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Scholastic Roundup: Sharks ready to kick it off

April 14, 2023 Andy Furman
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It’s time — LIU’s Spring Football Game is set for tomorrow – Saturday, April 15th – at LIU’s Post Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium.

The festivities get underway at 9:30 am – free entry for students and kids – all others a five-dollar donation. A players meet-and-greet is scheduled; and a Beer Garden and BBQ Tent, is planned – and an appearance by Finley the Mascot is scheduled.

The football Sharks open their 2023 season at Ohio University, Saturday, September 2nd; the non-conference schedule also includes trips to Baylor of the Big 12 Conference (September 16th) and Maine (October 14th).

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Home games include: Duquesne (Sept. 30th); Sacred Heart (Oct. 7th); Merrimack (Oct. 21st) and Wagner (Nov. 11th).

Brian Bonacci has joined LIU Athletics as Director of Football Sports Performance. He arrives from Coastal Carolina where he served as assistant director of strength and conditioning.

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The recent passing of NFL and former Jefferson High School football star John Brockington, brought some responses to Scholastic Roundup:

“Besides coaching at FDR High School, I am a teacher at Middle School 88K on 7th Avenue and 18th Street – a just a stone’s throw from the old Bishop Ford High School,” writes Glenn Thomas. “I was doing lunch duty in the cafeteria last year. There was a tall kid walking around the cafeteria. Being that I am a high school hoops coach, and he being a tall eighth grader, I asked him if he played hoops. He said, ‘no,’ and that he played football and that his grandfather played in the NFL.

“I asked him who was his grandfather – his response: ‘John Brockington.’”

Ike Pollack, a Lafayette basketball co-captain (1966) says: “I saw Brockington play against a good Lafayette team in the Fall of 1964. It was a man against boys. He was the most powerful individual I had ever seen up to that point in my life…and that assessment still holds. Unforgettable guy!!”

Bishop Loughlin’s boys’ 4×400 Relay Team of sophomores Christian Walker and Rashuan Uche and seniors Jelani Johnson and Wesley Noble, Jr. won the Nationals in 3:17.71.

Loughlin’s Step Team placed second in the CHSAA Step Competition.

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Randy Lane, who led the LIU Sharks women’s gymnastics team to a record-breaking season, was named Coach of the Year in the East Atlantic Gymnastic League.  The Sharks surpassed the previous school record (195.075) set in 2022 a total of six times.

Mara Titarsolej, a junior from The Netherlands, was named First-Team All-Tournament on the bars after scoring a 9.875.

Junior Syd Morris who hails from Landenberg, Pa., had the second-best all-around score also earned First-Team All-Tournament in the all-around.

Morris broke the LIU all-around record three-times this season. The previous school record was 38.575 set by Katy Koopman in the inaugural year for the Sharks, 2021.

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Pratt Institute’s men’s tennis team recorded their second-straight 9-0 win, defeating John Jay College in a non-conference match Saturday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Pratt improved to 6-2 overall with all six wins coming by an 8-1 or 9-0 margin.

Mehul Bhargava and Ryan Nelsen prevailed in the top pair match, 8-5, while Matthew Stachura and Cole Rudy rolled at second doubles, 8-1.

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A pair of three-run innings, highlighted by a three-run home run by junior first baseman Autumn Poppett led Brooklyn’s St. Joseph University’s softball team to an 8-5 win over defending Skyline Conference champions Farmingdale State College, Saturday.

St. Joseph’s men’s volleyball team closed-out their 2023 season with a 3-2 victory Thursday, over Purchase College.

Alex Helfant’s 30 kills came two shy of matching his own program-best 32, which he set while Alejandro Oliveros dished-out 49 assists for the second-time this season – one shy of matching the single-match program record.

Lordnel Saint-Jean, aa St. Edmund Prep grad, along with Oliveros, were honored in Senior Night ceremonies prior to first-serve.

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The Medgar-Evers men’s volleyball team closed-out its 2023 campaign on a positive note last week with a two-match sweep of the Cardinals of York College.

