Brian Gaffney enters his final season as an athlete at Mineola High School, with some great accomplishments as a member of the football, basketball and lacrosse teams.
Head Football Coach Dan Guido described Gaffney as a “tremendous athlete and an excellent football player, one of the best he has ever coached” during his long-standing tenure as head coach at Mineola.
The BU9 Mineola Mighty opened the Spring 2013 soccer season with two victories, topping Syosset 4-0 and then rallying for a thrilling 6-5 win over Samba Academy on March 24. In the opener, James Teadore and Christopher Feathers combined in goal for the shutout as Mineola’s defense, led by Brian Heckelman and Peter Murphy, consistently turned aside the Syosset attack. Liam Russelman’s three goals, including one off a clever chip over the Syosset keeper, led the offense, with teammate Liam Going scoring the other Mineola goal.
The GU14 Mineola Mustangs used a dramatic, final-minute goal from Natalia Cotto to advance to the second round of the Long Island Cup Youth Soccer tournament on March 16. Playing in a blinding snow shower, Mineola earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over a solid West Islip Sizzle team.
Josh Lopes has been an integral member of the Boys Varsity Soccer program for the past four years. Lopes has been a four-year midfield and defensive starter, and has helped his team make the playoffs three times in the past four years, as well as complete for a conference title.
Franklin Square residents Meaghan Rush, Julia Pusateri, Kimberly Chan, Amanda Agostino, Valley Stream residents Tyquann Walker, Adam Kapusta, Carolyn DeFranco, and Elmont residents Dranoel Truter, Yuvaraj Dhir, Vincent Agostino, and Dylan VanManen have qualified to compete at the 2013 Metropolitan Swimming Junior Olympics. These swimmers represented the nationally ranked host team, Long Island Aquatic Club (LIAC). Each year, LIAC sends a large squad to the junior olympics to compete for the titles as the best age group swimmers. Since 1996, LIAC has qualified 21 swimmers for the U.S. Olympic Trials. For more information on the Junior Olympics or the Long Island Aquatic Club visit LIAC’s website www.longislandswimming.com.
As a three-year member of the Mineola Girls Bowling team Senior Jaclyn Lusardi has shown consistent improvement. As a junior bowler, Lusardi was named all conference. This year she led the team with a 167.3 average. Lusardi was the heart and soul of the girls bowling team over the last three years. As a team leader she motivated and supported her teammates and provided senior leadership. In recognition of her consistency and reliability she was named team Captain in both her Junior and senior year. As a captain she led the team to a third place finish in the conference and a top ten finish in Nassau County. Jaclyn also qualified to compete in the individual County Tournament.
They came together by necessity after graduation stripped of their respective rosters; hockey players from neighboring Long Island communities who were dedicated to their sport but without enough players for a team.
And so they formed the East Williston-Jericho high school club team and created an experience none of them will ever forget. The merged team won the Nassau County championship with a perfect 18-0 season and reached the final round of the New York State Large School Division Championships in Jamestown, N.Y.
When a fistful of seniors graduated last year, the hockey programs at East Williston and Jericho needed some help to continue playing. They found it in each other and the merged team won the Nassau County Championship with a perfect 18-0 season.
“They’re a great group of kids and they went on a great run,’’ coach Jon Turk said. “It’s been a dream season but you never want to say we’re satisfied until it’s over.’’
This weeks “Athlete of the Week” is Mineola wrestler Matt Long. Matt has 118 wins over the course of his career at Mineola. He showed tremendous promise as a middle school wrestler and with his dominance at that level was moved up to the high school level as an eighth-grader.
Long excelled throughout his career on the mat and was a Division II Champion three times. As a result of those accomplishments, Matt wrestled at the state level in the New York State Wrestling Tournament held in Albany for three consecutive years.
Matt was also a member of this years football team and suffered a dislocated hip late in the season. He went through rehabilitation and made it back to wrestle his senior year.
Matt plans to serve his country as an enlisted member of the United States Army after he graduates from Mineola High School.
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