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Gymnastics Team Heads To State Qualifiers

Seniors show leadership as Massapequa

careers come towards a finish

It was a simple question but the answer, or lack thereof, spoke volumes to the admiration that the coach has for his team.  

Massapequa Varsity Girls Gymnastics Coach Mike Capone was sitting in the bleachers prior to the events of Senior Night, the final home meet for the team this year. He was asked to speak about the group of young women on his team, and in particular, the seniors who will soon be leaving. The coach was left at a loss for words, in particular about the seniors, some of whom he has coached for six years.

“This is probably the best group of young ladies that I’ve had the pleasure to be associated with,” he finally responded. “I cannot say enough about the seniors and the team.”

Capone says that the team’s talent, dedication, and resiliency have been well demonstrated this year. Despite injuries and the flu, both of which have affected team members, the team has remained consistent, scoring around 155 to 160 points at their meets.

Next week, members of the team will be competing in State Qualifiers. Katie Wall, a senior and team captain, will be hoping to add to an already exceptional list of accomplishments. She had qualified for the state team for the past two years as an all-county gymnast and has the highest average in vaulting.

“She’s been excellent for six years,” Capone remarked about her.

Brianna Saba is another team leader. She has made it to the state qualifiers in four of the past five years.

“A pleasure to coach,” Capone says of her.

All-county gymnast Brianna Wick is another senior who will soon be departing the Massapequa team. Her specialties are the balance beam and floor exercise and she has qualified for the state qualifiers for the past five years.

“Great kid,” Capone said about her. Also excelling on the balance team is Tiffany Philippou. The coach says she is a team leader who helps to mentor the younger members of the team who will be the stars of Massapequa in the years to come.

“We’ve all been on same team for six years,” said Wall. “It’s going to be sad to be done. We’ve all worked really hard together. We’ve gotten really close.”

“We all practiced hard,” added Wick. “We’ve shown a lot of improvement.”

The team still has business to attend to at the state qualifiers. However, even with the seniors leaving, the future for the team remains bright. Tenth-grader Emily Caulfield suffered an ankle injury this year, but worked hard to recover and appears poised for great accomplishments.

“She has great potential,” says Capone. “She’s a pleasure to be around. We expect great things from her.”

Juliann Smith, Sarah Woods and Ally Wick are a trio of ninth-graders who also have tremendous potential. Even though talented seniors are graduating, it appears that the Massapequa Girls Varsity Gymnastics Team will remain at the top of the county. In some ways, that is the legacy of the seniors who are leaving as their guidance has influenced their younger teammates.

“We had to show them the way,” said Philippou about her younger teammates. “JV is a lot different. We had to help the adjust and now we are all really close.”

“We feel comfortable leaving the team and having them take over,” added Saba.


Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.


YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30


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