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Success After Big Injury

Playing in the most competitive basketball conference in Nassau County, the Massapequa varsity boys team faces a tough task every year, having to go up against against county powerhouses Hempstead, Uniondale, Farmingdale and Freeport. This season, the task became monumental when one of the team’s best players, William Schlich, tore his ACL in practice before the season. It was a devastating loss for a team that already faced an uphill battle, but the Massapequa varsity boys team pressed on,  and made their coach quite proud by having a successful season,

“Their work effort was phenomenal,” said Marty Voigt, who has coached at Massapequa for 22 years. “One of the best teams I have ever been around.”

Despite playing a brutally tough schedule without a star player, the Chiefs still finished the season with a 6-6 record in conference games, including victories over Hempstead, Uniondale and Freeport, and a 4-1 record in non-league games.

“We overachieved,” said Voigt. “They [the players] put every ounce of their being into this year.”

Leading the way was junior Dylan Balducci, who averaged 21 points per game for the Chiefs. Senior Michael Delaney and junior Alex Cosenza each averaged about 10 points per game. Senior captain and point guard Brian Flecker was the team’s leader on the court, while also contributing an average of seven points and 10 assists per game.

“He never came off the floor,” the coach said of Balducci. “He was a tremendous player.”

In addition to those players, Voigt said that every player on the team had to contribute because of the competitiveness of the league. He said the players worked hard in practice, paid close attention to detail, and were very diligent about reading scouting reports and using the information to their advantage.

“They truly played for each other,” he said.

And while the team’s hard work, dedication and success despite the bad fortune of losing a top player is something Voigt is proud of, he also hopes that the team will be able to use this experience next year. Both Balducci and Cosenza will be starters next season, as will Griffin Sullivan and Sean Nealis. With a bit of better luck, the team’s work ethic, dedication and commitment to each could result in another successful season, which could carry the Chiefs deeper into the playoffs.

“They’ll play hard,” Voigt said of next year’s players.

News

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.


Sports

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.

Calendar

YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com