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Baseball Primed For Strong Season

Hicksville High School baseball is coming off a very strong season, in which they compiled a 16-3-1 record and won their league title before being eliminated in the postseason by Syosset in the best-of-three playoff format.

The Comets will have the challenge of replacing All-State pitcher/shotstop Ron Bauer who won six games on the mound, and is now playing for Division-II Molloy.

“We did lose some of our top players that helped us win the league last year,” said Head Coach Frank Ciaramitaro, in his 15th season with the program. “But, we feel we have strong players to come in and step up for us,” he added.

The Comets have the benefit of returning three All-County players, which is extremely rare considering many of the county’s top players are seniors. They will return ace Nick Schoen, a left-handed pitcher who will also play first base. The southpaw had a tremendous junior season as he recorded a win-loss record of 5-1 with an impeccable 1.12 ERA. He struck out 36 batters in 33 innings. He has the distinction of beating the reigning Nassau County champion Massapequa. His only loss came against Syosset.

Leading the offense will be Mike Reilly, a senior center fielder. Reilly, who will also join Schoen in the rotation, batted a healthy .373 last year, scored 13 runs, drove in 10 and stole 15 bases. Reilly, who was also All-County, will be joined atop the order with the third All-County player Andrew Purcell. The youngest of the group, Purcell is entering his junior season. As a sophomore, he led the team with 30 hits, compiled a robust .390 average and stole seven bases.

Despite the strong batting averages, Ciaramitaro feels that their true strength is on the mound. “We can go about five or six deep on the mound,” he said in reference to the team’s depth. “Good pitching will always beat good hitting,” he concluded. The team has a few candidates vying for the third starter role behind Schoen and Reilly, and whoever does not win the role will pitch in relief.

Ciaramitaro admitted that the team will be shooting for some redemption at Syosset this season, having had their season cut short by them. The real team wearing the target is Massapequa, he noted. “They are the county champions and will have the target on their back,” he said.

The Comets open up their season March 27 against Baldwin.

News

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.

Some students returning to school the first day might see a new face on the bus: Hicksville’s new interim superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso.

“Every year on the first day of school I ride one of the buses. To see the face of a kindergartener on that first ride just reminds you of why you’re in the field,” he says.


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’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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