For Ariana Bruschi, winning the school award in the national Wendy’s High School Heisman competition is about hard work. The New Hyde Park Memorial High School senior is a standout Gladiators field hockey, lacrosse player and an avid volunteer.
“It really helped me and showed how hard work paid off,” she said. “I thank all my coaches and my guidance counselor Mary Beth Healy. They really helped me.”
The Wendy’s competition measured three parts: academics, athletics and leadership. These categories were strengths for Bruschi.
Sewanhaka’s boys lacrosse coach Peter Burgess has one rule when it comes to his goalies: make the saves that you’re supposed to make.
Luckily for Burgess, senior Jake Mellen does that and more.
“Once or twice a game he’ll make a save that no one’s supposed to make,” Burgess said. “I’ll look over to my assistant coach and say, ‘Wow, that was a special play right there’”
For three years, Mellen has been making those kind of spectacular saves for the Indians as the starting goalie. Before his senior season started, he was voted captain by his teammates and coaches.
Coaching to some can be measured by wins and losses. But New Hyde Park’s head baseball coach Doug Robins measures his success through the success of his players, on and off the field.
Robins has coached the Gladiators varsity baseball team since 1999 and made the playoffs 10 out of those 15 seasons. His teams have finished in second place in their league twice.
Despite his teams on field success, Robins goal is to help his players succeed and receive the opportunity to play college ball.
Sewanhaka High School’s seventh grade girl’s basketball team finished with an undefeated season, coached by Alison Leighton and assistant coach Myeishay Brooks.
“With an incredible starting five, and depth throughout the roster, the team showed that with talent and determination, they can do anything,” Leighton said. “Not only were they an unbelievable team to coach, they were sportswomen on the court, and gave one hundred percent effort in their games, and practices.”
Most tourists travel to see the sights and eat the food. But New Hyde Park resident Dr. Peter Douris recently flew to South Korea for a different reason entirely. He spent a week in the southern mountains testing for 5th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Do.
Douris was part of a group from Kwon’s Karate studio in Manhasset, where they’ve all trained for many years with their instructor, Master H.Y. Kwon, a ninth level black belt.
In Korea, their days began at 6 a.m. and continued until very late.
New Hyde Park Michael Castelli (seated,left) recently participated in the 32nd Black Belt Graduation at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park. He graduated to first-degree black belt.
“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others,” says Grandmaster Charles Water, owner and director of the school.
Students tested in October, successfully passed their exam recently and received their black belt certificates. “Who says that the youth of America are not committed? A healthy life style at the karate studio, mentally and physically is alive, well and working,” said Water.
The New Hyde Park Memorial High School Gladiators baseball team will be looking to make the playoffs for the sixth straight season.
The Gladiators have made it to the postseason five seasons in a row and eight of the past nine years. They finished last season with a record of 10-9-1 and a first round exit in the playoffs.
After seeing four players that had started the previous three seasons graduate, head coach Doug Robbins will have his work cut out for him. This years Gladiators will start four sophomores game in and game out.
The New Hyde Park Lady Jaguars emerged the victorious as first place winners of the Hofstra Jets Bubble Indoor Soccer League on Saturday March 8. The team played an intense three game sudden death series against two teams from the Albertson Soccer Club and one team from the Syosset Soccer Club.
The Lady Jags won the first game against the U12 Albertson Fury Blue team, 3-1. In the next game, the New Hyde Park took on the Albertson Fury Red team. The defense of the Lady Jaguars held this strong team to only one goal while the stellar Jaguar offense was able to put two goals into the net.
Focusing entirely on having the perfect swing is not always the most important aspect to becoming a great ballplayer. Monique Roberge, star softball player for Queens College, found that out early in her college career.
“I feel that my mental focus has been the biggest improvement for me,” said the junior from New Hyde Park. “I’m big into sports psychology. In high school I didn’t have the same mentality that I do now. I’m able to tame myself.”
Roberge’s exceptional mental focus has translated into success on the field. She was recently an honorable mention for the East Coast Conference (ECC) Player of the Week.
When coach Peter Burgess first saw Tyler Regnier play lacrosse as a seventh grader, he knew he was watching a special player for Sewanhaka High School.
“Me and my coaches knew he was the type of kid that we can build a team around,” said Burgess. “We said to ourselves ‘When is he going to play varsity?’”
Regnier ended up making the varsity team as a freshman and hasn’t looked back since, earning All-County honors last season as a junior defenseman.
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