Category Archives: Athletics

Victory on the Field: JV Lacrosse

By: Cameron C. ’17

Coming off a loss in the previous game against Tottenville, the Staten Island Academy JV lacrosse team captured an 8-3 victory over the Pirates. We knew we could get back at them and give them their first loss of the season. We practiced hard and had a definitive plan to take the win.
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“Pretend like this is a state championship game, shut down number 5 and number 12,” echoed the motivational words of Mr. Aquilano. Francesca Marchese ’19 and Cameron Corbett ’17 absorbed each and every word and dominated the defensive end. Every loose ball, we were there.

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“We intimidated them, and they went into the game thinking that they were going to win after our 6-7 loss in the previous game. Cameron took number five out of the game which completely shattered their game plan and our attackers started out strong,” said Francesca Marchese ’17 of the Lacrosse team. As the 25 minutes ran out of the second half, everyone felt a rush of excitement because we finally broke Tottenville’s undefeated record. I couldn’t ask for a better team!

A Hole in One

Yes, Staten Island academy has a golf team. Not only has this team been around for decades, but this year was the debut for new golf coach Shawn Novak. Mr. Novak is a very experienced golfer who has been enjoying the game for years. This year, the team amassed many new members. Sophomores Eddie L. and Ryan A. joined, along with junior Phillip B., and Senior Danny C.. Returning members include Sophomores Paul N., Vincent S., Yvonne B., and me, and Seniors Alex V. and Captain Paul B. Also returning is eighth-grader Zack Z. The tigers finished the season 6 and 6 overall, but 5 and 3 in league play.

Apart from just playing, the golf team enjoyed many fun traditions. Every player on the golf team has nicknames. The team’s favorite belongs to eighth-grader Zack Z. As soon as he sat down on the bus for the first time, Captain Paul Blanchard called him a “young buck.” Since then, “Young Buck” has become Zack’s name, and even the schools that we play know him by his nickname. Another great nickname that popped up this year belongs to sophomore Paul N. After every match, Coach Novak calls the Staten Island Advance to report the game details. The players with the best scores also have their names in the paper. Unfortunately, the paper never gets our names right. Usually, the flaws are negligible: some extra consonants, or occasionally a similarly sounding name. Therefore, we were quite surprised when our team got a “new” member. Supposedly, a “Carl Morgan” scored very well for the tigers, even though no “Carl Morgans” enroll at Staten Island Academy. We then discovered that it was not Carl Morgan, but Paul! Now, even teachers tease poor Paul because of the newspaper’s mishap. The laughs, the competition, and the bonding all make the golf team a great fit at Staten Island Academy.

Baseball Goes to Florida

This Spring Break away from school, our SIA Baseball team traveled to sunny, warm Orlando, Florida to experience Spring Training at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. After a good flight, we hit the ground running as soon as we landed, checking into our rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, then registering at WWOS, and finally getting a practice in to cap a long first day.

We played six games over the course of five days against some very good competition from teams from the northeast region who were also trying to escape the cold weather and snowy conditions. It felt great to be on the field in 87 degree temperatures playing the game I love with my teammates. The experience was awesome: it was like we were minor leaguers getting ready for the season, trying to make the big club. It brought back many fond memories for our coaching staff who shared with us their spring training experiences when they played in high school and college.

After spending our days on the diamond preparing for our season, we were able to unwind at night. We visited Epcot where we enjoyed a team dinner at Via Napoli in Italy, Cuban cuisine at Bongos in Downtown Disney, and ’50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  While there, we also rode the Tower of Terror. We attended a MLB spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies, and the last night we were there we spent at Magic Kingdom and saw a spectacular fireworks show.

Unfortunately, we lost all six of the games that we played, but we were able to play baseball in the warm weather, learned some things about each other, ate some good food, had a lot of fun and bonded as a team. All in all, it was a great experience for our team and the memories we made will last for years to come.

Baseball
– Sal T. ’16

It’s All Fun and Games Until Somebody Gets Hurt: Boys Soccer

It is safe to say that the Boys Varsity Soccer Team had an “interesting” season. In the fall the team had over 30 players, so we had to be split into Varsity and a Junior Varsity teams. A handful of people played both Varsity and Junior Varsity, but they soon became full-time Varsity players. That is because of the curse that was inflicted on our team. Somehow, some way, we managed to lose 9 people—yes 9—to injury. We had broken hands (yes, plural), concussions, torn ligaments, and various other tears and scrapes. I, myself, succumbed to a sprained ankle late in the season. Adding to that, a 20-plus game season crammed into 2 months was not easy. However, despite the adverse conditions, our team pulled through, winning many more games than we did last season. When asked about the boys’ season, senior captain Dominick T. said, “It was great! We all worked really hard, and we had fun at the same time.” Junior Varsity soccer, returning for a second year, also had an unusual season: many of their star players were moved up to Varsity to compensate for the plague of injuries that struck the boys’ soccer season. Junior Varsity Captain Ryan A. ‘17 added, “We had a fun season; our team really meshed on the field. Towards the end of the season, it was getting a bit frustrating that all of our players were moving up to Varsity, but we managed.” Nevertheless, the boys arrived to each game ready for a challenge, and they would never give up until the last whistle blew.