Freshman Carlos Abreu led the way for the Cougars with four kills while tying for team-high of four digs in the opener. Louis Cailoa contributed three kills while tying for the team-high of four digs and senior Austin Romeo had seven assists. Isaac Akindipe recorded two service aces in the wain.

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Brooklyn College men’s tennis suffered their first conference loss of the season, falling to Baruch, 8-1 in a match for first-place in the CUNYAC standings. The Bulldogs fell to 5-4 overall and 2-1 in league play. Brooklyn’s Mordecai Lev gave the Bulldogs their lone win of the day at the No. 6 slot, 6-3, 6-2.

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St. Francis Brooklyn women’s water polo goalie MK McKendry has been named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week. The honor is her third of the season.

Malachi Aiken and Jenee Patterson of St. Francis Brooklyn men’s and women’s track and field teams were named Northeast Conference Prime Performers last week.

Aiken, a sophomore, won the long jump at the Towson State meet with an effort of 7.51 meters – a school record. He followed-up with a win in the triple jump – 14.98 meters – a personal best.

Patterson took second in the 400-meter hurdles at Towson. Her time of 1:02.22 was a school record, and she was less than a second from the winning time.

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LIU’s baseball team saved the best for last.

The Sharks erupted for 11 runs in the ninth-inning to produce a 17-7 win against Norfolk State, Saturday.

The 11-run outburst was the largest in an inning by LIU in a Division I game since they scored an 11-run sixth in a 16-3 win at Mount St. Mary’s on April 30, 2010. Trailing 7-6, the Sharks proceeded to send 17 batters to the plate in the ninth-inning.

The 17 runs were the most by LIU in a game since a 26-6 victory against Fairleigh Dickinson on May 16, 2021. Virginia native Shane Tucker earned the victory with 2.1 scoreless relief innings.

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LIU’s men’s tennis team honored a pair of graduate students before the final regular-season match of 2022-23, Sunday.

Head coach Jan Griga and associate head coach Paylos Stephanides paid tribute to Gui Medeiros and Sergio Fernandez-Romera. The Sharks fell 5-2 to St. Francis, Brooklyn.

The LIU women tennis team honored five seniors of their final day, Sunday as the Sharks swept St. Francis, Brooklyn 7-0 to go unbeaten against conference opponents entering the NEC Tournament.

Seniors Bianca Compuesto, Victoria Frechtchenko, Kate Jorjoliani, Elinor Storkaas and Phoebe Watton were honored in a pre-match ceremony.

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Siena Sujitnmo recorded the highest-placing finish for Pratt Institute’s women’s track and field team with a fifth-place in a field of 37 in the 100-meter dash (13:07) at the Osprey Open hosted by Stockton University, Saturday. She also placed 14th in the long-jump – 4.50 meters.

Christina Sancho-Spore ran a personal-best 5:11.83 in the women’s 1500 meters for another top-10 finish for the Cannoneers, coming in ninth against a field of 47 and third among Division III competitors.

Courtney Beesch just missed-out on a top-10 finish covering 5000 meters in 21:10.27 for 11th.

Ava Hunwick ran a personal season-best 1:08.54 to take 17th in the 400-meter run. Sarah Cawley posted season-bests in the 800-meter run (2:44.44) for 21st place and the 1500-meter run (5:44.10) for 31st.

Ella Ambroggio also ran a personal-best 30.62 in the 200-meter for 20th place and tossed 20.93 meters in the discus. Dominic Paolini was the top-placing male taking 21st in the men’s 5000 finishing in a personal-best 17:35.79. Bruce Westgate nabbed 23rd in the 1500-meter run clocking in at 4:28.18 and also covered the 800-meter in 2:21.40. Aaron Nisbett bested his mark in the long-jump leaping 5.00 meters and also won his heat in the 100-meter dash in 13.38. Ian Chen fell just-shy of his season-best in the 400-meter with a time of 58.64 for 32nd. Elliot Hale ran a season-best 1:04.88 to place 38th.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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