Written by Vinny Messana, email@example.com Friday, 14 February 2014 10:06
The Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School baseball team is coming off a poor 2013 season in which it finished at 5-12. But after that below-.500 showing, the program now looks to enter a period of prosperity with a new era under first-year head coach John Givargidze.
The team’s assistant coach from 2005-09, Givargidze is optimistic that the team is headed in the right direction.
“Just from talking to the players for the past couple months I can tell that they are buying into my philosophy and serious about the season,” said Givargidze, who was a three-year captain at Molloy College during his playing days and went on to play in the Frontier League. “That is generally the first obstacle in uniting a team that is not coming off a great year. I guess when you finish 5-12 there’s nowhere to go but up.”
The head coach is still getting acclimated to his team, but he is bullish on the outlook to the season.
“The head coaches in the league picked us to finish in second place,” he said, adding that the fact that the coaches think so highly of the team in the first year of a new coach speaks volumes about his reputation as it does about the talent on the team.
Givargidze has his own thoughts on how this coming season will shape up.
“MacArthur is probably going to win the conference,” he conceded, but noted that his team may have the potential to surprise. “We will have our number one pitcher, Charlie Basedow, who was out most of last season with an arm injury, who’s healthy now.”
Basedow will lead the staff, but will be joined by Vinny Ruggierio, who will play first base when he’s not on the mound. He tossed a complete game in the final game of 2013 against East Meadow, which certainly ended the season on a positive note.
On the offensive side of the ball, Givargidze will be relying on senior catcher Chris Tracz, who will be heading to Marist on a baseball scholarship upon graduation. The highly regarded backstop will be joined in the lineup by shortstop Dom Polumbo and Spencer Pokorny. This group of arms and bats will be a big reason that the team sees an improvement in 2014.
Givargidze noted that he has an experienced team packed with seniors. He expects this group of high school veterans to act as leaders both on and off the field.
The team will open up its season on March 27 in a non-league crossover game against Carle Place.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Famous American painter Georgia O’Keeffe was the topic of discussion at the Plainview Old-Bethpage Public Library on Feb. 20.
Members of the audience were given an in-depth look into the life and artwork of O’Keeffe through a self-made and researched lecture and slideshow by art appraiser Louise Cella Caruso.
O’Keeffe lived for 98 years. Within her lifetime, she was granted the Medal of Arts by Ronald Regan, and in 1938, she was selected as one of the 12 most outstanding women of the previous 50 years. When she passed away she was accorded the honor of a first page obituary in the New York Times.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
In celebration of its tenth anniversary, the Kids of Distinction program is offering more scholarships and planning a festive gala that will look back on a decade of supporting our most civic-minded children. The Town of Oyster Bay and the Old Bethpage-based Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., the sponsoring entities, are seeking nominations of local youngsters who are standouts in public service for the 2014 awards.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, together with Kids Helping Kids co-founders Robert A.J. Eslick and Philip M. Eslick, kicked off the search for a new batch of “kids of distinction” at the end of February. Nominations are due by May 16. Winners will be recognized at a special ceremony held by the board of trustees on Tuesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. with a citation from the Town and a $2,000 scholarship from Kids Helping Kids.