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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

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



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