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Scholastic Roundup: Sharks look to take a bite out of the NEC

August 11, 2023 Andy Furman
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After completing last season with a four-game winning streak, the LIU football team is poised to make noise in the Northeast Conference this fall.

Six LIU student-athletes were named to the All-Northeast Conference Preseason Team — wide receiver Michael Love, tight end Owen Glascoe, defensive lineman Eric O’Neill, defensive back Larry Elder, place kicker Michael Coney and return specialist Davon Wells.

The six selections marked the most of any team in the conference.

O’Neill’s accomplishments last season included being selected the NEC Defensive Rookie of the Year and being a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman player in Football Champion Subdivision football.

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In the latest honor, O’Neill has been named one of 35 FCS standouts on the Buck Buchanan Award Preseason Watch List. The Buck Buchanan Award, presented by FedEx Ground, is given annually to the national defensive player of the year in FCS football.

O’Neill also recently was selected to the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America third-team. He produced an NEC-leading 10 sacks as well as 51 tackles (32 solo) and two forced fumbles last season.

Last week O’Neill was named to the Phil Steele Northeast Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while 10 Sharks in total earned spots on Phil Steele all-conference preseason teams.

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On the offensive side, receivers Love and Wells and tight end Glascoe were selected to the first team, and quarterback Luca Stanzani and running back Pat Bowen were named to the second team.

On the defensive side, O’Neill was selected to the first team, and defensive back Elder was named to the second team.

And on special teams, kicker Coney, Wells at kick returner and all-purpose, and long snapper Matt Aloni were named to the first team; while punter Will Lynch and Wells at punter returner were selected to the second team.

Tight end Glascoe joins teammate and defensive lineman O’Neill on the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America third-team. A 6-foot-4, 258-pound senior, Glascoe appeared in all 11 games last season, tallying 62 receptions for 610 yards and five TDs receiving and eight carries for 34 yards and three TDs rushing.

The season opens at Ohio University Sept. 2.

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The Dick Bavetta comments continue to fill the Scholastic Roundup e-mail bag. This from Dan Lynch, Jr., former St. Francis College baseball coach:

“Reading about Dick doing the scrimmage at Ft. Hamilton High School reminded me of him reffing my games when I coached at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights,” Lynch writes. “Not only did Dick not adhere to the NBA edict about not doing any outside games; he would normally bring whomever his NBA partner was that night. Dick used to tell me when he was coming to the Garden; and I’d schedule a home game that day. I used to list the officials in the scorebook as Dickie Babbitz and Louie Stugatz.

“After one game,” Lynch continued, “one opposing coach said, ‘Wow, those officials were really good; especially the smaller guy (Dick). Do you have his number? I’d like to hire him to do my games.’ I said sure, and gave him the number of a pizza place on Court Street. When I got my post-game slice of pizza that day, I told the pizza guy that if anyone called for ‘Dickie Babbitz’ to tell them he went back to Italy. Before I started to laugh and tell him the true story, he says, ‘Yeah, I know, I heard that he got jammed up.’”

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Brooklyn College men’s soccer coach Luis Flores welcomes six new Bulldogs from the 2023 recruiting class. Brooklyn opens its season on the road against Sarah Lawrence on Sept. 1. Then, the Bulldogs will host their home opener at Brooklyn College Field, Saturday, Sept. 9, against Brooklyn’s St. Joseph University.

Five of the six incoming Bulldogs hail from Brooklyn. Three are from Ft. Hamilton High School — Adam Moharan, George Koufos and Adam Khodorkovsky. Rounding out the newcomers are Seif Mohktar, Leon Goldstein High School; Joshua Telles, James Madison High School; and Rayan Vukovic from New Dorp High School in Staten Island.

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Recent Brooklyn College grad and standout guard Gianna Gotti recently signed a contract to play professionally for Clube Dosa Galitos (Portugal), which competes in Associacao de Basquetebol de Aveiro regionally within Liga Betclic Feminina Basquetebol. Gotti becomes the second Bulldog in as many years to sign professionally overseas, with former teammate Chanel Jemmott just wrapping up her first season in Costa Rica.

Gotti enjoyed a successful two-year career at Brooklyn, helping to lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back CUNYAC titles and the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory as a junior. As a senior, she was named the 2022-23 Player of the Year while averaging 21.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.25 assists. She also led the nation for the second straight season with 5.59 steals in 27 games.

Over the last two seasons, she has garnered numerous accolades including being named a CUNYAC All-Star, All- ECAC, All-Met and All-Region. Also accomplished off-the-court, Gotti graduated with a 3.54 GPA as a communications major and was recently nominated as an NCAA Woman of the Year candidate.

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Stephanie Gaitley enters her second season as women’s basketball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University and is excited for her new recruit.

“Yes, I am excited to have Rebecca Osei-Owusu join the FDU family,” Gaitley writes. A Brooklyn native, Osei-Owusu graduated Monsignor Scanlan High School, where she ended her career as a back-to-back New York Catholic High School Athletic Association champion. She played for the Riverside Hawks club program and says that attributed her coming to FDU.

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The Medgar Evers College women’s volleyball program will feature 22 matches, including seven CUNYAC contests and 15 non-conference clashes.

The Cougars will play three of their first matches at the Cougars Cave, hosting non-conference foes John Jay and York College in their season-opening matches, on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Brooklyn’s St. Joseph’s University saw a total of 42 student-athletes represented on the winter/spring 2022-23 Skyline Conference Academic Honor Roll. The Bears baseball and softball programs each produced 13 honorees. Among the 42 recipients, 25 individuals were repeat winners. Six student-athletes — Emma Kiley (women’s basketball); Maeve McKeon and Nicole Trani (softball) and Lucas Collet and Louis Lombardi and Matt McHugh (baseball) —earned the distinction in all of their athletic seasons and graduate with this recognition.

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The Brooklyn Basketball History website took us back to the 1978-79 Brooklyn Tech basketball squad that won 19 of 21 games. including a 17-game winning streak. Members included Troy Townsend, Eric Jones, Wendell Walters, Steve Hamilton, Richard Burks, Mike Watler, Walt “Darius” Pearson, Anthony Gill, Michael Mack and Wayne Bodden.

Did you know Ernie Grunfeld, Forest Hills High School and later a star at the University of Tennessee and then the NBA, was on the U.S. Olympic Team with Steve Sheppard of DeWitt Clinton High in 1976? Both were PSAL All-Stars in 1972.

That same year, Butch Lee of Clinton was on the Puerto Rico team — three PSAL players in the same Olympics.

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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