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.”
Billy Stevens, a senior at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Michigan, a Division 1 program. A soccer prodigy, Stevens is a member of the Red Bull Academy Team and the U-15 U.S. National Team.
Coach Erica Brennan feels Sewanhaka’s girls lacrosse program is making strides to compete this year.
“We just need to develop a sense of game knowledge,” said Brennan, who is entering her seventh season as varsity coach. “That’s one of the things we lack overall, we have girls who are fast and learned the skills of catching and throwing, but we need to work on our game knowledge. And that comes with experience.”
The Indians, who have never made the playoffs in Brennan’s tenure, will kick off their season March 14 at home against the Elmont Spartans.
New Hyde Park Michael Castelli 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.
After missing the playoffs two straight years, the Sewanhaka Indians Boys lacrosse team will face tougher odds if it hopes to advance to postseason play in 2014.
The Indians, who start their season March 24 at Oyster Bay, will be playing out of Section 8, Nassau Conference II (Class B) this year; a bump up from their usual spot in Nassau Conference III (Class C). Typically, the schools are divided by enrollment.
“There are no gimmies in this league,” said nine-year coach Peter Burgess. “We were the last team to make this league in terms of population. They kind of drew the line below us. So we’re the smallest school in the league.”
Burgess said another obstacle for the Indians will be facing teams that they have no experience playing before.
The New Hyde Park Lady Jaguars and the New Hyde Park Thundercats of the Long Island Junior Soccer League are two of the 84 soccer teams that will be playing in the 2014 Eastern New York Premier League (ENYPL) season on Saturday, March 15. The 83 teams playing represents a 17 percent increase from last year. Every team will be competing in six regular season games this spring.
“By playing a reduced six-game schedule with playoffs, ENYPL teams now have the option of rejoining Division 1 of their own member league, making those leagues stronger in the process,” ENYPL Director Steve Padaetz stated.
Portledge seventh-grader Vincent Salgado, of New Hyde Park, traveled to Quebec, Canada in February to play goaltender for the Junior Islanders hockey team in the 55th Quebec Pee Wee Hockey Tournament. Salgado joins 17 other elite players to participate against 2,300 young hockey stars from 16 countries in what is considered the most important minor hockey tournament in the world. Salgado began skating at age 4 and playing hockey on the house league at the Iceland Rink near his home in New Hyde Park at 8 years old and has since played on a variety of Long Island teams, including the Ice Cats and the Gulls.
The Sewanhaka Indians boys’ basketball team dropped a win-and-in game on Monday, Feb. 10 to Roslyn High School, 70-69, which officially knocked the Indians out of the playoffs. The team finished over .500 for the
first time under head coach Jason Allen.
The Indians had the ball, down by three with 15 seconds left, looking to score and force Roslyn to make free throws. They missed two shots but kept getting the rebounds and were finally able to score to cut the deficit down to one as time expired.
Despite not making the playoffs, the Indians still finished 9-8 (6-8 in conference play). It was the most games the program has won under Allen and they are taking a step in the right direction.
Glen Cove’s Taylah Hudson proved to be too much for Sewanhaka’s girls basketball team to handle on Friday, Feb. 14.
Hudson scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the second quarter to lift the Big Red to a 49-39 victory over the Indians in a Nassau Conference Class A first-round playoff game.
Sewanhaka finished the season 11-6.
“You have to take your lumps in the beginning when you’ve got a young team like this,” said Sewanhaka coach Alexander Soupios, whose team included only two seniors. “They have to learn what it feels like to lose in order to win.”
Sewanhaka’s boys basketball team stepped onto its court Friday night, knowing its playoff hopes would be ruined with one more loss.
So the Indians left nothing to chance.
Junior Carlos Bodden scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds. Sewanhaka scored the game’s first 18 points en route to a 77-39 victory over Plainedge in a Nassau Conference A-II game on Feb. 7.
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