Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
Beloved coach remembered in 10th annual games
Walking into the Imhof Gymnasium at the Oyster Bay High School on Friday, Dec. 7, you could hear the Baymen fans cheering “Boo-ya, boo-ya.” It was the 10th Annual Tom Robinson Memorial Tournament, sponsored by the Oyster Bay Athletic Booster Club and held in the Imhof Gymnasium on Dec. 6 and 7, with two rounds of competition at 5 and 7 p.m. each day. On Thursday the Baymen played the Plainedge Red Devils and won; North Shore High School Vikings played the Roosvelt High School Rough Riders and won.
On Friday at 5 p.m. Roosevelt played Plainedge (who won) and at 7 p.m. the winners of Wednesday’s games, North Shore and Oyster Bay played for the championship. Oyster Bay won at the end of an exciting game with 41-38.
The Baymen supporters stood in a solid pack of about six rows deep at the top of the stands and worked as a team to encourage the players. It was a great game to watch.
Coach Tom Robinson’s tactic had been to have his basketball team play schools in December, to up their game before the regular season began. Plainedge, Roosevelt and North Shore are in Conference A and Oyster Bay is in Conference B.
At halftime the game was 25/26. Art teacher Karen Crowley was keeping score during the game as she has for 22 years. Assistant Coach Brian Boyle said at halftime, “So far they are doing well. They won last night. They survived.” He agreed that it was Coach Robinson’s aim to stretch the team in preparation for the coming season.
Ms. Crowley remembered Coach Robinson, who was also a physical education teacher in the elementary school. “He also wrote poetry. Sometimes he read them on the bus coming home from an away game. He was thoughtful, reflective and passionate about kids in the community and dedicated to helping them. And he was a gentleman,” she said.
The score kept advancing, 29-20, 37-25, 37-30, 37-34, 38-34, 35,35 to 38-38 and time was running out. Oyster Bay scored and it was 41-38 and the Baymen won. They jumped up, hands held high, in a tight circle. [It would have been a great photograph.]
Nasssau County Champion Varsity Volleyball Coach Erin Murcott said, “I think it was a great way to memorialize Mr. Robinson and it’s always great when they come out winning.”
The game program said, “Tom Robinson was a fixture in the Oyster Bay community. His dedication to the basketball program began in high school as a player. He reunited with Oyster Bay as a teacher and basketball coach who would go on to win five Nassau County championships. This tournament reminds us of how beloved ‘Coach Rob’ was to the community and helps his memory live on.”
Athletic Director Kevin Trentowski and Marilyn Robinson, Tom’s sister, presented the award plaques.
Plaques went to MVP players in each game: John Donielo of Plainedge, Kahalil Wilson of Roosevelt, Adam Bell of North Shore and Nick Carbone of Oyster Bay. The touirnament MVP award went to David Carl of Oyster Bay. The championship plaque went to Oyster Bay.
It was a very spirited game and was exciting right down to the end,” said Tom Gould, media specialist who was photographing the game for the athletic department and supplied a few great shots for this article.
The Baymen team members are: Nick Carbone, Andy Galgano, Dillon Robinson, Jason Velasquez, Bret Mattel, Collin Martinez, Austin Seaman, Brandon Perez, David Carl, Ki-Jana Walker Michel, Chris Papantoniou, Chris Sadocha and Rob Venegas.