Long Island were invited to an “All-Star” game, led by select, well-respected coaches in the area. The game resulted in a loss for Malandro’s team, but the honor of coaching the talented group of baseball stars is a memory that will overshadow the score forever.

In 2010, Malandro became the first Catholic League coach to receive the Nassau County Coach of the Year Award. Earning this award was unprecedented and an immense honor, according to the Titans’ coach, and on Jan. 25, he will officially receive the 2012 Steve Lembo Memorial Award for New York State Baseball Coach of the Year.

Malandro admitted, “When I received the letter informing me that I had won this award, I immediately called up the scout who had sent [the letter] to me. I told him who I was and said, ‘Are you sure you have the right guy?’ I was so proud to hear that there was no mistake; I was humbled by it.”

Only someone who loves baseball like Malandro could attain such an extended list of accomplishments.

“Baseball is the number one sport in my life because it is a game of subtle strategy, which is hard to understand unless you’ve played. I also live for the competition and each new team. They become like your children and you want them to do well. I get extreme satisfaction out of the fact that 121 of my players have received Division I and II baseball scholarships,” Malandro said proudly.

After Malandro’s fifth Catholic League championship last year, five of his players bade farewell to their triumphant time on the Holy Trinity field and embarked on new journeys at Division I colleges. “We lost five of our best players and it will be hard to be as strong as we were last year, but winter practices start the first weekend after New Year’s and we are going to be very competitive,” an optimistic and confident Malandro stated.

For the upcoming season, with an influx of new talent and younger players coming up from junior varsity, Malandro looks forward to playing the other six teams in the small, but highly competitive Catholic League.

“I love coaching against all the other coaches; they are really great guys,” Malandro noted. “One of my favorite games is against Saint John the Baptist because their coach is an ex-Major League Baseball pitcher. Chaminade is another game I look forward to. It feels good to beat them because their enrollment is so much higher than ours and they are picked to win almost every year.”

Through all the rivalries and friendly competitions, it is difficult for Malandro to choose one season that stands out from the rest. He has had a special bond with each group of young boys and passing down his knowledge of baseball is something he loves most about coaching – something that has made the transition from player to coach more enjoyable than he had ever imagined.

“I will always miss the competition and the camaraderie [of playing], but what I have now with coaching is something that I get just as much satisfaction out of, if not more, than when I played. I do whatever I can to help the young boys achieve their dreams and teach them everything I’ve learned about baseball,” Malandro said.

One of the most important things Malandro has ever learned, he said, comes from one of his old coaches.

“He told me that the main thing about coaching baseball is to love your team. That is where you get the most satisfaction,” Malandro explained.

The coach said he has gotten a lot smarter as the years progressed. Although winning championships is the best part of coaching, he said that there is more to be learned from losing games and seasons.

“You mature as you go along and every year I have learned something new which I take with me to the next season,” he remarked.

With each new year comes a new, determined group of athletes with whom Malandro cannot wait to begin creating memories, sharing strategies and walking to the field on those warm spring days for a whole-hearted game of America’s favorite pastime. Malandro lives for baseball and has not only been a coach, but a role model and teacher, to the 25 Holy Trinity baseball teams that have flourished under his direction.

News

You could say Darren Butler has quite the entrepreneurial disposition. The Hicksville resident not only founded a church, but invented a doorstop that does not require screwing any holes into your wall or door. The device simply clamps on to the bottom of any sized door without requiring tools.

“I never envisioned myself as being an inventor,” explained Butler. “I became one by accident and out of frustration.”

After Butler and his wife purchased their home, they wanted to decorate and maintain it.  “We have four children and at the time we wanted to minimize the damage that occurs from doors slamming into walls because as young children do; they have a tendency to aggressively open doors, and as a result the door knob created holes in our wall,” said Butler. “We purchased conventional doorstops so at the very least we could minimize that reality if not eliminate it all together.”

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.


Sports

Madeline Huffman, a fourth grade student at Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, recently became the New York State Free Throw Champion in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition, 9 Year Old Girls Division at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Huffman’s journey to the state championship began at her home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in January. The local qualifier was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Joseph F. Lamb Council #5723. Boys and girls ages 9 through 14 competed, each receiving three warm up shots and 15 free throw attempts.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

“I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.”


Calendar

Hicksville Street Fair

July 20

Blood Drive

July 23

Our Lady Of Mercy Family Festival

July 30 - August 3



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com