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LI Lizards Coach Honored As Coach Of The Year

Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced Wednesday that Long Island Lizards Coach Joe Spallina has been named as the 2012 Brine MLL Coach of the Year, according to MLL Commissioner David Gross. The award was based on the votes submitted by the head coaches and general manager of each of the League’s eight teams.

“It’s a tremendous honor. This is the highest level of the sport that we all love, so I’m tremendously humbled. Our team dealt with a different kind of hand and dealt with adversity and guys deciding not to play or being injured, but that’s a tribute to the character of guys we have who share the same vision that I had of restructuring and getting to the top level,” said Spallina.

“We have a good group and the right mix of veterans and a very young team. A large part of our success has to do with rookies hitting the ground running and the way our veterans welcomed those guys in and made them feel part of it,” the coach added.

In his first season as the Lizards’ leader, Spallina led the Lizards to an 8-6 record and the fourth seed in the 2012 MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior. After opening the season with back-to-back losses, the Lizards recovered to win five straight games, including four victories away from James M. Shuart Stadium.

With Spallina at the helm, the Lizards led the MLL by allowing just eight two-point goals while ranking fourth in the MLL by scoring 165 goals.

The Lizards also had two of the top-scoring rookies in the MLL this season. While attackman Matt Gibson led all rookies with 31 points, rookie attackman Tommy Palasek led all MLL rookies with 22 goals and ranked fifth on the team with 27 points.

Spallina, who took over for longtime Coach Jim Mulé, joined the Lizards after a four-year stint as the head women’s lacrosse coach at Adelphi University. He posted a 73-2 record with Adelphi and guided the Panthers to three consecutive NCAA Division II championships.

“Like Brine, Coach Spallina blends innovation with hard work, integrity, leadership and teamwork to create a leading lacrosse product,” said Dave Dixon, Brine Chief Marketing Officer. “Brine congratulates Coach Spallina and the Long Island Lizards on an outstanding season and wishes them the best of luck in the playoffs.”

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



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