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Plainview Looks To Improve With New Coach

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.

News

Kids love amusement parks, and they especially love one aspect of these fanciful places above all others — the twists, turns and death-defying loops of the mighty roller coaster. Given the chance, it’s likely that almost any child would love the chance to actually build one of their own.

Susan Sears of Port Jefferson runs an ongoing series of science classes aimed at stimulating the growing minds of children. Recently, she was holding one of them at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library on Roller Coaster design, which she described as “a physics lesson disguised as fun.”

School zone speed cameras are beginning to gear up in Plainview-Old Bethpage, and though the robot law enforcement tools are not yet fully operational, drivers are beginning to get road weary at the prospect of a surveillance state.

While officials at the Nassau County Traffic Safety board said that only five cameras have been activated, drivers are spotting far more on daily drives through the neighborhood. Michael Dulphin, a Plainview resident who makes a daily commute to a local college, said he has seen school zone speed cameras pop up near Parkway Elementary School as well as Our Lady of Mercy school on South Oyster Bay Road.


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