One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”
The St. Rose of Lima CYO basketball team in Massapequa, coached by John Cosenza, won their first playoff game recently. Every player on the team scored one or more baskets on the way to the victorious final score of 40-25. The team is looking forward to continuing their winning ways in their next playoff game.
Massapequa Park resident Kim DeCesare is taking her considerable soccer skills to New England to play for the Boston Breakers, who selected her in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft last month in Philadelphia.
The 22-year-old played two years for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and one year on Region 1 ODP.
In the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), Kim played from Girls-Under-10 to Girls-Under-18 with the Massapequa Power. After she and her teammates graduated from high school, the Power no longer existed so Kim then played two summers with the LIJSL’s HBC Arsenal.
Winning has become a rite of passage for the student-athletes of Massapequa, even playing in the ultra-competitive AA-I conference. And according Head Coach Tom Sheedy, the toughest conference in the league is about to get even more competitive. “This year Hicksville and Oceanside are added to the conference and Uniondale is out, which makes it even more difficult,” said Sheedy, the 11-year head coach at Massapequa. “Every team is playoff caliber. Usually one or two teams are solid but last year all six teams made it to the playoffs.”
But the coach said that will only motivate the Chiefs more this year, as the team came off another Nassau County title in which they finished the season at 20-6. They were defeated in the Long Island Championship game 1-0 at Dowling College. Sheedy said it was an excruciating way to end the season, but certainly nothing to be ashamed about. Both teams had terrific pitchers on the mound, and only one team can be victorious.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto announced that the LI Blues will host the Fourth Annual Winter Classic at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center located at 1001 Stewart Avenue in Bethpage on Saturday Feb. 8.
“The LI Blues is a hockey program that gives children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to play ice hockey in an accommodating setting,” Venditto said. “Three other teams, the East Coast Jumbos, the New Jersey Dare Devils and the New Jersey Avalanche have been invited to the event and will be participating.”
The Massapequa Chiefs Ice Hockey Team hosted Senior Night at the Bethpage Community Park ice rink. The team’s 14 seniors took time before the game against Port Washington to present their moms with a rose. Head coach Tony DeMayo and assistant coaches Chris Vience and Tom Kiernan looked ast as captain Thomas Calcagno and assistant captains Phil Jewell, Gearard O’Donnell and Bobby Oldmixon participated.
As for the game, Massapequa’s varsity team won again, dominated Port Washington in a 9-3 victory.
— Observer Staff
Members of the Adaptive Physical Education (APES) class at Alfred G. Berner Middle School just reached a milestone. They completed 13.1 or half of a 26.2 mile marathon without leaving the walls of the school gym. The 10 member class, comprised of students with either physical or cognitive challenges, have been participating since September in a virtual marathon offered through Achilles International, a non-profit organization devoted to enabling people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics in order to instill personal achievement.
After four years on the Ivy League lacrosse field, the pros came calling for a former Plainedge High School player.
Massapequan and Yale senior Dylan Levings was selected last weekend in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft held at the U.S. Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia, Penn.
Levings, taken in the third round (24th overall) by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, is one of the nation’s premier face-off specialists. He is a two-time USILA honorable mention All-American who was 2013 Ivy League Tournament MVP after leading the Bulldogs to their second straight championship.
The Massapequa High School wrestling squad grappled its way to the top at the Ted Petersen Tournament in Island Trees Jan. 4, scoring a total of 252 points — finishing well ahead of second place finisher Plainedge High School, which scored 221.5 points.
Widely regarded as one of the toughest wrestling tournaments on Long Island, the annual Ted Petersen Wrestling Tournament pits some of the roughest and toughest wrestlers from Nassau and Suffolk counties against each other for a chance at taking home the gold. Although placing within the top 5 of the tournament is considered an outstanding accomplishment, finishing in first is considered one of the highest honors in the Long Island wrestling world.
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