The Sewanhaka District Rifle Team won first place in three out of four New York State championships last week.
A team of 10 students left for Syracuse from the parking lot of New Hyde Park Memorial High School. The students left as Nassau County rifle champions and came home state champions. The 10 were Sewanhaka District's Kelly Minerva, Dan Grecsek, Moazzem Kazi, Bill Zask, Mark Kern, John Bodenhorn and Tina Minerva. Reigning state champion, Thrine Kane, of the Calhoun/Mepham District Team and Annie Goodman of Massapequa joined the Sewanhaka District Team as Nassau County (Section VIII) All-Stars, along with Alex Friedman of Calhoun/Mepham as the Section VIII Alternate. Accompanying them were Sewanhaka District Coach, George Hathaway, Massapequa coach and Section VIII Coordinator, Charlie Tacke, Calhoun/Mepham District Coach Bob Chalmers and female chaperone Judy Kane. Fourteen people in all, eight shooters representing Nassau County in the New York State rifle championship.
The actual championship match was held at an elementary school in Central Square, NY. It resulted in a virtual sweep by Section VIII shooters. The Sewanhaka District Cartridge team, consisting of captain Kelly Minerva, Dan Grecsek, Moazzem Kazi and Bill Zask, took first place with a total score of 1,063. Adding the scores of Thrine Kane and Annie Goodman produced a Section score good enough to make them the first place Section team in the start. The air rifle teams also did outstandingly well. The Sewanhaka District Team, made up of Kelly Minerva and Bill Zask, shot a total of 531 to take second place in the state, missing first by only one point. For a Section score, Thrine Kane shot a state record of 197 which was added to Minerva's and Zask's scores and won yet another state championship.
In addition to the team awards, individual awards were given through 10th place. Once again local champions did incredibly well. Kelly Minerva, high scorer for the team with a 270, placed eighth overall and fourth in the standing position. Dan Grecsek produced the district's second highest score to place ninth overall, sixth in the prone position and third in kneeling. Bill Zask placed eighth in prone and Moazzem Kazi placed sixth in standing with scores that helped to clinch the title for the Sewanhaka District. In air rifle, Bill Zask placed third overall with a score of 180 and Kelly Minerva placed seventh overall. Additionally the Alternates Match was won by New Hyde Park 10th grader Mark Kern with a 254.
This is the first New York State rifle championship won by Sewanhaka District. The team was commended for its achievements at both the New Hyde Park Memorial Winter Sports Awards and at the Nassau County rifle dinner.