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Mustang Football Drives Toward Playoffs

The Mineola Mustang football program is off to an excellent start this season. The varsity and JV records both stand at 4-2 and the middle school team is 1-0 after dominating their first two scrimmage games as of Oct. 18.

The varsity team has won three of its last four games after an opening day loss to Valley Stream North. The Mustangs came into the season as the 11th seed in a 12-team conference.

With the majority of the team as underclassmen the expectations in the league were not that high. In week one, due to all their inexperience, the Mustangs did not perform that well. After the first loss, they really turned things around.

They came out in week two and defeated a very tough East Rockaway team 14-8, holding the lead the whole way. At homecoming, the boys had an exciting 19-12 upset victory over sixth seeded Locust Valley. They came back to win after being down 12-6 going in the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs then lost a close game to Clarke High School. After the Mustangs scored twice to make it 14-13 in the fourth quarter, the Clarke punt returner made a spectacular 60 yd punt return for a TD to give Clarke the victory. The Mustangs didn’t let that get them down as they came back the next week and defeated Cold Spring Harbor 21-14 in the night game at Hampton Stadium, highlighted by a game-winning goal line stand with time running out and Cold Spring on the Mustang three-yard line.

After Brian Gaffney made two big tackles on second and third down, defensive end Anthony Caruso stuffed the Cold Spring Harbor running back behind the line as the rest of the defense joined in to seal the victory. The following week the Mustangs defeated The Mules of Malverne by a score of 28-6 to bring their record to 4-2.

The Mineola team has had many excellent performances this year. The offensive line of Caruso, Tom Behan, Juan Gulinao, Christian Martin, Matt Barroca and Edien Hincapie has been terrific all year as the Mustang ground game has led the way for the offense gaining over 1,000 yards in the first six games.

Senior co-captain Gaffney is having a tremendous year on offense and defense. He has rushed for over 700 yards, which includes his 248 yards and 2 TDs against Malverne. He has also completed passes for touchdowns and extra points, intercepted two passes and is one of the teams leading tacklers.

Junior qauarterback and co-captain Vinny Bienick is also having an excellent year as he steps in to replace last years All-County signal-caller Rob Clarkin. He has completed 40 passes for 545 yards and 8 TDs and rushed for 160 yards and 2 TDs. Vinny has really stepped up in a leadership role, which has had a very positive effect on this team. Running back/receivers (and blockers for Gaffney) Matt Long has six catches for 100 yards and 2 TDs, Ryan Eccher 4 catches for 55 yards and 1 TD, Lorenzo Gulinao and Mike Sullivan also have been doing a great job. Sullivan has been kicking off and kicking extra points along with returning kickoffs to really help the team.

Wide receivers Bob Rogers has 18 catches for 201 yards and 5 TDs, Tevin Carlo two catches for 30 yards and Justin Oommen three catches for 85 yards and 1 TD have also done well catching passing and blocking down field on sweeps and options. Senior Rohit Singla also contributes on offense and defense along with special teams.

Defensively, the team is led by sophomore middle linebacker Ryan Eccher’s 72 tackles. The other linebackers Matt Long has 47 tackles, Gulinao with 25 tackles, and Oommen 27 tackles and 3 sacks have also played very tough on defense.

The defensive line has really held up the defense this year. Defensive ends Tom Behan, Leo Gorry and Edien Hincapie have played very well, while defensive tackles Tim Natale, Matt Diaz,  Caruso, and Danny Mendes have been tremendous in the middle controlling the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Rogers, Gabe Echeverry, Gaffney, Tevin Carlo and Rohit Singla have also done well. Patrick Lynch, Jacob Escobar, Zach Vega, Mike Giaimo, Bruno Benitez, Keanu Hines, Milandip Toor, and Gabe Anjo have played key roles on offenses and defense and have been very important to this team’s success.

The next Mustang match is Friday, Oct. 26 at Island Trees to finish the regular season.

News

Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied. 

 

“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.

The Wheatley School recently hosted an Item Writing Workshop for more than 100 language teachers representing districts across New York State.  The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), the professional organization that has assumed responsibility for the creation and administration of the FLACS

Checkpoint A and B Exams (formerly the NYS Second Language Proficiency and Regents Exams).


Sports

After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events. 

 

After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer. 

Cross-Country Crowned Champs

The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park.  This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought. 

 

Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20.  Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.


Calendar

Mineola School Meeting - November 20

Fools Rush In - November 21

Mustangs Face Roosevelt - November 22 


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