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Scholastic Roundup: Finally some good news from Hawaii

August 25, 2023 Andy Furman
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Finally, some good news coming from Hawaii and the devastating fires.

Mel Finkenberg, a co-captain on Lafayette High’s 1965-’66 basketball squad is safe.

“We live on the West Side of the Island of Hawaii – The Big Island,” he told Scholastic Roundup this week. “We have not been directly affected by the tragedy, but most of us have friends living there (Maui). My wife is a Zumba instructor. At least two of her Zumba friends lost their studio and/or home.”

Finkenberg says one week before the fires the State Kupuna (senior) Softball Tournament – which rotates between the islands – took place in Maui. “I expect there were 800-900 players. One week later, I imagine many of them would have been in Lahaina. Remember, we are a bunch of old guys. I believe this would have exasperated the crises.”

Hawaiians are special people, he said. “They believe in Kokua, which means to come together to fulfill a need. I’ve seen it in action, and we will all be participating in overcoming the pain and sorrow.”

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Ike Pollack was a teammate of Finkenberg at Lafayette.  “I didn’t know about Ken Gershon’s passing until I read it last week,” he said. “I was sorry to hear that, but the naming of the gym at Hillcrest High School is a nice tribute.”

Pollack adds that Gershon was a good guy and a good coach – he won over 400 games as basketball coach at Hillcrest. “In fact,” he says, “I used to see him at Hillcrest when my girls team from Andrew Jackson would go over there to play. I coached the Jackson basketball girls through most of the ‘80s.”

Kenny’s younger brother – David – was a friend when I attended Brooklyn College. “A very funny guy.”

Pollack adds: “My older brother – Mike – played with Kenny at Lafayette in ’61. Mike was a junior and Kenny was a captain. That was Frank Rabinowitz’s last year and Gil Fershtman took over in ’62.

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Each year, PhD Hoops recruits talented, high character players for their international basketball tours. Their trips travel to different countries in Europe and The Caribbean. All trips combine high-level basketball tournaments, skill development, sightseeing excursions and an immense cultural education to last a lifetime. Tours are led by highly-experienced coaches and are open to both males and females ranging in age from 10-25 years old.  Contact: [email protected].

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LIU women’s soccer improved to 2-0 with a 1-0 win over Rider College thanks to a goal from Matiana Valdez.

The Sharks topped Saint Peter’s 3-0 in their opener. Gina Proviano, Stephanie Schubert and Noa Bartels van Bosbeek all scored for LIU and Keely Thomas produced a shutout. Schubert scored her first collegiate goal off the bench in thew 30th minute. Bartels van Bosbeek in the second half, also tallied her first collegiate goal.

The Lady Sharks, now 2-0 entering Sunday’s home opener against UMBC. The win marked the program’s best start since winning three straight to begin the spring 2021 Covid season. LIU earned a Northeast Conference playoff berth a year-ago, in Lucy Gillett’s first season as head coach.

Matiana Valdez, a redshirt sophomore defender who led the Sharks in minutes last year is joined with sister Thalia, a freshman from Wantagh High School.

The men’s soccer team, which was unbeaten in its opening four Northeast Conference matches a season ago, were picked second in the NEC’s preseason coaches poll.

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Alexander Moule is the new heads men’s and women’s volleyball coach at Pratt Institute.

In addition to his coaching responsibilities developing Pratt’s NCAA Division III volleyball programs, Moule will also serve as Events and Facilities Coordinator within the Athletics and Recreation Department.

Moule comes to Pratt from Baruch College where he also was the head men’s and women’s volleyball coach. He guided Baruch’s men’s team to the 2023 CUNYAC title and a trip to the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats fell to top-ranked and eventual national semifinalist Vassar in the first round, and ended their season with a 19-11 overall record.

Moule attended Lasell University in Massachusetts and earned a BA in Sociology. He played three seasons (2015-17) as a libero/right sider on their volleyball team earning Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) All-Tournament Team honors in 2015. He helped lead the Lasers to the program’s first and only GNAC title and NCAA tournament appearance.

Moule, a Park Slope resident, previously coached at Fontbonne Hall Academy in Bay Ridge where he won the CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens Championship, the CHSAA City Championship and finished as the runner-up in the CHSAA State Championship.

He also served as heads varsity boys coach at Poly Prep Country Day School, for one season and coached at Brooklyn Elite Volleyball Club since 2018 – and in the same year founded Riis Park Volleyball Academy which offers tournaments and clinics for adults and children during the summer.

An entrepreneur off the court, Moule was a finalist in the Lasell Business Department, “Test Your Big Grant Idea” competition and used the prize money to fund his startup coffee shop, “Wise clock Café” and Jacob Riis Park in Queens, which he has owned and operated for the last five years.

In 2022, he also opened a franchise with Oddfellows Ice Cream in Rockaway Beach, Queens.

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The 2023 Medgar Evers men’s soccer schedule features seven CUNYAC clashes, along with 11 non-conference confrontations.

The Cougars open their season with eight consecutive non-league matches, starting with Ursinus College at Aviator Field, September 1st. Medgar-Evers then travels to Reinhart Field to take on SUNY Maritime under the lights, September 6th, before taking on the York College Cardinals, Saturday, September 9th.

The CUNYAC tournament will take place, Wednesday, October 25th, with the semifinals scheduled for Saturday, October 28th. Both of those contests will be hosted by the higher seeds. The CUNYAC title match is set for Saturday, November 4th at Queens College (3 pm).

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LIU’s first-year head field hockey coach Michael Pallister recently returned from, a four-day training camp at Princeton with his squad.

Pallister arrives from Syracuse, where he spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach. The top-four teams qualify for the NEC playoffs – LIU was tabbed to qualify for the playoffs in the coaches pre-season poll.

The home opener is Friday, September 8th with Cal.

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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