Brooklyn Boro

Scholastic Roundup: A former Terrier enters the Hall

June 23, 2023 Andy Furman
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Frank Conroy, a former assistant basketball coach at Brooklyn’s St. Francis College, is a member of the 2023 CHSAA Hall of Fame.

Conroy, who ran track at Iona Prep (New Rochelle, NY) and taught there in 1980 is one of 10 new additions to the Hall. He coached basketball at Salesian and later at the College of Mount St. Vincent, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Greenwich High School before his stop at St. Francis.

He coached the Varsity ‘B’ team at Iona Prep in 1995 – and continues today. His teams won the CHSAA championship in 1999, 2008, 2020 and 2022. He is also a member of the Salesian and Iona Prep Hall of Fame.

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Other Hall inductees include:
Sal Fischetti, a 1983 St. Francis Prep grad who coached the girls’ varsity basketball team (1989-1996) and was named Coach of the Year in 1995 when his team won the New York State Class ‘B’ Federation championship.

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Nick Melito, after a successful career as a pitcher at New York Tech, he later coached baseball at Christ the King High School. In 2000 the McClancy grad returned to his alma mater where his varsity baseball teams made the playoffs 17 consecutive seasons. In 2003 he was named Coach of the Year.

Ron Winchester, a football official for 47 years, he’s been president, treasurer and board member for the Long Island Association of Football Officials. He’s the first football official to be inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame.

Chris Beal led the boys’ varsity basketball team at Salesian High School to the CHSAA ‘B’ city championship in 2003.

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William Hackshaw ran on the 1985 distance medley relay team at the Penn Relays. A year earlier he was a member of the cross-country city championship team at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.
A runner at C.W. Post College, he later coached the Mount (1992-2010). His teams won five CHSAA city championships. He has since won two CHSAA titles as coach at LaSalle Academy in Manhattan.

Anthony Garofalo was a football and track and field star at Staten Island’s Msgr. Farrell High School. He returned to Farrell as football coach and amassed a 35-26 record in seven seasons and reached the 2021 CHSFL ‘AA’ title game.

Bob Malandro has coached baseball at Holy Trinity High School (Hicksville, L.I.) more than 30 years. He compiled a 428-259 record with five Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA championships – 1997, 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2012. He was named Coach of the Year six times; Nassau Country Coach of the Year in 2010 and New York State Coach of the Year by Major League Scouts in 2012.

Richard Duffell played baseball and competed in the shot put at St. Helena’s High School in the Bronx. He’s coached baseball 33 years – and counting – at Xavier High School in Manhattan. Add to that, 32 seasons of coaching junior varsity baseball. His basketball teams have won 10 division titles and city championships in 1995, 1998 and 2022.

Larry Musanti currently serves as principal at Msgr. Farrell High School. A graduate of St. Peter’s High School on Staten Island, he began coaching baseball at Farrell in 1980 as a varsity assistant. He took over the program in 1983 and retired after the 2001 season.
His teams reached the CHSAA city championship game three times.

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The St. Joseph’s University, Brooklyn men’s volleyball team has been crowned the 2023 NCAA Statistical Champions in digs-per-set.

The Bears averaged 13.19 digs-per-stanza, narrowly surpassing Trine University, Angola, Ind. (13.16) in second place and Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa. (12.87) in third.
Throughout the season, the team also shattered the program record for digs in a single match on three occasions; accomplishing this feat twice against Sarah Lawrence (103,99) and once against Purchase (101).

Leonel Bravo recorded 32 digs – the highest number in a four-match contest nationwide this season – against Sarah Lawrence in their initial encounter.
The Skyline Conference’s first-team libero concluded the campaign with a single-season program-best 255 digs to go with 3.54 digs-per-set, good for second in the league and fourth in NCAA Division III.

Alex Helfant averaged 3.01 digs-per-set, placing him fifth in the Skyline and in the top 20 nationally. He ranked second on the team with 211 total digs while Brooklyn’s Alejandro Oliveros (Grover Cleveland High School) rounded out the St. Joseph’s University trio with triple-digit digs, bringing up 118.

Helfant, who was named to the All-Skyline second-team, also led the nation with 12.38 attacks-per-set. He also topped the program with 3.26 kills-per-set and set a new single-match kills record (32) against Yeshiva.

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This is the second NCAA statistical championship in men’s volleyball program history and first since earning the aces-per-set crown in 2012. It is also the third statistical championship, individual or team, in the 2022-23 season, following the two individual titles earned by men’s soccer standout Victor Naci.

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LIU men’s golfer Lewis Wright followed up a season in which he earned second-team All-NEC honors by returning home to his native England and capturing an individual title at a U21 event.
Wright won the shot two-over 144 over two rounds to win the Colts Championship at the renowned Thorpe Hall Golf Club. He shot a 68 during the opening round. No other golfer had a round better than 71. The junior from Brentwood Essex, England, won the event by two strokes.

Teammate Marcelo Mexsen has another noteworthy honor to add to his collection from a stellar freshman year. And Kyle Underwood has a final achievement to recognize his collegiate career.

Mexsen and Underwood were recently recognized as PING All-Northeast Region selections from the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Mexsen, a finance major from Torreon, Mexico, won the NEC individual championship with a four-under 74-71-67-212 last month. He matched the best three-round score in NEC Championship history and became the first freshman champion since 2018.

That led Mexsen to earn NEC Rookie of the Year and second-team All-NEC honors.
He had an average score of 73.12 (1.46 versus par) in 2022-23. He shot a seven-under 65 on the final day of the Salem NCAA Regional hosted by Clemson at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls to cap his season.

Underwood was a first-team All-NEC selection. He set the program single-season records for scoring average versus par (0.63), national scoring rating (302), tourney wins (2), par or-better rounds (16), birdies (110), eagles (4) and par-five scoring (4.6909) in 2023. He set program career record for wins (3), par-or-better rounds (27), birdies (247) and eagles (6).

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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