 

By Trip M. ’17

Chemistry Counts in Girls’ Varsity Volleyball

This year’s Girls’ Varsity Volleyball season commenced with a succession crisis: a week before the advent of practices, there was no one available to replace last year’s coach. Mr. Novak, or “Snoop,” saved the day when he offered to lead the Volleyball program, forsaking his position as assistant coach of the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team. In a remarkably seamless transition, the multi-talented physical education instructor (he has backgrounds in soccer, baseball, swimming, track, and golf) tackled the position of Head Coach with effortless grace. We are all grateful to him for his commitment to SIA’s athletic program and his generosity of spirit.

Under his leadership, the girls had a successful season marked by hard work and a flair for the dramatic—often the team would play up to 5 sets, culminating in a 15-point tiebreaker. A schedule laden with away-games mandated frequent bus rides, sometimes up to four in one 5-day week, to and from Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island. The bus, dominated by a battle between blasting rap and show tunes from the Broadway show “Heathers,” wasn’t exactly conducive to sleeping, or to the bus driver’s happiness. The bus rides were enjoyable nonetheless, at least for the girls. “They do a great job, considering we have so many games in a row without much rest in between. The team’s success shows how hard the girls worked before the season and that they are motivated to do well,” remarks Mr. Novak. The Volleyball team enjoyed a multitude of outlandish times while traversing the New York metropolitan area via school bus, like when the girls showed up at a Queens high school only to find out that the opposing team had just arrived at SIA. On a more positive note, Mr. Novak’s savory reward brownies (baked in collaboration with his twin brother) were demanded on every occasion.

The girls’ chemistry was reflected on the court: “They are all such well-rounded individuals. All seem to complement each other’s styles and skills,” says Mr. Novak of the girls’ teamwork. Setter Danielle W. ‘15, “a huge asset,” averaged four assists per game. “She’s everywhere on the floor and helps to bail us out and generate a good attack when we need it,” notes Mr. Novak. Colleen M. ‘16, a fabulous hitter and server with a great sense of humor, led in service points with eighty eight, while vivacious Veronica L. ‘15, “our leading attacker,” and “Princess” Madison B. ‘15, “a leader through her actions,” led in kills and “dinks”[1]. Claire C. ‘15, “the strong, silent type who lets her hard work speak for itself,” contributed to the effort with the most digs (throwing oneself onto the floor to save the ball). Newcomer to the Varsity team, sophomore “Coach” Kelly F., “very talented and a great asset to the team in the future,” wowed our opponents with a speedy serve and was a formidable force at net. Meanwhile, Emma M. ‘15 “the supersub with a deceiving serve”, and Veronica intimidated the opposition with raccoon skin hats, spastic dancing, and cheering. Alexa F. ‘16’s memorable serving run against Dwight and encouragement on the sidelines, and Maria V. ‘15’s focus on the court also complemented the team dynamic.

Besides a successful record, the team, more importantly, got along well. Noting the abundance of returning players, Mr. Novak, also referred to as Snoop, states, “Having so many leaders on the floor at the same time who have played together before is exciting; they are comfortable with each other and can build on what they accomplished last year.” The girls’ familiarity with each other and Snoop’s coaching style molded a calm environment in which the stressed out seniors and juniors were able to take their minds off standardized testing and APs. The team dynamic was unique in that even after tough losses, neither coach nor team internalized blame; mistakes and shortcomings were forgotten the minute the girls stepped off the court. Finishing with a record of eight wins and nine losses in the regular season, the team enjoyed a smooth season after the initial secession mishap. Thank you Snoop, for stepping in and so gracefully spearheading an enjoyable season for us. Mr. Novak, you are “the real MVP.”

*All quotes are from Coach Shawn Novak (Snoop), who “has an IQ of 170 and can bench press 265 pounds.” Again, we are skeptical.

[1] Snoop claims that this is a legitimate, respectable term for “tipping the ball over the net.” We are skeptical.

 

By Emma M. ’15