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Stevens Stays Strong, Heads To Michigan

Success didn’t come easy for Billy Stevens. The standout New Hyde Park defenseman has seen his share of setbacks, but nothing kept him from achieving his ultimate goal: a scholarship to a Division-I college soccer program.

 

Stevens recently committed to the University of Michigan to play soccer next year, but the road to Ann Arbor tested his resolve and it paid off. His strength comes from his family. Being adopted at birth, he feels the main priority is to make them proud.

 

“My family drives me the most because I just want to do good for them,” Stevens said. “I appreciate the game a lot more and I understand that not everything is given to you. You have to work hard. Sometimes things get taken away, but it’s about how you bounce back. It defines the player you are.”

 

Stevens tore his ACL last December and felt his scholarship opportunities might be in jeopardy, but coaches at Michigan assured him that they were committed to Stevens.

 

“I went into rehab the day after surgery and the doctors told me I’d be back on the field in five months,” he said. “I did everything they told me to do. I pushed through the tough times; emotional times.”

 

Setbacks hit Stevens early in his career, as he suffered a stress fracture in his lower back that put him out for three months in 2011. He had to work his way back to become a starter for the U16 New York Red Bulls.

 

“I was pushing myself as hard as I can,” he said. “I wanted my family to be extremely proud of me.”

 

Stevens faced another injury earlier that year with surgery to his broken wrist in ninth grade that has caused him to be inactive for most of New Hyde Park Memorial High School’s season.

 

The wrist injury was a big blow to Stevens, because he had gotten the chance to play alongside his brother John. But it was cut short.

 

“We played on varsity a couple years together before I had to stop playing for the school,” he said.

 

Stevens played with the New Hyde Park Wildcats until he was 11 before being scouted to the U.S. National Soccer Team a few years later. From there, he made his first appearance on the U14 New York Red Bulls with coach Bob Montgomery.

 

“The biggest strength of Billy is his character,” said Montgomery. “He’s had a number of setbacks but the qualities that he brings to the team as a leader is amazing. Michigan’s got themselves a great player.”

 

Stevens also owes former coach and current trainer Steve Price for this success. Price starting coaching Billy when he was 13.

 

“Billy was always the best athlete on the field,” Price said. “Some kids, when they are really good, they rest on their laurels. Not Billy. He practiced more than anyone else and worked harder. This is where it got him.”

 

Aside from Michigan, Stevens garnered interest from Stony Brook, St. John’s and Seton Hall universities as well as Wake Forest, Columbia and Kentucky. He chose Ann Arbor because of its dedication to winning. Stevens plans to study physical therapy.

 

“When I visited Michigan, the atmosphere that they have for the athletes and their vision to win, they really want a national championship for soccer,” he said. 


News

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is planning improvements to a district that has already seen much success in recent years. The school year has only just begun and the Board of Ed is already setting its sights on the future. 

 

At the Sept. 8 board of education meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak’s monthly report outlined the major goals set for the district last month. While approved in August, the three goals were made available to the public this month and each target different areas for improvement throughout the district. 

 

The first goal deals with English Language Learners (ELL) within the student population. ELL students are those that speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on assessments. 

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.


Sports

Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season. 

 

“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”

 

But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going. 

 

The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year. 

The Sewanhaka Indians made their Nassau Conference II debut with a bang.  The Indians opened their season at home against the Calhoun Colts, unsure what to expect, as all they had ever seen of the Colts was one tape of a scrimmage. 

 

“It was nerve raking leading up to the game,” said Head Coach George Kasimatis. “We weren’t sure what to expect on offense or defense, you have to guess early on. “

 

But it didn’t take the Indians long to introduce themselves to the conference, as junior, Quarterback, Elijah Tracey broke a 75-yard run taking it the distance to put the Indians up early, which ended in a 27-7 rout of the Colts. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

Herricks Meeting - September 18

Bike Safety Day - September 21


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